Courtesy of Cracked Racquets.
This week brought us some more 4-3 nail-bitters and thrilling upsets as top teams prepare for the ITA Indoors next weekend. Let’s waste no time and recap the top matches from the week.
#14 Illinois def. #11 Notre Dame 4-3
The Fighting Illini remained undefeated and took down a hot Notre Dame team with a gritty effort in a mid-week battle.
The Illini won the doubles point, but lost all 6 first sets in singles. Notre Dame converted three of those matches to straight set victories as Alex Lebedev (16th ranked) defeated Alex Brown (10th ranked), Tristan McCormick beat Keenan Mayo (72nd ranked), and Guillermo Cabrera beat Noe Khlif (90th ranked).
The CLOSER or the CLINCHER?? 🤔
— Illinois M Tennis (@IlliniMTennis) February 7, 2019
Down 3-1, the Illini came fighting back. Caleb Chakravarthi started the come back with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 on court 5 over Will Howells (49th ranked). Zeke Clark (92nd ranked) continued by beating Axel Nefve 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 on court 3. With all eyes on court 2, Aleks Kovacevic (44th ranked) clinched the match over Richard Ciamarra (63rd ranked) 6-7, 6-2, 6-4.
#8 UNC def. #14 Illinois 4-3
The UNC Tar Heels went into a hostile environment on Saturday night and defeated the host Illini to give them their first loss of the year in nail-biting fashion.
The Tar Heels dominated the doubles point to go up 1-0, but the Illini responded with two straight-set wins. Keenan Mayo (125th ranked) beat Brian Cernoch (77th ranked) on court 4 and Caleb Chakravarthi (116th ranked) downed Simon Sondergaard on court 5.
Final UNC 4, Illinois 3 Ben Sigouin clinches the victory in a tough road venue in Champaign 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 over Alex Brown pic.twitter.com/5cqS4qL9o2
— UNC Men’s Tennis (@carolinatennis) February 10, 2019
Josh Peck (36th ranked) then picked up a win over Zeke Clark (30th ranked) on court 3 and Blaine Boyden downed Siphosothando Montsi in straight-sets on court 6.
Aleks Kovacevic (24th ranked) evened the match by defeating Will Blumberg (52nd ranked) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to even it up at 3-3.
With court 2 locked in a battle, Ben Siguoin prevailed for the Heels with a dramatic 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 win over Alex Brown (23rd ranked).
#12 Virginia def. #1 Wake Forest 5-2
In a battle between two ACC foes, the Virginia Cavaliers topped the defending national champs with a 5-2 win on Friday night in Charlottesville.
Coming straight from the Dallas Challenger, Wake’s Borna Gojo made his spring dual match debut and teamed up with Alan Gadjiev at line 1 dubs to clinch the doubles point 6-4 over Carl Soderlund and William Woodall.
WAHOOWA!!!!! Aswin Lizen breaks and wins 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 overJulian Zlobinsky.
UVA CLINCHES THE VICTORY OVER No. 1 WAKE FOREST! pic.twitter.com/AjGwdTbn7f
— Virginia Men’s Tennis (@UVAMensTennis) February 9, 2019
UVA then came roaring back in singles as Ryan Goetz (72nd ranked) got things started with a 6-0, 6-2 win on court 5 over Rrezart Cungu (88th ranked). Freshman Brandon Nakashima then defeated Wake’s Bar Botzer (21st ranked) 6-3, 6-4 and Gianni Ross (68th ranked) made it 3-1 for the ‘Hoos by defeating Melios Efstathiou (49th ranked) 7-6, 6-2 on court 4. Senior Petros Chrysochos (1st ranked) got Wake on the board in singles by defeating Henrik Wiersholm 7-6, 6-3 on court 2.
With the last two matches locked in third sets, Aswin Lizen clinched the match for UVA by defeating Julian Zlobinsky 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 on court 6.
The teams decided to play out the last match and Carl Soderlund (119th ranked) defeated Gojo 4-6, 7-6, 6-1 on court 1.
#10 Stanford def. #5 USC 4-3
The Stanford Cardinal also pulled a “non-conference” upset against a conference-rival on Friday night as they took down the Trojans in LA by a score of 4-3.
USC won the doubles point as Jack Jaede and Laurens Verboven prevailed 7-6(6) on court 2. Michael Genender quickly evened things up by downing Jake Devine (94th ranked) 6-0, 6-2 on court 5 but Daniel Cukierman (4th ranked) put USC up 2-1 by defeating Alex Rotsaert (61st ranked) 6-4, 6-1.
