OSU's McNally falls in third-set tie-break to top seed in NCAA tennis tournament

Bill Rabinowitz
Buckeye Xtra
The Ohio State University athletic department logo, 2017. [provided by OSU]

Ohio State senior John McNally had a chance to upset the top-seeded player in the first round of the NCAA men's tennis tournament Sunday, but fell 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) to Kentucky's Liam Draxl in Orlando, Florida.

Ohio State's other player in the singles tournament also lost. Cannon Kingsley was beaten by North Carolina's William Blumberg 6-4, 6-4.

McNally had a match point at 40-40 on Draxl's serve leading 6-5 in the third set, but his service return went long, sending the match to the decisive tie-break. (College tennis does not use the traditional deuce scoring system.)

McNally took a 4-1 lead in the tie-break, but his forehand betrayed him as Draxl won the next six points.

That McNally had to face a seeded player was a consequence of Ohio State not being allowed to play a normal schedule this season. Big Ten restrictions forced the Buckeyes to play a conference slate almost exclusively. Ohio State normally uses non-conference play to bolster its resume.

Despite a 23-5 record, with 16 of the matches at No. 1 singles, McNally was unseeded. Kingsley, who played primarily No. 2 singles, was also unseeded despite a 27-1 record.

In the women's tournament, OSU's Irina Cantos Siemers is scheduled to play North Carolina's Cameron Morra at 3:30.