The Hurricanes men’s tennis team closed out their third preseason tournament this past weekend by beating state rival FAU on Sunday. The team seems poised for a turn-around this year after coming off a sub par season in which they finished just two games over .500.
Among the new faces that have Miami in the driver’s seat for a Big East Championship is Tim Krebs. He appears to be a perfect compliment to sophomore phenom Todd Widom, who is currently ranked No.13 in the nation. After losing several matches by one point last year, the Widom-Krebs tandem provides a one-two punch that can pay off dividends for Miami in closely contested matches.
Krebs completely dominated his opponents in the UM Fall Classic tournament. He played with a perfect balance of control and power and utilized these assets in a manner reminiscent of most professionals. On Sunday, he filled Widom’s shoes at No.1 singles in a one-sided match. Krebs broke serve in the third game and never looked back, quickly winning the first set in a matter of minutes. He perpetuated this dominance into the second set by hitting cross-court shots and baseline winners that kept his opponent incessantly running from one end of the court to the other.
Krebs won the match 6-2, 6-2.
“I played a good match today, I had a good feeling heading in and all the hard work and practice over the weeks paid off,” said Krebs.
Krebs ended the tournament with a 3-0 singles record.
“Tim came out and played three quality doubles matches and three very, very good singles matches. He is going to be an integral part of our team this year,” said assistant head coach Bryan Getz.
Another freshman that is quickly proving to be a contender on the courts is Eric Hechtman. The Sunset High School graduate also went undefeated in singles play for the tournament.
On Sunday, Hechtman played No.2 singles in a closely contested match. Hechtman struggled at times on his serve but appeared to be unfazed by the drawbacks. He used his powerful forehand to overpower his opponent and finished the match with several aces.
Hechtman beat Cristian Paiz of FAU, 7-5, 7-5.
UM freshman Colin Purcell also won his match at No.4 singles. The Kentucky native dominated his opponent with powerful forehand volleys and excellent play at the net.
Purcell beat Ernest Diaz of FAU, 6-3, 6-4 and teamed up with fellow underclassmen Hechtman to win No.2 doubles, 8-5.
“They were a little sluggish at doubles but they turned it around and picked up their intensity for singles. I am proud of them for that,” said Getz.
Purcell finished the tournament with a 2-1 singles record, with the lone loss coming in a hard fought match that went into a tie-break against FSU.
“I am very optimistic about the season. We have a lot of young players on our team and lots of talent. I think that if we just keep on working we can do very well,” said Krebs.
You can reach Sandeep Konka at firstname.lastname@example.org.