A trio of Baylor men’s tennis student-athletes were selected to participate in the NCAA individual championship action starting May 24 in Athens, Ga.
The NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Subcommittee made the announcement Wednesday that Juan Benitez and Max Tchoutakian would be two of the 49 at-large bids into the 64-man singles bracket. Benitez will be seeded in the 9-16 range of the bracket. The duo’s selection marks the 16th-consecutive year that the Bears have had at least one competitor in the NCAA singles draw.
Meanwhile, Benitez and doubles partner Will Little were one of 20 at-large selections to the 32-tandem NCAA Doubles Championship draw.
The NCAA Singles & Doubles Championships will be held at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex May 24-29 in Athens, Ga., following the conclusion of team championship play. All matches will be the best-of-three sets. No-ad scoring and a 7-point tiebreaker at six-games-all will be used for all matches. In doubles, a 10-point match tiebreaker will be played in lieu of a third set.
Benitez, a sophomore, is currently ranked No. 14 and will appear in NCAA individual postseason action for the first time. He is 21-8 on the year in singles play and 16-8 in dual-match action. Benitez has lost five of his last six decisions, but previously reeled off five-straight wins.
Tchoutakian, ranked No. 44, is a senior with a 28-8 overall record and a 15-2 mark in dual-match singles action. He boasts a 9-4 mark against ranked opponents and has won four-straight decisions. Tchoutakian made the NCAA Singles draw in 2015 as well, going 1-1 with a three-set loss in the round of 32 ending his run.
As the 17th-ranked duo in the country, Benitez and Little are 5-4 on the year with all of those matches coming in dual-match play. The tandem owns victories over the country’s then-No. 1 tandem of Filip Bergevi and Florian Lakat of Cal and the then-No. 5 duo of Julian Cash and Arjun Kadhe of Oklahoma State. The BU twosome is 3-4 against nationally ranked pairings.
Additionally, sophomore Johannes Schretter is the second alternate to the 64-man singles bracket.
It was announced Tuesday that as a team, the seventh-seeded Bears would welcome Cornell, Rice and Lamar to Waco and the Hurd Tennis Center for first and second round action on Friday and Saturday, May 12-13.
The action in Waco gets underway on Friday, May 12, as the Bears will take on fourth-seeded Lamar (17-7) in first round action at 10 a.m., followed by second-seeded Cornell (21-3) and No. 3 seed Rice (23-7) meeting at 1 p.m. The winners of those two matches will then play on Saturday, May 13, at 4 p.m.
BU is currently 21-7 on the season and ranked No. 6 in the latest Oracle/ITA team rankings.