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April 11, 2010

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 43 South Carolina senior Pedro Campos celebrated the final home match of his career with his second-straight win over a top-30 opponent, but the Gamecocks fell to No. 4 Tennessee 6-1 Sunday afternoon at Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center. The Vols (22-1, 10-0 SEC) claimed the doubles point to open the match and fought back to win a pair of third-set super-tiebreakers to end the match. Campos preserved his spot singles record in SEC action with his 16th-consecutive victory.

With a pair of doubles teams ranked among the nation’s top five, Tennessee swept the three matches to take a 1-0 lead right out of the gate. The road did not get any easier for the Gamecocks in singles as the Vols trotted four nationally-ranked players onto the court for the second phase of the match. No. 111 Tennys Sandgren was the first Volunteer to score a victory as he defeated Alexander Kostanov 6-1, 6-2 in the No. 4 matchup, and No. 49 Rhyne Williams was close behind with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Ivan Cressoni in the No. 3 contest. The wins brought Tennessee within a point of winning the match, but Campos stemmed the tide.

Campos, ranked No. 79 in the nation, opened his No. 2 singles match by breaking Boris Conkic’s serve, but the Tennessee junior broke right back. After Campos battled to stay on serve at 3-3, he used great court coverage and deep ground strokes to break No. 26 Conkic again for a 4-3 lead. He closed the set with another service break for a 6-3 score and kept right on rolling through the second set, opening up a 5-0 lead before Conkic was able to hold serve. Campos closed his 16th-consecutive singles victory with a 6-1 second set that also put the Gamecocks on the board.

In the No. 5 match, Ivan Machado had cruised through the first set over Matteo Fago 6-1, but the Volunteers’ junior from Italy bounced back to break Machado’s serve for a 3-2 lead in the second set and never looked back. Fago delivered the team victory by winning the second and third sets with matching 6-2 scores.

Though the match was decided, the Gamecocks were still invested as No. 59 Diego Cubas was battling No. 2 John-Patrick Smith in the No. 1 singles contest. Cubas steamrolled Smith in the first set, breaking his first two service games to post a 6-2 first set win. The two battled through long games in the second set where neither player could crack through the others serve. Having opened the match by serving, Smith’s 5-4 advantage helped put pressure on Cubas, who could not hold serve, sending the intense match into a third-set super-tiebreaker. After bounding ahead 4-1, Cubas saw a handful of forehands miss their marks, allowing Smith to win the tiebreaker 10-6.

Just before the No. 1 match reached its tiebreaker, the No. 6 match had gone into its third-set super-tiebreaker after Johannes Pulsfort shook off a 6-1 first-set loss to Davey Sandgren to win the second set 7-5. Sandgren stormed out to a 9-3 lead in the tiebreaker, but Pulsfort fought off five match points before finally succumbing to the Volunteers’ senior 10-8.

South Carolina closes the regular season at No. 6 Florida on Sat., April 17, in Gainesville, Fla., before proceeding Lexington, Ky., for the SEC Tournament, which begins on Thu., April 22.


Doubles (Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2)
1. (2) John-Patrick Smith/Davey Sandgren (TN) def. (66) Diego Cubas/Pedro Campos (SC) 8-3
2. (4) Boris Conkic/Rhyne Williams (TN) def. Ivan Cressoni/Ivan Machado (SC) 8-4
3. Matteo Fago/Edward Jones (TN) def. Chris Sheehan/Harry Menzies (SC) 8-2

Singles (Order of Finish: 4, 3, 2, 5, 6, 1)
1. (2) John-Patrick Smith (TN) def. (59) Diego Cubas (SC) 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (6)
2. (79) Pedro Campos (SC) def. (26) Boris Conkic (TN) 6-3, 6-1
3. (49) Rhyne Williams (TN) def. Ivan Cressoni (SC) 6-1, 6-4
4. (111) Tennys Sandgren (TN) def. Alexander Kostanov (SC) 6-1, 6-2
5. Matteo Fago (TN) def. Ivan Machado (SC) 1-6, 6-2, 6-2
6. Davey Sandgren (TN) def. Johannes Pulsfort (SC) 6-1, 5-7, 1-0 (8)