Diep Nearly Pulls Off Upset Over No. 5 Player In Country

Written by: NMSU Athletic Dept.

LAS VEGAS, NV - New Mexico State sophomore men’s tennis player Gustave Diep easily won his Round of 32 match at the ITA Mountain Regional Championship Thursday and then nearly pulled off an upset of the country’s fifth-ranked player in the round of 16.

Diep defeated New Mexico’s Kamil Pajkowski, 6-2, 6-0 in his first match of the day and then took No. 5 Luke Shields of Boise State to a close three set match where Diep fell in a tiebreaker.

Shields took the first set from Diep, 6-1, but then the Aggies talented sophomore showed why he was the 2007 ITA Mountain Region Rookie of the Year and battled right back to win the second set 7-6. The third set went to a tiebreaker, where Shields was able to come out on top, 7-5.

All other three Aggies still alive in the Round of 32 lost their matches Thursday, but head coach Don Ball is still pleased with where his teams stands in the tournament.

“We are really, really close to becoming a great team and it’s exciting that were at this point,” Ball said. “Gustave played great today and losing to the fifth-ranked player in the country is no shame. We’re probably standing in fifth place right now out of all the teams which is excellent and we’re still alive in the back draws so if we have a great day tomorrow we can move up.”

Sophomore Alejandro de Mucha lost his back draw match to UNM’s Joe Wood, 7-5, 6-2, and senior Jeff Pfeifer fell to Idaho’s Hugh McDonald, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Juniors Stefan McKinney and Roman Stoisavljevic along with freshman Jim Brouleau move to the back draw, joining Diep after falling in the main draw Thursday.

In doubles action, Diep and Brouleau won their sole match Thursday, a 8-6 victory over Montana State’s Fuerrero and Perkins.

The Aggies now shift their attention to the back draw where they are hoping they can dominate their remaining matches. Friday’s play begins at 9:00 a.m. MDT.

Other Results

No. 11 Wes Hancock (UU) def. No. 28 Roman Stoisavljevic (NMSU); 5-7, 6-4, 7-6
No. 4 Zach Granger (UU) def. No. 17 Jim Brouleau (NMSU); 7-5, 6-3
No. 12 Wesley Burrows (UNLV) def. Stefan McKinney (NMSU); 7-5, 6-4

Doubles

Allin/Hancock (UU) def. de Mucha/McKinney (NMSU0; 8-6
L. Shields/C. Shields (BSU) def. Salas/Stoisavljevic (NMSU); 8-1