ATHENS, Ga., MAY 12, 2017 – No. 22 USF men's tennis booked its fourth consecutive trip to the second round of the NCAA tournament by cruising past No. 35 Duke on Friday afternoon.
Peter Bertran capped off the comeback in doubles and then clinched match point for the Bulls in their 4-0 victory at Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex. USF will face the Georgia-Florida A&M winner in the second round Saturday at 3 p.m.
Making its 14th NCAA tournament apperance, USF (18-8) extended its winning streak to five matches after securing the doubles point in dramatic fashion.
All-conference duo Alberto Barroso-Campos and Sasha Gozun helped the Bulls jump ahead with a quick 6-2 victory on court 1. Duke (16-10) took court 3 and put up a valiant fight on court 2 before the Bulls prevailed.
Teamed up with Justin Roberts (Nassau, Bahamas), Bertran put the finishing touches on their 7-6 (7-3) win that gave the Bulls the early advantage.
Barroso-Campos (Montijo, Spain) extended the lead to 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Robert Levine. Gozun (Orhei, Moldova) put USF in a position to clinch the match with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Spencer Furman in the top singles spot.
Sending USF to the second round was a special moment for Bertran, who began his collegiate career at the University of Georgia. The junior from Santiago, Dominican Republic pumped his fast after defeating Nick Stachowiak, 6-4, 6-2, on court 4.
“I was happy with it. The doubles point, that was big for us. We came through some tough moments and then the guys really rode that momentum well into the singles. Everybody really did a good job of taking care of their court and got off quickly.”
Fisher on USF's toughness while rallying to secure the important doubles point:
“It doesn't have to be pretty. Just kind of accept where your level is at, fight through it and compete while trying to get a little bit better. I think the guys on court 2 did a great job of that. That wasn't their best tennis, but anybody can win when they're playing well. Winning those tough matches when you're not feeling good, that sort of separates the great teams from the good teams,"
Fisher on the program advancing to the NCAA second round for the fourth consecutive season:
“It's big for us, that's ultimately what this is all about. We work hard, the guys work hard every day and it's for these moments - to be alive at the end of the year and to put yourself in a good position. It's a real honor to be playing on these courts and Georgia is a real storied program. We're excited for that opportunity tomorrow.”
Peter Bertran on the team's rally in doubles to clinch the first point:
“Doubles, I think we started off pretty good. It was a solid doubles, it was tough. Both teams were fighters and court 1 did a pretty good job, they're always playing solid. Court 2 and court 3, Vadym and Jakub played pretty well too, but unfortunately couldn't get that point. I just told Justin to enjoy the moment and that's what we're here for. We've been working all year for this. I just tried to calm him down a little bit and myself as well because when it comes down to that point, you could be a little nervous. Just try to not let the nerves get too much of you. It was a great feeling after that tough tiebreak in doubles.”
Bertran on clinching the win in his return to the Georgia courts:
“It's a huge accomplishment, it's the first round of the NCAAs. Everybody is excited and it was nice to get that last point for the guys. Everybody played great, we got two points fairly quick… I'm really happy to clinch it in Georgia.”
USF will face the Georgia-Florida A&M winner in the third round Saturday at 3 p.m.