TULSA, OK -- Texas A&M’s Conor Pollock and Austin Krajicek advanced to the round of 16 with a three-set victory over Pepperdine’s Omar Altmann and Andre Begemann in the opening round of the 2008 NCAA Men’s Doubles Championship held Thursday night at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Tulsa.
It marked the sixth time in school history in which an A&M doubles team reached the round of 16 at the NCAA Championships next to the all-time great combinations of Lester Cook and Ante Matijevic in 2003, Mark Weaver and Bernardo Martinez in 1993 and 1994 and Kimmo Alkio and Grant Connell in 1984 and 1985.
Pollock and Krajicek won their second-straight match and improved to an impressive 11-1 overall on the season by defeating 24th-ranked Altmann and Begemann, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, in the round of 32. They are now 5-1 against ranked opponents this season including three wins against teams ranked in the top 15.
The Aggie duo, ranked 20th nationally in the ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings, will take on top-seeded Somdev Devvarman and Treat Huey of Virginia tomorrow at a time to be determined. The earliest doubles play will commence is approximately after 2 p.m. at the Case Tennis Center. Devvarman and Huey moved on with a 7-6 (3), 6-3 straight-set victory over Alabama’s Daniel Buikema and Mathieu Thibaudeau.
“We felt good out there today,” said Krajicek who is playing in his first NCAA Championship at 17 years old. “It was a good win for us against a very solid doubles team. We had to be aggressive out there and played well. We had one bad service game in the second set, but we kept together and communicated well throughout the match. It was a good first day which will give us some confidence going into tomorrow’s match against the No. 1 team in the country. We feel that we have a good shot.”
Both the Aggies and Waves only gave up three service breaks over three sets under windy conditions at the Case Tennis Center. A&M closed the deal after pulling away in the third set with a three-love advantage and winning three of the next six games.
“It was a good match for Conor and Austin,” Texas A&M head coach Steve Denton said. “They played very solid today against one of the better doubles players in college tennis in (Andre) Begemann. They served well, volleyed well and played aggressively. They’ve really had a lot of success this season and they mesh well as a team.
“Conor and Austin are one of the more difficult combinations to play against because one is a right hander (Pollock) and one is a left hander (Krajicek). They will face the same combination tomorrow in Virginia’s Devvarman and Huey. We will have to serve well, volley well and be aggressive at the net. If we can do that, we will have great chance to win that match tomorrow.”
Watch It Live…Visit www.TulsaHurricane.com for live scoring and streamline video from the doubles championships played on the campus of the University of Tulsa. The Tennis Channel will broadcast the singles and doubles finals live on Monday, May 26 beginning at noon (CT).
2008 NCAA Doubles Championship
May 22, 2008
Michael D. Case Tennis Center
at Tulsa, Okla.
ROUND OF 32
Austin Krajicek-Conor Pollock (Texas A&M) def. Omar Altmann-Andre Begemann (Pepperdine), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.