Macon, Ga. – Ignacio Garrido advanced to the finals to highlight a rain-shortened weekend for the USC Upstate men's tennis team as the Spartans competed at the Mercer Gridiron Classic hosted by Mercer from the Peddy Tennis Center.
The senior from Oaxaca, Mexico competed for Upstate last weekend in the Jets Singles Division and was the bracket's sixth seed. Garrido captured his first two matches in straight sets over Pablo Llebelli of Chattanooga and Alvaro Arias of Florida Southern. He defeated Llebelli 6-2, 6-2 and Arias 6-0, 6-3. Garrido then made it to the semifinals by winning in three sets over Robin Moller of Georgia College in three sets 6-1, 4-6, 7-5. He advanced to the finals, which was not played due to weather, after winning in straight sets over Diego Finkelstein of Georgia Southern 7-6(5), 6-3.
"Overall we had a decent weekend down at Mercer, especially considering how tough the field was," said assistant coach Tim McLane. "Obviously Ignacio had an outstanding tournament and he did a really nice job of getting to his offense throughout the weekend. He and Felix also did a nice job of grinding out some doubles wins and making it to the semifinals. Our younger guys did a good job of competing during the weekend as well, with Francisco making a quarterfinal appearance. This was a great way to get us ready to compete at ITA Regionals coming up this weekend."
Along with the performance by Garrido, the Spartans picked up nine combined victories in both singles and doubles play. Francisco Neto added two victories in singles competition while also competing in the Jets Singles Division and the doubles combination of Garrido and Felix Ewers advanced to the semifinals of the Cowboys Doubles Division.
Neto's two singles wins came in three sets as he defeated Corey Smith of Kennesaw State 6-4, 0-6, 6-3 and Jose Plazas of Bethune Cookman 4-6, 6-3, 6-1. Ewers and Ankush Arora each captured a match in the Buccaneers Singles Division, and Samuel Schiano won his opening match in the Raiders Singles Division.
In doubles play, Ewers and Garrido made it to the semifinals of the Cowboys Doubles Division after winning two matches. The duo earned a first round bye before winning 7-5 over Ion Efrim and Chris Andre of Alabama State 7-5 and followed with a 6-3 triumph against Robin Moller and Jannik Kumbier of Georgia College 6-3.
Arora and Fernando Bernardes added a doubles win in the Cowboys Division 6-1 versus Arias and Brian Wilson of Florida Southern. In the Dolphins Doubles Division, Neto and Luka Eble earned a first round bye before topping Blaine Miller and Tim Becker of Florida Southern 7-6.
Upstate travels to Cary, N.C. on Oct. 13-17 for the ITA Carolina Regional hosted by Duke at Cary Tennis Park.
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