ORLANDO, Fla. – The No. 33 UCF men's tennis team pulled off a come from behind, upset victory over No. 20 Texas Tech by a score of 4-3 on Friday night in Lubbock, Texas. Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi earned the clincher after fighting his way through a third-set tiebreaker.
"Our guys battled and competed tonight," said Director of Tennis John Roddick. "The guys battled as hard as I've ever seen. Texas Tech played a tough match and we did a great job of hanging in there and overcoming setbacks. Really proud of the effort tonight."
The match saw the Knights jump out to big leads on two doubles courts and at one point had leads on all three. Court one was the first to finish as No. 7 Gabriel Decamps and Grassi Mazzuchi cruised to a 6-1 win over Isaac Arevalo and Jackson Cobb. The Red Raiders answered on court two as Reed Collier and Parker Wynn topped Trey Hilderbrand and Bogdan Pavel 7-5. The doubles point came down to a tiebreaker on court three where Bjorn Thomson and Ilgiz Valiev edged Alan Rubio and Mikhail Sokolovskiy 7-6 (9-7).
Texas Tech kept the momentum going into singles as they won four of six first sets. The Knights collected the first singles point as Hilderbrand picked up a win on court fire as he topped Franco Ribero 6-2, 6-2.
The Red Raiders collected two consecutive singles points to pull out to a 3-1 advantage in the match. Court six fell first as Thomson defeated Sokolovskiy 6-1, 7-5, followed by court one where No. 48 Wynn came out on top of No. 19 Decamps 6-1, 7-6 (7-3).
Despite Texas Tech pulling within one of the clinchers, the match was very much up for the taking. All remaining singles courts were headed to third sets all at the same time.
Slowly, courts two, three, and four started to build leads together. Slowly, each one pulled closer to match point. Rubio was the first to get there, beating No. 116 Collier 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. The win was Rubio's second over a ranked opponent this season.
Pavel on court four followed suit rather quickly, picking up a 2-6, 6-0, 6-4 victory over Arevalo. The win brought the match score to 3-3 which meant the fate of the match rested on court two.
The remaining court saw Grassi Mazzuchi win his first set but fall in a tight second frame. He pulled out to a 4-1 edge but saw his opposition, No. 87 Valiev catch up and force a tiebreaker. Grassi Mazzuchi imposed his will in the tiebreaking session, winning his match 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) to seal the comeback victory.
UCF's win over Texas Tech gives them two victories over ranked opponents this season, with their other one over then No. 24 San Diego. The Knights have also tallied a pair of victories over teams that were receiving votes in the Oracle/ITA team rankings.
The Knights will travel to Tennessee to take on conference foe Memphis at 1 p.m. on Sunday. It will be the first of four American Athletic Conference opponents that UCF will face during the 2020 regular season.
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