LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. – In the words of tournament host Dick Vitale, three members of the FGCU men’s tennis team stuck out as PTPers, or prime-time performers, as they picked up wins in the main draw during day one of the Lakewood Ranch Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic. Staying alive after the opening round of doubles play were partners Tianyu Bao (Tianjin, China/Bayshore HS) and Lance Lvovsky (Dania, Fla./Broward Virtual School/Jacksonville), while Jordi Vives (Barcelona, Spain/IES Ferran Tallada/USC) picked up the Eagles’ only win in the highly-competitive main singles draw.
Highlighting singles play was Vives’ straight-set win over conference rival Jack Fidel-Hawkins of UNF. Controlling the match early with a strong 6-3 win of the first set, Vives continued to outplay Fidel-Hawkins taking the second set 7-6 (3). Vives returned to the court early Friday evening where he faced tournament No. 4 seed Leandro Toledo of Minnesota, looking to earn a spot in the quarterfinals. Playing only his third three-set match of the season, Vives escaped defeat pulling out a 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 win. He will return to the quarterfinals and face Virgina’s Luca Corinteli, who played in the juniors brackets of The US Open, Wimbledon and The French Open earlier this year.
“Jordi had an incredible second round,” head coach C.J. Weber said. “His opponent was such a gamer, someone who plays very well when the pressure is on. It took Jordi six match points to close out, but ultimately his persistence paid off. ”
“I’m really happy to be playing in the quarterfinals,” Vives said. “It’s incredible that we get to show FGCU pride in front of so many big schools this weekend.”
Picking up the first win of the day was the duo of Bao and Lvovsky as they soared to an 8-4 victory over Princeton’s Mohamed El Tonbari and Zack McCourt. Following their morning win, the two returned for their second-round match against the tournament No. 1 seeded pair of Florent Diep and Stefan Piro from Florida, but fell 8-3.
The two other doubles teams for the Green and Blue played close matches but ultimately fell 8-6. Chris Perrigan (Tallahassee, Fla./Maclay HS) and Gabriel Echeverry (Popayan, Colombia/Gimnasio Calibio) dropped to Arizona’s Fredrick Ask and Keiren Thompson, while Vives and Lucas Vaz (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Colegio Fleming/Tulsa) were downed by Johnny Grimal and Jarryd Woog of Memphis.
Facing arguably the toughest opponents of the fall season, the six other Eagles didn’t see quite the same success that Vives did. Facing the tournament No. 1 seed, Echeverry dropped 6-4, 6-1 to Stefan Piro of Florida. Bao fell to No. 8 seed Johnny Grimal of Memphis 6-3, 6-5, while Perrigan to Princeton’s Zack McCourt 6-0, 6-4. Suffering 6-1, 6-1 setbacks were Dean Tsamas (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay HS) to David O’Leary of Memphis and Lovovsky to Duke’s Bruce Semenzato.
Continuing on to play in the back draw the Eagles were able to turn things around as they picked up three wins. Earning the first was Perrigan with a three-set victory over Memphis’ Jarryd Woog winning 6-4, 2-6, 10-8. Echeverry topped Minnesota’s Jack Hamburg 6-7 (2), 7-5, 10-7 and Bao won in a walkover.
“I’m extremely proud of Chris,” Weber said. “He beat a very talented player. It was the type of match where he was forced to execute a lot of things we’ve been drilling in practice. I can’t wait to see him play again tomorrow.”
The three will return tomorrow and continue play in the back draw. Perrigan will face Minnesota’s Matthieu Froment while Bao and Echeverry will mark the third Eagle vs Eagle battle this fall season as they play each other.
“Gabe continues to play amazing tennis,” Weber said. “He played a great first set against the No. 1 seed, but couldn’t quite sustain his level in the second set. He was able to get things going in his second match to beat a great player. Now he and Bao get to play against each other for a spot in the back draw semifinals.”
For complete coverage of FGCU men’s tennis over the weekend, follow us on Twitter @FGCU_MTEN and visit www.FGCUAthletics.com where full recaps and results will be available at the end of each day.
First Round Doubles
Bao/Lvovsky (FGCU) def. El Tonbari/McCourt (Princeton) – 8-4
Ask/Thompson (Arizona) def. Perrigan/Tsamas – 8-6
Grimal/Woog (Memphis) def. Vaz/Vives (FGCU) – 8-6
Diep/Piro (UF) def. Bao/Lvovsky (FGCU) - 8-3
First Round Singles
Jordi Vives (FGCU) def. Jack Fidel-Hawkins (UNF) – 6-3, 7-6 (3)
Stefan Piro (UF) def. Gabriel Echeverry (FGCU) – 6-4, 6-1
Johnny Grimal (Memphis) def. Tianyu Bao (FGCU) – 6-3, 6-5
Zack McCourt (Princeton) def Chris Perrigan (FGCU) – 6-0, 6-4
David O’Leary (Memphis) def. Dean Tsamas (FGCU) – 6-1, 6-1
Bruce Semenzato (Duke) def. Lance Lovovsky (FGCU) – 6-1, 6-1
Second Round Singles
Jordi Vives (FGCU) def.leandro Toledo (Minnesota) - 6-4, 6-1, 6-4
Chris Perrigan (FGCU) def. Jarryd Woog (Memphi) – 6-4, 2-6, 10-8
Gabe Echeverry (FGCU) def. Jack Hamburg (Minnesota) - 6-7 (2), 7-5, 10-7
Saturday, November 7:
Play begins at 9 a.m.
9 AM - Semifinals Doubles
NOON - Singles Quarterfinals Main Draw & Consolation
4 PM - Singles Semifinals Main Draw & Consolation
Sunday, October 27:
NOON - Singles Championship
*Doubles Finals TBA
*Consolation Singles Finals TBA