By Noah Torr | Broadcast Reporter
After withdrawing from the ITA Regional tournament last weekend, men’s tennis duo sophomore Sven Lah and senior Jimmy Bendeck are ready for the ITA Fall Championships next Wednesday.
Lah and Bendeck went 3-0 at the ITA Regionals before retiring before the semi-finals because of the tightness in Lah’s back. Bendeck said it was the right move for them to pull out before playing since they had already clinched their spot in the Championships.
“We were very disappointed, Sven [Lah] more than me,” Bendeck said. “He felt that he was letting me down but being healthy and making sure we’re ready for the spring season is what’s important. Not playing that match was a good decision.”
Lah and Bendeck are the only Baylor doubles team competing in the Championships while senior Will Little and Lah will represent the Bears in singles play. On the women’s side, sophomore Livia Kraus will compete in the singles bracket.
Bendeck said he believes he and Lah have the ability to win it all in Arizona now that they’re both 100 percent healthy.
“[Lah and I are] going to be on this wall,” Bedeck said jokingly as he pointed to the wall of fame. “We’re going to be on this wall for being number one.”
Though Lah and Bendeck are playing like two brothers on the court, their relationship didn’t start out that way. The two had troubles early on but by getting to know each other and fighting through adversity, Bendeck said him and Lah have unbreakable chemistry.
“Sven [Lah] and I have had a very up and down relationship, especially at the beginning of his time here,” Bendeck said. “But because of those issues, we know how to treat each other now. That’s why we were successful in All-Americans, and that’s why we’ll be successful going forward.”
Last year, Baylor was represented by senior Will Little and senior Johannes Schretter in the Championship and the two made it to the quarterfinals before losing to seniors Petros Chrysochos and Skander Mansouri of Wake Forest, who ended up winning it all last season.
Bendeck said he and Sven’s goal is to come in to each match with the right mindset and to be ready for whoever they face.
“What you can expect from Sven and I is to be prepared,” Bendeck said. “One thing we talk about during our matches is ‘Let’s just have fun’ and we just try to enjoy the moment.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams travel to Arizona next week to compete in the ITA Fall Championships.