Lopez and Stalder Power Into Next Round
May 25, 2017
FORT WORTH, Texas – Trailing 5-3 in the final set tiebreaker, the No. 25 pair of Jerry Lopez and Reese Stalder powered through to win seven of the next 10 points to take the set and defeat No. 29 Jathan Malik and Connor Johnston of Michigan in the opening round of the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Doubles Championship on Thursday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Center in Athens, Ga.
Lopez and Stalder opened the match by taking three of the first four service games for a 3-1 lead. After trading holds with TCU leading 5-3, the Horned Frog pair broke Michigan for the second time in the set to take the first set, 6-3.
Michigan broke Lopez on deuce point and then held to open the second set with a 2-0 lead. The pairs would continue the back-and-forth battle until Michigan broke Lopez a final time to take the set 6-3 and force the match into a super tiebreaker.
The TCU pair would go up a break to open the super tiebreaker at 3-1 but Michigan responded by winning four straight points to take a 5-3 lead. The Frogs would get two points to put the set even at 5-5 before the teams traded points to put it tied once against at 7-7. Lopez held serve before getting the mini-break on Michigan for the 9-7 lead. The Wolverines picked up a final point before Stalder served up the ace to clinch the set and match for TCU, 10-8.
Lopez and Stalder will face the No. 5 pair of Filip Bergevi and Florian Lakat in the Round of 16 at 1 p.m., CT on Friday.
The singles run for No. 20 Alex Rybakov came to an end on Thursday as the sophomore’s 23-match winning streak came to an end in the Round of 32 with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 loss to No. 8 Alfredo Perez. Rybakov finished his second season with the Frogs with a 23-2 overall mark and 11-1 mark against ranked opponents.
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