By Shan Reddy
The No. 9-ranked Cardinal men’s tennis team (4-1) took its first loss of the season this past Saturday to the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0) in a crushing 1-6 rout. The loss represented Stanford’s largest margin of loss since April 2016’s hammering by USC.
The match was the first of three season matches on the road against ranked opponents for the Cardinal. Next weekend, the team takes on No. 5 USC and No. 7 UCLA before heading to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Chicago on February 15th.
Stanford’s duo of sophomore Axel Geller and freshman Alexandre Rotsaert took their first loss of the season to junior JJ Wolf and senior Martin Joyce (6-4). Ranked No. 3 nationally in ITA Division I Men Singles, Wolf is the youngest American player in the world’s Top 500-ranked men’s tennis players at age 19.
Junior William Genesen earned Stanford’s only victory on the day, taking down redshirt junior Kyle Seelig in a second set tiebreak (6-3, 7-6).
The dual match saw first losses on the season for Geller and Rotsaert in singles as well. Geller defeated Oregon’s No. 5 Thomas Laurent in straight sets (6-4, 6-2) last week, and was building momentum with singles wins against players Santa Clara and UCF earlier in January. A second-year player for the Cardinal, Geller currently sits at No. 20 on the ITA Division 1 Men’s Singles rankings, with plenty of time to make his mark over the coming years.
The team will return to campus this week shortly before heading down to Los Angeles for road matches against USC and UCLA on Friday and Saturday. With rain in the forecast for the weekend, however, rescheduling may be in the works for the matches.
After a tough loss to the Buckeyes, the Cardinal look to retain their Top 10 ranking this coming week with strong showings against Top 10 in-state rivals in the No. 5 Trojans and No. 7 Bruins.
Contact Shan Reddy at rsreddy ‘at’ stanford.edu.