Pecotic Advances in NCAA Singles Opener
Matija Pecotic has earned another day in Illinois at the NCAA singles championship after getting a 7-6(3), 6-3 first-round win over Virginia Tech's Amerigo Contini.
USC's Yannick Hanfmann is up next for Pecotic after Hanfmann defeated Boise State's Andrew Bettles 6-2, 6-4. That match is scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m. ET.
With his first-round win, Pecotic became the first Tiger men's player since Reed Cordish '96 in 1996 to win an NCAA singles match, and the first Ivy Leaguer since Harvard's Jonathan Chu in 1995.
"It was a good start for Matija against a talented opponent," Princeton head coach Billy Pate said. "I was impressed with Contini; he did a lot of things well that we had to counter. Matija didn't quite get off the best start, but once he settled into the match his confidence grew. It's been very windy here so it makes the conditions a bit tricky as the players are continually having to adjust. I thought Matija handled that better as the match went along. He has a tough opponent tomorrow and it should be a great match."
Pecotic trailed 4-2 in the first set but won the next three games to take a 5-4 lead before Contini won two of the last three to force a tiebreak. Contini led 3-1 in the breaker, but Pecotic won six straight points to take the first set.
Pecotic never trailed in the second set, building a lead as large as 5-2 and winning it in two more games.
Hanfmann will be the third USC player that Pecotic has faced in 2012-13. At the ITA All-America, Pecotic defeated the Trojans' Roberto Quiroz in the Round of 16 and Raymond Sarmiento in the quarterfinals, both in three sets, to become the first Tiger since 1982 and first Ivy Leaguer since 1998 to advance to the event's semifinals.
Pecotic, seeded in the 9-16 range in the draw, is ranked No. 15 in the nation on the latest ITA list and improved to 16-3 this season against fellow ITA-ranked opponents with a win over the 61st-ranked Contini. Hanfmann is ranked No. 45 on that list.
Live video and live streaming for the match can be found here.