Nov. 11, 2002
KNOXVILLE-- Tennessee sophomore netter Mark Dietrich was eliminated in the first
round of the UT/USTA Men's Pro Challenger at UT's Goodfriend Indoor
Tennis Center Monday.
Playing as a wildcard entry in the main singles draw, Dietrich squared off against the event's No. 3 seed, Martin Verkerk in first-round action Monday afternoon. Ranked No. 123 in the world, Dietrich exhibited a strong all-around game and at times, an overpowering serve. Nevertheless, experience prevailed as The Netherlands native dispatched the young Vol 6-4, 7-6(0).
"Mark [Dietrich] played a good match today," Tennessee associate head coach Chris Mahony said. "He was up against one of the better players in the tournament in No. 3 seed Martin Verkerk. Mark's composure was very good, and he even served for the second set at 5-3. Unfortunately he was unable to capitalize, and you generally only get one chance against [such a strong opponent]. Just to put himself in that position against such a good player is a very good achievement."
Vol netter Simon Rea, also a wildcard singles entry, will play his first-round match Tuesday against American Paul Goldstein. While attending Stanford from 1995-1998, Goldstein was a four-time NCAA All-America and was a member of four NCAA championship teams. Once ranked as high as No. 69 in the world, Goldstein currently holds a No. 173 world-ranking and is a regular on the ATP Tour.
In other Tennessee action, former ATP Tour standout and current volunteer assistant coach Chris Woodruff made a return to the court, teaming with Vol sophomore Mark Henderson as a wildcard doubles team. In an attempt to qualify for the main doubles draw, the player/coach duo took on the Polish tandem of Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski. Woodruff and Henderson dropped a 6-4, 6-3 contest and were thus eliminated from main draw contention.
The Dietrich and Rea tandem is now the lone remaining Tennessee team in the main doubles draw. They will face the 2nd seeded team of Americans Mardy Fish and Thomas Blake in the first round. Fish has seen action this year with the U.S. Davis Cup team and is currently ranked No. 102 in the world in singles.
Admission for the UT/USTA Men's Pro Challenger is $5 per day for adults, $2 per day for youth and free to all UT students, staff and faculty with a valid ID. Final rounds will take place Sunday, Nov. 17.
Singles Main Draw First Round - Nov. 11
3 Martin Verkerk (NED) def. WC Mark Dietrich (UT) - 6-4, 7-6(0)
Doubles Qualifying - Nov. 11
Fyrstenberg/Matkowski (POL) def. Henderson/Woodruff (UT) - 6-4, 6-3