LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Sept. 21) - The New Mexico State men's tennis team advanced four players into the singles quarterfinals and a pair of teams moved on to the doubles semifinals after the opening day of the Aggie Invitational at the NM State Tennis Center Friday.
The Crimson and White hosts claimed a quarter of the 16 quarterfinal slots in the singles main draw brackets by winning 11 of 16 matches on the opening day. Two of the Aggies' doubles pairings claimed a pair of wins to advance to Saturday's semifinals.
Aggie senior captain Luis Ramirez posted a banner day with a pair of singles wins and two victories in doubles. Ramirez and doubles partner Marc Westgate opened the day with by blanking Abilene Christian in a first round match then surrendered just three games to Western New Mexico to advance to the semifinals.
In singles Ramirez opened the afternoon by dominating Brandon McCarty of Abilene Christian 6-1, 6-0. He moved into the quarters by toppling Matt Dunn of Arizona 6-3, 6-2 in the second round.
Aggie newcomer Daniel Fernandez matched Ramirez with four victories on the first day. Fernandez teamed up with fellow freshman Naveen Manivanaan to post an 8-3 win over WNMU in round one. The Aggies then moved into the semifinals after an 8-6 victory over ACU.
Fernandez was solid in the first singles match of his Aggie career, rolling to a 6-0, 6-1 win over Jorge Carretero of WNMU in the opening round. He knocked off another Mustang in round two, defeating Matthew Covizzi 6-2, 6-1.
Sophomores Germain Degardin and Eduardo Cabrita each joined Ramirez and Fernandez in the singles quarters with a pair of wins.
Degardin cruised to a 6-1, 6-0 win over Francisco Damasio of WNMU but had to fight from behind in round two. After dropping the first set 6-2, Degardin rebounded to take set two 6-2 before blanking Alfredo Desiati of ACU in the deciding set.
Cabrita moved past Juan Fuentes of WNMU in round one 6-2, 7-6. In round two, Cabrita also used three sets to earn the victory. The Aggie fell 6-3 in set one to Arizona's Sumeet Shinde. Cabrita beat the Wildcat 6-4 in the second stanza before securing the match victory with a 6-3 set three win.
In doubles Degardin and freshman partner Yannick Blank was the other NM State doubles team to post a main draw win. The tandem turned in an 8-5 victory over Northern Arizona before falling to Arizona in the quarters by an 8-5 result.
Blank was one of three Aggie newcomers to earn a victory in his first career singles match. Fellow freshman Strahinja Trecakov joined Blank and Fernandez in the first round winner's circle.
In the first round, Blank defeated Sarp Laleil of NAU 6-3, 6-3. In round two the Aggie freshman rebounded from a 6-0 set one setback to Borja Cortes of ACU to win set two 6-3. But Cortes came back to claim the match with a 6-1 set three victory.
Trecakov used three sets to defeat Ben Lee of Arizona in round one. After dropping the first stanza 6-4, Trecakov edged Lee in a 7-6 tiebreaker to claim set two. The Aggie doubled up Lee 6-3 in the third to earn the match win. In round two, Trecakov came up short against Hans Hach of ACU, falling 6-4, 6-1.
Westgate was one of seven Aggies to post a first round singles win. The junior topped Alvaro Nunez of WNMU 7-5, 6-3 but fell to Nunez' Mustang teammate Rodrigo Almeida 6-1, 6-2 in the second round.
Fans will have an opportunity to see the Aggies in action again Saturday singles and doubles competition continues; admission is free at the NM State Tennis Center. The tournament finals are slated to begin at 9 a.m. Sunday.
For all of the latest Aggie men's tennis news click NMStateSports.com.