Men’s Tennis: Duo Shows Out ITA Championships

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By: Lucas Carr | lcarr15@radford.edu

The Radford Men’s tennis duo of Yevhen Sirous and Rodrigo Magalhaes traveled to Tulsa Oklahoma last week to uproot a top-20 doubles team at the ITA All-American Championships. This duo was the first men’s duo to represent Radford University in this series of tournaments.

The main draw for the doubles teams consisted of 32 different schools from across the country. The two Highlanders were drawn to face the Florida Gators double team. The Gators were ranked as the fourth doubles team in the country. In a tightly contested match, the final score was 7-5, 7-5 on Wednesday.

The teams traded wins back and forth making for a very competitive open to the tournament. However, Sirous and Magalhaes lost in the final game forcing them to participate in the consolation bracket the following day.

Thursday turned out to be a short one for the Highlanders because their opponent, the Texas A&M Aggies, withdrew from the consolation bracket, leaving them a default contender in the quarter-finals.

Due to weather conditions, Friday’s matchup was moved indoors. Sirous and Magalhaes were to face the 16th ranked California Golden Bears. The extra day of preparation proved to be lucrative for the Highlanders. The first game ended in a 5-5 score. The Bears proved to not be pushovers by any means as they took the second game after the Highlanders won two games in a row.

ITA Championships
Photo Credit: (Radford Athletics) Junior Rodrigo Magalhaes from Lisbon, Portugal.

The Highlanders came out on top in the final game of the last set. They sent California packing with a final score of 7-5, 4-6, 1-0(8). The Highlanders advanced to the semi-finals set for Saturday. They found themselves against yet another SEC opponent, the Georgia Bulldogs.

The Highlanders started strong against the Bulldogs, going up 3-1 in the first set. However, Georgia won three straight games, winning the first set 6-4. Magalhaes and Sirous battled hard in the second set but were unable to mount a significant enough comeback to beat the Bulldogs. That loss ended their tournament run with a short 6-2 second set.

The Highlanders battled extremely hard and inevitably made history with their first-ever appearance at the ITA All-American Championships. Going into the championship, the Highlanders were ranked 9th in the ITA Atlantic Regional Rankings.

To earn an automatic invitation to the ITA Championships, the doubles team can be a returning champion or an ITA National Summer Championships champion.

Sirous and Magalhaes are returning Big South Conference Champions from the 2018-2019 season. In 2018-2019 they held the team-best record, 13-8. The duo also won 10 straight doubles matches last season spanning from early February to late March. They took their ninth returning ranking and turned it into a historic run in the ITA All-American Championships.

The Highlanders took a few days off after the tournament but are competing in the ITA Regionals Championship in Charlottesville from Oct. 17 – 22.

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Photo Credit: (Radford Athletics)

Featured Image: L&R – Junior Rodrigo Magalhaes and Sophomore Yevhen Sirous impressed at the ITA Championships in Tulsa.