While the major sports have completed their season, another sport has been continuing its hot streak. The Wake Forest Men’s Tennis team has hung around the upper echelon of the college tennis world for a while this season, but on Tuesday they were awarded for their outstanding play, and a huge road win in Athens against another top 10 team in a hostile environment, by being ranked as the #1 team in the nation. This week they were put to the test with 3 tough conference opponents, two of them being on the road.
The day the Deacs were placed at the top of the tennis mountain, they hosted a Virginia Tech team that has been playing teams hard all season. The #1 ranked pairing of Skander Mansouri and Christian Seraphim got a late break to take the set 6-4, while Petros Chrysochros and Dennis Uspensky fell 7-5 at 3 so it came down to Borna Gojo and Alan Gadjiev at line 2. The duo didn’t disappoint and came out with a 7-5 victory to give Wake the doubles point.
Using the momentum from the doubles point, Wake rolled off 5 first set victories out of 6 courts. Seraphim coasted to a 6-3, 6-2 win at line 4, Uspensky won a close 6-3, 6-4 , and Alan Gadjiev clutched a 6-3, 7-6 win a line 6 to clinch the match for Wake Forest. The rest of the matches were played out as Chrysochos won a very hard fought battle at 1: 5-7, 6-4, 1-0, Mansouri pulled out a win in two tiebreaks, and Gojo won 7-6, 6-3
On Friday, the team took a trip down to South Carolina to take on Clemson. The Deacs pulled out a win, but in a different fashion than earlier in the week. Once again Wake won the doubles point, but they had to do it with their top tanked doubles team losing in a heartbreaking tiebreak, 6-7. Gojo and Gadjiev stepped it up and cruised to a 6-3 win at two, while Chrysochos and Gadjev fought hard to clinch it in a tiebreak, 7-6.
After the doubles point, the Demon Deacons kicked into high gear and were rolling. Uspensky cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 victory at line 4, Mansouri rolled to a 6-4, 6-1, and Chrysochos comfortably won 6-3, 6-3 to clinch the match. Playing the rest out, Seraphim finished up his match which a 7-5, 6-2 win at line 5 and Gojo won a nailbiter with a third set tiebreak win. Wake couldn’t get the clean sweep however as Gadjiev fell 6-7, 2-6
In a matchup that is near and dear to my heart, Wake finished out their road trip today with a trip to Atlanta to face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Against the 17th ranked Yellow Jackets, this matchup was anything but a cake walk.
The doubles point was probably the easiest part of the match for the Deacs as Mansouri and Seraphim took down a ranked foe 6-4, while Chrysochos and Uspensky cruised to a 6-2. And then.... Things got a little interesting
Chrysochos was the first to fall to #9 Christian Eubanks(Shout out Westlake High School) by a score of 1-6, 4-6. Gadjiev was the second to fall on court 6, 5-7, 1-6. On the other three courts, the Deacs dropped all but 1 first set, with Seraphim being the exception, taking it in a tiebreak. Mansouri fought his way back to a second set tiebreak win, before ultimately taking the deciding set 6-3 to even up the match 2-2. Gojo was right behind him, taking the second set 7-5, and cruising in the 3rd, 6-1. Seraphim, after winning a close first set, dropped the second 0-6, before roaring back in the deciding set 6-4 to clinch the match for the Deacs. Uspensky was the last one up and closed the match out with a 3rd set tiebreak win to give Wake Forest a 5-2 win in Atlanta
Wake gets a few days rest before a HUGE battle with UVA, the back to back reigning champions who are ranked #2 as of right now, on Friday. The match is at home, is free for everyone to attend, and will be streamed on ESPN3. Come on out and support your Deacs. I’ll see you next week when I hope to be writing another article of nothing but wins.