Ninth-seeded Rahul Dhokia advanced to the main draw of the Greenview Development & Majestic Realty Men’s Pro Tennis Open after upsetting top-seeded Adrian Oetzbach, 6-4, 6-7 (1), 12-10, on Tuesday.
The match at the Texas Tennis Center was tense throughout, and the tiebreak was no different. Dhokia, a 20-year-old Briton (pictured above), saved match point at 9-10 with a blistering forehand winner down the line. He sealed the win with a 1-2 punch of a big serve and untrackable forehand.
Fellow Americans Eric Hadigian and Evin McDonald duked it out on Court 3, but ended in a championship tie break with far less drama. The eighth-seeded Hadigian rallied past the Longhorn player, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 10-4.
Marko Mesarovic, an 18-year-old senior from Round Rock near Austin, played a steady brand of tennis to upset No. 5 Giacomo Revelli, 6-4, 6-3, to reach the main draw.
Mesarovic said he got the call from tournament organizers on Sunday night that he had received a wild card into qualifying and would be playing the next day. Playing so close to home at UT’s courts, he said, “means the world to me.”
Mesarovic recently led Westwood High School to its third state title in five years.
“Marko is the ultimate team player,” said Westwood Coach Travis Dalrymple, who cheered for his player from the stands. “Watching him lead his team, and watching him at the pro level, it’s unbelievable.”
Mesarovic’s consistency and defense caused his British opponent to overhit and become visibly frustrated. “Marko has every shot in the book,” his coach said, “but that doesn’t mean you have to use every shot in the book.”
Mesarovic, who also qualified for a M25 event in Harlingen, Texas, in October, is not looking past his first-round match against Greek Demetris Azoides on Wednesday. “I want to take small steps forward,” he said.
Third-seeded Noah Schachter defeated Edison Ambarzumjan, 6-4, 7-6 (5), to advance. The 23-year-old, who plays at Texas A&M, used a combination of deep groundstrokes and feathery drop shots to keep his German opponent at bay.
Fourth-seeded Ryan Dickerson advanced over Longhorn Eshan Talluri 7-6(4), 6-1. Dickerson broke Talluri when he served for the first set at 5-6 and never looked back. In an up-and-down match, Sebastian Gorzny, a TCU freshman, advanced over UT’s Nevin Arimilli, 7-5, 7-5.
Hamish Stewart of Great Britain defeated Nigerian Christopher Bulus in two sets, 6-1, 6-3, advancing to the main draw. Pranav Kumar, the 10th-seed from Plano, Texas, advanced by walkover against No. 2 Warren Wood. He will play Martin Breysach of France on Wednesday.
Story by Aaron Sullivan/Photo by Kayla Thompson