Miami men’s tennis (8-1) returned to action Friday morning at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center in Coral Gables to battle against in-state rival Florida Atlantic.
The Owls (8-1) were previously undefeated entering the day and boasted a ranking of No. 33 nationally. The Canes, ranked No. 35, were underdogs going into the day but have been the historical favorites in the series.
In doubles, the Hurricanes notched an early advantage on court three. The duo of fourth-year junior Oren Vasser and freshman Martin Katz made quick work of their opponents, 6-2. FAU quickly bounced back and beat the No. 27 ranked pair of fifth-year senior Benjamin Hannestad and fourth-year junior Franco Aubone, 4-6. Leveled at one win apiece, FAU claimed the doubles point on Court 2 in similar fashion to Court 1, 4-6.
With FAU controlling the tie break, Miami needed to win a majority of the singles matches.
Vasser, a New York native, got the ball rolling with a straight sets victory, 6-2, 6-3 on the fourth court.
Freshman Casper Christensen got off to a blistering start, blanking his opponent 6-0 to open the match. The next set was much closer, resulting in a tiebreak in which Christensen edged Finn Stodder (FAU) 7-6 (7-2).
On Court 5, Katz also took care of business. After a close opening set, he cruised to victory, 6-4, 6-1. Both Katz and Christensen finished within minutes of each other, putting the Canes one match away from victory.
The final match wound up coming from the anchor of the team, Dan Martin. The graduate student, ranked No. 117, won his match and achieved the final singles victory, 7-5, 6-3. His opponent, Carlos Sarrio, battled hard, fending off three consecutive match points, but eventually succumbed to Martin’s deadly precision.
With Martin’s win, the matches on Courts 2 and 3 were called, making the final score 4-1. Miami now holds a 19-1 record against the Owls and extends their win streak to 18 consecutive years.
Miami has a quick turn-around, facing the Liberty Flames tomorrow at 12 p.m. at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.