No. 20 Stanford men’s tennis (6-1) outlasted USF (2-4) 6-1 this Wednesday at home in a thrilling duel that featured two doubles tiebreakers and four three-set-game singles.
The match started in an exciting fashion as Stanford won two of the three doubles matches, led by sophomores Sameer Kumar and Michael Genender, who cruised to an easy 6-1 victory to score the Cardinal’s first point on court 2. Meanwhile, Stanford’s two other pairs were being downed. Senior Brandon Sutter and junior David Wilczynski were losing 1-3 on court 3 while junior Tom Fawcett and senior Yale Goldberg were trailing 2-5 on court 1.
After managing to tie the match at 3-3, Sutter and Wilczynski battled to take the lead, finally breaking to get ahead 6-5. Unable to conclude the game on their serve, Stanford’s third pair was forced to play a tiebreaker that they won 6 points to 1 to clinch the doubles point.
While court 1 saw a similar comeback, senior Yale Goldberg and junior Tom Fawcett were unable to win their contest. After saving five match points and winning three decisive points to come back and tie it 5-5, the Cardinal’s first pair earned three break points that they failed to convert.
After a solid serving game, Goldberg and Fawcett forced a tiebreaker. Despite having two opportunities to win when they were up 6-4 in the decisive game, they conceded four points in a row as USF won the last double 7-6.
Just like the doubles, Stanford took all singles but one. Wilczynski was first to score for the Cardinal, winning his match in straight sets: 6-2, 6-2. Genender followed with a 6-4, 6-4 victory.
Besides the first two finishers, all Cardinal players had to dispute three sets. On court 1, Kumar lost his first set 4-6 against Joenhagen, before bouncing back and earning four breaks to take the two final sets 6-2, 6-2.
Meanwhile on court 4, Sutter had a strong start as he took the opening set 6-3. Even after experiencing hardships in the second set, Sutter was able to close his game out 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to score the Cardinal’s fifth point.
Freshman William Genesen earned Stanford’s final point as he won the No. 6 single overcoming USF’s Kumthonkit in three sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. Finally, senior Roy Lederman could not contain his opponent on court 5, losing 4-6, 6-4 ,0-6.
Stanford will enjoy eight days of rest before traveling to USC on Feb. 24.
Contact Alexandre Bucquet at bucqueta ‘at’ stanford.edu.