Feb. 6, 2005
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Last seasons, the Florida State University men’s tennis team threw everything including the kitchen sink at rival Florida, but the Gators managed to hang on for the victory. The 2005 edition of the rivalry was no different as the #3 Gators beat the No. 40 Seminoles 4-3 on Sunday (February 6).
The Gators extended their current winning streak to eight matches over Florida State as they improve to 4-0 on the year. Florida State dropped to 3-3 for the 2005 campaign.
“I think they have a lot of respect for us, but we’ve been really unlucky the last two years,” FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “I really feel that baring injury or cramping today that we had a great chance of winning. I think part of being a good team is finishing things off and we’re close, but we’re not there yet.”
For the second year in a row, the match started on a high-note for the Seminoles as they took the doubles point in dramatic fashion. Florida won its loan doubles bout when Ryan Sherry and Jordan Dolberg took the tiebreaker 7-4 to win the number three match 9-8 (4) over Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Sam Chang (Young-Ming, Taiwan).
Early in the doubles matches, the Gators appeared to be on their way to easy wins at number one and two. UF held a 3-0 advantage in the first match and a 4-0 lead in the second bout which it extended to 6-2. From there the Seminoles turned the tide to win both matches and take the doubles point.
Two-games away from defeat at number two, 32nd-ranked Jeff Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga.) and Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa) began their remarkable comeback. The duo won four-straight games to tie the match then rallied again down 7-6 to win the last three games for the 9-7 victory.
At number one, Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) and Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.) won three-straight games to make it 3-3. Florida’s Hamid Mirzadeh and Chris Brandi took the next two, but the Seminoles answered with four-straight games to take a 7-5 lead. FSU broke Florida for the fifth time to win the match 9-7 and the doubles point.
The Gators picked up their first point when Sucupira retired with an injury, giving the victory to #47 Ouellette. Florida State regained the lead when Cloer picked up the 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Mirzadeh at number one. Mirzadeh was ranked fourth in the country to start the fall campaign, but like Cloer is unranked for the spring having taking the fall semester off to play on the USTA FUTURES tour.
“I felt that Mat was really eager and ready to go,” Hultquist noted. “He dominated the baseline rallies. Hamid is going to win a lot of points on his serve, but when the point got going corner to corner Mat was winning more than Hamid was and I thought that that was the key to the match.”
Tying the match at two points a piece was a victory by Florida in the only match that featured two ranked players. #85 Brandi beat #91 Groslimond at number three, handing Groslimond his first singles’ loss during the dual match season, 6-3, 6-4.
Florida claimed its first lead of the afternoon when No. 61 Vladimir Obradovic won his match at number two over Abougzir. Obradovic cruised to a 6-0 victory in the first set before Abougzir forced the second stanza to a tiebreaker where Obradovic won 7-3 to win the bout 6-0, 7-6 (3)
The tiebreaker went Florida State’s way in the fifth match as Westerhof came away with an upset over No. 46 Nester Braceno. After winning the first set 6-4, Westerhof had to hold serve to force the second set to a tiebreaker where he came away victorious 7-3 for the 6-4, 7-6 (3) triumph.
Just like last year, Florida prevailed in the final match on the court with Sherry breaking the Seminoles’ hearts for the second year in a row. In 2004, he beat Westerhof to clinch the team victory, while this year he took down Chang. After dropping the first set 1-6, the FSU freshman rallied to win the second-set tiebreaker 7-3, but Sherry came back to win the third set for the 6-1, 6-7 (3), 6-0 victory over the cramping Chang.
“One of the things that we did really well was that we came back at one and two doubles,” Hultquist noted. “We were getting killed in both and came back to win so that was good. Mat and Chris played great in singles. Nester is one of the top freshmen in the country and Hamid is an All-American so those are two great wins for our guys.”
Florida State continues its four-match home stand with a 2 p.m. bout on February 11 against No. 51 South Florida at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center.
#3 Florida 4, #40 Florida State 3
No. 1: Mat Cloer (FSU) d. Hamid Mirzadeh (UF) 6-3, 6-4
No. 2: #64 Vladimir Obradovic (UF) d. Ytai Abougzir (FSU) 6-0, 7-6 (3)
No. 3: #85 Chris Brandi (UF) d. #91 Jeff Groslimond (FSU) 6-3, 6-4
No. 4: #47 Greg Ouellette (UF d. Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) 6-3, 1-0 (retire)
No. 5: Chris Westerhof (FSU) d. #46 Nester Braceno (UF) 6-4, 7-6 (4)
No. 6: Ryan Sherry (UF) d. Sam Chang (FSU) 6-1, 6-7 (3), 6-0
Order of Finish: 4, 1, 3, 2, 5, 6
No. 1: Cloer/Abougzir (FSU) d. Mirzadeh/Brandi (UF) 9-7
No. 2: #32 Groslimond/Westerhof (FSU) d. Stefan Tell/Ouellette (UF) 9-7
No. 3: Sherry/Jordan Dolberg (UF) d. Sucupira/Chang (FSU) 9-8 (4)
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1