STARKVILLE, Miss. - For the second consecutive week, a Mississippi State men's tennis player has been named SEC Player of the Week, as standout Romain Ambert was accorded the honor this week after junior René-Charles Combette had earned it last week. Ambert's recognition is based on his play last week in the Bulldogs' very important road victories at #37 Vanderbilt and #4 Kentucky."> STARKVILLE, Miss. - For the second consecutive week, a Mississippi State men's tennis player has been named SEC Player of the Week, as standout Romain Ambert was accorded the honor this week after junior René-Charles Combette had earned it last week. Ambert's recognition is based on his play last week in the Bulldogs' very important road victories at #37 Vanderbilt and #4 Kentucky.">

Ambert named SEC player of the week

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/01players/tennis/2002/ambert.jpg" align="left" width="82" height="198"> STARKVILLE, Miss. - For the second consecutive week, a Mississippi State men's tennis player has been named SEC Player of the Week, as standout Romain Ambert was accorded the honor this week after junior René-Charles Combette had earned it last week. Ambert's recognition is based on his play last week in the Bulldogs' very important road victories at #37 Vanderbilt and #4 Kentucky.

Ambert went 3-1 in singles and doubles in those two contests. His two singles wins were both very impressive, as the 10th-ranked sophomore posted a 6-2, 6-4 win over Vanderbilt's 30th-ranked Bobby Reynolds and a 7-5, 6-4 upset triumph against Kentucky's fifth-ranked Jesse Witten. He also went 1-1 in doubles with Combette, the victory coming over UK's 47th-ranked duo of Evan Austin and Karim Benmansour.

The Toulouse, France, native is 12-1 in singles and 10-2 in doubles in team competition thus far this year. He has won 16 of 18 singles matches this spring, with 13 victories coming in straight sets, 12 of them over top 100-ranked foes.

Ambert is now 58-18 (76.3%) in singles during his still brief MSU career. He is 31-7 overall for 2001-02, making him the first 30-match winner in a single season for State since three-time, all-American Thomas Dupré went 31-3 in 1996-97. He is also 38-18 in doubles for his career.

"We are very proud of Romain for his accomplishments, not only during the past week, but during his entire career," MSU head coach Sylvain Guichard said. "He has been playing so well this season that his results sometimes go unnoticed because he just goes out there and wins and people just expect that. What they sometimes don't understand is that winning that consistently while playing the top position in the lineup every day is extremely difficult."

Ambert is the fourth Bulldog to earn the SEC's weekly award since the league initiated it for the sport of tennis in 2000. Combette (last week), three-time, all-American Marco Baron (twice in 2001), and four-year star Jeremy Bayon (once in 2000) have also each earned the distinction. Combette and Ambert's capture of the award in back-to-back weeks marks a first for any of the league's 12 schools in men's tennis.

The Bulldogs, ranked No. 21 in the latest edition of the Omni Hotels Collegiate Rankings, will continue action in the coming week with a three-match homestand against three top 35 foes at MSU's A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. State will welcome 13th-ranked Tennessee this Friday, March 29th, at 2 p.m. before a battle with top-ranked Georgia this Sunday, March 31st, at 1 p.m. MSU will then have a makeup match with 33rd-ranked Middle Tennessee next Tuesday, April 2, at 2 p.m. as part of Super Bulldog Week activities.


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