The No. 62 University of Wisconsin mens tennis team knocked off No. 29 TCU in a tight 5-2 victory Monday night at Nielsen Tennis Stadium. The Badgers took two of three doubles matches and four of the six singles matches to improve its record to 7-5. With the loss TCU fell to 10-3.
The Badgers struck first by obtaining the doubles point.
They took the early advantage with a win at No. 3 doubles. The duo of senior Felipe Bellido (Lima, Peru) and sophomore Marek Michalicka (Ricany, Czech Republic) made quick work of TCUs Zach Nichols and Jack Seider with an 8-0 victory. Bellido and Michalicka are now 2-0 as doubles partners.
The clinching point for the Badgers came with their win at No. 2 doubles. Senior Jeremy Sonkin (Wheaton, Ill.) and sophomore Luke Rassow-Kantor (Westport, Conn.) bested the TCU duo of Adrian Simon and Emanu Brighiu 8-3. The match was even at 2-2 but Sonkin and Rassow-Kantor were able to break TCUs next two serves to take a 5-2 lead. The Badgers then took three of the last four games to close out the match. Sonkin and Rassow-Kantor improve to 4-6 in dual matches and 2-0 at the No. 2 spot.
TCU was able to take the match at No. 1 doubles. In a very competitive match, the TCU pair of Cosmin Cotet and Kriegler Brink downed the Wisconsin team of senior Nolan Polley (Lexington, Ky.) and sophomore Moritz Baumann (Inzlingen, Germany) 9-8(2). The match was tied at 2-2 when Wisconsin broke serve and pulled ahead. TCU answered right back with a break of their own to even things up again. The two teams traded games until Wisconsin once again broke serve, this time to take a 7-6 lead. TCU again responded with a break of its own and tied the match at 7-7. Tied at 8-8, the match went into a tiebreaker where Cotet and Brink were able to score a 7-2 victory.
Sophomore Michael Dierberger (Milwaukee, Wis.) pushed the Badger lead to 2-0 with a win at No. 6 singles. Dierberger defeated Seider 6-2, 6-2. With the win, Dierberger improves to 7-2 on the year and 3-1 at the No. 6 position.
The Horned Frogs got on the board with a victory at No. 4 singles. Brink defeated Sonkin in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1. Sonkin took a brief lead at 1-0 in the first set before Brink took the next six and closed out the set. In the second set, the match was even at 1-1 before Brink prevailed. With the loss, Sonkin falls to 3-7 on the year and 1-2 at the No. 4 spot.
Wisconsin extended its lead to 3-1 when Polley earned the win at No. 3 singles. Facing Simon, Polley cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 victory. Polley, who improves to 6-3 on the year, jumped out to a 4-1 lead in each set en route to the win.
The Badgers claimed the victory with a win at No. 2 singles. Michalicka knocked off Brighiu 6-3, 6-2. Now 11-0 on the season, Michalicka cruised in the first set, but had to rally in the second after falling behind 2-1.
TCU made it 4-2 when Cotet defeated Baumann at No. 1 singles. Cotet took the first set 6-1, but Baumann battled back and took the second set 7-5. Since Wisconsin had already clinched the victory, the third set became a super-tiebreaker. The match was tied at 4-4 in the super-tiebreaker, but Cotet rattled off six of the next seven points to win 10-5.
Bellido closed the evening out with a win at No. 5 singles. It was a long match, but Bellido prevailed with a 6-4, 6-7 (7), 13-11 victory over Nichols. After falling behind 3-2 in the first set, Bellido rallied and won four of the next five games to close it out. Things stayed tight in the second set as neither Bellido nor Nichols was able to extend the lead to greater than two. Nichols held a 5-3 lead, but Bellido fought his way back and eventually grabbed a 6-5 lead. Nichols came back and tied it at 6-6, forcing a tiebreaker.
Bellido held a 5-4 lead, but a court violation on Baumann was carried over to the match to make it 5-5. The match became 7-7, but Nichols took the last two points to take the set. Like in Baumanns match, a super-tiebreaker was used to break the tie. Bellido fell behind 3-1 but forced his way back and evened things at 4-4. Things remained tight as Nichols was a point away from victory with a 9-8 lead. Bellido staved off the match but Nichols again had a chance at 10-9. Bellido again fought back and again Nichols responded and held an 11-10 lead. Bellido took over from there and finished the match off with a drop shot to claim the victory.
The Badgers return to action on Thursday when they head to Montgomery, Ala. for the Blue/Gray Invitational. Check back to UWBadgers.com for match times.