The fatigue of playing up to five matches a day did not halt the South Florida men’s tennis team from posting a strong showing in this weekend’s USF Fall Classic.
The tournament was formatted similar to the Davis Cup in which it was scored individually and then added up for team totals. There were two players from each team in a flight, and it was formatted so the No. 1 player would play the opposing team’s No. 1, No. 2 would play No. 2 and later in the day the positions would swap.
The groups for South Florida were comprised of Paco Antelo and Jorge Escallon in Flight 1, Nadim Nasser and Eric Gildhorn in Flight 2, and Jit Shah and Adrian Meier in Flight 3.Antelo and Gildhorn were the only two players in the tournament to go undefeated.
“It was a tough weekend, especially Sunday. (It) was the toughest day because you carried two days, playing the whole day, so the legs are a little tired. But I just fought to the end,” Antelo said. “I’m really happy that its over, and I’m happy because I won and I played good.”
USF won Flight 1 with 11 points, topping Wake Forest with eight, Central Florida with four and Jacksonville with three.The teams were fighting to conquer the heat and fatigue all weekend, sending many players home with cramps and minor injuries.
Nasser suffered a minor ankle injury and Gildhorn and Antelo were hampered by cramps from the exhausting heat.
“We’re playing five sets (then) coming back the next day, playing another five and that’s real tough,” coach Don Barr said. “It was a good hard battle; I’m real pleased we’ve come around as a unit. We’re battling hard. They’re finding out what it takes to battle and compete, and that is what it is all about.”
USF defeated Jacksonville 10-0 the first day of the tournament and then took 4-of-15 from Wake Forest the next day.
In the final day of the tournament, USF split six matches with Central Florida in which Escallon and Antelo had two grueling singles matches to end the weekend.
Escallon defeated Anotnio Sierra 1-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-7), and Antelo defeated Gabriel Strangberg 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7).”Paco is getting his game back; he played tough, did a great job,” Barr said. “He had two tiebreakers (in the last two days).”