The Baylor men’s tennis duo of Juan Benitez and Will Little recorded the upset of the doubles draw by taking down second-ranked and third-seeded Johannes Ingildsen and Alfredo Perez in the round of 16 at the NCAA Doubles Championship Friday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Even after dropping the first set, Benitez and Little recorded the upset 6-7(4), 6-2, 10-8. In a hard-fought first set, the BU pairing opened up a 2-1 lead in the tiebreaker, but the Florida duo won the next five points to take a 6-2 advantage and went on to win the tiebreaker, 7-4. The Bears roared back in the second set by posting a quick 6-2 victory.
In the 10-point match tiebreaker to decide the advancing team, BU took a 9-6 lead, highlighted by strong play at the net from Little. However, Ingildesen and Perez won the next two points to tighten up the tiebreaker, 9-8. Benitez then served his first ball into the net, but his second serve was true and Florida’s return was long to send the Bears to the quarterfinals
The 22nd-ranked BU twosome had bested Rice’s 61st-ranked Tommy Bennett and David Warren, 6-3, 6-2, to advance to the round of 16.
Benitez and Little are now 8-4 on the year.
By virtue of making the NCAA quarterfinals, the BU duo garners All-American doubles honors.
Benitez previously earned an All-America singles accolade by being a top-16 seed to the NCAA Singles Championship.
Benitez is one of only three players in school history to be a singles and doubles All-America in the same season, joining Benedikt Dorsch (2003, ’04 and ’05) and Julian Lenz (2015).
Overall, head coach Matt Knoll has had 35 All-American selections in his 21 years at Baylor, including 21 singles selections and 14 doubles picks.
TOP QUOTE #1
“I am really proud of how much Juan and Will have improved. We are excited for the quarterfinal tomorrow.” - head coach Matt Knoll on the day
On Saturday, Benitez and Little will play in the NCAA Doubles Championship quarterfinals. The BU twosome will face off against TCU’s 25th-ranked Jerry Lopez and Reese Stadler at 3:30 p.m. CT.