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The Tiger

Clemson men’s tennis edges past Florida State

Matt Mynes, Asst. Photo Editor

Clemson’s Ryuhei Azuma rallies against Florida State on April 14, 2022.

Clemson men’s tennis defeated No. 31 Florida State 4-3, in a Thursday evening thriller. 

Trailing 3-2, the Tigers had to clinch both singles matches on court two and court six in order to defeat the Seminoles. 

On court two, Clemson’s Ryuhei Azuma faced Florida State’s Loris Pourroy. Pourroy broke Azuma in the latter stages of the first set, winning the set 7-5. However, Azuma shifted the momentum in the second, winning the set, 6-3. 

In the third and final set, Azuma fell down a break early, but then made some adjustments from the back of the court, where he started to find his form. Once the third set was on serve, Azuma took the momentum, clinching the match, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3. 

Tied at 3-3, on court six Daniel Labrador battled against Florida State’s Joshua Dous Karpenschif, who slightly edged Labrador in the first set, winning it 7-6.  Despite the loss in the first set, Labrador came blazing back to the win the second set, 6-1.  

At a set a piece, Labrador looked to start the set dictating rallies. He went up an early break in the third set and consolidated that break on serve. Dous Karpenschif broke back and held serve to level the score, 4-4. 

With consecutive holds of serve, Labrador and Dous Karpenschif went into a final set deciding tiebreaker, where Labrador effectively ousted Dous Karpenschif, clinching the match, 6-7, 6-1, 7-6(3).  

Labrador’s win effectively sealed the 4-3 match victory for the Tigers, who improved their record to 11-12 (2-9 ACC) with the win.  

Prior to the singles matches, the Tigers started the evening strong in their doubles’ performance.  

Ryuhei Azuma and Spencer Whitaker won their match, 6-4. Meanwhile, Clemson’s Jorge Plans Gonzalez and Labrador won their match with relative ease, 6-2. 

With a 1-0 lead, the Tigers fell in the first three singles matches of the day. Spencer Whitaker, Max Smith, and Teodor Giusca all lost in closely contested matches.  

However, Plans Gonzalez played some inspired tennis on court three, where he defeated the Seminoles’ Richard Thongoana, 6-3, 7-6(1). It was the spirit and fight from Plans Gonzalez, alongside his perfectly placed winners, that give the Tigers a slight shift in momentum before the final two deciding matches. 

Clemson men’s tennis will play again this Saturday, April 16, where they face No. 30 Miami at Duckworth Family Tennis Facility. 

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