Tuesday, July 13, 1999

Underdogs have their day at Met


Five players beat higher-seeded opponents

BY DAVE SCHUTTE
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Two unseeded players, Jason Pressel and Chris Thatcher, along with Mike Dektas, Eric Toth and Robert Topalo each advanced to the men's quarterfinals by beating higher ranked players Monday in the Thomas E. Price Metropolitan Tennis Championship at Lunken Playfield.

        Pressel, a 1998 state champion from Indian Hill and sophomore at Ball State, came through with the biggest shocker a 6-7, 6-1, 2-0 (retired) victory over No.2 Brett DeCurtins.

        “I hurt my back during the winter but I felt good coming into the tournament,” DeCurtins said. “I felt pain on the shot that I went up 4-1 in the tiebreaker.”

        Pressell entered the tournament after the seeding meeting was held resulting in his unseeded position.

        Also unseeded, Thatcher (Sycamore High '92) proved too much for Evan Sitarski (No.13) 6-1, 6-2.

        “I've never gotten past the second round,” Thatcher said. “The difference is that I'm more mentally prepared this year.”

        Dektas, a senior at the University of West Virginia was at his best, conquering No.5-seeded Tracy Epperson's booming serve to record a 7-6, 6-4 victory.

        “I stayed two feet behind the line when he was serving, which enabled me to return it well,” Dektas said.

        Seeded No.11, Eric Toth had little trouble beating Doug Corn (No.7) 6-1, 6-3.

        “I feel I've played better tennis but never competed better than this year,” Toth said.

        “I fell behind 3-0 in the second set but I knew what I had to do. I could have either packed it in and go for the third set or fight. I decided to fight and I broke back at 3-1 to get back into it.”

        Topalo, the No.10 seed, outlasted former University of Cincinnati teammate Matt Poulos (No.4) 6-1, 4-6, 6-1.

       



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