Miami holds serve, wins both matches in doubleheader

Graduate Student Dan Martin returns the ball during doubles matches against Georgia State on Feb. 18 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center in Coral Gables.
Graduate Student Dan Martin returns the ball during doubles matches against Georgia State on Feb. 18 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center in Coral Gables. Photo credit: Sam Peene

Miami men’s tennis took to the court on Friday to face Georgia State (3-3) in the first of two matches.

The Panthers got off to a hot start, dominating all three doubles matches. Georgia State’s duo of Robert Grinvalds and Andrei Duarte comfortably beat fourth-year junior Franco Aubone and fifth-year senior Benjamin Hannestad, 6-3, on court one.

Georgia State secured the doubles point on court two, winning 6-2. The Panthers also had firm control on court three, 5-1, before the match was called off.

As singles play commenced, the Panthers appeared to be giving the Canes a run for their money once again. On court one, graduate Dan Martin found himself down an early break. On court three, freshman Martin Katz got off to a slow start and trailed his opponent, 3-0. Both Canes quickly found their rhythm and took control of their respective matches.

No. 76 Martin broke his opponent’s serve at 5-3 and closed out the set. Katz rebounded, tying the score at 3-3 before eventually winning the set in a tie break, 7-6 (8-6).

Fourth-year junior Oren Vasser, a New York native, comfortably earned the Hurricanes’ first point of the day on the fourth court with a straight-set victory, 6-4, 6-1. Martin claimed the second point, winning 6-3, 6-2, and Benjamin Hannestad put Miami one point away with a 6-4, 6-3 victory.

Katz secured the victory for the Canes, winning the match 7-6, 6-2. After the fourth point was secured, UM called off the remaining matches to conserve energy for the second opponent. The other two Canes were locked in close matches on courts two and six.

The second match against Mercer began at 3 p.m., and it was a dominant performance for the Canes. Miami adjusted from its earlier doubles defeat, winning on courts one and two, 6-1 and 6-2, respectively.

Miami head coach Aljosa Piric opted to alter the singles line-up from the previous match, moving fourth-year transfer student Juan Martin Jalif to the No. 3 spot. Vasser was taken out of the No. 4 spot, with Katz and Christensen moving up one spot each. Aubone was placed in the No. 6 spot to round off the singles team.

Fourth Year Junior Juan Martin Jalif shot a backhand during doubles matches against Georgia State on Feb 18. at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center in Coral Gables.
Fourth Year Junior Juan Martin Jalif shot a backhand during doubles matches against Georgia State on Feb 18. at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center in Coral Gables. Photo credit: Sam Peene

In this second round of singles, the Canes were dominant. On courts one, two, three, four, and six, UM won in straight-set victories, breaking their opponents’ serves with ease. Katz finished his match 6-3, 6-3, giving the Hurricanes a 6-0 edge against the Bears.

Battling to give Miami a clean sweep, freshman Casper Christensen was locked in a grueling three-set match. After losing the first set in a heartbreaking tiebreak, 6-7 (3-7), Christensen rebounded to win the second set in yet another tiebreak, 7-6 (7-2). This sent the match to a winner-take-all third set. In what was a close match, Christensen held strong, winning 10-7 to keep the Canes perfect.

After besting both Georgia-based schools, Miami turns its attention to in-state rival Florida Atlantic on Feb. 25 at 10 a.m. at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.