Lackluster Performance From Syracuse Leads To 6-1 Loss At Clemson

Saturday, Mar 18, 2023 at 12:00 pm by Sports Editor

By Samuel Reis | @SamuelReisTV

Citrus TV Tennis Beat Reporter

CLEMSON, S.C. – Heading into Friday’s match with Clemson, Syracuse had not played in 12 days. That gap between matches was a great opportunity to rest for a roster of just six players. However, that rest period potentially disrupted the form and momentum the Orange possessed before the break.

The Tigers opened up the match by comfortably winning doubles. That proved to be an indicator of how the rest of the dual would play out. Clemson (12-6, 2-5 Atlantic Coast) went on to win five of six singles matches en route to a 6-1 triumph over Syracuse (11-2, 4-2 Atlantic Coast).

Just over 30 minutes is all that was required to settle the doubles point. No. 2 doubles was the first match to conclude where Jenna Thompson and Leigh Van Zyl defeated Shiori Ito and Viktoriya Kanapatskaya 6-3. Shortly after that, the doubles point was already secured as Daniella Medvedeva and Cristina Mayorova took care of Miyuka Kimoto and Polina Kozyreva 6-3 in No. 3 doubles. 

The lone competitive match was in No. 1 doubles, but the result did not matter. That is where Zeynep Erman and Ines Fonte were knotted at 4-4 with Eleni Louka and Sophia Hatton when the match was left unfinished.

In singles, any hope of a comeback for the Orange was erased quickly. The Tigers were impressive across the board right out of the gate and put themselves in a comfortable position early on.

No. 4 singles is where Miyuka Kimoto faced the challenge of Daniella Medvedeva. The junior is Clemson’s only nationally ranked player (125th) and played like it. After cruising to a 6-2 first set victory, she put Kimoto away with a 6-4 win in the second set.

In No. 5 singles, Shiori Ito went up against Sophia Hatton. Hatton is from DeWitt, New York and attended Bishop Grimes High School in East Syracuse. It is safe to say the junior took care of business against her “hometown” team as she won 6-3, 6-3. Ito was competitive for a spell of the first set but Hatton managed to pull away for the straight sets victory.

No. 1 singles is where the dual was ultimately clinched for Clemson. Zeynep Erman countered Eleni Louka and despite some impressive performances from Erman this season, the senior struggled in a 6-4, 6-2 loss. Louka was dominant early on, leading the opening set 4-0. Erman finally found her game and came back to make the rest of the set a little uncomfortable for her opponent. Louka regained confidence after claiming the first set and won the second set comfortably.

With Clemson clinching the dual as quickly as possible, that left three matches remaining on court that were played out. In No. 2 singles, Viktoriya Kanpatskaya made it very difficult for Cristina Mayorova to close out their match in straight sets, but the Spaniard got the job done 6-4, 7-5. That gave the Tigers a 5-0 lead with two singles matches left.

Elsewhere, Polina Kozyreva surrendered a 5-0 first set lead to lose the set 7-5 against Jenna Thompson. Kozyreva responded by winning the second set 6-4 but dropped the super tiebreak 10-1 in her first singles loss of the season. In the final match to conclude, Syracuse avoided a shutout with Ines Fonte defeating Leigh Van Zyl 7-5, 6-4.

After suffering just its second loss of the season, Syracuse attempts to bounce back on Sunday at Georgia Tech. First serve of that match is slated for noon.