Jan. 25, 2004
GAINESVILLE, Fla. –
When it comes time for the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, the Florida State University men’s tennis team will be stronger after the tough tests it has faced during the early part of the year. The Seminoles just wish that this learning experience didn’t come at the hand of Florida. The third-ranked Gators prevailed 4-3 on Sunday (January 25).
Florida has won the last seven-match against Florida State with FSU’s last victory coming in 1997 when current assistant coach Ty Braswell was a member of the team. The 32nd-ranked Seminoles fall to 1-2 on the year, with both losses coming to ranked opponents.
“Our guys played great, it was a terrific match,” FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “If we would have had a break or two go our way, it would have been a different match. We’ve lost some tight singles matches this week and we could be 3-0 as easily as we are 1-2.”
Just as been the case in the early going, the doubles point was strong for the Seminoles. Fifteenth-ranked Jeff Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga.) and Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa) stayed perfect during dual meet play as they prevailed 8-5. The same couldn’t be said for the No. 2 tandem of Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) and Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) as they fell 8-5.
The doubles point came down to the third match between FSU’s Chip Webb (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Jarrod Owen (Vero Beach, Fla.) and Trey Johnson and Ryan Sherry from Florida. After building a 7-5 lead, the Seminoles let the Gator tandem back in the game as they tied it at 7-7. But FSU won the next two games to take the doubles point 9-7.
“We’re pretty good in doubles,” Hultquist noted. “Chris and Jeff are one of the better teams in the country, Mat and Jonathas are awfully good as well and Jarrod has quite a bit of experience. It’s definitely our strength.”
Florida quickly gained the lead in singles as Webb dropped a 6-1, 6-1, decision at No. 3 singles to 52nd-ranked Vladimir Obradovic and the No. 6 match saw Chris Brandi beat Owen 6-2, 6-2. Twenty-fourth-ranked Hamid Mirzadeh battled back to beat Cloer 7-6 (4) in the first set, before taking the deciding set 6-2.
The biggest win of the day for the Seminoles came in the number two spot where Sucupira pulled off a big upset to get FSU within a point. The freshman beat No. 9 Janne Holmia 6-4, 6-3 for the second upset of a top-15 player by a Seminole this week.
“That was a great win for Jonathas,” Hultquist added. “Being a freshman, we know he’s going to be a little up and down, but we know he’s capable of winning matches like this because he plays so big. He competed hard and really went after him. I’m proud of how we played.”
Florida State tied the match at three points apiece when Groslimond battled in the third set to beat Stefan Tell 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. For the second time this week, the match came down to the No. 5 singles spot. After dropping the first set 6-1, Westerhof rallied for a 7-5 decision. The third set, which included Westerhof saving triple match point, went to a tiebreak where Ryan Sherry prevailed 7-5 to take the deciding set 7-6 and give UF the match.
The Seminoles are off from competition until January 31 when they return home to play host to Princeton in a 1 p.m. bout at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center.
#3 Florida 4, #32 Florida State 3
No. 1: #24 Hamid Mirzadeh (UF) vs. #29 Mat Cloer (FSU), 7-6 (4), 6-2
No. 2: Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) d. #9 Janne Holmia (UF), 6-4, 6-3
No. 3: #52 Vladimir Obradovic (UF) d. Chip Webb (FSU), 6-1, 6-1
No. 4: Jeff Groslimond (FSU) d. Stefan Tell (UF), 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
No. 5: Ryan Sherry (UF) vs. Chris Westerhof (FSU), 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (5)
No. 6: Chris Brandi (UF) d. Jarrod Owen (FSU), 6-2, 6-2
No. 1: #15 Groslimond / Westerhof (FSU) d. Mirzadeh/Brandi (UF), 8-5
No. 2: Obradovic/Holmia (UF) d. Sucupira / Cloer (FSU), 8-5
No. 3: Webb / Owen (FSU) d. Johnson/Sherry (UF) vs. 9-7