TULSA, Okla. – Georgia Tech men’s tennis sophomore Carlos Divar opened main draw play at the ITA All-American Championships with a thriller, downing Arkansas’ Jose Salazar, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, on Thursday afternoon.
Divar had no issues dispatching the recent Razorback graduate in the first set, but Salazar responded well with a hard-fought second set to even the match at one apiece.
The Yellow Jacket’s problems continued into the early third set where he found himself trailing 3-2 with a 30-40 game mark. Already settled into the week, having already played three matches in qualifiers, Divar was able to keep his composure, coming all the way back with a four-straight-point explosion to take the third and the match.
Divar has now won four-straight matches, dating back to the beginning of the week in the ITA All-Americans qualifying round. There, the sophomore downed Buffalo’s Ethan Nittolo in three sets before making easy work of Ewan Moore of Tulane. Divar then defeated high-seeded Parker Wynn of Louisville to secure his place in the main draw.
His second-round main draw matchup will be against Thomas Laurent of Oregon.
Laurent came into the tournament after a successful sophomore campaign. In just his second year, he won a program-record 18-straight matches en route to setting another record for most for singles wins in a season with a 30-7 mark (20-4 in duals). The effort was good enough for Laurent to qualify for the NCAA Singles Tournament, becoming the first Duck since 2005 to achieve the feat. An all-Pac 12 first-team selection, Laurent ranked as high as No. 24 in the ITA singles rankings last year.
The match between the two is scheduled for 1 p.m. eastern.