July 14, 2012
ATLANTA-----Former Georgia men’s tennis standout Drake Bernstein won his opening round singles qualifying match of the BB&T Atlanta Open Saturday at Atlantic Station.
Bernstein, recently named assistant coach for the UGA women’s tennis team, led Brad Cox, 6-3, 5-0 when Cox retired. The Winder, Ga., native will now face Ricardas Berankis in the second round on Sunday. Players in the qualifying draw must win three matches to earn a spot in the main draw that includes John Isner, Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick.
Berankis defeated former Bulldog Ignacio Taboada, 6-2, 6-1, while Wil Spencer, another former Georgia star, fell to Georgia Tech’s Kevin King, 6-4, 6-3. Rising Bulldog sophomore Nathan Pasha was edged by Rik De Voest, 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-5. Pasha was up a break in the third set before De Voest rallied.
Meanwhile in Athens, redshirt sophomore Eric Diaz downed Georgia Tech’s Nathan Rakitt 4-6, 6-4, 1-0(2) to reach the final of the ITA Summer Circuit held at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Georgia Tech’s Vikram Hundal defeated Diaz in the final, 6-4, 1-6, 1-0(8).
Georgia’s Will Oliver teamed with LSU’s Harrison Kennedy to win the doubles title. The tandem topped Hundal and Rakitt, 9-8, then won by walkover against South Carolina’s Kyle Koch and Ben Barnett.