Pelva's Bid For Singles Title Falls Short In Semis

Auburn's Gabor Zoltan Pelva was eliminated from the NCAA Men's Singles Tennis Tournament on Sunday after suffering a straight sets defeat in the semi-finals.

Tulsa, Okla.--Auburn junior Gabor Zoltan Pelva's bid for an NCAA Singles Championship fell short on Sunday with a straight sets loss to Baylor's Benjamin Becker in the semi-finals.

After marching through the first four rounds of the NCAA Men's Singles Tennis Tournament without losing a set, Pelva was defeated 3-6, 5-7 in the round of four.

Pelva had a chance to tie the match in the second set, but dropped five consecutive games to Becker after running out to a quick 5-2 lead.

"In the first set, Becker served well and Gabor was a little shaky," Tigers' coach Eric Shore said. "He was up 5-2 in the second set and just couldn't close it out. He missed some balls he hasn't missed all week.

"But, you can't take away from all that he has accomplished. He has been our No. 1 guy all year and has done great things for us. He made it to the top four and that is something that no one else at Auburn has been able to do and we have had some outstanding players pass through here. It puts him in a position to be a top 10 player heading into next year. He just really had a great season."

Gabor Zoltan Pelva

Becker will face Michael Kogan of Tulane at 1 p.m. on Monday for the championship after he defeated South Alabama's Frantieck Babej 6-1, 6-3 in the other semifinal.

The junior beat some tough competition in the first four rounds of the tournament including a 6-3, 7-6 victory over Pac 10 player of the year, Sam Warburg of Stanford on Friday.

He also defeated New Mexico's Diva Coetzee 6-4, 6-2 in the opening round. Then, took a 6-2,6-3 victory over Doug Stewart of Virginia in round two. Next, came the defeat of Warburg and on Saturday, Pelva defeated Vanderbilt's Chad Harris 6-2, 6-1.

Pelva, who was unseeded in the tournament, made an unexpected run at the championship, but came up just short of Auburn's first ever singles national title and finishes the season at 18-8 in singles competition.


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