Oct. 9, 2003
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. –
Even though it is only the first day of the main draw at ITA / Icy Hot All-American Championships, the Florida State University men’s tennis team has already had an impact on the tournament. In singles, Mat Cloer pulled off the biggest upset of the event, while doubles team of Jeff Groslimond and Chris Westerhof rolled to their seventh-straight victory of the tournament.
Thursday’s action began with Cloer beating Bo Hodge, the number two player in the country, 6-3, 6-2 in the first round of the singles draw. Unfortunately, his trip was cut short as he dropped a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 decision to Arkansas’ Adrians Zguns. The day concluded with the doubles tandem posting an 8-5 victory over brothers Brandon Gill and Kevin Gill of Butler.
Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) picked up an early break in the first set of his match with Hodge then grabbed another to take the opener. During second set, the junior used his strong return once again to break Hodge three times on his way to a 6-2 triumph and the match.
The momentum Cloer gained from his opening round victory-the highest ranked player to fall to a Seminole in school history-was not there for his second match of the day. After dropping a 6-1 decision in the first set, the 2003 ACC Player of the Year battled back to win the second set 6-4. His run at the tournament ended with a 6-3 loss in the third and deciding set.
A good return was key for Grolimond (Atlanta, Ga. / Riverwood) and Westerhof (Durban, South Africa / Crawford Collee) as they picked up their tenth win a row and seventh in the tournament dating back to the pre-qualifier. The sophomore tandem is the only pre-qualifier, in both the singles and doubles draw, left in the tournament. The duo had to win four pre-qualifying matches and two more in the qualifier to earn a spot in the main draw.
After splitting the first two sets, the Seminoles broke the Butler brothers, than Westerhof held at love to put FSU up 3-1. Florida State broke again to go up 5-1, but started a run that saw each team break the other twice. In the final game, an appeal to the line judge gave Groslimond another shot to serve at 15-love instead of giving Butler the point. FSU won the point on the second serve and closed out the match for the 8-5 victory.
If Groslimond and Westerhof want to win their eighth-match of the tournament, and advance to the quarterfinals, they have a big task ahead of them. Waiting for them in Friday’s 1:30 p.m. match is the third-ranked team in the nation, Zoltan Csanadi and Izak van der Merwe of Old Dominion. There is some familiarity between the opponents as Westerhof and van der Merwe were doubles partners in South Africa.