Men’s tennis falters on the road at Mississippi

Baylor freshman Roy Smith prepares to unleash a forehand from the baseline in at match at the Hurd Tennis Center. Photo Credit: Baylor Athletics

By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor

No. 9 Baylor men’s tennis dropped a 4-3 decision on the road Sunday in Oxford, Miss.

Mississippi head coach Toby Hansson said that Baylor has always been a great opponent for the Rebels and today his team matched the Bears’ intensity.

“We’ve played Baylor a lot and they always have a very good team. They are tough competitors who bring a lot of energy,” Hansson said after the match. “We matched them today in intensity with the help of the crowd. It was an amazing college tennis match.”

The Bears fell behind early, losing the double point to the Rebels, and were battling uphill the rest of the match.

The Rebels took the doubles point by earning a 6-3 win over redshirt junior Will Little and junior Johannes Schretter at the No. 1 Spot and over sophomore Bjoern Petersen and junior Jimmy Bendeck on No. 2.

Baylor freshmen duo of Roy Smith and Sven Lah took a 6-3 set win, but shortly after finishing it up, the Rebels finished off Petersen and Bendeck to take a 1-0 lead.

Little got the Bears on the board, disposing of No. 86 Filip Krajilevic 6-0, 6-1. Lah kept then kept Baylor in front, earning a 6-2, 6-3 over No. 69 Zvonimir Babic.

After Mississippi earned a 6-4, 6-2 win on Court No. 2 to tie the match up at two, Smith dominated a second set tiebreak to put the Bears in front 3-2 with a 6-4, 7-6(7-1) win at the No. 6 spot.

But that was as close to victory as the Bears would get, as Bendeck dropped a 6-4, 7-6(7-4) decision at the No. 4 spot, tying the match at three and putting all eyes on Court No. 1.

Schretter dropped the opening set 6-3 to No. 32 Gustav Hansson, but fought back to take the second set 7-5. But with the match on the line, Hansson broke Schretter early and prevented him from every getting back in the set, running away with the third 6-1, claiming the victory for Mississippi.

Gustav Hansson said the crowd gave him great energy as he began to find his rhythm in the third set.

“I was a little frustrated at the beginning of the third set, but then I got the energy going and felt like I was in control in the third set,” Hansson said after the match. “I also got a huge boost from the crowd, which was awesome.”

Baylor (4-1) returns home for two matches this weekend beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday against Purdue and again at 1 p.m. Sunday against the University of South Florida.