KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — After dropping the doubles point Thursday afternoon, the top-four singles spots won in straight sets to help Arkansas’ men’s tennis team defeat LSU, 4-2, in the SEC Tournament.
The win marks the third-ever victory in the conference tournament for the Razorbacks (16-11) and their first since 2006. This is the fourth victory this season in which Arkansas came from behind to win after dropping the doubles point.
The Razorbacks have now won eight of its last 11 matches, including three straight. Arkansas has also won three straight over LSU and four of its last six matches over the Tigers.
“It was a good team win,” sai coach Andy Jackson. “Mike Redlicki was clutch in a very tense, high pressure situation. We are looking forward to the challenge of playing Georgia, the SEC Champions. It is a great opportunity for us.”
To start things off for Arkansas, Oscar Mesquida and Juan Marino made quick work at the No. 3 spot, giving the Razorbacks the early advantage in the doubles point by defeating Rafael Wagner and Eric Samuelsson 6-3. However, LSU went on to win at the No. 1 and 2 spots to gain the 1-0 match lead.
Mesquida continued his winning ways, defeating Gabor Csonka 6-3, 6-2 to tie the match 1-1. The sophomore has won four-straight decisions, all at the No. 3 spot and has victories in 10 of his last 11 decisions overall.
Marino fell to Samuelsson 4-6, 3-6 at the No. 6 spot to give LSU the 2-1 lead, but Adam Sanjurjo would close out Julian Saborio 6-3, 6-4 shortly after to knot the match at 2-2.
No. 34 Jose Salazar made quick work of the first set, winning 6-1, and took a 4-2 lead in the second before the set became a nail biter. LSU’s Nikola Samardzic fought back, winning three of the next four games to send the set to a tiebreaker, where Salazar defeated Samardzic 7-2 to win 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) and give Arkansas the 3-2 lead.
Down 5-4 in the first set at the No. 1 spot, 10th-ranked Redlicki won the final three games to come back and win 7-5. He jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second set before No. 36 Jordan Daigle won back-to-back games to keep things interesting at 5-3. Redlicki would go on to defeat Diagle 7-5, 6-3 to give Arkansas the 4-2 victory.
The Razorbacks will square off against the No. 2 seed Georgia Bulldogs on Friday at 11 a.m. CT from Knoxville. Arkansas is 3-25 all-time against the Bulldogs and 0-1 in the SEC Tournament. Georgia has won at least a share of the regular season SEC Title in five of the last six seasons and two of the last five tournament titles.
Arkansas 4, LSU 2
Singles competition – Order of finish (3,6,4,2,1)
1. #10 Mike Redlicki (AR) def. #36 Jordan Daigle (LSU) 7-5, 6-3
2. #34 Jose Salazar (AR) def. Nikola Samardzic (LSU) 6-1, 7-6 (7-2)
3. Oscar Mesquida (AR) def. Gabor Csonka (LSU) 6-3, 6-2
4. Adam Sanjurjo (AR) def. Julian Saborio (LSU) 6-3, 6-4
5. Johan den Toom (AR) vs. Rafael Wagner (LSU) 6-7 (2-7), 4-5, unfinished
6. Eric Samuelsson (LSU) def. Juan Marino (AR) 6-4, 6-3
Doubles competition – Order of finish (3,2,1)
1. Julian Saborio/Gabor Csonka (LSU) def. #3 Mike Redlicki/Jose Salazar (AR) 7-6 (9-7)
2. Nikola Samardzic/Jordan Daigle (LSU) def. Adam Sanjurjo/Johan den Toom (AR) 6-4
3. Oscar Mesquida/Juan Marino (AR) def. Rafael Wagner/Eric Samuelsson (LSU) 6-3