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Men’s Tennis: Andrews advances

By Greg Hadley | Friday, November 8, 2013

Senior Greg Andrews cleared a major hurdle between him and a national championship Thursday, as he beat No. 4 seed Georgia sophomore Austin Smith, 2-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2 in the first round of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships in New York City.

Andrews had not played in a tournament since the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Championships last month, and the rust showed early against Smith, as he dropped the first set, 6-2.

“I don’t think he played his best tennis in the first half of the match,” Sachire said. “It’s not uncommon for the first round of a tournament. He just needed to find his rhythm. I’m really proud of him for not panicking or getting discouraged when he was down early.”

Andrews kept himself in the game with strong serves and took the second set, 7-6 (7). He then took control in the third set to win 6-2 and take down Smith, who earlier this year advanced to the quarterfinals of the ITA All-American Championships.

“[Andrews] did a fantastic job of competing,” Sachire said. “He was able to stay within striking distance, and he battled hard and gave himself a chance to a find his form. Of course, in the third set, he was playing his at his best, and he did a good job of closing it out.”

To continue winning, Andrews needs to stay focused and keep the form he found in the third set, Sachire said. 

“If you’re a little bit off, you’re going to get beat at this level,” Sachire said. “[For Andrews], it’s not about if you can do it; it’s about, ‘Can you do it this weekend?'”

With the win, Andrews advances to the round of 16, where he will play Oklahoma freshman Andrew Harris.

Harris, a native of Melbourne, Australia, won the junior events at both the Wimbledon Championships and the French Open in 2012. 

In the first round, Harris was pushed to the limit by Embry-Riddle freshman Deni Zmak before finally pulling out the victory, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 7-5. Sachire said he considers Harris to be one of the more dangerous players in the tournament, despite his relative inexperience on the collegiate level. 

“It’s going to be a battle, that’s for sure,” Sachire said. “He’s only a freshman but he’s one of the top junior-level players worldwide. I anticipate a very close, competitive match, and as always, it’s going to come down to Greg executing his game. If he can do it well, then he has a very good chance to advance.”

Andrews will represent the Irish in the round of 16 this morning at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City.

Contact Greg Hadley at ghadl[email protected].