Oct. 9, 2003
CHATTANOOGA - Tennessee senior tennis player Simon Rea was among eight-of-16 seeded singles competitors who fell victim to first-round upsets Thursday at the Icy Hot/ITA Men's All-American Championships at The Champions Club.
Rea's opponent in the Round of 64 was Tulsa senior Alejandro Tejerina. Though not seeded at this week's event, the native of Argentina currently holds an ITA singles ranking of No. 30 in the nation. Rea, meanwhile, is ranked No. 11. In an impressive straight set victory, Tejerina proved that rankings provide little indication of how well one player may fare against another-particularly in matchups featuring two highly-experienced veterans netters.
Thursday was a bad day overall for many of the SEC's top players, as standouts such as Tennessee's Rea, Bo Hodge of Georgia, Hamid Mirzadeh of Florida and Jesse Witten of Kentucky all lost their opening-round matches. Three more seeded players were knocked-off in the second round, leaving just five seeds remaining after only two rounds of singles action.
Rea's struggles continued during his Round-of-32 consolation contest. Facing his first SEC opponent of the season, Rea was defeated by Vanderbilt junior Scott Brown in three sets.
The Vol netters will hit the courts again next weekend at the Omni Hotels/ITA Southeast Regional Indoor Championships in Memphis. It was at last season's Region III Indoor Championships that Rea established himself as one of the nation's most dangerous players, toppling numerous ranked players on his way to the semifinals.
Icy Hot/ITA Men's All-American Championships - Oct. 9, 2003
Main Singles Draw - Round of 64
Tejerina (Tulsa) def. No. 11 Rea (UT), 6-2, 6-4
Consolation Singles Draw - Round of 32
Brown (Vanderbilt) def. No. 11 Rea (UT), 6-3, 1-6, 6-3