Nov. 8, 2012
NEW YORK -- Sophomore Mikelis Libietis earned a straight-set singles victory to open his stay Thursday at the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships.
Libietis cruised past Japie De Klerk of Tulsa 6-1, 6-2 to move to the second round at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center.
In the morning doubles round, Libietis and senior John Collins played a close match but lost 8-6 to top-seeded Andreas Mies and Daniel Cochrane of Auburn. The Vol duo had three break points in the match but were unable to convert.
"We were a little unlucky in doubles," Libietis said. "We played a good match but lost the third game on JC's serve. The whole match we were right in there. A couple of mistakes and they came up big, but it gave me confidence going into singles."
While the doubles match was close, Libietis took command of singles early against De Klerk.
With strong serves and solid volleying at the net throughout the match, Libietis jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first set and won the last four games to close out the second set in the victory.
He improved to 13-2 this fall with four ranked wins.
The Vols' No. 1 faces Mississippi's Jonas Lutjen in the next round. Lutjen, who played No. 3 for the Rebels last sesaon, upset second-seeded Peter Kobelt in three sets.