June 3, 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
It almost wasn’t fair to Eric Taino that he had to play Mat Cloer on his home court during the opening round of the USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger. The Florida State University junior took advantage of his familiar surroundings in beating the number two seed 6-3, 6-0 on Wednesday (June 2).
With the victory, Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) picks up five ATP points, but more importantly moves on to the second round where he will face Bobby Reynolds on Thursday after Reynolds beat Andres Pedroso. The 2004 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year extracted some revenge on Taino after he bounced Cloer from last year’s event in the second round.
Early on the match was very even with each player holding their first three serves. Cloer took the lead 4-3 when held than picked up his first break to extend the margin to 5-4 before holding again to win the first set 6-3. From there Cloer put into high gear as he broke Taino three times on his way to a 6-0 triumph in the second set to complete the match in less than an hour.
“It’s just a great win for Mat,” FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “Eric is coming off an appearance in the French Open and is ranked 163 in the world so this is big confidence booster for Mat. It also goes to show you how much it helps to have a great tournament like this on your home court.”
Cloer also picked up a victory in doubles on Wednesday without having to lift a racket. He and his playing partner John Paul Fruttero started their first round match on Tuesday against Andres Pedroso and Todd Widom, but rain postponed the completion of the match to Wednesday, but the bout was never finished as Pedroso and Widom retired.
Also grabbing a victory on Wednesday was Florida State freshman Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.) during doubles action. He teamed up with partner Travis Rettenmaier to beat Mark Hlawaty and Brad Weston of Australia 6-1, 6-4. Abougzir is back on the court Thursday when he and Rettenmaier take on Brandon Coupe and Kevin Kim at 12 p.m.