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Clemson men’s tennis sweeps weekend

Matt Mynes
A Clemson men’s tennis team member prepares to serve against Florida State on April 14, 2022.

The Clemson men’s tennis team moved to 5-4 on the season following this past weekend’s performances against Georgia Southern, Radford and SMU at the Duckworth Family Tennis Facility, as the Tigers won all three matches.

To begin Friday’s doubleheader, the Tigers and Radford sent out their three best doubles teams to battle for the doubles point. Freshmen duo Marko Mesarovic and Stewart Aronson defeated Radford’s Tom Saporta and Manfredi Vergine 6-1 to give the Tigers the first of two wins.

They were followed by Max Damm and Wissam Abderrahman, who won the second matchup 6-2, allowing Clemson’s No. 33 ranked A-team of Max Smith and Noa Vukadin to mark its 5-2 lead as unfinished since Clemson only needed two wins to receive the point.

After sweeping the doubles matches, the Tigers continued their dominance as they went on to win all six singles matches. Four of the six wins were finished decisively by the second set. Those wins were by Ryuhei Azuma (6-3, 6-3), Mesarovic (6-4, 6-2), Aronson (6-4, 6-0), and Matt Pitts (6-2, 6-0). The other two wins from Abderrahman and Trey Stinchcomb were decided by the third set.

Clemson’s 7-0 victory marked its second shutout of the season before moving onto Georgia Southern later that day.

In a repeat of the previous match, the Tigers dominated in doubles against the Eagles, winning two and leading the third. Damm and Abderrahman again won the first doubles match, taking down the Eagles’ Pol del Castillo and Dimitris Paliouras 6-3.

Mesarovic and Aronson followed with a victory of their own, again combining with the previous win to allow Smith and Vukadin to once again mark their match as unfinished.

Once Clemson snatched the doubles point from Georgia Southern’s talons, they never looked back, winning five of the six singles matches. Azuma (6-4, 6-4), Abderrahman (6-4, 6-3), and Pitts (6-3, 6-2) all won in two sets, while Vukadin (6-4, 3-6, 1-0 [10-7]) and Mesarovic (3-6, 6-2, 6-2) won in three sets.

Two days later, they defeated their future ACC rival, Southern Methodist University, 5-2 to finish the weekend sweep.

SMU’s doubles team of Adam Neff and Huntley Allen gave the Mustangs a hot start by defeating Clemson’s No. 33-ranked doubles team of Smith and Vukadin in the battle of A-teams, 6-2. However, the Tigers’ other two doubles teams (Mesarovic/Aronson and Damm/ Abderrahman) were able to pull out victories and award Clemson with the crucial doubles point.

Once Clemson secured this, all attention went to the singles matches. The Tigers won four of the six, including freshman star Mesarovic defeating No. 88 Jerry Barton in two sets (6-4, 6-3). Another standout victory was achieved by Vukadin, who took down SMU’s Liam Krall in three sets (7-6 [7-5], 2-6, 1-0 [10–6]). The Tigers’ other two victories came from Azuma (7-5, 6-4) and Pitts (6-4, 6-3), while Abderrahman and Aronson fell in close matches.

After this long weekend, Clemson looks to rest and prepare before its next matchup at home against Furman at noon on Thursday, followed by Wofford at 5 p.m.

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Brian Warner
Brian Warner, Senior Reporter
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