May 19, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, Texas- Three Florida State men’s tennis players will compete in 2009 Men’s Singles and Doubles Championships in College Station, Texas beginning on Wednesday.
“We’re excited to get things started out here,” FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “We know the draws and have been practicing hard and are ready to get going.”
Junior Jean-Yves Aubone and sophomore Clint Bowles will compete in the singles tournament for the Seminoles. Aubone is the reigning ACC Player of the Year and has compiled a 19-9 record in 2008-09 with a 12-8 mark against ranked opponents. The Miami, Fla., native also owns a victory against the No. 2-ranked player in the country, Oleksandr Nedovyesov of Oklahoma State. Last season Aubone earned All-American honors for being ranked in the top 16 entering the postseason. He advanced to the second round of the tournament before losing in three sets to Bryan Koniecko of Ohio State. Aubone will have a tough task in his first round match, playing the 2008 NCAA singles runner-up, John-Patrick Smith of Tennessee at 2:30 p.m. Smith is ranked No. 5 in the country and has a 34-10 record this season.
“John Patrick Smith. is a great player, he’s a lefty with a big serve,” Hultquist said. “I think Jean-Yves Aubone got one of the toughest draws in the tournament, but you have to go through everyone to win.”
Bowles is currently ranked number 58 in the country and has a 24-18 record this season. He is 11-10 against ranked players and had an eight match winning streak in January and February. The Tampa, Fla., native will face Texas Tech’s Raony Carvalho in the first round at 3:00 p.m. Carvalho has a 27-13 record on the season.
“We don’t know much about Clint’s opponent,” Hultquist said. “We do know he’s an excellent player and one of the best in the Big XII.”
Aubone will be joined by junior Vahid Mirzadeh in the doubles tournament. The duo own a No. 20 ranking and a 12-6 record on the season. Aubone and Mirzadeh are 4-6 against ranked opposition, including a win against the No. 1 team in the country, Cory Parr and Steven Forman of Wake Forest. The pair will face Nathan Byrnes and Nedovyesov of Oklahoma State on Thursday. Aubone and his former partner Bowles faced the Cowboy duo earlier in the season in a match that went unfinished with the Seminoles holding a 7-6 lead.
“Obviously Oklahoma State’s number one player is regarded as one of the best in the country,” Hultquist said. “They’ll be a challenge, but I like how our guys have been playing late in the year.”
To earn All-American status a player must advance to the round of 16 in singles or the quarterfinals in doubles. The winners of each event will earn a wild card entry into the 2009 U.S. Open.
“For all of these athletes this is a big tournament,” Hultquist said. “To advance and earn All-American status is a big deal and then try to win the tournament so you get that wild card.”
For a link to live scoring, video and match recaps log onto www.seminoles.com.