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NCAA.com Wire
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Gonzalo Escobar (left) and Raony Carvalho begin play at the NCAA Singles & Doubles Championships.

May 22, 2012

ATHENS, Ga. - Gonzalo Escobar and Raony Carvalho learned their draw at the NCAA Individual Championships on Tuesday.

Escobar, who is competing in his third straight NCAA Singles Championship, drew Stanford's Ryan Thatcher in the first round of the singles competition. The winner of the match will face either Hemus Peters of Georgia or seeded Costin Paval of Oklahoma. Escobar and Thatcher will square off at 9 a.m. CT on Wednesday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

Escobar is currently 29-12 on the season and ranked 40th nationally. He won his second consecutive ITA Texas Regional Championship last fall and has never faced Thatcher. Escobar is 2-0 in the first round of the NCAA Singles Championships, defeating Sadio Doumbia of Georgia, 6-2, 6-3 last season and Tripper Carleton of Wake Forest, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 in 2010.

Thatcher is currently 22-13 on the season and ranked No. 29. He is 5-5 in his last 10 matches this season and is making his second singles appearance at the NCAA Championships. He lost to Blaz Rola of Ohio State last season, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3.

"Ryan Thatcher is a very good player with a lot of experience," said Red Raider head coach Tim Siegel. "He is one of the best Americans in college tennis. Gonzalo will be ready. He had a good practice today and is excited to get started."

Escobar and Carvalho are currently 10-1 this season as a doubles tandem and ranked No. 18 nationally. The Texas Tech duo drew Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese of Tennessee in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Doubles Championships. The winner will face either Phillip Anderson and Jadon Phillips of New Mexico or Nick Andrews and Christoffer Konigsfeldt of California.

Texas Tech and Tennessee met earlier this season at the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala. Tennessee won 4-0, but doubles were not played due to rain. Libietis and Reese are 23-11 on the season and ranked 12th.

If Escobar and Carvalho advance to meet No. 6 Andrews and Konigsfeldt in the Sweet Sixteen, it will be a rematch of an unfinished match at the NCAA Championships in Berkeley, Calif., earlier this month. Andrews and Konigsfeldt were ahead, 7-6, when the match was abandoned because California had secured the doubles point.

This is Carvalho's fourth straight NCAA doubles appearance. He went as a freshman with Christian Rojmar and advanced the previous two season with partner Rafael Garcia. Carvalho advanced to the Round of 16 with Rojmar in 2009. Escobar is making his first appearance in doubles.

The NCAA Individual Championships have more than just trophies on the line. Players will also be competing for ITA All-American status. Here are the three ways to earn the highest national honors in singles or doubles:
• Be seeded in either NCAA singles and/or doubles (top 16 in singles; top 8 in doubles)
• Finish top 20 in the ITA singles rankings; top 10 in the ITA doubles rankings
• Advance two rounds in NCAA singles and/or doubles (reach singles round of 16; doubles quarterfinals)




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