TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- The Florida State men’s tennis team advanced to the doubles finals of the Tallahassee Futures Tournament presented by Visit Tallahassee as junior Guy Iradukunda and sophomore Aziz Dougaz came back to win their semifinal match at the Indoor Tennis Facility on Friday.
The pair got behind early, losing the first set 0-6, but were able to rally to win the second set 6-4. They quickly took the third set tiebreaker 10-2 to defeat the No. 3 seed Tim Kopinski (USA)/Alex Lawson (USA) 0-6, 6-4, 10-2.
“Sometimes it’s hard to come back from (losing the first set), then we got down a break in the second, then we just really turned it on,” head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “In the tiebreaker, we played unbelievable with the returns that we hit.”
Dougaz/Iradukunda defeated the No. 1 doubles seed Hans Hach Verdugo (MEX)/Kaichi Uchida (JPN) 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday to advance to the semifinals after defeating Pirmin Haenle (GER)/Lukas Ollert (GER) 6-2, 3-6, 10-7 in the first round on Tuesday.
The pair will play the No. 4 seed Robert Galloway (USA)/Nathaniel Lammons (USA) in the doubles final on Saturday.
“Once we started to be a little more solid and not missing as much, (we had) a lot of energy showing that we are here,” Iradukunda said. “Even though we lost the first set, we still want to win.”
The doubles final will be played following the singles semifinals and will not begin before 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.
“They’ve got great chemistry together,” Hultquist said. “They’ve played together before and done well in pro tournaments.”
Earlier in the tournament, Iradukunda earned a significant win over Ryan Shane (USA) 7-6(3), 6-3 on Wednesday. Shane was the 2015 NCAA champion and a four-time All-American at Virginia, and last week won the $25k Waco Futures. He is ranked 611 in the ATP singles standings.
“This is why we want to do an event like this- to showcase our guys and let our guys break through on our home court,” Hultquist said.
There will be spectator seating on courts two and four for the doubles finals and remainder of the singles draw.
The finals will take place on December 10 (doubles) and December 11 (singles). All matches will be played at the Indoor Tennis Facility at 2566 Pottsdamer Rd., Tallahassee, Fla., 32310. The event is free to fans.
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