Tigers Fall, 4-2, in First-Ever NCAA Championship Match
May 11, 2012
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Memphis struck early in the program's first NCAA Men's Tennis Championship appearance by winning the doubles point, but eventually succumbed to Baylor, 4-2. The 31st-ranked Tigers finish the season 19-6, while the 25th-ranked Bears improve to 18-11.
David O'Hare and Joe Salisbury remained on serve in the No. 1 doubles match against Diego Galeano and Mate Zsiga until the Tigers broke to take a 5-3 advantage. The Bears earned a break to put the match on serve. Leading 7-6, but with Baylor serving, Memphis earned the match-clinching break to win 8-6.
On court two, 74th-ranked David Henry and Connor Glennon opened the match with the serve and were broken by 45th ranked Kike Grangeiro and Roberto Maytin. On the ensuing Baylor serve, Memphis broke to put the match back on serve. The Bears broke again to go up 4-3, but the Tigers responded on the next Baylor serve with yet another break. For the third time in the match, Baylor broke the Tigers' serve and held on to win, 8-6.
The No. 3 doubles match was deadlocked between the Tigers' Leon Nasemann and Johnny Grimal and the Bears' Julian Bley and Marko Krickovic. Memphis earned a hard fought break to take a 7-5 advantage, but Baylor broke back to even the match. With Memphis leading 8-7 and Baylor serving, Memphis took the first three points to earn triple-match point. Bley and Krickovic ripped off five-straight points to force the tie-break. Nasemann and Grimal jumped out to a quick 3-2 lead with a mini-break and won the final four points to claim the doubles point for the Tigers with a 9-8 (7-2) win.
O'Hare went down an early break to No. 17 Zsiga in the first set and never recovered, losing the match, 6-1, 6-0. With the win at No. 1 singles, Baylor tied the overall match at one.
On court three, Salisbury was broken in his second service game of the first set. He later broke Krickovic, only to drop another break in his next service game and surrender the first set, 6-3. Salisbury then fell in the second set, 6-2, giving Baylor a 2-1 lead in the match.
Grimal continued his momentum from the doubles match, breaking Maytin on each of the 86th-ranked player's first two serves. The native of Barcelona went on to win the opening set, 6-2. Grimal was broken in his first service game and went on to lose the second set, 6-1. In the decisive third set, Grimal dropped an early service game. Fighting cramps throughout the set, he was unable to fight back and fell, 6-3, giving Baylor a 3-1 advantage.
David O'Leary broke Grangeiro on the Bears' first serve in the opening set. After yielding a break to Grangeiro, O'Leary finished the first set, 6-4, with another break. O'Leary opened the second set with a break of Grangeiro and went on to take the set, 6-1. The win by the freshman provided the Tigers its second point of the match.
In the No. 6 singles match between Nasemann and Bley, Nasemann fell behind by a pair of breaks at 5-2. Nasemann got one of the breaks back, but dropped the opening set, 6-3. In the second set, Nasemann broke Bley and held on for a 6-4 win. Nasemann, also fighting cramps in the third set, lost the set, 6-0. Baylor secured its fourth- and match-deciding point with the win.
Glennon, playing in the No. 4 singles match against Galeano, earned a break to go up 4-3 in the first set. However, Galeano put the set back on serve by breaking Glennon in the ensuing game. The two players exchanged another pair of breaks and sent the first set into a tie-break, which Glennon took 7-4. Glennon picked up a break early in the second set, only to give up two breaks to Galeano and lose the set, 6-4. The match between Glennon and Galeano was suspended when Baylor picked up the deciding point.
The Tigers posted one of the best seasons in program history. Its .760 winning percentage is the highest since 1979, when the team went 22-2 with a .917 winning percentage. Memphis will now await the final ITA rankings, set to be released at the conclusion of the 2012 NCAA Men's Tennis Championships.
#25 Baylor 4, #31 Memphis 2