No. 8 Men's Tennis upsets No. 1 USC, 4-2
Feb. 13, 2010
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- No. 8 Texas swiftly took the doubles point and gutted out a 4-2 win over No. 1 USC behind singles wins from sophomore Jean Andersen, senior Dimitar Kutrovsky and the clincher from junior Ed Corrie Saturday afternoon at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
The win puts Texas in the semifinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships for the first time in the program’s history. The Longhorns will take on fourth-seeded UCLA or fifth-seeded Tennessee on Sunday at 11 a.m. Central in the semifinals.
The Longhorns smothered the Trojans from the outset of the doubles session, which concluded in a mere 40 minutes. At second doubles, Texas’ Kellen Damico and Corrie held serve to open the match and broke the Trojans’ duo of Daniel Nguyen and Jason McNaughton in the second game for a 2-0 lead. USC only managed to hold serve once, as Damico and Corrie cruised to an 8-1 win.
The 22nd-ranked Texas tandem of Kutrovsky and Josh Zavala was just as dominant against USC’s 13th-ranked duo of Robert Farah and Steve Johnson at first doubles. Texas held serve before breaking USC to assume a 2-0 lead. The Trojans managed to hold serve only twice, as the Longhorns’ Kutrovsky and Zavala sailed to an 8-2 win to nail down the doubles point. Texas’ Andersen and Daniel Whitehead trailed USC’s Peter Lucassen and Jaak Poldma at third doubles, but the match was suspended.
The Trojans evened the match at fifth singles, where Nguyen dealt UT’s Zavala a 6-2, 6-1 defeat at fifth singles. The match at fourth singles features a lengthy two-setter pitting Texas’ Andersen against USC’s Lucassen. Leading 3-2 in set one, Andersen broke Lucassen to take a 4-2 lead. Andersen held serve in the next game and went on to take the set, 6-3.
Andersen broke Lucassen to take a 3-2 lead in set two and held for a 4-2 lead. Leading 5-4, Andersen yielded his serve, but he broke back once more to take a 6-5 lead and served out the next game to win the set, 7-5 and give Texas a 2-1 lead.
USC’s Poldma took the first set off of Texas’ Damico at third singles, 6-4. Damico raced out to a 5-2 second-set lead, but Poldma sandwiched a pair of service holds around a service break of Damico to even the set at five. The set progressed into a tiebreaker, where Poldma prevailed, 8-6 to preserve the win and even the match at two.
The match at first singles featured two of college tennis’ premier players in Texas’ fifth-ranked Kutrovsky and USC’s 14th-ranked Farah. Kutrovsky broke for a 5-4 first-set lead, but Farah returned the favor and held for a 6-5 lead. The set went to a tie-breaker, where Farah was victorious, 7-5. Kutrovsky took control early on in set two on his way to a 6-3 win to force a third set. The Longhorns’ All-American broke for a 3-2 lead and never looked back, as he took the set, 6-2 to win the match and stake Texas to a 3-2 lead.
Texas’ Corrie took on USC’s top-ranked Johnson at what proved to be the clinching match at second singles. Corrie surrendered the first set, 6-3, but at 5-all in the second set, Corrie took command and finished off the set, 7-5. A one-all third-set tie became a 4-1 lead in favor of Corrie, and at match point at 5-3, 40-15, Corrie smacked a forehand that registered an errant backhand from Johnson, clinched his victory against the top-ranked Trojan and nailed down the 4-2 win for the Longhorns.
The remaining match at sixth singles featuring Texas’ Vasko Mladenov and USC’s 47th-ranked Matt Kecki was suspended. Mladenov had taken the first set, 6-2 and was unable to convert multiple match points in the second set, which Kecki later claimed in a tie-breaker.
Then at 40-30, I knew that his weakness on the backhand would produce a short ball. I served into his backhand, got the short ball, came in hard to his backhand and he missed a pass down the line. It was a great feeling. At that stage, it’s just player-against-player in the crunch-time situation. Dimitar Kutrovsky did a great job of coming back against (Robert) Farah to get me in that position. I knew I just had to hold serve for one more game. It’s the best feeling I’ve had in college so far.
#8 Texas 4, #1 USC 2