One down, five more to go. On Friday, the TCU Horned Frogs men’s tennis team won the first round of the NCAA tournament with a 4-0 sweep over Drake at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center in Fort Worth.
In the other regional match, Utah defeated Ole Miss 4-2 in Friday’s first match of the day. No. 1 seed TCU (24-4) will face Utah (21-7) at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, for the Fort Worth Regional championship match.
TCU got off to an early start in Friday's match, winning the doubles point. Sander Jong and Luis Maxted at No. 2 won their set 6-2. Then at No. 3, Juan Carlos Aguilar and Pedro Vives won their set 6-2. Luc Fomba and Jake Fearnley were up 4-2 when the point was clinched.
In the singles matches, TCU won four of the six first sets. Playing at No. 5, Vives swept his match, winning 6-3, 6-0, putting the Frogs up 2-0. Fomba, at No. 1, was the next to win in straight sets, winning 6-4, 6-3. Tomas Jirousek, at No. 6, clinched the dual win with a straight-set victory, 6-1, 6-3.
When the dual was clinched, three singles sets did not finish. Aguilar lost his first set and was up in the second. Jong won his first set in a tiebreaker and was up in his second set. Fearnley lost his first, won the second and was down a break in the third.
“I thought the guys did a great job coming out of the gate with the doubles point,” said head coach David Roditi. One of the most solid doubles points we’ve played all year. I thought in singles, I liked the way we responded to the stress and the way we responded to pressure, and how we responded to being the No. 1 seed not just here in the region but in the country. Tomorrow, it’s very obvious that we will be in an absolute war with Utah. They have a lot of guys that compete very well.”
The Fort Worth Regional is one of 16 regionals played this weekend. Winners of each regional will advance to a Super Regional either on May 13 or 14. As the No. 1 overall seed, TCU will host the Super Regional if it defeats Utah.
That Super Regional will feature the winner from the Raleigh Regional, NC State (19-9) or Middle Tennessee State (28-4).
Winners of the eight Super Regionals will advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals in Champaign, Illinois, on May 19. The semifinals will be held in Champaign on May 21, with the NCAA Championship set for May 22.
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