Oct. 8, 2003
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. –
After spending several weeks in the national rankings last year, the Florida State University men’s tennis duo of Jeff Groslimond and Chris Westerhof felt a bit slighted when they didn’t get a bid to the even qualifying round of the ITA/Icy Hot All-American Championships.
The Seminole tandem proved their worth on Wednesday (October 8) when they defeated sixth-seeded and nationally ranked Scott Green and Ross Wilson of Ohio State, 8-6, in the qualifying round at the Champions Club. After winning their sixth-straight match in the tournament, Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga. / Riverwood) and Westerhof (Durban, South Africa / Crawford College) are now in Thursday’s main draw.
“I think they’ve clearly shown to win this many matches in a row proves that our guys belong in the main draw,” Seminole net boss Dwayne Hultquist said. “Chris and Jeff had a good year last year and we felt that they should have been ranked and now they showing that they are one of the top 32 teams in the country.
“Now it’s time for them to pick up some wins to solidify a ranking and get some points for the NCAA Tournament. Most of the teams here will qualify for the NCAA Championships.”
Of the 176 doubles teams entered into the tournament, 24 received byes into the main draw with two dozen more automatically in the qualifying round. That left 128 pre-qualifying teams, including Groslimond and Westerhof, which had to win four matches during the pre-qualifier and two more in the qualifier. Of the eight teams that advanced from the pre-qualifier, the Seminole duo is one of only two to move on to the main draw.
Tuesday’s match was as close as any that the FSU tandem has played this year. The Seminoles picked up the only break in the match early and held serve the rest of the way for victory. Tied at one all, FSU broke the Buckeyes than won its serve to jump out to a 3-1 lead. Ohio State came close to tying the match on two occasions, with break points at 5-4 and 6-5, but the Seminoles served their way out of the game. Groslimond served at love to win the final game and the match.
“Chris served really well today. He hit 70 percent (12-of-17) of his first serves and that’s one of the keys to not giving your opponent a chance to break,” Hultquist added. “Ohio State is a good serving team. Normally we break more than we did today, but we didn’t have as many opportunities. Once we got up we played well and finished them off.”
Groslimond and Westerhof join teammate Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) in the tournament’s main draw. By virtue of his No. 22 national singles ranking, Cloer received an automatic bid to the main event. Cloer has drawn the number two player in the country, Bo Hodge of Georgia at 11 a.m. while at 3 p.m. the doubles team will face Butler’s Brandon Gill and Kevin Gill who are rated 46th.