KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The No. 1 doubles seed of Benjamin Lock and Marco Nunez of Florida State continued to rack up the wins this season and advanced to the semifinals of the USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational presented by VISIT FLORIDA.
The pairing beat the Princeton team of Josh Yablon and Diego Vives, 8-6 on Center Court at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. Lock and Nunez won on Center Court Thursday on a match shown on ESPN3.
“We’re excited to have two teams in the doubles semifinals,” head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “One of the things we’ve always wanted to do is come down here and win a title, and we’ve got two opportunities to do that this weekend.”
In singles play, the ‘Noles advanced four players on Thursday to Friday’s singles Round of 32, but couldn’t maintain it’s momentum as all four players fell before Saturday’s semifinals. In consolation matches, the Seminoles went 4-0 and won three matches in the Round of 32.
Lock, the No. 4 seed and No. 79 player in the country, beat Yablon in the second round, 6-1, 6-2, to begin the day. After a layoff during the middle of the day, Lock took the court for the third round against Chase Perez-Blanco of Florida. He took the first set against the Gator, 6-3, but lost the final two sets, 6-3, 6-1.
Like Lock, No. 7-seed and No. 103-ranked Gonzalez Mendez and Gracia won their second round matches and took the first set of their third round matches before coming up short against tough competition.
Nunez, who also advanced to Friday’s Round of 32, lost in his first match of the day against USC’s Nick Crystal. USC is the defending men’s team national champion and advanced four players to Saturday’s quarterfinals.
The Seminoles consolation matches involved four players, highlighted by sophomore Jack Haffey, who beat George Cartledge of Virginia Tech 6-0, 6-0, the first time in his two seasons with the ‘Noles that he dropped a double-bagle.
Florida State also got consolation match wins from Joao Gauer (4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-6) over USC’s Tanner Smith), Jake Albo (7-5, 6-3 over Clemson’s Alejandro Augusto), and Parker Evertsen (1-6, 7-6, 1-0 (10-8) over Columbia’s Richard Pham.
“It was a big win for him, probably his biggest win in college,” Hultquist said about Evertsen. “Jack also had a huge win, what might have been his best win in college as well. Winning all four consolation matches is huge for all four of those guys confidence, because this field has some real good players.”
Saturday’s matches, including the doubles semifinals featuring Lock, Nunez, Gonzalez Mendez, and Gracia, will begin at 8 a.m. at both the ESPN Wide World of Sports and Grand Cypress Racquet Club.
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 (in order of finish):
Singles Round of 32:
No. 4 Lock (FSU) def. Yablon (Princeton), 6-1, 6-2
Gracia (FSU) def. Andrew Harrington (Miami), 6-2, 6-2
Nick Crystal (USC) def. No. 9-16 Nunez (FSU), 7-5, 6-2
No. 7 Gonzalez Mendez (FSU) def. Eric Rubin (Columbia), 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4
Singles Round of 16:
Chase Perez-Blanco (Florida) def. No. 4 Lock (FSU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-1
No. 9-16 Eric Johnson (USC) def. Gracia (FSU) 6-7 (2), 6-3, 7-5
Max Hinnisdaels (Auburn) def. Gonzalez Mendez (FSU) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
Jack Haffey (FSU) def. George Cartledge (VT) 6-0, 6-0
Joao Gauer (FSU) def. Tanner Smith (USC) 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-6)
Jake Albo (FSU) def. Alejandro Augusto (Clemson) 7-5, 6-3
Parker Evertsen (FSU) def. Richard Pham (Columbia) 1-6, 7-6, 1-0 (10-8)