By Jordana Klein
HERO Sports & Tennis Itinerary Freelance Writer
TULSA, Okla. – The first serve of the semifinal rounds of the 2016 Saint Francis Health System ITA Men’s All-American Championships began at 11 a.m. CDT at the University of Tulsa, with consolation singles and doubles matches on the top courts to begin the day.
Competitive match-ups on Sunday have set the stage for Monday’s final rounds, which can be viewed through live streaming by FloTennis on courts 1-4 at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
Monday’s consolation singles final hosts Ronnie Schneider of North Carolina against USC’s Brandon Holt. Schneider controlled California’s Andre Goransson 6-3, 6-4, while Holt overpowered Nuno Borges of Mississippi State with the same semifinal score. The singles consolation final winner earns an automatic National Indoors bid.
Ohio State’s Hugo Di Feo and No. 6 Petros Chrysochos of Wake Forest are in contention for the main draw singles title after their rather similar semifinal sweeps on Sunday.
Di Feo faced off against Christian Sigsgaard, the lone qualifier from Texas. Sigsgaard’s one-handed backhand took him into a first set tiebreak contest where Di Feo endured long points to come out ahead 7-6 (4). The Buckeye began the second set with the momentum and never released his drive, as he raced to a 6-0 domination to put him into Monday’s championship match. Di Feo has dropped only three sets thus far and looks to utilize his strong net play and fierce footwork in tomorrow’s match.
On court two, Chrysochos, the only seed left in the main draw, triumphed over Florida’s Alfredo Perez 7-5, 6-1. Chrysochos used his confidence from his quarterfinal win over top-seeded Mikael Torpegaard (Ohio State) to roll through his semifinal trial. Set one began with Perez holding serve, but his service run did not last long as the Demon Deacon broke Perez to tie up the set early on. Chrysochos broke again late in the set to take a 6-5 lead and served to take the first set 7-5. The second set allotted Chrysochos control of the majority of the points, and he earned a quick 5-1 jump. With Perez serving to stay in the match, he allowed his opponent three match point chances, where Chrysochos capitalized on the first and now seeks a chance for the title on Monday. In heroic fashion, Chrysochos has dropped one set en route to Championship Monday.
Doubles action took over courts three and four on Sunday afternoon, and one qualifying team of Jack Findel-Hawkins and Lasse Muscheites (North Florida) look to Monday’s final for their chance at the championship trophy. They conquered Purdue’s Gergely Madarasz and Ricardo Medinilla 6-2, 6-4.
California’s tandem of No. 2 Filip Bergevi and Florian Lakat powered through a fierce semifinal matchup against No. 3 Skander Mansouri and Christian Seraphim of Wake Forest. Cal took a 9-5 lead in the third-set tiebreak, but Wake Forest could not accept an easy defeat. The Bears ultimately broke through with a final score of 6-3, 6-7 (4), 1-0 (8).
Sunday’s consolation doubles final featured Julian Cash and Arjun Kadhe of Oklahoma State against Tommy Bennett and David Warren of Rice. Oklahoma State overcame Minnesota’s Felix Corwin and Matic Spec 7-5, 7-5 in the consolation semi’s while Rice took out Tom Fawcett and David Wilczynski of Stanford 7-6, 4-6, 1-0(7). The final consolation round on Sunday afternoon ended 6-2, 6-2 in Rice’s favor. Bennett and Warren earn automatic entry into the 2016 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships on November 3-6, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York.
This marks the 12th straight year that the University of Tulsa will serve as the official tournament host, and most of the action during the two-week event will take place on the courts of the Michael D. Case Tennis Center. Updated draws and main draw daily recaps can be found at the ITA Championship Central page http://www.itatennis.com/Events/ITANationalChampionships/MensAllAmerican.htm. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter by following @ITATennis and using the hashtag #TulsaITA.