Monday afternoon brought us a thriller between No. 3 Wake Forest and No. 41 TCU in a match that was played indoors at TCU's five-court facility despite 80 degree temperatures outside. The match was moved indoors due to weather.com projecting winds in excess of 20 miles per hour during the 3-hour match window and by rule (PDF page 10 lower right side) when that occurs play must go indoors if indoor courts are available.
Wake Forest was able to jump out to the early 1-0 lead after running away with the matches at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles. The ITA No. 1 team of Skander Mansouri and Christian Seraphim broke a 1-1 tie by winning three straight to go up 4-1 and they'd win 6-2. Wake's No. 3 team of Petros Chrysochos and Dennis Uspensky broke a 2-2 tie by winning the final four games to clinch the point with a 6-2 win.
Even though TCU really wanted to play outdoors the one advantage of playing indoors was that No. 6 singles, which has been a huge sore spot, wouldn't go on until after the first match finished up. TCU came out ready to go and took four first sets in singles and Cameron Norrie would make quick work of Petros Chrysochos (ITA No. 1) to tie the match at 1-1. Norrie broke Chrysochos to go up 4-2 in the first set then he broke him again to take the opening set 6-2. Norrie broke Chrysochos for 2-0 in the second and he'd make that break hold up and close out him out 6-2, 6-3.
Wake Forest sophomore Dennis Uspensky was the only Demon Deacon to claim a first set but he'd put the Deacs second point on the scoreboard with a straight set win over Reese Stalder at No. 5. The first set was filled with breaks with Uspensky breaking for 1-0, 3-2, and 4-3 but on each occasion Stalder broke back in the next game to tie it up. Uspensky would break again to go up 5-4 but this time he was able to consolidate the break with a hold which closed out the first set 6-4. The second set started off with three more breaks before Uspensky held for 3-1 and he'd go on to close it out 6-4, 6-2.
TCU senior Jerry Lopez tied the match at 2-2 with a tight straight set win over Christian Seraphim at No. 4. Seraphim broke Lopez to go up 3-2 in the first but Lopez broke back and held for 4-3. It stayed on serve the rest of the way with Lopez pulling out the tiebreak 8-6. The second set started off with six straight holds until Lopez broke for 4-3 however Seraphim would break back and hold for 5-4. Lopez held, broke, and then held again to close it out 7-6(6), 7-5.
It looked like TCU sophomore Alex Rybakov would close out Wake Forest junior Skander Mansouri in straight sets when Rybakov served for the match up 6-4, 5-3 however Mansouri would break, hold, break, and hold to force a third set.
Wake Forest redshirt freshman Alan Gadjiev put the Deacs ahead 3-2 with a routine 6-2, 6-1 win over Gianni Mancini in a match that didn't start until after Cameron Norrie won at No. 1. TCU is now 0-7 at No. 6 singles this year.
The match would be decided in a pair of third sets at No. 2 and No. 3. TCU junior Guillermo Nunez took the opening set at No. 3 by a 7-5 score but Wake Forest freshman Borna Gojo earned a split by taking the second set 6-4. Gojo broke Nunez to go up 2-0 in the third but Nunez broke back for 2-1. Gojo returned the favor and broke for 3-1 but Nunez broke back and held for 3-3. It stayed on serve until Gojo broke Nunez on the no-ad point to clinch the team win with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 win.
Seconds later Alex Rybakov would break Skander Mansouri to win 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 at No. 2 to make the final score 4-3 Wake Forest.
#3 Wake Forest 4, #41 TCU 3
March 6, 2017 at Fort Worth, TX (Bayard H. Friedman INDOOR Tennis Center)
1. #19 Cameron Norrie (TCU) def. #1 Petros Chrysochos (WF) 6-2, 6-3
2. Alex Rybakov (TCU) def. #8 Skander Mansouri (WF) 6-4, 5-7, 6-4
3. Borna Gojo (WF) def. #112 Guillermo Nuñez (TCU) 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
4. Jerry Lopez (TCU) def. #34 Christian Seraphim (WF) 7-6(6), 7-5
5. Dennis Uspensky (WF) def. Reese Stalder (TCU) 6-4, 6-2
6. Alan Gadjiev (WF) def. Gianni Mancini (TCU) 6-2, 6-1
1. #1 Skander Mansouri/Christian Seraphim (WF) def. Reese Stalder/Cameron Norrie (TCU) 6-2
2. #14 Guillermo Nuñez/Alex Rybakov (TCU) vs. Borna Gojo/Alan Gadjiev (WF) 4-4, unf.
3. Petros Chrysochos/Dennis Uspensky (WF) def. Jerry Lopez/Gianni Mancini (TCU) 6-2
Wake Forest 11-1; National ranking #3
TCU 5-4; National ranking #41
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (1,5,4,6,3,2)
Post-Match Quotes from head coach David Roditi via TCU's recap
“Today was a really good match and there was some really good tennis played. Obviously I am disappointed because I hate playing at home and being at a disadvantage because of our rules and because of our type of facility. We had to play indoors on some of the fastest courts against guys that are much better indoors then they are outside. I am frustrated but I do not want to take anything away from Wake Forest who is a very good team. They are one of the best teams and the coach has done a great job.
“I am proud of the way our guys played today and how we competed. There were some really bright spots there. Cameron Norrie made one of the best players in college look like an amateur. Jerry Lopez had a great win and played physical like he should be playing. (Alex) Rybakov got a nice revenge on a very good player. We just came up a little short at No. 3 and Guillermo (Nuñez) gave it everything he had. They served very well today and got so many free points on their serve. I hope we play that team outdoors later in the year. There is nothing we can do about it right now but learn from it and continue to get better and get healthier. At some point we will have a full lineup out there and be able to compete with these top teams. I really appreciate all the people who came out. It was a great atmosphere and a lot of fun and we really appreciate all the support.”
#17 Baylor edged #40 South Florida 4-3 in a match played at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. South Florida took the doubles point with wins at 1 and 2 and then each team took three first sets in singles. South Florida had a 3-2 lead but Baylor's Jimmy Bendeck broke USF's Peter Bertran to win 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 at No. 4 and a short while later Baylor freshman Constantin Frantzen would defeat USF freshman Pierre Luquet in a third set tiebreak 7-4 to clinch the win.
March 6, 2017 at Bradenton, Florida (IMG Academy)
1. #13 Juan Benitez (BU) def. Sasha Gozun (USF) 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-2
2. #39 Max Tchoutakian (BU) def. Justin Roberts (USF) 6-2, 7-5
3. #83 Alberto Barroso-Campos (USF) def. #50 Johannes Schretter (BU) 7-5, 6-2
4. Jimmy Bendeck (BU) def. Peter Bertran (USF) 6-4, 2-6, 7-5
5. Vadym Kalyuzhnyy (USF) def. Will Little (BU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
6. Constantin Frantzen (BU) def. Pierre Luquet (USF) 4-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(4)
1. Gozun/Campos (USF) def. Little/Frantzen (BU) 6-4
Baylor 12-2: National ranking #17
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (2,1,3,5,4,6)