Baylor Tennis Doubles Tandem Survives ITA All-American Qualifying
TULSA, Okla. – The Baylor men’s tennis doubles team of Marko Krickovic and Robert Verzaal opened with victories in the first two rounds of doubles qualifying at the ITA All-American Championships on Tuesday at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
“Marko and Robert are a really good team,” head coach Matt Knoll said. “They have a good understanding of doubles and have a good chance to do very well tomorrow.”
Down 1-4 in its second match versus 33rd-ranked Daniil Proskura and Carlos Taborga of UCLA, the BU duo battled back to win seven of the next nine games to take match, 8-6. In the first round, Krickovic and Verzaal took care of Hawai’i’s Danilo Casanova and Jared Spiker, 8-6.
“After being down early, the guys did a really good job to turn it around and control their second match,” Knoll said. “They looked really good down the stretch, which bodes well for them.”
On Wednesday, Krickovic and Verzaal will look to win one more doubles match in order to advance to the main draw doubles action beginning on Friday. The Baylor tandem will face Stanford’s Matt Kandath and John Morrissey.
Baylor’s other duo of Mate Zsiga and Julian Lenz was knocked out in the first round of qualifying by Dennis Mkrtchian and Clay Thompson of UCLA, 8-6.
“Julian and Mate are a new team and we really haven’t practiced doubles,” Knoll said. “It was good for them to play and we will take some things we learned in this match and get better.”
Earlier on Tuesday, both Lenz and Krickovic lost their singles matches in the second round of qualifying. Lenz was defeated by Georgia’s Nathan Pasha 6-4, 6-2 as Krickovic fell to Esben Hess-Olesen of North Carolina after winning the second set 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.
“Both of our guys had a chance to win,” Knoll said. “Julian played a really good set and a half against a good player, but he just got off his game plan and ended up losing the match.
“Marko fought hard to win the second set,” Knoll said. “But it is one of those matches we just need to put behind us and try to move forward.”
Zsiga will make his main draw singles appearance on Friday.