In the opening match of the BNP Paribas Open Collegiate Tennis Challenge Presented by Oracle, the sixth-ranked Baylor men’s tennis earned a 4-1 victory over No. 33 SMU Friday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
It is the second time this season that the Bears have gotten past the Mustangs, after sweeping them 4-0 on Feb. 29.
For the first time in his last five matches, BU won the doubles point. At the No. 1 position, Juan Benitez and Will Little upset the 18th-ranked pairing of Hunter and Yates Johnson, 6-4.
SMU responded with a 6-4 triumph on court three with Constantin Frantzen and Max Tchoutakian losing against Tony Russell and Ronald Slobodchikov.
That left the opening point to be decided at the No. 2 spot where Johannes Schretter and Jimmy Bendeck secured a 7-6(3) win against Arkadijs Slobodkins and Markus Kerner.
In singles, the Bears quickly jetted out to a 2-0 lead as the 15th-ranked Benitez bested No. 50 Slobodchikov, 6-1, 6-2, at the top of the lineup.
Frantzen fell to Yates Johnson, 6-3, 6-2, on court six to give SMU its lone point of the day.
From that point, Little cruised past Russell, 6-2, 6-4, at the No. 5 spot and the 81st-ranked Schretter polished off Samm Butler, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 to clinch the victory.
TOP QUOTE #1
“I really couldn’t care less about winning the doubles. I just want to win four points. Today, we played well at No. 1 doubles and the No. 2 team winning in a tiebreaker was great. I felt great about the way the guys competed in singles too.” - head coach Matt Knoll on the match
TOP QUOTE #2
“Juan winning quickly was nice. It put us up 2-0 and puts those guys behind the eight-ball a little bit. It was great that he was able to play great tennis. He likes the hot conditions and felt comfortable out there. As the spring wears on I think you are going to see him continue to improve and get better.” - Knoll on the play of Juan Benitez
• Baylor is now 14-3 on the season, while SMU is 9-5
• The Bears have won 20-straight matches over SMU, but still trail the all-time series 28-23.
• BU has not lost to SMU since 2001.
• Baylor is now 6-2 in neutral site matches in 2016.