Weekend recap: Miami men’s tennis goes 1-1 against fellow in-state opponents

Sophomore Sam Baumgartner celebrates winning a singles match in back to back 6-2 sets against a Bulls tennis player at the Schiff Tennis Center on Jan. 19, 2024. Photo credit: Trevor Castleman

Miami tops USF in back-and-forth battle

On a chilly Thursday afternoon in Coral Gables, The Miami Hurricanes men’s tennis team earned its sixth match win of the season with a 4-3 victory over the USF Bulls.

The match was initially scheduled for Sunday afternoon but was postponed to Thursday due to weather issues.

Both teams fought hard in the doubles courts, with the Hurricanes winning the No. 1 doubles and the Bulls taking the No. 3 doubles. On court one, UM’s #30-ranked duo of Vladislav Melnic and Adrien Burdet defeated South Florida’s #17-ranked duo of Alvin Tudorica and Erik Grevelius, 6-3. On court three, the ‘Canes pair of Martin Katz and Nacho Serra Sanchez dropped a set to USF’s Oliveira and Hudson, 6-4.

With the doubles point coming down to court two, the Hurricanes doubles team of Antonio Prat and Sam Baumgartner triumphed in a tiebreaker over the Bulls Tom Pavlekovich-Smith and Agustin Cuellar, 7-6 (5).

Taking the 1-0 lead into the singles courts, Miami’s Antonio Prat quickly notched a second point for his team, beating USF’s Pavlekovich-Smith in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3.

The match’s momentum rapidly shifted, with the Bulls taking the 3-2 match lead by winning three straight courts. On court one, USF’s #35-ranked Alvin Tudorica took down ‘Canes No. 1 Vladislav Melnic, 7-5, 6-0. On court six, USF’s Elijah Cham defeated Sam Baumgartner, 7-5, 6-2. The Bulls took the lead with a dominant win from Bruno Oliveira over UM’s Adrien Burdet, 6-3, 6-1.

However, the ‘Canes would not go down without a fight. On court five, Nacho Serra Sanchez tied the match with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Tom Pisane.

With the match on the line in the No. 2 singles, Miami’s Martin Katz came up with a substantial three-set victory over USF’s Erik Grevelius, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-0.

The Hurricanes moved to 6-1 on the season, tying their best season start through 7 matches under head coach Aljosa Panic.

Hurricanes fall to UCF in early season away test

Shortly after claiming their sixth win of the year, the University of Miami men’s tennis team traveled a few hours north to Orlando on Sunday to face the UCF Knights. The Knights ended up coming away with the 4-3 victory, marking the ‘Canes second loss of the young season.

Miami took early control by sweeping the doubles courts, taking a 1-0 match lead. Martin Katz and Antonio Prat defeated Santiago Giamichelle and Francisco Llanes, 6-3, on court three, being quickly followed by Nacho Serra Sanchez and Sam Baumgartner winning 6-4 over Liam Branger and Lleyton Cronje on court two.

As the team transitioned to singles, UM’s Martin Katz continued the ‘Cane’s great play with a straight-set, 6-4, 6-4 victory on court two over UCF’s #100-ranked Cronje.

However, like in its last match, Miami’s opponent stormed back just minutes later and took the lead with three straight singles victories, all coming in straight sets.

UCF’s Yassine Dlimi defeated Vladislav Melnic, 7-5, 6-2 on court one, while Santiago Giamichelle beat Adrien Burdet, 6-3, 6-3, on court three. Court six was a closer affair, with the Knights’ Paul Colin still winning despite Miami’s Sam Baumgartner pushing the first set to a tiebreak, 7-6 (5), 6-3.

Hoping to mirror his performance on Thursday, UM’s Nacho Serra Sanchez tied the match with a straight-set win over #120-ranked Mehdi Benchakroun, 6-4, 6-4, tying the match for the Hurricanes.

It all came down to the No. 3 singles, with Miami’s Antonio Prat and UCF’s Francisco Llanes splitting the first two sets, 6-4 and 1-6, respectively. In the final set, Llanes claimed the 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory, clinching the match and sending the Hurricanes home with a loss.

The men’s team returns to action on February 23 when they host the UTSA Roadrunners.