The Drake men’s tennis team advanced one player through the pre-qualifying draw into the qualifying draw this past weekend at the International Tennis Association All-American Tournament.
Junior James McKie started Sunday by taking out Tennessee’s Jarryd Chaplin with a come-from-behind 3-6, 7-6, 6-3 victory. Chaplin, a sophomore for the Volunteers, had an illustrious career in the International Tennis Federation World Junior Circuit as he reached a career high of No. 72 in the world rankings.
After losing his final pre-qualifying match 6-0, 6-2 to Carlin Murray of Louisiana-Lafayette, McKie was awarded a “lucky loser” spot in the qualifying draw.
Freshman Alen Salibasic had his first major victory of the season in his first match on Sunday. Salibasic made routine work of Texas A&M’s Jackson Withrow 6-3, 6-3. Withrow was ranked as the ninth-best U.S. junior player last year, and he spent this summer playing in the U.S. Open doubles main draw with his partner Jack Sock.
Unfortunately for Salibasic, he could not follow up on his upset, as he lost 6-3, 6-2 to Baylor’s Lars Behlen in the final round of the pre-qualifying draw.
Both McKie and junior Anis Ghorbel fell in the first round of the qualifying draw on Monday. Sander Gille, Eastern Tennessee State’s top singles player, defeated McKie 6-2, 6-1. Spencer Newman, a Florida freshman who was ranked as the third-best U.S. junior last year, defeated Ghorbel 6-4, 6-2.