Oregon men’s tennis tops Iowa, moves to 7-1 on the season
Three days. Three matches. Three wins.
Playing in their third match in as many days, the Oregon men’s tennis team defeated Iowa 5-2, improving to an impressive 7-1 on the 2017 season.
“I think it was a good performance this weekend,” said Simon Stevens. “It’s never easy to play three matches in a row.”
The Student Tennis Center was full of energy from the start, as the fans got to see the Ducks win the doubles point for the fifth straight match.
“We showed up with really good energy in the doubles,” said head coach Nils Schyllander. “It’s a huge mental advantage [to win the doubles point].”
Saturday’s win started with the No. 3 pair of Simon Stevens and Akihiro Tanaka coming away with a 6-2 win over Robin Haden and Jake Jacoby. Stevens was joined by Tanaka after playing with Ty Gentry on Friday versus Nebraska.
With the top two doubles pairs of Armando Soemarno/Jayson Amos and Cormac Clissold/Thomas Laurent seemingly locked in at the moment, Stevens has had to shuffle playing with Tanaka and Gentry.
“Aki and Ty are two very different players,” said Stevens. “I don’t think it’s an issue. It’s a luxury that we can change a couple of guys and still have a good team.”
The No. 51-ranked duo of Amos and Soemarno clinched the doubles point for Oregon with a 6-2 victory.
Singles action was highlighted by multiple close matches, but the Ducks ultimately prevailed, taking 4-of-6 matches. Stevens gave Oregon a 2-0 lead, defeating Iowa in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3.
“Iowa was probably the toughest of the three matches,” said Stevens. “They were very fresh.”
Tanaka put the Ducks on the brink of victory with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Iowa to put Oregon up 3-0. Tanaka is now 6-1 in dual singles matches.
The Hawkeyes stayed alive when Jonas Larden topped the Ducks’ Cormac Clissold 6-1, 0-6, 7-5 in a back and forth contest. Clissold’s loss wouldn’t hurt, though. His doubles partner, the 38th-ranked Laurent, clinched the victory for the Ducks. After dropping the first set, he pulled away from Theodorou, winning the match 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Laurent improved to 11-0 in his career while playing in the No. 1 spot.
“He’s so mature and so methodical. He just grinds his opponents down,” said Schyllander of Laurent. “The longer the match goes, the better I feel.”
With the match clinched, Amos and Young-Smith finished out their matches. Amos staged a strong comeback in the second set after being down 4-2, but ultimately dropped the match in three sets to Allaf, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Amos remains tied for second in Oregon history with 84 wins. His next win will put him in sole possession of second place and just five wins behind Robin Cambier.
Ethan Young-Smith closed out the match with a 6-2, 6-7, 1-0 (10-4) win over Jacoby. Young-Smith is now 4-0 in dual matches this season.
The Ducks will hit the road to Minneapolis to face Middle Tennessee and Minnesota next weekend.
“It’s going to be a lot of recovery [next week],” said Schyllander. “We will be ready.”
- (UO) Armando Soemarno/Jayson Amos def (IA) Lefteris Theodorou/Josh Silverstein, 6-2
- (UO) Thomas Laurent/Cormac Clissold vs (IA) Jonas Larsen/Kareem Allaf, unfinished
- (UO) Simon Stevens/Akihiro Tanaka def. (IA) Robin Haden/Jake Jacoby, 6-2
Oregon wins doubles point
- (UO) Laurent def. (IA) Theodorou, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
- (UO) Stevens def. (IA) Silverstein, 6-2, 6-3
- (IA) Allaf def. (UO) Amos, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
- (UO) Tanaka def. (IA) Haden, 6-3, 6-3
- (IA) Larsen def. (UO) Clissold, 6-1, 0-6, 7-5
- (UO) Young-Smith def. (IA) Jacoby, 6-2, 6-7, 1-0 (10-4)
Oregon wins, 5-2
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