May 28, 2010
ATHENS, Ga. - Auburn's Tim Puetz extended his junior season as he defeated Tennessee's Rhyne Williams in the Round of 16 Friday to advance to the Elite Eight at the 2010 NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championships held at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the campus of the University of Georgia.
"I'm very excited to advance in the tournament and I'm happy with the way I'm playing," Puetz said. "It was a tight match and Williams played very well. I'm having a great season at Auburn and hope to keep it going."
Competing in his first-career NCAA singles tournament, No. 16 Puetz recorded a tough two-set win over SEC foe No. 45 Williams. The Usingen, Germany, native battled Williams to a 7-5 first-set victory and then followed with a 7-6 (4) win in the second set to take the match.
"It was another solid win for Tim," head coach Eric Shore said. "He came from behind in the second set to get the job done and he's ready for another tough match tomorrow. Tim has the ability to do a lot of damage in this tournament and he is proving it this week."
The win is Puetz's 20th of the season as he is now 20-6 overall. With the victory, Puetz improves to 15-6 against opponents in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Top-125 and becomes the first Tiger to advance to the Elite Eight since 2004 when current assistant coach Gabor Pelva reached the tournament semifinals.
Up next for Puetz is a match against Virginia's Michael Shabaz, who stands at 17-3 this spring. The 11th-ranked Cavalier opened the tournament with a two-set victory over Jason Jung of Michigan and then followed with another two-set win over UCLA's Haythem Abid. Shabaz reached the tournament quarterfinals on a two-set victory over Chase Buchanan of Ohio State.
Tomorrow's match-up will be the first meeting this season between Puetz and Shabaz.
Fans can follow the action with live scoring and free video streaming at www.georgiadogs.com.