[su_spacer size=”20″] Wayne Montgomery and Walker Duncan won their opening round main draw singles matches at the Saint Francis Health System ITA All-American Championships Thursday at Tulsa’s Case Tennis Center. The Bulldogs’ top-seeded doubles team of Austin Smith and Ben Wagland also claimed an opening round win to reach the round of 16.
Montgomery defeated San Diego State’s No. 112 Hendrik Jebens 6-4, 6-2, while Duncan earned a 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(5) victory over Kentucky’s No. 90 William Bushamuka. For Duncan, it was his third 7-6 third set victory of the week. The Atlanta native earned a spot in the main draw by winning three qualifying matches in as many days.
Eighth-seeded Montgomery will take on San Diego’s Uros Petronijevic Friday in the round of 32, while Duncan will face Stanford’s Tom Fawcett.
“Walker is doing a terrific job,” said head coach Manuel Diaz. “It’s uncanny what he’s done here with three 7-6 in the third wins. He is getting better each day. There are still some things he can work on, but I’m proud of him.”
Smith fell in his first round match to Texas A&M’s No. 35 Shane Vinsant, 7-6(3), 6-1. The senior from Cumming will play in the consolation round on Friday.
In doubles, Smith and Wagland defeated Wake Forest’s Jonathan Ho and Keivon Tabrizi, 6-2, 6-1.
Said Diaz: “Overall it was a pretty good day. We got off to a little bit of a slow start. Austin was disappointed to lose his match. He didn’t quite play to his potential, and he knows the things that we need to work out. I trust that he’ll regain his confidence and that he’ll be ready to fight again tomorrow. Wayne had a good first round today and so did our doubles team of Austin and Ben. They’ll have an even bigger challenge tomorrow. But it was a good day and we are looking forward to tomorrow.”
The All-American Championships is the second national championship tournament of the 2015-16 season. Singles quarterfinalists, doubles finalists and consolation champions will receive automatic bids to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships Nov. 12-15 in New York.