May 27, 2010
ATHENS, Ga.—TCU’s Emanuel Brighiu and Christopher Price were eliminated from the doubles competition at the NCAA Men’s Division I Individual Championships Thursday at Georgia’s Dan Magill Tennis Complex. The Frogs fell to the nation’s No. 2-ranked tandem in the Round of 32.
Brighiu and Price fell in straight sets to USC’s Robert Farah and Steve Johnson, 6-4, 6-2. The Trojan duo, one of the favorites to win this season’s title, also squared off against TCU in last year’s NCAA opening round, as Brighiu and former teammate Adrian Simon suffered a 6-2, 6-4 defeat in College Station, Texas. The pairing helped USC capture the national team title earlier this week and features one-half of the 2008 NCAA doubles champion squad in Farah.
“It was a better match than what we played against them last year,” head coach Dave Borelli said. “Chris and Emanuel didn’t play as well as what they had been coming into the tournament, but they were facing some tough competition today. We just gave them too many opportunities to have a chance to win, because Farah and Johnson are very good and one of the favorites to win the tournament.
Brighiu and Price, rated 42nd in the latest release of the ITA’s national doubles rankings, concluded their junior seasons with a 13-9 overall record. The pairing started playing together for the first time during the fall season and was riding a hot streak at the end of the year, having won nine of its last 10 matches entering the NCAA Individual Championships.
“I’m excited for Chris and Emanuel’s future,” Borelli said. “I really believe if they play together more in the fall, they can be a threat to win the whole thing next year. I don’t think they played quite as well today as they had showed at the end of the season, but a little more competition together in the future will only help to make them better.”
The appearance for Brighiu and Price continued a long-standing tradition of Frogs reaching the NCAA Individual Championships. The squad has featured at least one entry at the event in 31 of the past 35 years.
With the men’s squad eliminated from competition, Kayla Duncan and Katariina Tuohimaa of the women’s team will garner TCU’s sole focus for the remainder of the weekend. The pairing, which earned an opening-round victory earlier Thursday, will face Notre Dame’s No. 3-seeded duo of Kristy Frilling-Kali Krisik in Friday’s Round of 16. Live results and streaming video from the match can be found on NCAA.com.