Oct. 27, 2002
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Tennessee's Simon Rea continued his streak of dominating play at the 2002 Omni Hotels Region III Indoor Championships Sunday. The New Zealand native propelled himself into the singles semifinals with another dominating victory.
Rea convincingly disposed of Ole Miss junior Paul Ciorascu 6-3, 6-2 Sunday and will look to extend his winning streak to five matches Monday when he takes on the No. 2 seed, Vanderbilt's Bobby Reynolds.
Taking on the role of a giant-killer in this weekend's event, Rea's play has caught the eye of his coaches.
"Simon (Rea) continued his excellent form in the tournament and really played some of his best tennis (Sunday)," Tennessee associate head coach Chris Mahony said. "I feel like this is a breakthrough tournament for Simon, as he has now beaten three highly-ranked opponents in a row."
Mark Dietrich's tournament run ended Sunday when the nation's top-ranked player, and the event's No. 1 seed, Kentucky's Jesse Witten, defeated the 10th-seeded Vol sophomore 6-0, 6-2 in their quarterfinal matchup. Playing in front of the home crowd all weekend, Witten has yet to have an opponent break his serve in the tournament.
"I think Mark Dietrich had some trouble getting back up after playing a high standard of tennis (Saturday)," Mahony said. "I believe the next step for Mark is to play at that level day in and day out. (On Sunday) he came up against an excellent opponent at the top of his game."
In the doubles quarterfinals, the No. 6-seeded Tennessee tandem of Dietrich and Rea was defeated by the Jacksonville University sophomore duo of Ben Birkmann and Christoph Mueller 8-6.
All semifinal and final rounds will take place Monday at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Complex on the University of Kentucky campus.
Doubles Quarterfinals - Oct. 27
Birkmann/Mueller (Jacksonville) def. 6 Dietrich/Rea (UT) - 8-6