URBANA, Ill. – Although rain showers in the Urbana area forced play to move indoors, it did little to dampen the day of Sebastian Fanselow. The Pepperdine men’s tennis team’s ace won in three sets today to advance to the semifinals of the NCAA Singles Championship.
Fanselow (Essen, Germany/Kaplan College Prep) is just the seventh Wave in program history to advance to the final four of the singles championship. Prior Pepperdine players to reach the semifinals include Eddie Edwards (1978), Brad Gilbert (1982), Robbie Weiss (1988), Howard Joffe (1992), Al Garland (2001) and Andre Begemann (2008). Of those six players, two have reached the finals -- Gilbert and Weiss -- with Weiss winning it all as a senior.
“It’s awesome,” Fanselow reacted about reaching the semifinals. “It’s my last year, my last week of college tennis and I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as possible. I’ve never gotten this far and it’s been an awesome run and I’m going to try and keep it going.”
In today’s quarterfinals, #11-ranked Fanselow went up against #19 Andreas Mies of Auburn. The match began outdoors, but after just a handful of games in the books, was moved indoors due to rain.
Although the two battled and were tied late, Fanselow broke Mies’ serve to take the first frame 7-5.
The Tiger answered in the second set, winning 6-3 to force a deciding third stanza.
Fanselow fell behind a break early, 1-3, but got back on track to knot the score at three and again at four. A late push lifted him to the victory, 6-4.
“It was a long match today, a long and tough one,” said Fanselow after the contest. “Mies was serving so well and mixing it up so I tried to get a little closer to the baseline on my return to try to cut off those angles. He kept getting me out wide so I just tried to pressure him a little bit on that. He missed a couple of first serves and that helped me out towards the end.”
Tomorrow’s semifinals will feature Fanselow vs. #3 Jamare Jenkins of Virginia.
The two have met twice prior in collegiate competition. Last fall, Jenkins defeated Fanselow in the finals of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship. Fanselow posted a win against Jenkins during the semifinals of the 2012 NCAA Team Championship.
“I am definitely looking forward to tomorrow’s match,” continued Fanselow. “Jamare is a great competitor and even though last time the score looked pretty easy I felt like we still had a tough match. I have to rest up now, get a little fresh for tomorrow. I’m sure it will be a long and physical match again.”
On the other side of the bracket, #41 Japie De Klerk – who narrowly edged Alex Sarkissian (Glendale, Calif./Glendale CC) in the round of 16 – will face #12 Blaz Rola of Ohio State.
For live stats and video, visit the NCAA Tournament Central or follow the men's tennis team on Twitter @PeppTennis.
NCAA Singles & Doubles Championship
May 22-27, 2013 at Urbana, Ill. (Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex)
R1 #11>Sebastian Fanselow (Pepperdine) def. #65 Ghorbel, Anis (Drake) 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
R1 #62>Alex Sarkissian (Pepperdine) def. #34 Hunter Reese (Tennessee) 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
R2 #11>Sebastian Fanselow (Pepperdine) def. #58 Guillermo Alcorta (Oklahoma) 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (10-8)
R2 #62>Alex Sarkissian (Pepperdine) def. #10 Ryan Lipman (Vanderbilt) 6-3, 6-0
R16 #11>Sebastian Fanselow (Pepperdine) def. #8 Peter Kobelt (Ohio State) 6-4, 6-2
R16 #41 Japie De Klerk (Tulsa) def. #62>Alex Sarkissian (Pepperdine) 7-6 (7-0), 6-7 (3-7), 6-2
QF #11>Sebastian Fanselow (Pepperdine) def. #19 Andreas Mies (Auburn) 7-5, 3-6, 6-4
R1 #20 Stephane Piro/Bob van Overbeek (Florida) def. #43 Francis Alcantara/Finn Tearney (Pepperdine) 7-6 (7-1), 4-6, 6-4