The No. 19 Stanford men’s tennis team (12-4, 2-0 Pac-12) has an opportunity this Friday to improve its conference record to 3-0, when it takes on No. 5 USC (19-3, 2-0 Pac-12) at home. USC and Stanford are both currently 2-0 in the Pac-12, and this matchup could give both teams the edge they need as they head into the second part of their season. In all-time matchups, USC leads the Cardinal 114-77.
In their last match on Feb. 24, the Cardinal barely fell to their Trojan opponents with a nail-biting 4-3 score at USC’s Marks Stadium. Stanford attacked early, with Sameer Kumar and Michael Genender defeating USC’s Nick Crystal and Laurens Verboven 6-3, and David Wilczynski and Brandon Sutter inching out a 7-5 win to capture a 1-0 lead.
Unfortunately, Stanford was unable to keep their advantage. USC’s Jack Jaede bested Jack Barber in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2, just before No. 27 Brandon Holt upset No. 12 Tom Fawcett, 6-4, 6-2. Stanford came dangerously close to defeat when USC’s Riley Smith defeated Brandon Sutter in three sets. Sameer Kumar gave the team some life when he won his match at the No.2 spot but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to fully propel the team back. The Trojans were able to clinch the match when Michael Genender fell in a close 7-6, 6-3 match.
Looking to the next matchup, the Cardinal’s new-found momentum may be enough to turn the tides and capture the victory. Wilczynski and Sutter have won their last five doubles matches, and it will be vital for them to increase their streak to six. In addition, Wilczynski was one of the few who managed to beat their USC opponent in his singles match. Additionally, he defeated Thibault Forget 7-6, 2-6, 7-6, is coming off a clutch match where he defeated Parker McGuiness 6-2, 6-2 and clinched the match against Utah for the Cardinal.
The match can be seen at 3 p.m. at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium, with live stats available at gostanford.com.
Contact Julia Massaro at jmassaro ‘at’ stanford.edu.