April 30, 2011
|No. 25 Oklahoma (16-6, 5-3 Big 12) at the Big 12 Championships|
|Finals Info||Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 8 a.m.|
|Opponent||No. 9 Texas A&M (25-5, 7-1 Big 12)|
|Location||Waco, Texas | University of Baylor|
|Internet||Live Scoring | Championship Headquarters | Blog Updates|
WACO, Texas - The 25th-ranked University of Oklahoma men’s tennis squad upset top seed and fifth-ranked Baylor, 4-3, in the semifinals of the Big 12 Championships Saturday afternoon at the Baylor Tennis Center and will challenge No. 9 Texas A&M in the finals Sunday at 8 a.m.
Sunday’s finals will be the Sooners first appearance in the Big 12 Championship match, after defeating Baylor for the first time since 1997 when OU won 4-3. Oklahoma’s last conference title came in 1992 when OU was a member of the Big 8 conference.
“It was a close match,” John Roddick said. “You saw a lot of guys on both sides really leaving it all out there. It was a very similar match to when we played last time. At the end, whoever wins the doubles point turns out to have a huge advantage. We had a mistake to make out there in singles and they didn’t. They made one mistake at six by not holding the serve there. We had that luxury and they didn’t and that was the difference in the match.”
The Sooners jumped out to a 1-0 lead after winning the doubles portion of the match by claiming wins at the No. 2 and 3 spots.
Baylor’s fifth-ranked John Peers and Roberto Maytin struck first in doubles after the duo defeated OU’s No. 70 Ionut Beleleu and Tsvetan Mihov at the No. 1 spot, 8-6.
Lawrence Formentera and Laurentiu Gavrila evened the score after the Sooner duo ran away with an 8-4 victory over Baylor’s Kike Grangeiro and Julian Bley at the No. 3 spot.
OU’s Costin Paval and Peerakit Siributwong, ranked No. 73, clinched the match after the tandem won a highly contested battle over BU’s 43rd-ranked Jordan Rux and Sergio Ramirez, 9-7.
In singles action, the Sooners won at the No. 1, 2 and 6 singles spots to earn a spot in the Big 12 Championship against No. 2 seed Texas A&M.
Paval, ranked No. 48 nationally, gave the Sooners a 2-0 lead after the Romanian native quickly disposed of Baylor’s 69th-ranked Ramirez in straight sets at the No. 2 spot.
The Bears Rux put Baylor on the board after he downed OU’s Gavrila in identical sets, 6-3.
Maytin tied the score, 2-2, after winning a three-set match at No. 4 singles over the Sooners’ Siributwong. Siributwong took the first set, 6-1, but dropped the next two sets, 6-4, 6-2, to the nation’s 103rd-ranked singles player.
Baylor took the team lead, 3-2, after winning its third straight match, this time at the No. 5 spot. There, Formentera took the first set, 7-6(5), but Grangeiro rallied to take the final two sets over, 6-2, 6-4.
OU’s 30th-ranked Beleleu evened the score, 3-3, from the No. 1 spot. Beleleu, took the first set, 7-6(5), but dropped set two, 6-4, to Baylor’s 17th-ranked Peers. The ITA Central Region Champion, Beleleu, proved too strong as he took the third set, 6-3.
The match came down to the No. 6 spot where OU’s Mihov and the Bears’ Dennis Lengsfeld, ranked No. 92, split the first two sets. Lengsfeld took the first set, 6-3, while Mihov earned a 7-5 win in the second. The third set was decided by a tiebreaker set, which Mihov won, 7-6(5).
The Sooners and Texas A&M will take to the courts at 8 a.m. Sunday morning to earn a Big 12 Championship. Earlier this season, OU dropped a 5-2 decision to the Aggies in Norman.
“I’m not thinking about winning,” Roddick said. “I’m just thinking about trying to play well and go out and do the things that allow us to go out and compete and be in matches and either take care of matches when we have the lead or at least stay in tough matches and that is all I’m worried about.”
No. 25 Oklahoma 4, No. 5 Baylor 3
1. #30 Ionut Beleleu (OU) def. #17 John Peers (BU), 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3
2. #48 Costin Paval (OU) def. #69 Sergio Ramirez (BU), 6-4, 6-1
3. Jordan Rux (BU) def. Laurentiu Gavrila (OU) 6-3, 6-3
4. Roberto Maytin (BU) def. Peerakit Siributwong (OU), 1-6, 6-4, 6-2
5. Kike Grangeiro (BU) def. Lawrence Formentera (OU), 6-7(2), 6-2, 6-4
6. Tsvetan Mihov (OU) def. Dennis Lengsfeld (BU) 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(5)
Order of finish: 2, 3, 4, 5, 1, 6*
1. #5 Peers/Maytin (BU) def. #70 Beleleu/Mihov (OU), 8-6
2. #73 Paval/Siributwong, OU def. #43 Ramirez/Rux (BU), 9-7
3. Formentera/Gavrila (OU) def. Julian Bley/Grangeiro (BU), 8-4
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2
The Sooners are led by senior Ionut Beleleu, the ITA Central Region champion, and reigning All-American Costin Paval. Beleleu, a native of Romania, is ranked No. 30 nationally. Fellow Romanian Paval checks in at No. 48.
Beleleu and Tsvetan Mihov are ranked No. 70 in doubles play, while Paval and Peerakit Siributwong are ranked No. 73.
Texas A&M is led by Austin Krajicek, ranked No. 18 nationally, Jeff Dadamo (No. 36) and Alexis Klegou (No. 89) in singles. The Aggies also posses three ranked duos in fourth-ranked Dadamo and Krajicek, No. 61 Grigorov and Junior Ore and No. 90 Alberto Bautista and Colin Hoover.
|Dual Match Records|
|SOONER TENNIS NOTES|
FOLLOW THE SENIOR
Ionut Beleleu, OU's lone senior, has led the Sooners at the No. 1 position for the majority of the year. Beleleu, the 2010 ITA Central Region Champion, has a career record of 94-43 in singles and 59-55 in doubles. The Zalua, Romania native was named to the first team All-Big 12 and Academic All-Big 12 teams in 2010. This past fall Beleleu was one of 32 participants to make the cut to compete in the prestigious USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships.
PAVAL THE LEADER
Last year's Big 12 Newcomer of the Year started off the year winning nine in a row before falling to Virginia's second-ranked Alex Domijan on March 18. The Sooner is now 16-4 and is ranked No. 48.
Roddick's squad has seen four newcomers compete in the singles lineup this year. Laurentiu Gavrila has been steady at the No. 3 position, while Peerakit Siributwong is 7-5 at the No. 4 spot and 4-3 at No. 3. Tsvetan Mihov (13-8) has been instrumental for the Sooners, while Harry Warden has filled in at the No. 5 and 6 spots.
Oklahoma has tried nine different doubles tandems throughout the season and have won a total of 12 doubles points.
GAVRILA THE GREAT
Laurentiu Gavrila, a Romanian native, comes to Norman with a multitude of accolades to his name, including a career-high ATP, Associated of Tennis Professionals, singles ranking of 888. In doubles Gavrila was ranked as high as 721 in the world. Gavrila has been key for OU at the No. 3 spot where he boasts a 9-6 record (13-8 overall).
LAST TIME OUT
Oklahoma swept No. 21 Texas Tech in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championships, 4-0, on Friday April 29. The Sooners upset top-seed and fifth-ranked Baylor, 4-3, on Saturday.