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May 22, 2014

ATHENS, Ga. – South Carolina junior Andrew Adams solidified his standing in the NCAA Singles Championships with a 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 26 Daniil Proskura of Alabama to advance to the round of 16. His second decisive win of the event will yield All-America status in a few weeks, making him the second Gamecock in as many seasons to earn the distinction.

“This match was a defining moment for Andrew in his tennis career,” South Carolina head coach Josh Goffi said. “Everyone here knows today is the day to become an All-American, and there is a lot of pressure with that. So, all credit goes to Andrew for executing the game plan to a T and doing a great job making the adjustments we gave him in seconds. Serving for the match at 5-4, he stepped up with the attitude that no one was going to take it from him, and he delivered. That’s the type of determination and confidence he’s showing right now, and it’s going to take someone playing very, very well to beat him.”

Thursday’s matchup was much more familiar than most at a national tournament as No. 54 Adams and Proskura have played three times in their careers, including two this season. The Crimson Tide’s senior had won the regular-season meeting in three sets and was up a set in the SEC Tournament contest, but Adams was undeterred by the recent history after his confidence-boosting win over the No. 3 player in the nation on Wednesday.

The return game was working for Adams again as he earned a pair of break points in the fourth game of the match. Trailing 15-40, Proskura struck a solid serve that sent Adams reaching, but the response was a good one that allowed the Gamecock junior to settle into the point and induce a mishit forehand from his opponent to go up 3-1 early in the match. Adams won the next game with ease, punctuating it with an ace to make it a 4-1 set. After Proskura fought off two more break points in his next service game, Adams held at Love to go up 5-2. Serving for the match at 5-3, Adams had to battle to close out the set with Proskura pushing him to deuce. South Carolina’s top singles entry did not face a break point, though, and finished out the set 6-3.

With Proskura serving to start the second set, Adams needed just the third game of the set to establish an advantage. He held at Love to tie the set 1-1 then won the first three points of the next game. Proskura erased the first of three break points with an ace, but Adams would not be denied h is 2-1 lead. He battled to hold onto his serve but stayed in front 3-1. The two traded service games through 5-4 with Adams set to serve for the match. The game opened with a pair of long rallies, the first going to Adams and the second to Proskura. On the next point, Adams charged the net and sent a ball deep in the backhand corner. Proskura lifted it out, but it set up an easy putaway to give Adams a 30-15 edge. Two points later on match point, the junior pounded an ace to clinch his spot in the round of 16.

“The last eight matches or so my focus has been really different,” Adams said after the victory. “I’ve been trying not to think about the score and just stay in the moment and in the process of executing my game plan for the match. I’ve focused on playing the right way, building points the right way. I’ve been keeping my head down to just keep running at the finish line, not thinking about it until I get there. Keeping my mind on each point and dealing with that instead of on the score has really helped me be successful late in the season.”

Adams’ opponent in the next round will be No. 39 Denis Nguyen of Harvard. Match time will be announced later tonight after all singles and doubles matches have concluded.

Match Point

Thanks to team manager Arulram Sriram!