URBANA, Ill. -
Baylor men's tennis freshman Julian Lenz was knocked out of the NCAA Singles Championship after dropping a 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4 decision to Elon's Cameron Silverman on Wednesday at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Center.
"The guy Julian played did a great job of making Julian uncomfortable," head coach Matt Knoll said. "Julian just never did settle in to the match. The score indicates that. Every game was close, but the guy just outcompeted us at the end."
Despite earning the first set in a tiebreaker, the 55th-ranked Lenz was unable to overcome a shaky service game to fall to the 67th-ranked Silverman.
The match started with Lenz breaking Silverman's serve, but the Elon junior returned the favor in the next game to tie the match at 1-1. The match would then stay on serve, before Lenz broke to go up 4-3. Each player then held serve to get it to 5-4, before Silverman broke the BU freshman to tie the match at five games apiece. Both players again held serve to send the first set into a tiebreaker at 6-6.
In the tiebreaker, Silverman opened by holding serve for a 1-0 lead. However, Lenz bounced back quickly to win the next four points. The players then traded points to push the score to 6-4, before Lenz claimed the clinching seventh point.
Lenz was broken to open the second set, before each player held serve for the next six games as Silverman held a 4-3 lead. At that point, Lenz broke to tie the set at 4-4. However, Silverman broke right back to go up 5-4 and then held serve to take the second set.
In the third set, each player held serve to open, but Lenz was broken in his second service game to give Silverman a 2-1 lead. The BU freshman responded with a break and a hold of his own to go up 3-2. The match would then stay on serve until Silverman tallied a break to take a 5-4 lead and then held serve to take the match.
The Giessen, Germany, completes his inaugural year at BU with a 27-10 record overall and a 16-5 mark in dual-match play. He tallied a 9-8 record against ranked opponents. During his freshman season, Lenz was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year and the ITA Texas Region Rookie of the Year.
"I think Julian's future is incredibly bright," Knoll said. "I think he will come back next season ranked around No. 30 to get into the main draw of some of the biggest fall tournaments. That will allow him to have a jumping off point from which he can become one of the very best players in college tennis."
The win for Silverman, who was the Southern Conference Player of the Year, bumps his record in singles action to 15-8.
Follow the official Twitter account of the team: @BaylorMTennis for an inside look at the team with scores, notes and stories.