Oct. 6, 2010
Senior Matteo Fago won his third-round qualifying match Wednesday to advance to the main draw at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla.
He breezed through the final round of qualifying, beating Dominik Hodgson of North Carolina State 6-3, 6-1 to reach the national individual tournament stage for the first time in his career.
Fago starts main draw competition Thursday, alongside senior John-Patrick Smith and sophomore Rhyne Williams. Smith, the defending singles and doubles champion, is the No. 1 seed in the singles draw. Williams is currently a career-best No. 21 in the national ITA rankings.
Smith and Williams both drew hometown competition the first round. Smith plays 34th-ranked Marcelo Arevalo of Tulsa, and Williams faces another Golden Hurricane, Clifford Marsland, who received a wild card into the main draw.
Fago plays UNLV's Mehdi Bouras, who is ranked No. 103. Two of Fago's four wins this season have been against ranked opponents. The native of Ceprano, Italy, was not listed in the preseason rankings, but he has been ranked as high as No. 107 and is coming off a junior year in which he won a career-best 34 matches.
A second round of singles competition is scheduled for the afternoon.
Smith and Williams start the doubles competition Thursday as well. They face Yale's Erik Blumenkranz and Joel Samaha in the late afternoon.
Smith and Williams have played one tournament together, the UVa Ranked Plus One Invitational, and have a 2-1 record. They are seeded sixth this weekend and are ranked seventh nationally.
Last season, Smith won the All-American doubles championship with Boris Conkic, despite the fact that prior to the All-American, they had never played a collegiate match together. During the four-day event, they defeated the Nos. 3-, 6-, 13- and 18-ranked pairings.
Live scoring and streaming video of the tournament are available at Tulsa's website.
ITA All-American Championships
Matteo Fago, UT, def. Dominic Hodgson, North Carolina State, 6-3, 6-1
Main Draw Singles
All times Eastern
Round of 64
(1) John-Patrick Smith, UT, vs. Marcelo Arevalo, Tulsa, 10:30 a.m.
Rhyne Williams, UT, vs. Clifford Marsland, Tulsa, 11 a.m.
(Q) Matteo Fago, UT, vs. Mehdi Bouras, UNLV, 9 a.m.
Main Draw Doubles
Round of 32
John-Patrick Smith/Rhyne Williams, UT, vs. Erik Blumenkranz/Joel Samaha, Yale, 6 p.m.