Advik Mareedu Falls in Close Match in ITA Cup Round of 16
ROME, Ga. - Advik Mareedu fell in a 6-4, 7-5 decision to Dean Kamenev of Emory in the Round of 16 at the ITA Cup nationals at the Rome Tennis Center on Thursday.
Mareedu got an early break to take a 2-0 lead in the opening set, but struggled with rhythm and timing in the windy conditions presented on Thursday afternoon. After saving three set points down 4-5 in the first, Mareedu overruled himself on a close line call on the deuce point, yielding the set 6-4. The Stags' top player continued to struggle early in the second, falling behind by two breaks of serve at 4-0 and seemingly out of the match. Breaking back at 0-4 began a four game streak of his own that put him on serve at 4-all and then 5-all. Serving to stay in the match, Mareedu fought off one match point before sailing a forehand long in the final rally.
Mareedu was trying to repeat as ITA Cup champion after winning the singles title a year ago, and had begun the fall season with a perfect 5-0 singles record.
Mareedu earned his trip to Rome by winning the ITA West singles title in three sets over Caleb Wilkins of Chapman, while Kamenev was the runner-up to Jordan Theron of Sewanee in his regional. Wilkins and Theron also were paired with each other in the Round of 16, with Theron winning another tight battle 7-6, 7-6.
Despite the loss, Mareedu still clinched All-America honors for the 2023-24 season after winning the ITA West Regional. He also earned it last year, when the finished with a 30-6 singles record.
Mareedu will move on to play in the consolation bracket at the ITA Cup, facing Tsubasa Okada of RPI tomorrow at 11 a.m. local time (8 a.m. Pacific). A win there will advance him through to a final match on Saturday against either Gage Gohl of Gustvus Adolphus or Ajay Mahenthiran of Case Western.