With a pair of wins this weekend, No. 12 Stanford men’s tennis (3-0) punched its ticket to the ITA National Team Indoor championship in Seattle on Feb. 16-19. The Cardinal first beat Oregon (3-2) 4-0 on Sunday before advancing past No. 22 Tulane (2-1) on Monday with a score of 4-1 to earn their first berth to the tournament since 2012.
“I am so happy for these guys,” said head coach Paul Goldstein. “The guys have worked their tails off to earn this. We have had this weekend circled on our calendars for several months. The way they came out and executed at the level they executed at today and throughout the weekend to get to the National Team Indoor Championships makes me very grateful for their efforts.”
Despite a loss at the No. 3 doubles spot by graduate student Eric Fomba and senior David Wilczynski, Stanford was able to rebound on the top two courts to capture the doubles point. On court 2, senior Tom Fawcett and freshman Axel Geller earned a 6-2 win, and juniors Sameer Kumar and Michael Genender recorded a 6-3 victory at the top spot to clinch the point.
Geller then doubled the lead with a straight-set win at the second single spot. Kumar, playing on court 3, added the third Cardinal point with a 6-3, 6-2 success. The clincher came from Wilczynski at the fourth spot. After edging his opponent 7-6 in the first set, the senior clinched the match with a 6-2 second set.
While the action was stopped on the remaining courts, Fawcett was holding on against the sixth-ranked player in the nation. After coming back from a one-set deficit, the senior was tied with Oregon’s Thomas Laurent two games all in the decisive set.
On Sunday, Stanford took an early lead by taking the doubles point for the fourth time this season. Fawcett and Geller rolled to an easy 6-0 win at the second spot, while Wilczynski and freshman Timothy Sah won on their court to clinch the first point of the dual.
Kumar was the first one to finish his singles match, pulling off a 6-3, 6-3 win on court 3 to put the Cardinal up by two points. Tulane attempted a comeback as Tyler Schick beat Genender in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4 on court 5 to pull the Green Waves within one.
On the top two courts, Geller then Fawcett provided the two missing points. The freshman beat Tulane’s Ewan Moore 6-4, 6-3, and the senior quickly followed on the neighboring court to clinch the dual. Fawcett defeated No. 21 Constantin Schmitz in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5, to send the Cardinal to Seattle, Washington.
Stanford looks to stay undefeated next weekend as it hosts No. 5 USC and No. 6 UCLA in a tough pair of contests.
Contact Alexandre Bucquet at bucqueta ‘at’ stanford.edu.