Feb. 12, 2007
Former Tennessee tennis All-America Simon Rea dominated at singles and doubles this past weekend to lead New Zealand to a victory over Pacific Oceania in the first round of Davis Cup zone qualifying in Dunedin, New Zealand.
"Anytime you're asked to play for your country it's a huge honor," Rea said. "I enjoyed the experience even more this time because I was able to contribute a victory for New Zealand."
The Auckland, New Zealand native needed just one hour and 37 minutes to defeat Pacific Oceania's Michael Leong of the Solomon Islands. Rea won the match 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 against the Pacific Oceania No. 1 singles player.
In doubles, Rea teamed up with countryman Dan King-Turner to defeat Leong and Juan Langton, 6-1, 6-3 6-3.
"We combined well," said Rea. "Dan's got a big serve and was hitting some good returns. I felt I was playing pretty good, too."
The Auckland, New Zealand native played for his home country's Davis Cup team in 2004 but then came back to UT to finish his studies. Rea now has a career Davis Cup record of 2-1 in singles.
Rea was a member of the Tennessee squad from 2001-2004. He was named an All-America in 2004 when he ended the season ranked 37th in singles and 10th in doubles by the ITA. He was also named a first team All-SEC player in 2004 and twice during his career he received second-team All-SEC honors.
New Zealand's win advances them to the second round of the Asia/Oceania Zone Group-two where it will play the Philippines in April.