NORMAN – The Oklahoma men’s tennis team defeated Tulsa 4-3 on Friday night in Indian Wells, Calif., at the BNP Paribas Open Collegiate Challenge presented by Oracle.
The victory was the second of the year for OU over the Golden Hurricane. Head coach Nick Crowell and his team also defeated TU 7-0 in Norman on Feb. 24.
For the second straight match, Oklahoma, ranked No. 9 in the nation in the Oracle/ITA team rankings, rebounded from dropping the doubles point to capture four singles points and earn the victory.
Senior Florin Bragusi moved to 11-2 in dual play singles in 2017 by cruising past Tulsa’s Jarod Hing, 6-2, 6-1. The Golden Hurricane took the next two singles points, at the No. 5 and No. 1 spots, to take a 3-1 lead in the match, pushing Oklahoma to the brink.
Just as they have done numerous times this year, though, the Sooners responded. First, it was freshman Arnaud Restifo, winning at No. 6 singles 6-4, 6-3 to keep his team alive.
Next, senior Alex Ghilea would also extend his singles record in 2017 to 11-2 with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 win over Majed Kilani. That left OU freshman Jochen Bertsch and TU’s Dominic Berchard as the deciding match in the dual, something Bertsch is used to. The Mannheim, Germany, native gave Oklahoma a massive win over then-No. 6 Florida at National Indoors with a clutch three-set win as the match was knotted at 3-3.
Bertsch came through again this time around against Berchard, rallying from down a set to capture the second and third sets and win the match 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-3, giving Oklahoma the 4-3 victory to advance in the tournament.
With the win, the ninth-ranked Sooners moved to 12-4 in 2017. Oklahoma, the tournament’s No. 2 seed, will next take on fourth-seeded USC on Saturday at 4 p.m. CT in the second round of the event for a trip to the finals on Sunday.
The Sooners will next be in Norman on Friday, March 31, for the Red River Rivalry against the Longhorns at 6 p.m. CT. As always for regular season matches, attendance for fans will be free.
For more information on Oklahoma men’s tennis, follow the team on Twitter @OU_MTennis.