KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Seminole men’s tennis team saw six of eight players tally at least one win on Day 1 of the 2014 USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational presented by VISIT FLORIDA, highlighted by four ‘Noles making it to the Round of 32 in the singles draw.
“With as strong as the competition is here, I think we had some really strong matches today,” head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “Jose [Gracia] had a big win over Auburn, and Cristian [Gonzalez Mendez] played a great clay court opponent and fought back from being down 5-3 and 5-2 to win in straight sets.”
Along with victories from Gracia and Gonzalez Mendez, the Garnet and Gold got play-in singles victories by Jack Haffey and Parker Evertsen. In the first round of the main draw, Florida State scored victories from its top four players, redshirt junior No. 4-seed Benjamin Lock (7-5, 6-0 over Graham Ball of Stetson); redshirt senior No. 7-seed Gonzalez Mendez (7-6 (5), 7-5 over Diego Vives of Princeton); junior No. 9-16 seed Marco Nunez (6-3, 3-6, 6-4 over Jordan Belga of Florida); and redshirt freshman Gracia (6-4, 6-4 over Petar Tomic of Auburn). Gracia’s match was played on the Stadium Court at the ESPN Wide World of Sports at Disney.
In doubles action, the No. 1-seeded team of Lock and Nunez, ranked 10th in the country in the ITA preseason rankings, played the first match of the day, also on the Stadium Court and live on ESPN3. They advanced to the quarterfinals of the Doubles A Draw with an 8-2 win over the UCF team of Francesc Aulina and Reese Acree.
“With us hosting this event, it’s something we’re working hard to do is promote our sport on television,” said Hultquist. “Obviously, Ben and Marco are really good and the exposure for those two, our program and collegiate tennis on ESPN3 is huge. We’re glad that the Wide World of Sports let us do this and appreciate the support from the USTA, VISIT FLORIDA, and Florida Hospital.”
In doubles action at Grand Cypress Racquet Club in Orlando, Gracia and Gonzalez Mendez teamed up for an 8-4 victory over Manuel Belda and Juan Troglia of South Alabama.
Friday’s action will begin at 8 a.m. with singles play at the Wide World of Sports, followed by the quarterfinals that will begin no earlier than 5:30 p.m.
To keep up with the Seminoles progress at the 2014 USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational presented by VISIT FLORIDA, follow on Twitter @FSU_MTennis for FSU results and @2014_CCI for all results as they are completed. For recaps and tournament information, visit Seminoles.com or Facebook.com/FSUMTennis.
Men’s A Doubles:
Men’s B Doubles:
Haffey (FSU) def. Arjun Watane (UCF) 6-4, 6-1
Evertsen (FSU) def. Chester Espie (Stetson) 6-0, 6-1
Singles First Round:
Hunter Harrington (Clemson) def. Haffey (FSU) 6-3, 6-3
Jose Sangroniz (UCF) def. Gauer 6-2, 3-6, 7-5
Lock (FSU) def. Graham Ball (Stetson) 7-5, 6-0
Gracia (FSU) def. Petar Tomic (Auburn) 6-4, 6-4
Gonzalez Mendez (FSU) def. Diego Vives (Princeton) 7-6 (5), 7-5
Nunez (FSU) def. Jordan Belga (Florida) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
Michael Kay (GT) def. Albo (FSU) 6-7 (10), 7-6 (7), 6-3
Max de Vroome (USC) def. Evertsen (FSU) 6-1, 6-2