It was the first dual match of the season for the Dons on Tuesday, and one that they hope to soon erase from their memory. USF opened the year with a 4-0 loss to No. 16 University of California, Berkeley at the Channing Tennis Courts.
After UC Berkeley’s Ben McLachlan opened singles play with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over the Dons junior Bernard Saraiva, things slowly crumbled afterwards. UC Berkeley’s Filip Bergevi beat freshman Christian Brockstedt 6-1, 6-2 on court thre, while junior Rich Van Hout lost 6-3, 6-0 to Andre Goransson, the No. 85 player in the country, on court four. Goransson’s win clinched the singles victory for the Bears, and the matches on courts two, five, and six were abandoned.
Going into doubles play, there seemed to be no change of pace as the duo of Goransson and Bergevi won the first match against Germain Bahn and Thomas Takemoto 6-1. UC Berkeley’s Gregory Bayane and Chase Melton closed the door with a 6-2 victory over Brockstedt and freshman Timothy Tan.
While the match itself saw little parity over the course of the day, there were several out of ordinary events that could have at least entertained the spectators. The teams changed the scoring format in the doubles portion of the match, shortening the game to six instead of the traditional eight points. Also, the players did not take time to warm up before their games, which made the match a much quicker affair.
Even though it was not a successful outing for the Dons, there were some promising signs. Sophomore Nils Skajaa had took an early lead in his singles match against UC Berkeley’s Campbell Johnson, which head coach Pablo Pires de Almeida saw as a positives aspect of the contest.
“We lost 4-0, but I thought the guys really fought hard and had opportunities to win many sets,” Pires de Almeida said. “In singles, Nils Skajaa was up in the second set ready to win the match when it was clinched and matches were suspended.”
With Skajaa’s strong play and other building elements that were demonstrated at various times of the match, the Dons will hopefully be able to execute a better strategy next time when they travel to
UC Davis to take on the Aggies on Feb. 1.