Fort Myers, Fla. -- Georgia Tech's third-ranked doubles team of Juan Spir and Vikram Hundal picked up where they left off in the fall, leading the Yellow Jackets to a sweep of their doubles competition with NC State in the first day of the Illini Open.
Spir and fellow senior Juan Melian picked up wins for the Yellow Jackets against Illinois in singles competition, but the host and 16th-ranked Illini won the other four singles matches between the two teams.
The Illini Open is an individual round-robin competition involving Tech, Illinois, NC State and Florida. Competition continues Saturday and Sunday as the teams prepare for the spring dual match season. The Yellow Jackets open at home next Friday with a double-header against Old Dominion and Lipscomb.
"We had great leadership from our seniors and good fight from everyone today," said Tech coach Kenny Thorne, in his 15th season coaching his alma mater's tennis team. "Doubles was very solid this morning. We ran up against a talented Illinois team in singles, but we pushed them to the limit. We are here to go against tough competition and get better. We got better today and I expect the same for tomorrow."
Spir and Hundal, the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional champions in the fall, ran past the Wolfpack's Dave Thomson and Sean Webber, 8-3, to improve their record for the year to 9-1. Nathan Rakitt and Juan Melian defeated Robbie Mudge and Sean Norenius, 8-5, while Eduardo Segura and Garrett Gordon got past Austin Powell and Thomas Weigel, 8-6. Anish Sharma and Colin Edwards blanked Trey Carter and Rafael Paez, 8-0.
Spir and Melian each needed three sets to secure their singles victories against Illinois. Spir, a senior All-American from Medellin, Colombia, and ranked No. 32 nationally in singles, turned back Stephen Hoh, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, while Melian, a senior from Las Palmas, Spain, won 6-2, 5-7, 6-3.
Segura, a sophomore from Madrid, Spain, took 114th-ranked Jared Hiltzik to three sets but succumbed 2-6, 7-6, 6-4. The Illini's Bruno Abdelnour defeated Hundal, a sophomore from Alpharetta, Ga., 7-5, 4-6, 6-3. Tech's two Marietta, Ga., freshmen, Garrett Gordon and Nathan Rakitt, both lost in straight sets.
ILLINI OPEN, Fort Myers, Fla.
Day 1 Results
Juan Spir/Vikram Hundal def. Dave Thomson & Sean Webber (NC State), 8-3
Nathan Rakitt/Juan Melian def. Robbie Mudge & Sean Norenius (NC State), 8-5
Eduardo Segura/Garrett Gordon def. Austin Powell & Thomas Weigel (NC State), 8-6
Anish Sharma/Colin Edwards def. Trey Carter & Rafael Paez (NC State), 8-0
Brian Page (Illinois) def. Garrett Gordon, 6-3, 6-2
Ross Guignon (Illinois) def. Nathan Rakitt, 6-3, 6-3
#114 Jared Hiltzik (Illinois) def. Eduardo Segura, 2-6, 7-6, 6-4
Bruno Abdelnour (Illinois) def. Vikram Hundal, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
Juan Melian def. Stephen Hoh (Illinois), 6-2, 5-7, 6-3
Juan Spir def. Tim Kopinski (Illinois), 5-7, 6-4, 6-4