WACO, Texas - The Purdue men’s tennis team largely struggled against its first ranked opponent of the spring, dropping the opening match of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend 4-0 to No. 21 Florida State. The Seminoles entered the contest with three nationally ranked players in singles – two in the top 25 – and a top-10 doubles tandem.
At the start, the Boilermakers were competitive in each of the three doubles contests. Athell Bennett and partner Gergely Madarasz led Aziz Dougaz and Guy Iradukunda on court one 4-3, while Stephan Koenigsfest and partner Javier Rodriguez were ahead of No. 8 Jose Gracia and Lucas Poullain by the same score on court two. On court three, No. 59 Renan Hanayama and partner Ali Mooraj were only behind a break at 4-2 to brothers Terrance and Terrell Whitehurst. However, the Seminoles controlled the remainder of the contest against the ranked pair, winning 6-2.
The pressure then increased with each game on court one with Florida State up a doubles match. The Seminoles first held serve and then broke Purdue, taking a 5-4 lead. Meanwhile, Koenigsfest and Javier led by the same mark on court two.
With the leading pairs serving on both courts, Madarasz and Bennett needed a break to keep Purdue in the point; however, the pair fell 6-4 to Florida State. Court two’s match was then suspended at the clinch, two points away from Koenigsfest and Rodriguez’s fifth-straight win.
In singles, Florida State captured all six first sets and comfortably managed five of the second.
Rodriguez was the first to fall on court three, losing 6-1, 6-2 to No. 24 Poullain. Madarasz was next, dropping his court one contest 6-2, 6-4 to Dougaz. No. 22 Iradukunda then clinched the match for the Seminoles seconds later with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Koenigsfest on court two.
Despite dropping to 2-3, Purdue will have a chance to even its record Sunday, facing the loser of Baylor and UNLV’s first match at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. First serve is scheduled for noon ET at the Hurd Tennis Center. Should weather affect play as it did today, the match will be moved to the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center.