Tennis beats three opponents over the weekend

The No. 13 Demon Deacons handled No. 17 Georgia Tech, Furman and UNC-Charlotte


Christina Denovio, Sports Editor

Three wins in a weekend. Impressive even for the dominant No. 13 Wake Forest men’s tennis team. First, the team defeated No. 17 Georgia on the road on March 19. Then, they took care of Furman and UNC-Charlotte in a double-header this past Sunday.

The win against Georgia was the closest of the three, as the Demon Deacons finished the matches 4-3. The No. 1 doubles team for Wake Forest — including redshirt senior Eduardo Nava and sophomore Henri Squire — lost to their opponents by a score of 3-6. At second and third doubles, however, junior Melios Esftathiou and sophomore Taha Baadi — along with junior Siddhant Banthia and graduate student Adam Ambrozy — won their matches, finishing with 7-6 scorelines. With a doubles point secured, Wake Forest looked to their singles players to get the win.

In singles, Squire (6-3, 6-2) and Esftathiou (7-5, 6-3) won their matches, both in straight sets. Unfortunately for the Deacs, Baadi (3-6, 4-6), senior Rrezart Cungu (0-6, 4-6) and Banthia (6-7, 4-6) all lost in straight sets.

The only match to go to a third set was Nava’s. After losing his first set, Nava was able to pull through and win the next two, clinching the win for his team (2-6, 7-5, 6-2).

Two days later, the team defeated their non-conference opponents, Furman, at the Wake Forest Tennis Center. Banthia and sophomore Matthew Thomson won their doubles match 6-1, and Ambrozy and junior Robert Macaig also came out on top by a score of 6-2. Squire and Nava left their match unfinished at 4-4. The team once again collected the doubles point.

Playing singles, Squire (6-3, 6-2), Baadi (6-2, 6-2), Nava (6-1, 6-2), Macaig (6-3, 6-0) and Ambrozy (6-2, 6-0) won definitively in straight sets. The Deacs finished the match 7-0.

The second match on Sunday was against UNC-Charlotte, another non-conference opponent. On both the doubles and singles side, the Deacs showed that they can make quick work of inferior opponents. Doubles teams Efstathiou and Baadi (6-1) and Macaig and Cungu (6-3) cruised past their opponents, while Banthia and sophomore Matthew Thomson remained unfinished at 4-4. This marked the third time over the weekend that the team won the doubles point.

In singles, Nava, Cungu, Esfasthiou, Banthia and freshman Luciano Tacchi won in straight sets.

“Double-headers are usually pretty tough because it’s a lot of tennis, especially after coming off a big victory on Friday versus Georgia,” Nava said. “It was good to get the body and the mind going as well.”

Nava, who won in straight sets (6-2, 6-2) against Charlotte, was appreciative of the opportunity to play.

“Double-headers are good because we get a lot of mixtures of guys,” Nava said. “We get some guys that don’t get to play, so it gives everybody confidence. We get the full team together, and it becomes that much better.”

Banthia played doubles against Furman and then both singles and doubles against Charlotte. He came out victorious in two of the three, leaving one unfinished.

“It was good [to get the win] because we had a double-header, so it’s always good to get in matches,” Banthia said, “It was good match practice for all the boys.”

In response to how this successful weekend affects the team moving forward, Banthia said, “Everyone is playing good matches. It just boosts confidence, and we are ready to go to the ACC and NCAA [championships].”

Tacchi, who won his sixth match for the Deacs on Sunday (he is undefeated so far this season) said, “I started a little bit nervous, but at the end, I finished playing very good tennis.”

When asked how it felt to win in straight sets, Tacchi said, “It’s very nice because I don’t spend too much time on the court. I’m very happy about that.”

The Deacs have another busy weekend ahead of them as they travel to play Clemson on March 26 and Georgia Tech on March 28.