May 23, 2007
Tennessee men's tennis player Kaden Hensel fell to San Diego State's Markus Dickhardt in three-sets Wednesday in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Singles Tennis Championships held at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.
Hensel, appearing in his first NCAA singles championship, dropped the first set to Dickhardt in a tie-breaker 9-7. Hensel bounced back in the second set to win 6-4 and force a third and final set. In the third set, the two netters once again battled to a tie-breaker with Dickhardt prevailing 7-5 over the UT junior to win the match 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(5).
"Kaden doesn't make excuses but when you're playing with an injury in your elbow, its very tough to beat the caliber of players he's up against," head coach Sam Winterbotham said. As a coach, I just want to say how much Kaden has meant to this program, he played through injuries and he was a leader all season. Kaden had a fantastic year and he played at an extremely high level. As soon as he gets healthy, he's going to get better and better."
The loss ends a fantastic junior year where Hensel made the leap from one of the nation's better tennis players to one of its elite. The junior from Australia was not even ranked in the top-125 when the first singles rankings came out last fall but in the most recent rankings he ranked a career-high 17th. Hensel, playing in arguably the toughest collegiate tennis conference, finished with an 8-3 mark at the No. 1 position in the SEC. The Big Orange netter finishes his junior campaign with a record of 28-12 overall in singles with half of those victories coming over ranked opponents.
HUBBLE AND ROGERS BEGAN DOUBLES TOURNAMENT THURSDAY
The bid is the UT duo's second-straight bid into the championships. Hubble and Rogers fell in the first round last season.
The NCAA doubles championships is a single elimination, 32-team draw. Live scoring can be found at UTsports.com.
NCAA Singles Championships - May 23, 2007
No. 43 Markus Dickhardt (SDS) def. No. 17 Kaden Hensel (UT) 7-6(7), 4-6, 7-6(5)