Sweet 16: Pecotic Wins First Two at ITA All-America
Princeton senior Matija Pecotic won his first two matches Thursday at the ITA All-America in Tulsa, Okla., advancing to the Round of 16.
Pecotic will be playing Friday to become the first Princeton player to make the quarterfinals at the event since Ted Farnsworth '84 in 1982 and the first Ivy Leaguer since Harvard's James Blake in 1998.
Pecotic opened the day by defeating qualifier Rok Bonin of Minnesota 6-0, 6-2 and followed it up later in the afternoon with a 7-6(0), 6-3 win over Guillermo Alcorta of Oklahoma.
"Matija played great tennis today and defeated two very good players," Princeton head coach Billy Pate said. "He's competing with a great deal of confidence at the moment and I couldn't be more pleased with how he is managing his preparation and mental focus. Tomorrow is a new opportunity, but our goal will continue to be striving for daily improvements and playing quality points."
Bonin had won three matches in three days leading up to Thursday's main-draw opener, winning all three in straight sets in the qualifying draw in order to gain a berth in the main draw. Pecotic, the two-time Ivy League Player of the Year, as well as Alcorta, were two of the 48 players in the main draw who had direct berths, bypassing the prequalifying and qualifying draws.
In the Round of 16, Pecotic will face USC's Roberto Quiroz, a three-set winner over Georgia Tech's Juan Spir in the second round after upsetting third-seeded Evan King of Michigan in straight sets in the first round, at 11:30 ET Friday. Live scoring can be found here.
Quiroz will be Pecotic's second opponent who made it through the qualifier bracket. The No. 24 seed in the qualifier draw, Quiroz won all three of his matches there in straight sets before doing the same in the main-draw opener.
Of the 16 players remaining in the draw, two, including Quiroz, are qualifiers, while six of the 16 seeded players remain and eight non-seeded players, including Pecotic, are still going.