Nov. 4, 2012
LAS VEGAS -
Oklahoma State’s Rifat Biktyakov advanced to the singles championship at the Larry Easley Memorial Classic after defeating UNLV’s Ace Matias in the semifinals.
Biktyakov’s run through the tournament began with a first round bye after being awarded the tournament’s top seed in Flight One, the tournament’s top division. The junior breezed through his quarterfinal match Friday, recording a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Tendai Tapfuma of Seminole State. The win marked Biktyakov’s place in the third round for the second consecutive tournament.
In the semifinal round, Biktyakov matched up with UNLV’s Ace Matias for a place in the finals. After taking a quick lead with a 6-2 victory in the opening set, Biktyakov held off Matias to take the match 6-2, 6-3. The victory marked Biktyakov’s first appearance in a final round this season.
Biktyakov will face Kieren Thompson from the University of Arizona for the championship. The match will be held at 12 p.m. Sunday.
In doubles play, the duo of Biktyakov and Richard Del Nunzio advanced to the semifinal round Saturday. After receiving a first round bye, the pair defeated Arkansas’ Jovan Parlic and Manfred Jeske 9-8(4). The win put a Cowboys doubles pair in the semifinals for the first time this year.
The semifinal match pitted the two against UNLV’s Johannes Markel and Tamas Batyi, the tournament’s fourth overall seed in the doubles category. Biktyakov and Del Nunzio stayed close throughout, but couldn’t advance to the final round after an 8-6 defeat.
Chris Haworth and Trevor Horstmann also recorded a doubles victory, defeating UNLV’s Cody Miller and Willie Sublette 8-3. However, they came up just short of joining the other Cowboys duo in the semifinals after falling to Kazijevs and Nowicki of SMU, 8-6.
Also in Flight One, Chris Haworth and Richard Del Nunzio were able to record victories and help the Cowboy cause. Haworth opened the tournament with a 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-2 first round victory over NAU’s Dominic Bermudez. Haworth rode the momentum into his quarterfinal match, but couldn’t keep up with UNLV’s Tamas Batyi, falling 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-2. However, Haworth got back on the winning track after defeating NAU’s Alan Barrios 6-4, 6-2 in an added match.
Freshman Richard Del Nunzio drew a tough first round opponent in SMU’s Arturs Kazijevs, the tournament’s second overall seed. Del Nunzio was unable to record the upset, falling 6-3, 6-2. However, Del Nunzio continued his ways of bouncing back after a loss and recorded a 6-4, 6-1 consolation first round victory over NAU’s Alan Barrios. Del Nunzio battled throughout his consolation semifinals match with Arkansas’ Manfred Jeske, but fell short 6-7, 6-3, 6-2.
Horstmann, the only Cowboy in Flight Two, earned a first round bye and the second overall seed but couldn’t create a winning formula in his 7-6(2), 6-4 quarterfinal loss to SMU’s Nate Lammons. Horstmann was awarded an added match, but fell to NAU’s Dominic Bermudez 6-4, 6-3.
For updates on Biktyakov’s championship match, follow @CowboyTennis on Twitter.
First Round Singles
Arturs Kazijevs (SMU) def. Richard Del Nunzio (OSU) 6-3, 6-2
Chris Haworth (OSU) def. Dominic Bermudez (NAU) 1-6, 7-6, 6-2
Rifat Biktyakov (OSU) def. Tendai Tapfuma (SSC) 6-2, 6-2
Tamas Batyi (UNLV) def. Chris Haworth (OSU) 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-2
Nate Lammons (SMU) def. Trevor Horstmann (OSU) 7-6 (2), 6-4
Richard Del Nunzio (OSU) def. Alan Barrios (NAU) 6-4, 6-1
First Round Doubles
Haworth/Horstmann (OSU) def. Sublette/Miller (UNLV) 8-3.
Rifat Biktyakov (OSU) def. Ace Matias (UNLV) 6-2, 6-3
Consolation Singles and Added Matches
Manfred Jeske (ARK) def. Richard Del Nunzio (OSU) 6-7, 6-3, 6-2
Dominic Bermudez (NAU) def. Trevor Horstmann (OSU) 6-4, 6-3
Chris Haworth (OSU) def. Alan Barrios (NAU) 6-4, 6-2
Kazijevs/Nowicki (SMU) def. Haworth/Horstmann (OSU) 8-6
Biktyakov/Del Nunzio (OSU) def. Jeske/Parlic (ARK) 9-8 (4)
Markel/Batyi (UNLV) def. Biktyakov/Del Nunzio (OSU) 8-6