TULSA, Okla. – Cleveland State men's tennis junior Nico Mostardi began play at the ITA All-American Championship Monday, earning an upset victory over Kentucky's Enzo Wallart in the first round of the Qualifying Draw. Mostardi posted a 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(4) victory over the seeded Wildcat, earning his 48th career singles victory.
After dropping a tightly contested first set, 7-5, Mostardi bounced back to pick up a 6-4 win in the second set, forcing a third and final frame. Mostardi was able to earn the early advantage in the third set, but Wallart was quickly able to even the frame before the two went on to trade games until the set was tied at 6-6.
After winning his final service game to put the set at 6-6, Mostardi was able to win the first three points of the tiebreaker, jumping out to a 3-0 lead. Once again his lead wouldn't last long though, as Wallart responded with four of the next five points to even the tiebreak score at 4-4. Mostardi then controlled play for the rest of the tiebreaker, posting the final three points for the 7-6(4) third set victory.
With his win, Mostardi becomes just the second Viking all-time to pick up a Qualifying Draw win at the ITA All-American Championship, joining Phil Orno who picked up his win during the 2007-08 campaign.
Mostardi will now face Tenessee Tech's Rafael Tosetto in the second round of the Qualifying Draw tomorrow (Tuesday, October 2) at 9:00 a.m. EST.
From The Sidelines
"It was really great to see Nico put an entire match together today. Once again, the difference between winning and losing were very small moments throughout the match, and he was able to keep his focus and stick to his game plan the entire time. Over the last two or three matches he has been putting everything together on the court, and I'm glad that he was finally able to get the end result today." – head coach Brian Etzkin
Updated Draws | Qualifying Singles
Qualifying Draw Singles
Nico Mostardi (CSU) def. Enzo Wallart (UK), 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (4)