Oct. 3, 2003
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. –
In reality, the ITA / Icy Hot Men’s All-American Championships is really three tournaments in one. For the majority of the Florida State University men’s tennis team the first leg of the journey began Friday (October 3). The trip for freshman Jonathas Sucupira and junior Chip Webb continues on Saturday as both advanced during pre-qualifying at the Champions Club.
The tournament starts with 256 players in the pre-qualifying tournament with eight players advancing to Tuesday’s qualifying draw. The 16 players that come out of the qualifier will join the 48 players already in the main draw. Based on his preseason No. 22 ranking, junior Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) is already in the main draw
Seeded 17th in the pre-qualifying, Sucupira (Sao Palo, Brazil / Colegio Megga) started the tournament by dispensing Matt Armstrong of Mississippi State 6-1, 6-3. During his evening match he beat Denver’s Hans Peter Gaber 7-5, 7-5. Sucupira will play LSU’s Danny Bryan at on Saturday.
The biggest cheering section of the day may have belonged to Webb (Chattanooga, Tenn. / Naples) as he was playing in front of his hometown fans. He started the morning with a 6-4, 7-6 (3) triumph against Western Michigan’s Jose Orozco. Next up was Troy State’s Robert Van Swelm, who was sent home by scores of 6-1, 6-3. Waiting for Webb on Saturday will be Marek Dvorak from Colorado.
“Jonathas and Chip played really well today,” FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “Jeff had a good match as well. I’m pleased with all three of them. Everyone has made progress from our first tournament and that’s what you want to see. We competed hard and had a good start, but haven’t completed the goal we set and that is to advance players into the next draw.”
Two other Seminoles picked up a pair of opening round victories. Sophomore Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa / Crawford College) began with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over San Diego State’s Mike Coelho, but dropped a 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 decision to Rice’s Jason Mok. After dispensing Arkansas-Little Rock’s Alexei Poutchinets 6-1, 6-3, sophomore Jeff Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga. / Riverwood) lost 6-3, 6-1 to top-seeded Nate Emge of Kentucky.
Unfortunately Florida State couldn’t get all six of its entries in the second round as two players fell during the opening matches. In a match that could have gone either way, senior Joe Bassett (Monticello, Fla. / Aucilla Christen Academy) lost 7-5, 7-6 (5) to Aaron Phillips of Indiana State. Louisiana-Lafayette’s Evgheni Corduneau got the best of Joao Paolo Bounassar (Maringa Parana, Brazil / Colegio Marista) 6-4, 6-3.
Even though they lost their singles matches, there is still more tennis to be played as the doubles competition begins Saturday. The Seminoles top pair of Westerhof and Groslimond play against Alex Bucewicz and Marten Tamla of Memphis. Sucupira and Bounassar take on the hometown duo of Marian Axente and Derek Haybittle from UT-Chattanooga. Rounding out doubles play is the tandem of Webb and Bassett as they battle LSU’s Bryan and Nicholson.
Singles’ matches begin at 9 a.m. for Sucupira and Webb, while the doubles competition starts at 1 p.m.
Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) d. Matt Armgstrong (MSU) 6-1, 6-3
Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) d. Hans Peter Gaber (UD) 7-5, 7-5
Chip Webb (FSU) d. Jose Orozco (WMU) 6-4, 7-6 (3)
Chip Webb (FSU) d. Robert Van Swelm (TSU) 6-1, 6-3
Chris Westerhof (FSU) d. Mike Coelho (SDSU) 6-1, 6-4
Jason Mok (RICE) d. Chris Westerhof (FSU) 6-2, 5-7, 6-4
Jeff Grolimond (FSU) d. Alexei Poutchinets (ALR) 6-1, 6-3
Nate Emge (UK) d. Jeff Groslimond (FSU) 6-3, 6-1
Aaron Phillips (ISU) d. Joe Bassett (FSU) 7-5, 7-6 (5)
Evgheni Corduneau (ULL) d. Joao Paolo Bounassar (FSU) 6-4, 6-3