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John Breaux Cajun Tennis Classic: Daigle ousted in Classic action

Bruce Brown, The Advertiser, Sept. 23, 2016



Defending champion Jordan Daigle dodged one upset bid in Thursday’s opening round, but couldn’t make it past a second hurdle and was ousted from the John Breaux Cajun Tennis Classic at UL’s Culotta Tennis Center.


The Lafayette native and LSU senior wasn’t perfect but was solid in a 7-5, 7-5 first-round victory over Southern Cal’s Henry Ji.


And later, the No. 2 seed was up a set on Texas Tech’s Bjorn Thomson, 6-4. But when Thomson was able to hold serve to draw even at 4-4 in the second set, a frustrated Daigle was charged with verbal abuse by the chair umpire, who awarded Thomson a game.


Suddenly, a seesaw battle of wits turned dramatically to the surprised Red Raider.


Thomson served to 6-4 for split sets, then closed out the dispirited Daigle 6-2 in the third.


This is my first tournament since last spring,” Thomson said. “I spent the summer practicing and working on things in my game, and it has paid off. When I’m playing well, I take the ball early and put pressure on my opponent throughout the point.


Tonight I focused on hitting with depth and moving my feet.”


Daigle had shown flashes of anger in his opening win, sending the ball rocketing to the nearby Tigue Moore construction site after being broken to 3-4 in the second set, and further reactions later proved costly.


While Daigle was knocked off, top-seeded William Bushamaka of Kentucky cruised to easy victories over UL’s Jamie Frasier (6-2, 6-2) and Tristan Meraut of Oklahoma State (6-1, 6-4).


I played in this tournament as a freshman and lost in the second round,” Bushamaka said. “Now I’m a junior and I’ve been through a lot in two years of college. I’m better now – mostly mentally. Instead of going crazy, I stay calm.


A tournament like this can give you confidence if you start out your year well. Just to get matches in and compete is good.”


UL’s host Ragin’ Cajuns had six players in action, and all six lost – none more dramatically than sophomore Arthur Libaud, the 2015 Classic consolation winner.


Playing No. 4 seed Harrison Scott of Texas, Libaud received medical attention when he slid out of his chair during a break. Then he collapsed at the fence between points and lay motionless.


Trainers, and Scott, helped him off the court and he was revived with IV solutions off site.


Scott advanced, 6-2, 2-0 retired, added a 6-3, 6-4 win over Kentucky’s Beck Pennington, and will be in today’s 10:30 quarterfinals.