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Aug. 3, 2012

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – South Carolina men’s tennis junior Chip Cox (Myrtle Beach, S.C./Myrtle Beach) won both his singles and doubles matches on Friday to advance in the USTA Boys 18 National Championships. Cox was efficient in singles play, yielding just two games, and fought through a doubles win with first-time partner Gordon Watson.

“I’m proud of the way Chip started this tournament,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “There were a lot of nerves coming in as a college junior, but he handled himself perfectly. He played great tennis and executed his game plan well. The work he’s put in this summer really showed. He will face a test tomorrow, but I’m excited to see him match up with Nolan Paige.”

Cox jumped out to a quick lead in his morning singles match, going up 5-0 on Jake Albo of Plantation, Fla. Albo found his footing in the sixth game of the match, forcing Cox to earn his final hold to win the set 6-0. The next four games of the match were equally hard-fought on both sides of the net as Albo began to push back. He was up 2-1 in the set and ahead 30-15 on Cox’s serve before the Gamecock junior rallied to win the game and shut down any further advances from Albo. Cox did not cede another game in the set for a 6-2 victory. He will face 20th-seed Nolan Paige, an incoming freshman at Stanford, at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

In doubles action, Cox teamed with Watson of the University of Florida. The duo had not played together prior to arriving in Kalamazoo but were still seeded sixth in the event and earned a first-round bye. In the second-round match, their opponents Miguel Aldo and Grant Riechmann took advantage of the lack of experience to win the first set 6-4. Cox and Watson settled in to win the second 6-3 before storming through a third-set tiebreak 1-0 (4) to move onto the third round, where they will take on Deiton Baughman and James Boyd.

Follow the USTA Boys’ 18 National Championships at