GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Highlighted by five singles wins, the FGCU men’s tennis team started its second weekend of the fall campaign with a strong performance on the opening day of the 2012 Bedford Cup hosted by the University of Florida.
The Eagles picked up wins in five of their six singles matches, tying Miami for the second-most singles victories on the day. The Hurricanes started with eight entries in the singles tournament to the Green and Blue’s six, while FSU had a tournament-high six singles wins on the first day. Host Florida and USF had four singles wins each.
The Bedford Cup was started in 2011 to feature the top collegiate men’s tennis players from all 11 NCAA Division I men’s tennis programs in the state of Florida. It is sponsored by the Youth Tennis Foundation of Florida, Inc., and the Edward T. Bedford Foundation.
“We’re going to have to spend a lot of time this fall working on our doubles, but we have some good pieces to build upon,” said second-year head coach C.J. Weber. “In singles, we did a good job of taking care of business. We will have some serious challenges tomorrow, but hopefully we can carry over today’s momentum.”
All five of FGCU’s singles wins came in straight sets, highlighted by freshman Dylan Gunning’s (Boca Raton, Fla./Olympic Heights HS) 7-6, 6-3 win over Miami’s Jack Murphy. Making his first appearance as an Eagle, Gunning waited through a long weather delay before defeating Murphy, setting up a 9 a.m. showdown with USF’s Guillermode Vilchez.
The first singles victory of the day came from sophomore Tianyu Bao (Tianjin, China/Bayshore HS (FL)), who beat the rain with a quick 6-2, 6-0 win over fellow Atlantic Sun foe Erik Halaj of Stetson. Bao bounced back from a pair of tough losses to ACC foes last weekend at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships and will now face Florida’s Bob Van Overbeek, who is the No. 1 seed in the tournament and No. 17 in the Campbell/ITA rankings.
Also making his first appearance of the season, senior Jackson Moore (Bradenton, Fla./Lakewood Ranch HS/Georgia State) picked up a singles and doubles win on the day. Moore advanced to Saturday’s second round of singles action with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Kip Jackson of Bethune-Cookman, while he teamed with junior Dean Tsamas (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay HS) for a 8-6 victory over USF’s duo of Dzib and Patel. The doubles win was the third of the year for Tsamas, but the duo fell later in the morning to Florida State’s Gonzales and Gauer, 8-4.
Not fazed by the doubles defeat, Tsamas, like Moore, went straight into singles action and picked up a straight-set victory. Tsamas took down Moritz Pronath of Bethune-Cookman, 6-3, 6-4 and will now face North Florida’s Timo Kranz at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Sophomore Jordi Vives (Barcelona, Spain/IES Ferran Tallada/USC) also had to wait out the weather delay, but made quick work of Bethune-Cookman’s Santiago Lobelo, 6-2, 6-0, to advance to Saturday’s second round. Vives will square off against USF’s Juan Carlos Acuna at 10:45 a.m. Over the four sets in his two wins this season, Vives has lost just eight points.
“We put together a great first day out here and everyone competed really hard,” said Moore, who went a combined 2-1 on the day in doubles and singles play. “Getting five wins out of six singles matches is a great start and we want to continue that great play tomorrow. This tournament represents the best Division I college tennis players that the state has to offer and it feels great to be considered as such.”
FGCU’s individual and doubles schedule for Friday is listed below along with a full schedule for the entire Bedford Cup. Fans can get updates of all the action twitter by following @FGCUMensTennis while a full recap of each day can be found on www.FGCUATHLETICS.com.
Tianyu Bao (FGCU) def. Erik Halaj (Stetson) – 6-2, 6-0
Jackson Moore (FGCU) def. Kip Jackson (Bethune-Cookman) – 6-4, 6-4
Dean Tsamas (FGCU) def. Moritz Pronath (Bethune-Cookman) – 6-3, 6-4
Chidi Gabriel (FAMU) def. Michael Beiler (FGCU) – 6-4, 6-3
Dylan Gunning (FGCU) def. Jack Murphy (Miami) – 7-6, 6-3
Jordi Vives (FGCU) def. Santiago Lobelo (Bethune-Cookman) – 6-2, 6-0
Moore/Tsamas (FGCU) def. Dzib/Patel (USF) – 8-6
Kante/Happy (FAMU) def. Gunning/Beiler (FGCU) – 8-5
Houston/Rinaldi (FSU) def. Vives/Bao (FGCU) – 8-6
Round of 16
Gonzales/Gauer (FSU) def. Moore/Tsamas (FGCU) – 8-5
2012 Bedford Cup Remaining Schedule
Saturday, Sept. 15
Second Round Singles – 9:00 a.m.
Round of 16 Singles – 12:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals Doubles – 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 16
Monday, Sept. 17