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LSU's Venus Defeats Oklahoma State's Nedovyesov to Capture D'Novo All-American Title
by Colette Lewis
, 16 October 2008
The SEC has a reputation for outstanding football teams, but on a breezy Sunday morning in Tulsa, it was tennis adding to the conference glory, with Louisiana State's Michael Venus taking the singles crown and Ole Miss's Jonas Berg and Bram ten Berge capturing the doubles title at the D'Novo ITA All-American Championships at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Tulsa.
The unseeded Venus ousted top seed and preseason No. 1 Oleksandr Nedovyesov of Oklahoma State
7-6(5), 2-6, 6-4 in a seesaw final that demonstrated the skills that had led both to five victories in the previous three days.
Venus, a senior ranked No. 20 in the preseason, did not drop a set until his quarterfinal match with Blake Strode of Arkansas, who, like the other three quarterfinalists in the bottom half of the draw, was unseeded. After losing the first set 6-1, Venus recovered to take down Strode 6-3, 6-4, then continued his excellent play in the afternoon semifinal, dispatching Enrique Olivares of East Tennessee State in straight sets.
Nedovyesov, a junior from Ukraine, had his own shaky start in a match when he fell behind a set and a break to unseeded Bruno Agostinelli of Kentucky in the second round before the Wildcat senior retired down 3-0 in the third set. But after that scare Nedovyesov played brilliantly in his subsequent three matches, defeating Notre Dame's Brett Helgeson, No. 16 seed Conor Pollock of Texas A&M and 2007 All-American finalist and No. 5 seed Robert Farah of USC, while surrendering only 13 games in the three matches.
After three days of relatively calm conditions, the customary Tulsa breezes reappeared, and Venus took it in stride.
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