May 23, 2004
Tulsa, OK –
Ryan Young and John Boetsch both won in singles and doubles on Saturday night to lead Clemson to a 4-2 victory over TCU in the round of 16 of the NCAA men’s tennis tournament late Saturday night in Tulsa, OK.
The Tigers now advance to the Elite Eight, where they will face UCLA, Sunday at 6:00 PM eastern time. Young defeated Jacob Martin of TCU 7-6, 6-4 in the deciding match. He won the first-set tie-breaker 13-11. Clemson is now 26-11 for the season under Chuck Kriese. Clemson has been to the Elite Eight seven times, but has never reached the Final Four of men’s tennis. The last time the Tigers advanced to the NCAA’s Final Eight was in 1986.
“I’m proud to have won,” said Clemson Head Coach Chuck Kriese. “It was just a great match between two very good teams. TCU is a class operation and a class team. The match was hard fought. We were proud to win, but TCU is awesome.
“At this level, you just hope for a break here and there. We got a couple of breaks in the tiebreaker and that was probably the difference. In an indoor match, TCU would definitely have the advantage out here because their ball strikers are excellent. The wind gave us a big advantage because we relied on scrapping and hustling. We were lucky to be here, but I shouldn’t say lucky. We got the win with a lot of fight.”
“The wind neutralizes everybody’s shot-making. It makes everyone play the body punches. It just takes away player’s shots. Our goal is to get our opponents in scrapping contests and that’s just what we’ve been doing for the last month.
“I came out kind of sluggish in doubles, so in singles I just wanted to come out and do the best I could,” said Clemson’s Nathan Thompson. I knew it was going to be windy. I just wanted to make each point as tough as possible, fight for every ball. I ended up playing pretty good. The wind just took away everybody’s shots. It was just a tough match.”
Clemson 4, TCU 2
Doubles No. 1, Rafael Abreu-Fabrizio Sestini, TCU def. Jarmaine Jenkins-Nathan Thompson, Clemson, 8-5.
No. 2 John Boetsch-Dammissa Robinson, Clemson, def. Hector Almada-Jacopo Tezza, TCU, 8-2.
No. 3, Brett Twente-Ryan Young, Clemson, def. Jacob Martin-Alex Menichini, TCU, 8-5.
Singles No. 1, Thompson, Clemson def. Menichini, TCU, 6-2, 6-1.
No. 2, Almada, TCU def. Sterijovski, Clemson, 6-4, 6-3.
No. 3, Sestini, TCU, def. Jenkins, Clemson, 6-0, 6-2.
No. 4, Boetsch, Clemson def. Tezza, TCU, 6-2, 6-1.
No. 5, Abreu, TCU vs. Robinson, Clemson, DNF.
No. 6, Young, Clemson, def. Martin, TCU, 7-6, 6-4.
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