KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Florida State men’s tennis program will secure its first doubles championship on Sunday after the ‘Noles No. 1-seed Benjamin Lock and Marco Nunez, the No. 10 team in the country, and Jose Gracia and Cristian Gonzalez Mendez won their semifinal matches at the 2014 USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational presented by VISIT FLORIDA.
Lock and Nunez, looking to build on last season’s success that saw the pair win the ITA Southeast Regionals and rise as high as No. 4 in the country before an injury to Lock, defeated the University of Florida’s Chase Perez-Blanco and Jordan Belga 6-0, 6-4. They will take on Seminole teammates Jose Gracia and Cristian Gonzalez Mendez, 6-3, 6-4 winners over Joseph Van Dooren and Petar Tomic of Auburn. Both teams are looking for its first tournament victory of the season.
“It makes it easy for me because I can just sit in the stands and watch because I won’t get out and coach one team against the other,” head coach Dwayne Hultquist said about the All-FSU affair. “We know we’re going to win a title, which is great, because we take a lot of pride in our doubles and how we play.”
Gonzalez Mendez is looking for his second victory at the tournament after winning the Garnet singles draw in 2012 with a three-set win over The Citadel’s David Orces.
Earlier Saturday, four Seminoles played consolation matches at Grand Cypress Racquet Club. Two ‘Noles, Jack Haffey and Joao Gauer, won their final match of the tournament. Haffey took down Kevin Bondar of Miami in three sets, 6-4, 6-7 (1), 1-0 (10-1). It was Haffey’s third win in as many days and follows Friday’s double-bagel against George Cartledge of Virginia Tech.
For the redshirt junior Gauer, he also won for the second time this weekend on Saturday, recovering from a first set loss against Arjun Watane of UCF to beat the Knight 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (11-9).
With the Seminoles victories on Saturday, the doubles finals match will be played on Center Court at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. The match will be the third of the day on Center Court, with coverage beginning on ESPN3 at 9 a.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 Semifinal (in order of finish):
Tom Colautti (Princeton) def. Parker Evertsen (FSU) 6-3, 6-1
Joao Gauer (FSU) def. Arjun Watane (UCF) 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (11-9)
Florian Nicoud (Va. Tech) def. Jake Albo (FSU) 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (10-6)
Jack Haffey (FSU) def. Kevin Bondar (Miami) 6-4, 6-7 (1), 1-0 (10-1)