Okla. State's Kudrnac breezes in clay court collegiate finale Senior routs No. 2, 6-1, 6-1

Georgia duo wins doubles

September 29, 1997|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

A month ago, Oklahoma State senior Pavel Kudrnac would have given himself little chance of winning a tennis tournament, much less such a major one as the Intercollegiate Clay Court Championships.

"For two years, I had been playing badly," Kudrnac said. "Then my game came around."

First, there were two nice wins at a pro tour satellite tournament in Sicily, then a runner-up finish at the World University Games. The latest example of Kudrnac's resurgence came yesterday against No. 2 seed Cedric Kauffman of Kentucky in the clay-court championships at Suburban Club.

Off their showings in previous matches, Kauffman started as a solid favorite. That lasted about a minute. The Frenchman had his serve broken in the first game and the blitz was on. From 2-1 in the first set, Kudrnac of the Czech Republic won seven consecutive games and 10 of the final 11 to breeze, 6-1, 6-1.

"Everything was working; it's been that way for a month," Kudrnac said. How "on" was the Big 12 Conference champion? He pulled off a half-dozen drop-shot winners against Kauffman, a clay-court who is quick.

The doubles showdown between SEC rivals Arkansas and Georgia made up for the lack of competitiveness in the singles final. In an upset, Georgia's John Roddick and Steve Baldas beat defending champs Tom Crichton and Tom Hamilton, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in a display of acrobatic shot-making that had a previously subdued crowd up and screaming.

Pub Date: 9/29/97

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