©Colette Lewis 2011--
Texas A&M's Alexis Klegou's preparation for assuming the top spot in the Aggies' lineup got a big lift Thursday when he defeated No. 2 seed and 2010 finalist Eric Quigley in the first round of the ITA All-American championships 7-6(1), 6-3.
Klegou, a senior from France, said his serve was the key to his upset of Quigley.
"I felt warming up that it would be a good day," Klegou said. "I served very good and just took my chances on his service games."
That's not to say Klegou held his serve throughout the match. Quigley broke Klegou twice in the first set.
"I had no regrets on those two games," Klegou said of the two first-set breaks, the second coming when he was serving for the set at 5-4. "He returned very well. I played a very good tiebreaker, and a very good match overall."
Quigley was behind early in the second set and couldn't find the right combination of baseline and net play to pressure Klegou. Quigley saved three matches points in the final game after Klegou had taken a 40-0 lead, but the athletic Frenchman converted his fourth.
"He played good, no regrets, just keep doing the plan that you had," Klegou said of his thoughts on the three match points. "I just kept serving to his forehand--he was making more errors on that side on the return. I just kept pushing through."
Once he had celebrated the win with a loud c'mon, raising his hands in the air, Klegou sat with coach Steve Denton on the courtside bench talking about his victory.
As for leading the Aggies this year, Klegou says he's ready.
"We had unbelievable players and great leaders last year in Jeff Dadamo and Austin Krajicek," said Klegou. "The team was very competitive and that was good for the team. Now it's my chance to be there, so I'm happy. If I work hard, I should handle the pressure of playing at that spot."
Klegou will play Georgia's Sadio Doumbia in the second round Thursday afternoon.