Baylor Men's Tennis Wins BNP Paribas Collegiate Challenge - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Baylor Men's Tennis Wins BNP Paribas Collegiate Challenge

In the final of the BNP Paribas Open Collegiate Tennis Challenge Presented by Oracle, the sixth-ranked Baylor men’s tennis team came back from a 3-0 deficit, to defeat No. 7 USC, 4-3, Sunday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

The Bears captured their third victory over a ranked opponent in three days to win the event’s title for the first time in program history, while also avenging their Feb. 19 defeat to the Trojans.

For the first time in the tournament, BU failed to win the doubles point against USC. At the No. 1 position, Juan Benitez and Will Little fell to the 45th-ranked doubles pairing of Brandon Holt and Riley Smith, 6-4.

USC went on to clinch the doubles point with a 6-4 triumph on court three by Rob Bellamy and Jack Jaede over BU’s Max Tchoutakian and Constantin Frantzen.

In singles play, the Bears started off slow and were a point away from defeat. Jimmy Bendeck (6-3, 6-1) and Constantin Frantzen (7-5, 6-2) both fell to their opponents in straight sets and USC took a 3-0 match lead.

Playing at the No. 2 spot, the 81st-ranked ranked Johannes Schretter took care of USC’s Nick Crystal with ease, 6-4, 6-3, to get the Bears on the board. The 15th-ranked Benitez cut the deficit to one on court one by defeating No. 16 Holt, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.

On court five, Little tied the match for the Bears with a 6-3, 7-5 besting of Thibault Forget.

With the team score now tied 3-3, the full attention turned to the No. 3 spot where the 35th-ranked Max Tchoutakian was in a three-set battle against No. 45 Logan Smith. Smith had won the first set, 6-3, and the senior Bear responded by winning the second set 6-1. Tchoutakian held a break advantage when he became the lone player on court and he held his serve twice to finish off the comeback, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.

“It was a great performance by the guys. I am really proud of Max. It was his first time to clinch in that situation. That is really special for any player. We talk about that a lot. We want every guy walking up to every match hoping they get to be in that position. It is a really special thing as a college tennis player to be last match on with both teams cheering. I am really happy for Max that he got that opportunity as a senior and did a great job.” – head coach Matt Knoll on Max Tchoutakian clinching the match

“It was a match that was really good for us and I would have said that had we lost. I think it was a tough, hard fought match. I am really pleased with how much we are improving. I think we are a way better team than we were even a week ago. This has been a real good week for us in terms of our preparation before we came out here. I feel like we are heading in the right direction and continuing to improve.” – Knoll on his team

• Baylor is now 16-3 on the season, while USC is 17-3.
• Baylor is now 8-2 in neutral site matches in 2017.
• Baylor is now 7-9 all-time against USC. 
• Baylor went 3-0 in three days of action at the event defeating No. 7 USC, No. 13 California (4-0) and 33rd-ranked SMU (4-1).
• Baylor had previously only reached the final of the event, losing to Oklahoma in 2015.
• In 2014, BU went 2-0 at the tournament prior to the current format.

Baylor will host a dual-match doubleheader next Sunday, Feb. 26, at the Hurd Tennis Center. BU will face Memphis at 2 p.m., followed by a 6 p.m. match vs. Prairie View A&M.

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