— Stanford Men’s Tennis (@StanfordTennis) February 9, 2019
Brandon Holt (56th ranked) then made it 3-1 via a 6-2, 6-4 defeat of Axel Geller (10th ranked). Freshman Sangeet Sridhar made his spring dual match debut in a huge way by defeating Jake Sands 7-6, 6-4 on court 5.
With the remaining matches in 3rd sets, William Genesen (33rd ranked) came from behind to beat Riley Smith 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 and Sameer Kumar (43rd ranked) followed in similar fashion by downing Mor Bullis on court 5 to clinch.
Cal def. #5 USC 4-3
The weekend did not get any better for the USC Trojans as the unranked California Golden Bears came in for another 4-3 upset on Saturday.
The Bears won a close doubles point clinched by a rather fortunate shank volley from Can Kaya at 6-5 in the tiebreaker on court 2 to clinch the doubles point with Paul Barretto 7-6(5) over Jack Jaede and Laurens Verboven.
USC then came out firing in singles to go up 3-1 with straight set wins by Brandon Holt (56th ranked) over Jacob Brumm on court 1, Daniel Cukierman (4th ranked) over Paul Barretto on court 2, and Jake Sands over Bjorn Hoffman on court 5.
— Cal Men’s Tennis (@CalMensTennis) February 10, 2019
Ben Draper stopped the momentum on court 6 via a 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 upset of Tanner Smith (50th ranked). Yuta Kikuchi then converted his 10th match point to defeat Jack Jaede 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 on court 3.
The match came down to court 4, where Cal Sophomore Jack Molloy had 3 match points in the 2nd set but could not convert. Molloy eventually prevailed 7-6(3), 6-7(6), 6-3 to seal the big win for the Bears.
#3 Mississippi State def. #19 Tulane 4-1
The Mississippi State Bulldogs prevailed over the Tulane Green Wave 4-1 on Saturday in an extremely close match.
The Dogs won their 17th straight doubles point and then earned an early 3-0 lead with wins by Nuno Borges (5th ranked) over Ewan Moore (63rd ranked) on court 1 and by Gio Oradini (66th ranked) over Luis Erlenbusch (42nd ranked) on court 2.
FINAL | The Dawgs get it done after dark, taking a 4-1 win against No. 19 Tulane indoors in Lubbock!
— MSU Men’s Tennis 🎾 (@HailStateMT) February 10, 2019
Hamish Stewart earned a point for the Wave by downing Strahinja Rakic 7-6, 4-6, 6-2 on court 3 but Niclas Braun (64th ranked) sealed the win over Dane Esses on court 4 by a score of 6-7, 6-4, 6-2.
#2 Ohio State def. #24 Georgia 4-0
The Ohio State Buckeyes continued their relentless play on their home courts and downed the visiting Bulldogs in routine fashion.
The Buckeyes won the doubles points and earned quick victories on courts 4 through 6: Martin Joyce defeated Phillip Henning, Alex Kobelt downed Walker Duncan, and Hunter Tubert defeated Blake Croyder.
— Ohio State M Tennis (@OhioStateMTEN) February 10, 2019
Ohio State was up a set and a break on all the remaining matches that went unfinished.
#4 Florida def. #15 TCU 4-3
The Florida Gators went into Fort Worth and pulled out a gritty 4-3 victory on Sunday.
Florida won the doubles point backed by McClain Kessler and Duarte Vale’s 6-4 clinch on court 1 over Alex Rybakov and Alastair Gray.
TCU had other plans in singles, however, as they responded with three straight set upset wins: Gray (75th ranked) upset Andrade (27th ranked) 6-4, 6-0, Luc Fomba took down Vale (109th ranked) 6-4, 6-3, and Reese Stadler defeated Sam Riffice (67th ranked) 7-5, 6-4.
— Gators Men’s Tennis (@GatorsMTN) February 10, 2019
While it looked good for the Frogs as they won first sets on two other courts, Oliver Crawford (20th ranked) battled back to defeat Alex Rybakov (8th ranked) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 and Johannes Ingildsen (46th ranked) dug deep to defeat Bertus Kruger (83rd ranked) 3-6, 6-1, 7-6.
TCU only has five indoor courts so the line 6 match between Lukas Grief and Sander Jong started mid way through the singles battle and Grief prevailed 6-4, 6-2 to keep Florida undefeated.
That wraps it up for this week. To read more updates from Cracked Racquets, head over to www.crackedracquets.com.