Oct. 16, 2010
MANSFIELD, Texas - The Baylor men's tennis team opened play in the Futures of Mansfield tournament with four of its five student-athletes taking straight-set wins on Saturday to move on in the USTA Pro Circuit event at the Walnut Creek Country Club.
"I think the thing that we talked about is just trying to be real focused and maintain some good poise," head coach Matt Knoll said. "I thought 60 percent of us did that today, so that is something we need to continue to work on. It is funny when you have so many matches, obviously it is such a mixed bag."
Sergio Ramirez, Kike Grangeiro, Roberto Maytin and Robert Verzaal all dispatched of their opponent promptly and will now play in second round action on Sunday starting at 10 a.m. All of this weekend's action is part of the 64-man qualifying draw. The Baylor players are working to earn one of eight spots into the event's main draw action, which is scheduled for Oct. 19-24.
Ramirez continued his solid play for the Bears, earning a 6-2, 6-0 win over Dane Webb of the United States. The senior from Columbia will now face Pavel Krainik of Canada on Sunday.
"I thought Sergio really played a good match," Knoll said. "He really returned the ball well."
Grangeiro followed in the footsteps of Ramirez by taking down American John Valenti, 6-0, 6-2. With the victory, the junior from Brazil will have the chance to play France's Antoine Benneteau.
The sophomore Maytin, who is seeded ninth in the event was a little less sharp than Grangeiro and Ramirez, but was still able to capture a 6-4, 6-3 win over Arthur Karagezian of the United States. The Valencia, Venezuela, native, will now tangle with Dennis Novikov, a former quarterfinalist at the junior US Open.
"Roberto is got a pretty tough match tomorrow," Knoll said. "Novikov really bashes the ball. Roberto is going to have to play better and I think he will. He didn't play a great match today, but he was able to get through it in two sets."
The youngest member of the Baylor contingent, Verzaal, was also able to get a victory as he raced past Thomas Kroczek of the United States, 6-3, 6-1. The freshman from Louisiana will now match up against the No. 2 seed of the event, American Christian Guevara.
"I was pleased that Woody (Verzaal) was able to get a win under his belt," Knoll said. "He was very efficient and I thought that was great."
The only loss on the day for the Bears came from, senior John Peers, who fell 6-4, 6-4 to the Frenchman Benneteau.
"I am a little disappointed that John got knocked out in two sets," Knoll said. "He played a guy, who played No. 3 for Florida last year and is a good player and it just didn't go John's way. John's new to us and we are continuing to understand where he is at and what we need to do to help him get better."
Junior Julian Bley who was scheduled to be in action this weekend with his teammates did not participate in the event.
For updated draws and a schedule of Sunday's matches visit: here and look under Futures of Mansfield heading.
Sergio Ramirez def. Dane Webb 6-2, 6-0
Robert Verzaal def. Thomas Kroczek 6-3, 6-1
(9) Roberto Maytin def. Arthur Karagezian 6-4, 6-3
Kike Grangeiro def. John Valenti 6-0, 6-2
(10) Antoine Benneteau def. John Peers 6-4, 6-4
Sergio Ramirez vs. Pavel Krainik 10 a.m.
Robert Verzaal vs. (2) Christian Guevara 10 a.m.
(9) Roberto Maytin vs. Dennis Novikov 10 a.m.
Kike Grangeiro vs. Antoine Benneteau Not before 11 a.m.