13 Dec 2021 | 09:16 | TENNIS
VILLANOVA, Pa.—On the second day of the 10th annual Villanova Invitational two teams from the host Wildcats advanced to the third round of the White Draw during a full slate of competition at the Villanova Tennis Complex on Saturday afternoon. The team of sophomore Anthony Prokurat (Manalapan, N.J.) and junior Justin Suarez (Manila, Philippines) moved on from their second round matches and are tied at 1-1 in the third round against Loyola (Md.) going into the final day of competition. The winner of a Sunday morning singles match between Suarez and Jorge Quintana from the Greyhounds will determine which team advances to the championship match later in the day.
Suarez has played some of the most exciting tennis of the weekend for Villanova and is 2-0 in his singles matches on the weekend. After he rallied for a thrilling 6-7 (4), 6-0, 18-16 victory on Friday to clinch his and Prokurat’s appearance in the second round, Suarez was back at it on Saturday and followed the same winning formula to a come-from-behind 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 decision over Nick Potter of Colgate. That was also a clinching win, as Prokurat and Suarez had earlier posted a 6-1 win over Potter and Benito Vlassis. Third round action got underway late on Saturday with Prokurat and Suarez falling to Liam Rompre and Quintana from Loyola (Md.) in a 6-0 doubles decision. Prokurat knocked off Rompre in straight sets (6-4, 6-1) to tie the match and set up the decisive Sunday match between Suarez and Quintana.
The team of sophomore Noah Winton (Columbia, Mo.) and senior Matthew Jones (Dallas, Texas) defeated Josh Israel and Mikey Weitz from Colgate in the second round. They won the doubles match in a 7-6 (5) tiebreaker before Jones provided the clinching singles victory with a hard-fought 7-6 (6), 7-6 (0) win in straight sets over Weitz. In the other singles match, Israel was an 8-1 winner over Winton. The third round pitted Winton and Jones against Jordan Paul/Michael Bukhalo from Lehigh, with the Mountain Hawks taking two of three matches played on Saturday to secure a spot in the championship. Paul and Bukhalo posted a 7-5 doubles win over Winton and Jones, while Paul recorded a 6-1, 6-0 decision against Winton.
On the consolation side of the White Draw bracket, the team of junior Will Gatti (Pittsburgh, Pa.), senior Collin Klumb (Leawood, Kan.) and junior Daniel Cheng (Los Angeles, Calif.) clinched two matches on Saturday and advanced to the ninth place match on Sunday afternoon. Gatti and Klumb defeated Ryan Hellinger and Nick Charanjiva of Johns Hopkins (7-5) in the first consolation match played on Saturday, while Gatti’s rally over Hellinger for a 3-6, 7-6 (4), 10-3 victory advanced the pair in the back draw. The other singles match was also an enticing one, as Charanjiva narrowly defeated Klumb by a 7-6 (4), 3-6, 10-5 count. Later on Saturday afternoon Gatti and Cheng posted a 6-2 win over Tyler Mast and Gilberto Rivera Gardillo in a doubles match. Cheng then took on Mast and posted an 8-2 victory to clinch a spot in the ninth place match. Klumb was slated to play Rivera Gardillo on Sunday morning.
Villanova is guaranteed to place three teams in the top eight overall of the Blue Draw at this weekend’s annual home tournament. Of particular note is the all-Wildcats fifth place match which will pit junior Alex Kim (Cary, N.C.) and sophomore Ryan Nguyen (Oakton, Va.) against teammates Josh Robinson (Potomac, Md.) and Eitan Khromchenko (Manalapan, N.J.). One spot down in the bracket, the freshman tandem of Trey Fourticq (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Lukas Choi (Franklin Lakes, N.J.) will play in the seventh place match against Nathan Perrone and Eshan Kanetkar of Saint Joseph’s. All three of those Villanova pairs lost second round matches on Saturday morning.
Kim and Nguyen lost 2-1 to Thomas Yu and James Yu of Johns Hopkins in the second round, with Nguyen tallying the only point with a 6-4, 7-6 (3) decision over James Yu. Later in the day the pair took on their own teammates in a match against Fourticq and Choi. Kim and Nguyen were 6-4 doubles winners over the only two freshmen on the Wildcats roster. Fourticq evened the score at 1-1 with an 8-2 singles win over Kim, but Nguyen beat Choi by an 8-1 final score to secure the match and the fifth place appearance which set up another all-Villanova competition. Fourticq and Choi were swept by Zack Elliott and Marc Blekhman of Lehigh in the second round. They lost their doubles match, 6-1, before Elliott defeated Forticq (8-5) and Blekhman topped Choi (6-1, 6-2).
The path through the Blue Draw for Robinson and Khromchenko began with a 3-0 loss to Swarthmore in Saturday’s action. They were defeated, 6-4, in doubles by Charley Force and Rushil Patel before Force went on to record an 8-3 win over Robinson and Patel knocked off Khromchenko in straights sets (6-3, 6-1). Later in the day they Robinson and Khromchenko were awarded wins by Default in all three of the matches they would have played against Nathan Perrone/Eshan Kanetkar.
Villanova is 27-21 overall through the first two days of competition.
December 11th, 2021
December 11th, 2021