Three Vols Fall in UT/USTA Men's Pro Challenger Qualifying

Nov. 10, 2002

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Three members of the Tennessee men's tennis team were defeated in the qualifying round of the UT/USTA Men's Pro Challenger at the UT's Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center Sunday.

Vol netters Mark Henderson, Wade Orr and Vincent Perna all vied for a berth in the event's main draw, which begins Monday.

Perna, a freshman, took on Danai Udomchoke of Thailand in Sunday's qualifying action. Udomchoke, currently ranked No. 249 in the 2002 ATP Champions Race, defeated Henderson 6-2, 6-3.

Hamid Mirzadeh was Orr's qualifying opponent. Orr was downed by the 22-year-old American 6-1, 6-2.

Sophomore Mark Henderson was also a loser in the qualifying round, dropping a 6-3, 6-2 contest to American KJ Hippensteel.

"We had some tough losses today," Tennessee associate head coach Chris Mahony said. "Hopefully all three of the guys learned from the experience."

Two Vol netters will begin play in the main draw Monday as wildcard entries.

Mark Dietrich, currently ranked No. 48 in the nation among collegiate players, will face the tournament's No. 3 seed, Martin Verkerk. A native of The Netherlands, Verkerk currently holds a ranking of 123rd in the world.

Joining Dietrich in the main draw Monday will be junior Simon Rea. Rea, who has had an outstanding fall season for Tennessee thus far, has posted a team-best singles record of 10-3. He will play former Stanford standout Paul Goldstein. A member of four NCAA championship teams, Goldstein is currently ranked No. 173 in the world.

"A big part of why we run this tournament, is for our [current team members] to test themselves against this level of player," Mahony said.

All spectators will receive free admission to Monday's qualifying and first round singles matches. Beginning Tuesday, admission for the event is $5 per day for adults, $2 per day for youth and free to all UT students, staff and faculty with a valid ID.

A USTA Professional Circuit event, the $50,000 UT/USTA Men's Pro Challenger features world-class tennis players ranked in the top-200 in the world as well as players from the Tennessee men's tennis team.

Administered by the United States Tennis Association, the USTA Professional Circuit is the gateway to the U.S. Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis professionals, and a frequent battleground for established players.

The 2002 circuit features more than 100 events for men and women. Prize money at USTA Professional Circuit events ranges from $10,000 to $75,000, with more than $3 million in purses this year. Players also earn valuable ATP and Sanex WTA tour ranking points.





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