Miami men’s tennis eliminated in second round of ACC Tournament against Georgia Tech

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

Miami men’s tennis (16-9, 5-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) won a thrilling match against Georgia Tech (10-13, 3-9 ACC) only a week prior. This time around, however, history would not repeat itself.

In doubles, the scores were very similar to UM’s previous contest against the Yellow Jackets. The No. 13 pair in the country, Andres Martin and Marcus McDaniel, made quick work of fourth-year juniors Juan Martin Jalif and Franco Aubone, 6-3, on Court 1. Also, freshman Martin Katz and fifth-year senior Benjamin Hannestad easily cruised by the Georgia Tech pair, 6-2. With the score level at 1-1, Court 3 would be the decisive match.

A week earlier, graduate student Dan Martin and fifth-year senior Bojan Jankulovski pulled off a comeback to give the Canes the doubles point. This time around, they would come up just short, 5-7, giving Georgia Tech the missing point needed for victory.

Now that Georgia Tech controlled the doubles point, the Yellow Jackets needed to win the same number of matches they won a week ago. They would proceed to do just that.

On Court 5, Jalif would fall quickly, 2-6, 1-6, to Pablo Schlecher to increase GT’s margin. Next, Jankulovski would fall to McDaniel on Court 2, 3-6, 4-6, putting the Canes one point away from elimination.

Aubone continued his winning form on Court 6, defeating Brandon McKinney, 7-5, 6-2, to keep a semblance of hope alive.

Down 1-3, the remaining Hurricanes knew that losing wasn’t an option. On Court 3, Hannestad was blanked in the first set, 0-6, but had a resilient 6-3 second set. The third set was a back-and-forth affair, but he would lose narrowly, 4-6, giving Georgia Tech the coveted fourth point.

With the match clinched, the two other courts still playing were abandoned. In a battle of the Martins, No. 84 Dan Martin was locked in a dog fight with No. 54 Andres Martin. Dan had beaten Andres the week before in a three-set thriller, and this was yet another nail-biter. The third set was about to begin with the score of 6-1, 6-7 (6-8).

On Court 4, Katz was already amid a third set, 6-4, 3-6, 1-3, but was down the break.

It was a tough loss for UM after beating GT so recently, but the ACC tournament was never going to be easy. Just a day later, Georgia Tech would achieve its highest-ranked win in program history, defeating ACC juggernaut Wake Forest, 4-2.

With the season rounding its final turn, all that is left is the most important event. The selection of the NCAA Tournament field will occur May 2 at 6 p.m. when UM will learn which regional it is headed to.