March 6, 2013
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – After helping George Washington to a 2-1 week and a No. 45 national ranking, junior Nikita Fomin and freshman Danil Zelenkov were dubbed the Atlantic 10 Men’s Tennis Performer and Rookie Performer of the Week, respectively, the league announced on Wednesday.
The honor marks the first for Fomin, who transferred to GW prior to the fall 2012 season, while Zelenkov was named Rookie Performer of the Week last month.
The pair combined for an undefeated 6-0 singles and doubles record on the weekend as the Colonials (7-4) competed in three matches in as many days, highlighted by consecutive sweeps of Atlantic 10 opponents to begin conference competition. Following weekend action, GW improved five spots to No. 45 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Team rankings for its highest-ever national ranking in seventh-year head coach Greg Munoz’s tenure.
In the Colonials’ tight 4-3 loss to then-No. 33 Columbia on Friday, Fomin earned a 6-3, 6-2 No. 2 singles victory over Dragos Ignat and Zelenkov defeated Ashok Narayana at the No. 3 spot in three sets, 6-3, 6-7, 6-4. The No. 9 duo in the ITA Atlantic Region then teamed up to take down the Lions' No. 2 pair in Nathaniel Gery and Winston Lin, 8-4.
Follow Friday’s match against Columbia, Fomin was bumped to the No. 1 singles position for the first time in the Buff and Blue. In GW’s 7-0 blanking of Temple to kick off league action on Saturday, the Moscow, Russia, product posted a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Kacper Rams, while Zelenkov earned a 6-4, 6-1 victory at No. 3 singles over the Owls' Kristian Marquart. The tandem then defeated Nicolas Paulus and Hernan Vasconez in No. 2 doubles play by an 8-3 score.
In the Colonials' sweep of Fordham on Sunday, Fomin defeated Srikar Alla, 6-3, 6-4, in first-flight play while Zelenkov posted a 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 No. 3 win over J.J. Tauil. The duo then held the Rams' No. 2 doubles team of Alex DeRienzo and Jan Krouham to just one game en route to an 8-1 victory.
Fomin is now 7-4 in dual-match singles play on the year, including 2-0 at the No. 1 spot, and Zelenkov owns a 7-3 dual-match singles record this spring. The Colonials’ No. 2 pair is now 6-3 on the spring.
Fomin, Zelenkov and GW take their No. 45 national ranking to California for spring break from March 8-16. The Colonials will compete at the USTA Calabasas Futures tournament as well as dual matches at UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine.