KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The final day of the 2014 USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational presented by VISIT FLORIDA ended in thrilling fashion Sunday, as the men’s doubles championship was decided between two Seminole duos. The three-set tiebreaker was won by top seed Benjamin Lock and Marco Nunez over Jose Gracia and Cristian Gonzalez Mendez, 7-6 (8), 4-6, 1-0 (10-8). The No. 10-ranked team in the country, Lock and Nunez rallied from 7-4 down in the tiebreaker to nab the Seminoles first championship of the fall in the final event before dual matches begin in January.
“It was a great match all round,” the redshirt junior Lock said. “Jose and Cristian played really well and forced us to play our best. It was a competitive match and is a tribute to the program and the coaches having two doubles teams in the final.”
“I was pleased with the level of play in the finals,” head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “All four guys played well. I liked the competitive nature of the match. This is hopefully a precursor to how good we can be in the spring in our doubles match-ups.”
Over the four-day tournament, the Seminoles went 15-10 in singles play, including No. 4-seed Lock, No. 7-seed Gonzalez Mendez and Gracia reaching the Round of 16. All eight ‘Noles in the tournament had at least one singles win in the event, and six players had two or more. Jack Haffey, who won the play-in round on Thursday and consolation matches on Friday and Saturday, led the team with a 3-1 record.
In doubles action, Florida State went 7-3, including both finalists in Sunday’s final played on the Stadium Court at the ESPN Wide World of Sports.
All three men’s finals (singles and doubles A & B) were won by ACC players – Clemson’s Hunter Harrington, the No. 1-seeded singles player, took down Nick Crystal of USC in the final, Lock and Nunez won the doubles A draw, and Georgia Tech’s Eduardo Segura and Carlos Benito won the Doubles B draw against Princeton’s Tom Colautti and Zack McCourt.
The Clay Court Invitational, in its third year, is the largest college clay court event in the country. The 2014 tournament featured over 150 athletes from 29 programs in men’s and women’s draws. Hultquist hopes to see continued growth for the tournament in future years.
“We’re getting great feedback from coaches around the country who came and spent the weekend with us,” Hultquist said. “People want to come back and in the future we’re looking forward to growing the relationship with the Wide World of Sports, Visit Florida, and the Florida Hospital in putting on the Clay Court Invitational.”
The Seminoles will not see the court in competitive action again for over two months, when the spring dual match season begins with the Seminole Tournament hosted by Florida State on January 10-11, 2015 at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center in Tallahassee.
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Sunday’s Men’s A Doubles Final: