Sept. 20, 2013
NASHVILLE – South Carolina men’s tennis completed the second day of action at the SEC Fall Classic at Vanderbilt’s Currey Tennis Center with one entry remaining in each of the two main draws. Senior All-American Tsvetan Mihov dispatched a pair of ranked opponents to move into Saturday’s quarterfinals. The nation’s 26th-ranked doubles team of Kyle Koch and Chip Cox moved into the doubles quarters with a victory on Friday as well.
Mihov is wearing his No. 14 national ranking well in the team’s first event of the 2013-14 season, winning his first three matches. He opened Friday’s action with a 6-2, 7-5 win over No. 113 Jordan Angus of Mississippi State, holding off the Bulldogs’ sophomore with a late break in the second set. In the fourth round, Mihov took on Georgia’s Hernus Pieters, ranked No. 72 in the country. The Gamecocks’ senior turned in an efficient 6-2, 6-3 victory to move into the quarterfinals against Kentucky’s Beck Pennington, who posted a pair of wins over ranked opponents on Friday as well.
Koch and Cox put together an efficient 8-3 win over Ole Miss’ duo of William Kallberg and Stefan Lindmark to open play on Friday. The Gamecocks’ other two doubles teams dropped 8-4 decisions in the third round.
In singles, Koch opened with a commanding win over No. 39 Stephane Piro of Florida. Facing just the fifth nationally ranked opponent of his career and the second-highest of the group, the Gamecock junior leapt out to an early lead in both sets for a 6-2, 6-2 win that kept him in the main draw. In the fourth round, Koch won his third straight 6-2 set, but Georgia’s Austin Smith bounced back to win their second set 6-0. The two battled down to the wire in the third with Smith taking the tiebreak 7-6 (2) to end Koch’s run in singles.
In consolation singles, Cox and Thiago Pinheiro posted two wins, and Andrew Schafer scored his first college victory as all three moved into the third round of that bracket. Cox fought back from a first-set tiebreak loss against Ole Miss’ Vinod Gowda to win in three sets, then dispatched his next opponent, Max Montague of Texas A&M, 6-2, 6-0. Pinheiro turned a steady first set into a dominant second in his 6-4, 6-1 win over Sean Donohue of Alabama. His second-round match was more workman-like with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Arkansas’ Juan Marino. Schafer shook off Thursday’s difficult debut against a ranked opponent to score is first Gamecock win in a 6-3, 7-5 win over John M. Busch of LSU.
“We made some adjustments from yesterday and competed very well for the most part,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “Tsvetan is getting back to form and could advance pretty far if he continues to build on each match. Kyle had a few breakthrough wins so far, but just came up short against a very good player today. Thiago and Schafer worked through a lot today, and we are expecting them to have good days tomorrow All in all, we are getting better every day of this event.”
Saturday’s action started with the doubles quarterfinals at 10 a.m. (ET) with the semifinals starting after 1 p.m. Mihov’s main draw quarterfinal will start at 10:30 a.m., as will the consolation singles rounds.
South Carolina Results
Main Draw Fourth Round
(14) Mihov (SC) def. (72) Hernus Pieters (GA) 6-2, 6-3
Austin Smith (GA) def. Koch (SC), 2-6, 6-0, 7-6 (2)
Consolation First Round
Chip Cox (SC) def. Vinod Gowda (OM) 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-2
Thiago Pinheiro (SC) def. Sean Donohue (AL) 6-4, 6-1
Dante Saleh (AUB) def. Ben Barnette (SC) 6-2, 6-2
Jovan Parlic (ARK) def. Sam Swank (SC) 3-6, 6-2, 6-1
Consolation Second Round
Cox (SC) def. Max Montague (TAMU) 6-2, 6-0
Pinheiro (SC) def. Juan Marino (ARK) 6-4, 6-4
Andrew Schafer (SC) def. John M. Busch (LSU) 6-3, 7-5
(26) Koch/Cox (SC) def. William Kallberg/Stefan Lindmark (OM) 8-3
(42) Maxx Lipman/Stephane Piro (FL) def. (32) Mihov/Pinheiro (SC) 8-4
(12) Harrison Adams/Shane Vinsant (TAMU) def. Swank/Schafer (SC) 8-4