After Wake’s heartbreaking loss to UNC, the Demon Deacons had a few days off before beginning their own individual journeys at the NCAA Singles and Doubles championships. Well the results have been interesting.
Not leaving out the women, as Senior Kimmy Guerin completed one of the best careers in Wake women’s tennis history, with the three-time All-ACC honoree falling to 12th ranked Ellen Perez from the host school UGA 6-3, 6-3. Best of wishes to Kimmy on her future endeavors, and congrats to the women’s team as whole reaching the NCAA tournament for the second straight year.
Turning to the men’s side, Petros Chrysochos has been absolutely crushing it. The 5th ranked player and No. 3 seed cruised to a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Tyler Lu of Yale. Chrysochos got a break in the opening game of the first set and never looked back. In his second round, Petros faced Strong Kirchheimer out of Northwestern. Chrysochos actually fell behind a break in the first set but broke immediately back and got a late break to eventually take the first set 6-4. The No 3 seed got out to an early break lead to start the second set and cruised to a 6-2 second set to move on to the Round of 16.
Skander Mansouri, one of the most electric players in the NCAA and a No.9-16 seed, knocked off #39 Jose Salazar from Arkansas in a match that’s a lot tougher that it looked on paper. Mansouri needed late breaks in both sets to clinch the match 6-4, 6-4. Today he went up against David Biosca out of ETSU and this was a gritty one. Skander eased to a 6-4 first set victory. In the second set neither side would budge and Mansouri eventually dropped the second set 6-7(6-8). The third and deciding set was similar to the second as it went to a tiebreak but the tiebreak was completely different this time around. Mansouri clinchd the match with a win in the third set 7-6(7-1) to join Petros in the R16.
Borna Gojo, the freshman superstar, seemingly had a bad taste in his mouth coming into this one. As an at-large he was destined to get a top seed and drew the No. 4 seed and sixth-ranked Arthur Rinderknech of Texas A&M. Needless to say this was no slouch of an opponent. Gojo came out and got absolutely stomped in the first set 2-6. The second set proved to be much closer before Gojo broke Rinderknech to take the set 6-4. Gojo got a early break to go up 3-1 and never looked back to pull the upset with a 6-3 win in the third set. Today Borna had another tough matchup with UGA’s #1 player Nathan Ponwith. Gojo made very easy work of this match with a quick 6-3, 6-2 victory over the home crowd favorite.
So that makes 1, wait no, 2, wait no, 3 Demon Deacons who have reached the Round of 16 in singles competition. But what does that mean? It means that Wake has 3 end of year All-Americans on its team now. So congrats to Petros, Skander, and Borna with the rest of the tournament. One thing to note is that all three of these players are not seniors and are expected to return next season.
Petros gets Alex Ghilea out of Oklahoma next, which should prove to be a really good match. Skander will play Jolan Cailleau from Texas Tech and Borna will play Jack Findel-Hawkins from North Florida. All of these matches will take place tomorrow.
Skander, not to be outdone, is doing a bit of double dipping as he and Christian Seraphim are participating in the doubles tournament as the No.4 seed.
Once again good luck to all the Deacs.