#17 UW 4, #56 Texas Tech 1

Andy Kuharszky edged Sinisa Markovic 6-4, 7-5 to clinch the match as the 17th ranked Husky men's tennis team won the Great Northwest Shootout with a 4-1 win over 56th ranked Texas Tech at the Nordstrom Tennis Center on Sunday afternoon.

With the win the Huskies finished the Shootout with a perfect 3-0 mark and improved to 6-1 overall while Texas Tech finished the round robin tournament with a 2-1 record.

Not much separated Kuharszky from Markovic in two close sets at the third singles position. Just one service break determined the first set. It came in the third game. With the set tied at 1 all and the game 30 all, Markovic gave Kuharszky a break point with a forehand unforced error and Kuharszky converted it when he ended a terrific rally with a forehand crosscourt overhead smash.

In the second set the two players held serve through the first seven games with Markovic leading 4-3. Kuharszky served for 4 all but got broken, and it looked like the match would go to three sets with Markovic up 5-3 and serving for the second set. However, Kuharszky broke serve and held for 5 all. Then the Husky broke again to ahead 6-5 and serve for the match. He had three match points at 40-0, and after Markovic saved one, Kuharszky put the match away with a service winner wide to the left handed Markovic's backhand.

The match for the Shootout title began with doubles and did not start on a promising note for Washington. Texas Tech got a service break in the opening game at both first and third doubles, leading 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2. The top duo of Kuharszky and Alex Slovic finally got the break back and a 4-4 tie in the eighth game when they won four of five points on Bojan Szumanski's serve.

At the third position, the Husky pair of Daniel Chu and Derek Drabble also trailed until they got even at 4-4 in the eighth game with a break of Teddy DiBlasi's serve. Meanwhile, at second doubles, Washington's Patrik Fischer and Mike Ricks broke Michael Breler and Markovic in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and made it stand up, holding on to win the match 8-6.

The Huskies still needed to win either first or third doubles to secure the point, and it appeared as if they might lose both when Kuharszky and Slovic got broken to fall behind Szumanski and Christian Rojmar 6-7, and Chu and Drabble trailed on Drabble's serve at 6 all, 15-40. Drabble saved one break point with a backhand volley winner and the second one when Dimitrio Martinez netted a backhand. A Chu overhead smash gave the Huskies a game point but DiBlasi hit a blistering backhand return winner to bring the game back to deuce. An errant backhand by DiBlasi gave the Huskies another game point and this time Drabble smacked a service winner to put the Huskies ahead 7-6.

Martinez served to extend the match, but a backhand volley winner by Drabble gave Washington a match point. Then on Martinez's next serve, Drabble just flicked a backhand return winner into the open deuce court to wrap up the match 8-6 and the doubles point for Washington.

When play shifted to singles Drabble gave the Huskies a 2-0 lead with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Rojmar at the fourth position. In the first set, Drabble trailed 1-3 but rallied to win three straight games and get the match back on serve at 4-3. He broke Rojmar in the 10th game to win the first set. Then in the second set, both players held serve throughout with Drabble taking a 5-4 lead. He broke Rojmar's serve in the 10th game to finish the match, winning the final point with a forehand crosscourt passing shot.

Washington went ahead 3-0 when Fischer beat Nilos Kustadija 6-4, 6-2 at sixth singles. Breler earned the Red Raiders' only point with a 6-1, 6-3 win over David Chu at the five position.

When the Huskies wrapped up the match their top two players were still on court. In the top match, had Kuharszky not won his match, Slovic looked like he would win his when he led Szumanski 7-6, 4-2. He trailed Szumanski 5-4 in the first set before getting a service break and eventually winning the set in a tiebreak. At the second position, Chu and Martinez were just about to go to a third set after Martinez won the first 6-2 and Chu the second 7-6, 7-5 in a tiebreak.

The Huskies continue their homestand when they return to action against Portland on Friday, February 16 at 4 p.m. at the Nordstrom Tennis Center.

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