Martin delivers clutch performance, propels Miami men’s tennis past Georgia Tech

Fourth-year junior Franco Aubone returns the ball to Jake Huarte of Army West Point on Wednesday, March 9, 2022 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.
Fourth-year junior Franco Aubone returns the ball to Jake Huarte of Army West Point on Wednesday, March 9, 2022 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. Photo credit: Alex Carnochan

No. 30 Miami (15-8, 4-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) traveled to Atlanta Thursday afternoon to face off against the No. 58 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (8-12, 3-8 ACC). UM was coming off two emotional losses the previous weekend and had to dig deep to get another crucial ACC win.

The Canes started doubles play with a blistering start on Court 2. Fifth-year senior Benjamin Hannestad and freshman Martin Katz blew past their opponents, 6-0, to give Miami the opening lead. Georgia Tech responded on Court 1 as the No. 6 pair in the country made quick work of juniors Franco Aubone and Juan Martin Jalif, 2-6.

This left the doubles point riding on the two oldest members of the team. Down 4-5, graduate student Dan Martin and fifth-year senior Bojan Jankulovski came up huge for the Hurricanes. They won three consecutive games to give Miami the doubles point.

As singles play began, Georgia Tech did not stay down for long. Jankulovksi fell, 1-6, 3-6 to Marcus McDaniel on court two.

Leveled at 1-1, the Canes captured the next two points. Katz delivered an impressive 6-2, 6-4 victory on Court 5, and Aubone roared past his opponent, 6-0, 6-1, on court six. With Miami on the brink of winning, the match took a quick turn.

Junior Oren Vasser lost, 3-6, 5-7, on Court 4, and Hannestad was defeated in a hard-fought match, 7-5, 2-6, 2-6, on court three.

Tied at 3-3, all eyes turned to Court 1. No. 85 Martin was in a close contest with No. 64 Andres Martin. The Hurricane put up a valiant effort in the first set but fell short in a tiebreak, 6-7. In the second set, the game looked like a foregone conclusion as Dan Martin trailed, 2-5.

Dan Martin proceeded to win the next four games in miraculous fashion, culminating in a tiebreak. It was a back-and-forth affair, but the Cane squeaked by, 7-5, to force the decisive third set. At this point, the match was anyone’s game, and the entire crowd was watching in awe.

A close third set ensued, and Dan Martin clawed his way to a 5-4 lead. In an intense final game, the Laval, Quebec native secured the winning point before collapsing to the ground in exhaustion and relief. His teammates rushed onto the court and dog-piled him as he delivered possibly the most clutch performance of his career. It was a gutsy, heart-wrenching performance, as Miami obtained the win.