Chris Rodesch rallied from down 5-1 in the third set to win a tiebreaker to clinch the team's victory
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 5 Virginia men’s tennis team (23-2) defeated No. 21 Stanford (11-6) by a 4-2 score in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship on Sunday (May 9) at the Virginia Tennis Facility at the Boar’s Head Resort.
Freshman Chris Rodesch (Angelsberg, Luxembourg) rallied from a 5-1 deficit in his third set to clinch the victory for the Cavaliers.
With the victory, the Cavaliers advance to the Round of 16 where they will face 12-seed USC on Monday, March 17 at 4 p.m. at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla.
Grad student Carl Söderlund (Stockholm, Sweden) and junior William Woodall (Washington, D.C.) opened the match with a 6-3 doubles win on court one. Stanford picked up 6-4 victories on courts two and three to take the point and lead the match 1-0.
Junior Ryan Goetz (Greenlawn, N.Y.) got the Cavaliers on the board with a 6-1, 6-3 victory against Timothy Sah on court five. Freshman Iñaki Montes (Pamplona, Spain) won 6-4, 6-4 against Alex Rotsaert on court four to put UVA ahead 2-1. Senior Gianni Ross (Chicago, Ill.) went to a tiebreaker to decide his first set against Neel Rajesh, battling for a 9-7 advantage to take the first set. He won the second 6-2 to give UVA the 3-1 lead.
On court one, Söderlund edged Axel Geller 6-4 in the first set and had a chance to clinch the match when the second set went to a tiebreaker, but Geller battled back, winning the breaker 7-4 to force a third set.
On court two, freshman Jeffrey von der Schulenburg (Zurich, Switzerland) won his first set 6-2 against Arthur Fery, but Fery won the second to force a decider. The third set looked destined for a tiebreaker when Fery broke von der Schulenburg’s serve and won 7-5, making the match 3-2.
On court three, Rodesch had swiftly dropped his first set against Tristan, Boyer, 6-2, but won the second 6-4 to force a third set. Boyer went up 5-1 in the third set before Rodesch began his comeback. Boyer was serving at 5-3 with a 40-15 advantage when Rodesch staved off the three break points, winning at deuce to get the match back on serve. He held serve to tie it 5-5. Both players held serve to send it to the 6-6 deadlock and tiebreaker. Rodesch held an early 4-1 lead in the tiebreaker, but Boyer pulled to within one to make it 6-5. Rodesch held on for the 7-5 win in the tiebreaker to clinch the match.
Söderlund was up a break with a 3-0 lead on court one when the match was suspended.
FROM HEAD COACH ANDRES PEDROSO
“When the bracket came out on Monday night and saw Stanford was coming to Virginia, we said all right, we’ve got our hands full. And we knew it was going to be a tough match. Every single guy on my team knows we had tough match and that by no means we were taking those guys lightly. They proved to be really, really tough to beat. And that’s, that’s what Stanford tennis has been about for a long time. I’ve got a lot of respect for that program.
“Orlando is going be a lot like here. It’s going to be windy. I’m from Florida so I know Orlando pretty well. It’ll probably be a little hotter, but you know our guys are super fit. We have a great strength and conditioning specialist and Justin Russ and a great team of athletic trainers led by Carolyn Fitch who really keep us healthy and keep us fit. Those resources make a difference at this time of year and so you can expect the Wahoos to be 100% Orlando.
On Chris Rodesch’s comeback
“That match was Chris Rodesch in a nutshell. The guy is always in an unbelievable mood. He’s just a positive guy. Nothing gets him down. So a couple of numbers on the scoreboard aren’t going to get that kid down. He just keeps fighting and that’s how he lives his life.”
NOTING THE CAVALIERS
- This was the battle between the Pac-12 and ACC regular-season champions. UVA also won the ACC tournament championship while Stanford was upset in the semifinals
- Virginia has extended its win streak to 17 matches. UVA has not lost a match since being edged 4-3 by Illinois on Valentine’s Day on the final day of the ITA Indoor Championship
- Gianni Ross has the longest active singles win streak on the team, winning his last nine completed matches. He is 12-3 this season
- Iñaki Montes is 13-1 in his last 14 completed singles matches
VIRGINIA & THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
- UVA has now advanced to the Round of 16 in 15 of the last 16 championships
- This is Virginia’s 17th-consecutive NCAA Championship appearance
- Virginia has won four NCAA titles, including three-consecutive from 2015-17
- Carl Söderlund was a freshman on UVA’s 2017 NCAA Championship team
- The Cavaliers have advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals in 14 of the last 15 championships, advanced to the semi-finals in 10 of the past 13 and played in the finals in six of the last nine
#5 Virginia 4, #21 Stanford 2
- #7 Carl Soderlund (VA) vs. #104 Axel Geller (STAN) 6-4, 6-7 (4), 3-0, unfinished
- #78 Arthur Fery (STAN) def. #44 J vd Schulenburg (VA) 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
- Chris Rodesch (VA) def. Tristan Boyer (STAN) 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5)
- #61 Inaki Montes (VA) def. Alex Rotsaert (STAN) 6-4, 6-4
- #106 Ryan Goetz (VA) def. Timothy Sah (STAN) 6-1, 6-3
- Gianni Ross (VA) def. Neel Rajesh (STAN) 7-6 (7), 6-2
- #14 Carl Soderlund/William Woodall (VA) def. Axel Geller/Tomas Kopczynski (STAN) 6-3
- Tristan Boyer/Timothy Sah (STAN) def. #89 Ryan Goetz/Chris Rodesch (VA) 6-4
- Arthur Fery/Alex Rotsaert (STAN) def. J vd Schulenburg/Inaki Montes (VA) 6-4
Stanford 11-6; National ranking #21
Virginia 23-2; National ranking #5
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (5,4,6,2,3)
NCAA Championship Second Round
Head coach Andres Pedroso talks about today's 4-2 victory against Stanford