TCU Men's Tennis Tops Ninth-Ranked Texas A&M, 4-3
Feb. 18, 2004
FORT WORTH, Texas
The No. 13-rated TCU men's tennis team topped the ninth-ranked Texas A&M Aggies Wednesday afternoon, 4-3, on the Tut Bartzen Varsity Tennis Courts at Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center in Fort Worth. TCU remains undefeated on the year with a 4-0 record, while A&M drops to 7-4. It was TCU's first regular season win against the Aggies since Feb. 26, 2000 and its first victory versus a top-10 team since downing Texas A&M 4-0 in the quarterfinals of the 2001 NCAA Championships. A&M was seventh at the time.
"It was a great team effort," TCU Head Coach Joey Rivé said. "We stayed focused on the task at hand and really went after it. It was a terrific win. I couldn't be prouder of the team and the way everyone played. The fans were great today as well and really helped us. I felt like we were able to carry over the momentum from the men's basketball team after their big win over Louisville last night."
The Horned Frogs were able to win the doubles point, but it did not come easily. At one point, the Frogs were down 5-1 and 5-2 at two and three doubles, while both teams were on serve at one. The Aggies' Brett Joelson and Marvin Rolle were able to stop Hector Almada and Jacopo Tezza's attempt at a comeback at No. 2 to win 8-5. At one, Rafael Abreu and Fabrizio Sestini, ranked 19th, pulled off a stunning upset over the nation's No. 1-ranked duo of Lester Cook and Ante Matijevic, 8-4.
After recovering from a 5-2 deficit to Mohamed Dakki and Matt Loucks at three doubles, Jacob Martin and Alex Menichini won four of the next five games to even the match at six apiece. After breaking A&M's serve, Martin was given the opportunity to serve out the match. The teams traded points back and forth, and on the fifth deuce, the Frogs finally got the victory and the 1-0 lead.
TCU used the momentum from the doubles to go up early in three of the singles matches. Menichini, Tezza and Martin each won their first sets quickly at one, four and six. Martin was the first to finish, registering a 6-2, 6-1 triumph over Loucks to move to 3-0 on the year at the No. 6 hole.
Tezza found himself in a precarious spot in the second set after taking the first, 6-2. The Verona, Italy, native was up 4-2 in the third, but Khaled El Dorry had several chances to break him and get the match back on serve. Tezza grinded out the points and eventually went up 5-2 and proceeded to put the match away in the next game. He is 4-0 this season at No. 4 singles.
Leading 3-0, the Horned Frogs were in search of just one more point to clinch the victory. All eyes turned to court one after Menichini came back from 3-1 down to force a tiebreaker against No. 17-ranked Cook. Up 6-5 in the breaker, Menichini hit a shot that Cook called deep, but the chair umpire overruled the call, giving the senior the upset and TCU the win. It was Menichini's second upset of a top-25 player in three matches. A week ago, 44th-tabbed Menichini upended No. 21 David Corrie of Texas-Arlington, 6-2, 6-2. He was recently named Conference USA's Men's Tennis Athlete of the Week for his play against UTA and Colorado.
A&M claimed its first point when Dakki downed No. 75 Sestini at three in straight sets, 6-2, 7-6. The Aggies' 19th-rated Matijevic halted Almada's efforts at the No. 2 slot in three sets, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, to set the score at 4-2. Almada attempted a come-from-behind victory when he won three straight games in the third set after trailing 5-1, but Matijevic was too much to handle. Joelson ended the match moments after Matijevic's win, beating Abreu at five singles, 7-6, 7-5.
Next up on TCU's docket is No. 36 Florida State at noon Sunday, Feb. 22, at the Friedman Tennis Center.
Order of Finish: 6, 4, 1*, 3, 2, 5
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3*
* Clinching point