CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson (11-12, 2-9 ACC) came out on fire at Duckworth Family Tennis Facility on Thursday night, securing the doubles point early and fought from being down 1-3 to defeat No. 31 Florida State, 4-3 on Friday night.
Jorge Plans Gonzalez and Daniel Labrador were dominant on Court 3, winning 6-2 for the second consecutive match to take the lead. The Seminoles came up on top on Court 2, but sophomores Spencer Whitaker and Ryuhei Azuma were victorious on Court 1 to help the Tigers clinch the doubles point.
Florida State picked up some momentum of its own, winning on Courts 2, 4 and 5, for a 3-1 lead. Plans Gonzalez went undefeated on the day, tallying the win on Court 3, 6-3, 7-6 to bring the Tigers within one. Ryuhei Azuma played arguably one of the best matches of his early career, defeating No. 44 Pourroy, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 to tie the Seminoles at three apiece. It all came down to Court 6 where Labrador narrowly lost the first set, 6-7 before switching the momentum and taking the second set, 6-1. Labrador dug deep yet again in the third set, winning in another tiebreak clinching the thrilling victory, 4-3.
“What a win tonight for our program,” says Head Coach Robbie Weiss. “I am so happy and proud of the boys. We have had a tough season with injuries and some disappointing losses, but the boys have never stopped working. I am so happy for Daniel Labrador. For him to step up in the 3rd set tiebreaker with the match on the line was awesome to watch. Ryuhei and Jorge did a fantastic job digging deep and finding a way to beat some tough opponents. Our doubles has improved in the last few matches and that proved to be the difference. We will definitely enjoy this win and get back to work tomorrow and prepare for a tough Miami team. Go Tigers!”
Up next, the Tigers will host Miami on Saturday, April 16 for the final regular-season match of the year. First serve against the Hurricanes is at noon, and Teodor Giusca will be honored right before the match for his time as a Tiger.
For complete coverage of the Clemson men’s tennis team, follow @ClemsonMTennis on Twitter and Instagram.