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University of Sydney players figured strongly in the opening rounds of the Sydney University Tennis Open yesterday.

Hosted by the lawn tennis club, the Open is a Silver AMT with Australian Ranking points and $5000 prizemoney on offer.

The Monday matches kicked off at 8.30am with the University contingent making its mark by mid-morning. EAP recipient and our Australian University Games team manager Michael Power caused the tournament’s first upset with a cliff-hanger 3-6 6-1 7-5 win over 16th seed Alex Fairbanks.

Facing match points in the third, Power shifted up a gear to take out the match decider after just over two hours’ worth of big-serving action.

Chris Peters (at 15, our only seed in the event), won his first round convincingly 6-0 6-2 before facing a tougher assignment in Round 2. Peters finally prevailed 6-3 7-6 (5) against Jonathan Dean and moves into today’s third round.

Cumbo EAP player Gav Levy missed out on a seeding by just one place and faced a difficult draw as a result. His first mound match against Luke Adamus went for almost an hour and half before Levy emerged the victor in a 6-4 6-3 scoreline.

Up against the No. 1 seed Michael Massih in the second round, Levy traded ground strokes with the #95 ranked Australian Massih in another marathon before eventually pushing past the tournament favourite 6-4 6-4.

Levy’s grass court experience was the deciding factor. ‘”I was pleased with how I played,” he said. “I felt confident coming to the net. The last time we played was on hardcourt at Gosford. He won that in straight sets.”

Power and Levy will face off against one another at 2pm today in an all-University third round contest.

Joining them vying for a quarter-final berth are Peters and University of Sydney AUG dark horse Kevin Ye, who upset 13th seed Ruadhan de Bruges in just under two hours. Ye overcame a slow start to take out the second round encounter in a 1-6 6-4 6-0 grind.

Four first round women’s singles matches were played late in the afternoon, with University of Sydney’s Rebecca Goh winning through in the last match of the day. Goh’s solid 6-4 6-4 victory over Tara Radovic sees her up against No. 6 seed Michaella Shand at 8.30am on Tuesday.

There is strong depth in the women’s singles field, with a number of interstate players taking on the locals. Sydney teenager Abbie Myers (Australian Ranking #39) heads the women’s seeding list, with last year’s tournament runner-up Lara Picone seeded at No. 8.

Men’s singles third round action and men’s and women’s doubles will round off the Tuesday draw. Peters and Power team up again in the men’s doubles after their runner-up performance last year, with Benita Milenkiewicz hoping to capitalise on her strong Grade 1/1 Badge showing this year partnering Casey Cross in the women’s.

Matches will continue at Manning on Tuesday and Wednesday from 8.30am, with the finals scheduled from 10am on Thursday.

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