March 3, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- The No. 15-ranked Florida State men’s tennis team lost a heartbreaking match in front of a raucous crowd at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center on Tuesday evening. The Seminoles (10-5, 1-0) fell to the ninth-ranked Gators 5-2 in a match that last nearly four hours.
“It was a great match that was really tight,” FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “I think the match was broken up into four segments. We won the doubles, they took all six first sets, we took four second sets and then they dominated the third sets.”
The Garnet and Gold got off to a quick start in doubles. On court three the team of sophomore Clint Bowles and freshman Chris Reiman jumped out to a quick 5-1 lead on No. 61 Jeff Dadamo and Johnny Hamui and never looked back to win 8-5. On court two the No. 80-ranked duo of Alex Lacroix and Carlos Cueto won a 9-8(1) tiebreaker to defeat seniors Drew Bailey and Maciek Sykut. FSU clinched the point on court one where juniors Jean-Yves Aubone and Vahid Mirzadeh remained undefeated as a duo upsetting No. 18 Antoine Benneteau and Joey Burkhardt 8-5 to give the Seminoles a 1-0 lead.
“Jean-Yves and Vahid closed things out and were up most of the match,” Hultquist said. “Beating their number one doubles team shows that our team deserves to be up there.”
The Gators regained momentum in singles winning all six first sets to take control. Florida earned its first point on court five where Dadamo defeated senior Chris Cloer 6-4, 7-6(1) to tie the score. The Gators took a 2-1 lead on court six where Erik Corace defeated Reiman in straight sets 6-4, 7-5.
“We didn’t gain the momentum after doubles,” Hultquist said. “Clearly they dominated play early on and we didn’t get going.”
The Seminoles fought back to take the other four second sets to set up a dramatic finish. On court two No. 42-ranked Bowles went up 3-0 on No. 34-ranked Lacroix before Lacroix was able to rebound. He broke Bowles at 5-5 in and went on to win the match 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 to put UF up 3-1. The match was decided on court four where Mirzadeh and Burkhardt split the first two sets with Burkhardt winning the first 6-3 and Mirzadeh the second 6-0. In the third set Burkhardt broke Mirzadeh and 4-4 and while the Wellington, Fla., native was able to fight off three match points Burkhard pulled out the match with a 6-4 third-set victory.
“We had third set leads in all four matches,” Hultquist said. “It was a hard one to lose, we went at it for four hours and they’re a very good team and we have some things we need to improve on.”
Florida State’s lone singles match victory came on court one where No. 28 Aubone upset No. 19 Cueto in three sets 1-6, 6-4, 6-4. In the final match of the evening Sykut was defeated by Benneteau 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.
The Seminoles will now embark on the five match road trip beginning on Friday in Clemson, S.C., as FSU takes on the Tigers at 1:00 p.m. For stats and a match recap log onto www.seminoles.com.
No. 1: #28 Jean-Yves Aubone (FSU) def. #19 Carlos Cueto (UF) 1-6, 6-4, 6-4
No. 2: #34 Alex Lacroix (UF) def. #42 Clint Bowles (FSU) 6-4, 4-6, 7-5
No. 3: Antoine Benneteau (UF) def. Maciek Sykut (FSU) 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
No. 4: Joey Burkhardt (UF) def. Vahid Mirzadeh (FSU) 6-3, 0-6, 6-4
No. 5: Jeff Dadamo (UF) def. Chris Cloer (FSU) 6-4, 7-6(3)
No. 6: Erik Corace (UF) def. Chris Reiman (FSU) 6-4, 7-5
Order of finish: 5, 6, 2, 4*, 1, 3
No. 1: Aubone/Mirzadeh (FSU) def. #18 Benneteau/Burkhardt (UF) 8-5
No. 2: #80 Lacroix/Cueto (UF)def. Bailey/Sykut (FSU) 9-8(1)
No. 3: Bowles/Chris Reiman (FSU) def. #61 Jeff Dadamo/Hamui (UF) 8-5
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1*