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Oct. 3, 2013

TULSA, Okla. – South Carolina endured a challenging day in the main draws of the ITA All-American Championships at Michael D. Case Tennis Center at the University of Tulsa. Senior Tsvetan Mihov dropped his first-round singles match, but rebounded with a convincing win in the consolation bracket. The Gamecocks’ two doubles teams in the draw also fell in opening-round action.

Mihov’s first singles action at the tournament was an elite matchup against the nation’s No. 31 player in Gregory Andrews of Notre Dame. The two were steady and on serve through eight games, when Andrews finally cracked Mihov’s serve to take a 5-4 lead, which he consolidated with a hold to win the first set 6-4. The Gamecock senior answered by winning the first three games of the second set, but Andrews answered with three games of his own to get back on serve. The two battled to a tiebreak with the Notre Dame senior coming out on top 7-6 (3) to advance in the main draw. Mihov continued to play in the consolation bracket, dismantling No. 86 Adam Lee (Wake Forest) 6-2, 6-1.

Doubles action in the main draw kicked off Thursday night with Chip Cox and Kyle Koch kicking off their effort. The 26th-ranked team in the nation, the Gamecocks’ top tandem squared off with No. 50 Andrew Harris and Dane Webb of Oklahoma, who had earned their spot in the draw with a win over Mihov and Thiago Pinheiro in the final round of qualifying. The top-50 matchup was a seesaw affair with neither team able to force its will on the other. The Sooners’ duo held serve to go to 7-7 and send the match to a tiebreak. Cox/Koch could not get traction in the tiebreak, falling 8-7 (2).

Mihov and Pinheiro played in the doubles main draw after the late withdrawal of another tandem gave them “lucky loser” status out of the qualifying draw. The spot came opposite the No. 3 team in the nation, Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow of Texas A&M. The match was on serve through six games before the Aggies surged ahead with a three-game win streak that put them up 6-3. It was all the cushion they needed to advance, closing out the Gamecocks 8-4.

The Gamecocks will continue in the consolation brackets of both draws. Mihov is set to face Andy Bettles of Boise State in singles. The doubles consolation bracket will be release late Thursday night.

South Carolina Results

Main Draw First Round

(31) Gregory Andrews (ND) def. (16) Tsvetan Mihov 6-4, 7-6 (3)

Main Draw Consolation First Round
(16) Mihov def. (86) Adam Lee (WF) 6-2, 6-1

Main Draw First Round

(3) Junior Ore/Jackson Withrow (TAMU) def. (32) Tsvetan Mihov/Thiago Pinheiro (SC) 8-4
(50) Andrew Harris/Dane Webb (OK) def. (26) Chip Cox/Kyle Koch (SC) 8-7 (2)