June 5, 2013
SKILLMAN, N.J. (SMU)- Arturs Kazijevs and Mischa Nowicki both finished the 2012-13 campaign ranked in the final ITA polls, the association announced Wednesday. Kazijevs finished ranked 106th in singles and the pair was 84th in doubles.
Kazijevs becomes the first Mustang to be ranked in singles to end the year since Artem Baradach was ranked 63rd at the end of 2010-11. Kazijevs and Nowicki are the first SMU pair to be ranked in doubles to finish a season since Adham el-Effendi and Darren Walsh ranked 72nd in 2008-09.
Kazijevs went 14-5 in singles in the spring, all at the No. 1 position. He had three wins against ranked opponents in the spring, defeating now-No. 118 Sudanwa Sitaram of 19th-ranked Texas in straight sets (Jan. 12), No. 34 Winston Lin of No. 32 Columbia in straight sets (March 19) and No. 41 Japie De Klerk of Tulsa in the Conference USA semifinals (April 20). De Klerk made it to the NCAA Semifinals and finished the season ranked 24th. He also beat No. 77 Mate Zsiga of 13th-ranked Baylor in straight sets in the fall (Oct. 20). The native of Riga, Latvia was named Conference USA Player of the Week on March 6. Kazijevs went 2-1 against C-USA foes, beating Joe Young of #63 Tulane (March 3) and Jonathan Chang of #73 Rice (April 14). He won six straight decisions (March 12 through April 3) and only lost once in his last 12 matches. Kazijevs also went unbeaten in 15 of his last 17 matches. He had nine wins against players on ranked teams and finished the season.
Nowicki and Kazijevs combined to be SMU's top doubles duo on the season, and went 12-6 in doubles in the spring, winning their last eight matches of the regular season (March 29 through April 14). The pair was ranked as high as 53rd in the nation (Feb. 12) and was ranked for a total of eight weeks during the spring. The duo defeated now-No. 81 Oliver Pramming and Ignacio Gonzalez of No. 65 South Florida (April 7) and No. 13 David Holiner and Chris Camillone of 23rd-ranked Texas. Holiner and Camillone would later advance all the way to the NCAA Doubles Championship match. They beat four doubles pairs of ranked teams and spent the whole spring in the No. 1 position. The pair helped SMU to a 30-22 record in doubles as a team and helped the Mustangs become ranked as high as 65th nationally.
For their efforts, both were given All-Conference USA recognition on April 30. Kazijevs made the First Team for singles, while the pair landed on the Second Team for doubles.