May 20, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, Texas-- University of New Mexico senior Johnny Parkes picked up a three-set victory in the 2009 NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Round of 64 Wednesday afternoon, defeating Middle Tennessee State's 89th-ranked Robert McKenzie at Texas A&M's George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. After dropping the first set, 3-6, the 77th-ranked Parkes allowed just two points, posting back-to-back 6-1 wins to become the all-time winningest Lobo in program history.
With the win, Parkes moves into first place on the career singles list, touting an overall record of 97-41, and improves to 24-2 on the spring season. Mckenzie falls to 21-2.
"At first I had to adjust, get used to the conditions, the pace and my opponent," Parkes said. "Really after that first set, I just started playing my game and getting confident. It is an amazing feeling (to win and become singles record-holder). The record didn't really cross my mind, but it is a reflection of all the hard work."
Parkes dominated in the final two sets, surrendering just one point to McKenzie in each. After falling back 0-1 to start both, Parkes notched six straight points to secure the victory, becoming the first Lobo since Matt Amgwerd in 2000 to advance past the opening round.
McKenzie and Parkes were deadlocked at 3-3 early in the first set, but McKenzie pulled away with the win, 6-3, for only the eighth set lost by Parkes in all 27 matches this spring.
In the second set, with the score tied 1-1, Parkes pushed a game to three advantages to take a 2-1 lead. The following game he forced two more advantages before winning the point, 3-1. Parkes crusied from there to a 6-1 win.
In the third set, McKenzie led just once, 0-1, before Parkes snapped McKenzie's eight-match win streak with a three-set victory.
"Johnny is very deserving," men's tennis head coach Alan Dils said. "A true example of someone getting what they deserve. Like always, he represented UNM and the program to the highest degree."
Parkes will play the winner of fifth-seeded Bruno Agostinelli of Kentucky and Wil Spencer of Texas A&M in the Round of 32. The match time has yet to be determined. Check back to GoLobos.com for the time's announcement.
#77 Johnny Parkes (New Mexico) def. #89 Robert McKenzie (Middle Tennessee State) 3-6, 6-1, 6-1