THE FLATS – Georgia Tech men’s tennis opened its 2018 spring slate with back-to-back home victories in a doubleheader against The Citadel on Tuesday afternoon.
The Yellow Jackets (2-0) took the first match, 7-0, before downing the Bulldogs (0-2) again with a clean sheet, 7-0, in the evening match.
Tech will return to action when it hosts the MLK Invitational at Byers Tennis Complex. The round-robin tournament begins Saturday, Jan. 13 and concludes on Monday, Jan. 15, featuring Georgia, Illinois and Columbia. The action will take place every day at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. with the Jackets playing at the 1 p.m. timeslot throughout.
Match One: Georgia Tech 7, The Citadel 0
The Jackets found themselves tied 2-2 at both No. 1 and No. 2 singles before finding their rhythm. Andrew Li and Chris Yun rattled off six-straight points to take the first doubles match at the No. 2 spot before Carlos Divar and Michael Kay did the same at the No. 1.
With the doubles point in tow, Tech raced out of the gates in singles with Li and Divar finishing in record pace. Li faced off against The Citadel’s Rob Hobson in his first match with the Jackets this season, returning from an injury that sidelined him during the fall. Looking no worse for wear, Li failed to concede a point in the first set (6-0) before taking the second set, 6-1.
Divar squared off against the Bulldogs’ Willem van Zyl at the No. 1, sprinting to a 6-0 first set victory before putting Tech up 3-0 with a 6-2 win in the second.
Senior Melendez sealed the match for the Jackets at the No. 5 spot, putting away Matt Henson confidently, 6-1, 6-2.
Finishing out the rest of play, senior Kay worked his way to a strong win (6-1, 6-3) over Will Graham at the No. 4 before Yun and Freestone finished almost in tandem at No. 3 and No. 6, respectively. Yun downed Jack Pyritz, 6-1, 6-2, while Freestone defeated Gavin Stewart, 6-1, 6-4.
Match Two: Georgia Tech 7, The Citadel 0
Georgia Tech was once again led by the tandem of Divar and Kay at the No. 1 doubles, taking down Matthew Henson/Will Graham, 6-3. Melendez and C. Yun also made quick work of their Bulldog opponent, posting a 6-3 win.
Li and Daniel Yun had the thriller of the evening, going to the 6-all tiebreak against The Citadel’s Willem van Zyl and Gavin Stewart. The duos went back and forth in the 10-point tiebreak, eventually landing at a 6-6 tie before the Jackets put up four-straight points to take the No. 2 match.
Racing out of the gates, Divar wasted no time winning the No. 1 singles match of the night, downing Roy Hobson 6-1, 6-0. D. Yun then won out at the No. 3 spot, defeating Matt Henson in straight-sets, 6-3, 6-1. Kay clinched the match for Georgia Tech, winning the No. 5 singles, 6-3, 6-0, over Trey Davis.
With the match and series sweep in hand, the Jackets played out the final two matches as Melendez battled to a 6-2, 6-3 victory at No. 4 over Jack Pyritz. By far the longest back-and-forth match of the day was saved for last as C. Yun went toe-to-toe with Willem van Zyl. C. Yun won the first match 6-3, but found himself trailing 5-6 late in the second set with all eyes on the No. 2 court.
C. Yun fell in the second set to force the deciding third, where he found himself down 40-15 in the deciding game. Battling back, C. Yun came all the way back to force a 40-40 deuce point, clinching it to defeat van Zyl, 6-2.