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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Men’s tennis clinches first ever Final Four berth with 4-3 win over Florida

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Photo by Photo by Paul Burke

Senior Arthur Rinderknech eyes the ball before returning a slicing shot over the net during his singles match.

With a last-minute win by senior Arthur Rinderknech the No. 5 Texas A&M men’s tennis defeated No. 13 Florida 4-3 Sunday afternoon and will compete in the NCAA semifinals for the first time in the team’s history.
The Aggies secured the win over Florida with a three-set win by Rinderknech. After falling in the first set to Johannes Ingildsen, 7-5, Rinderknech took home the last two sets 6-5 and 6-2 to send the Aggies to the semifinals.
A&M head coach, Steve Denton said the match was a good fight on both sides of the court and explained how important each point is to the matchup.
“It’s great. Our guys had to fight their tails off. Hats off to Florida. They put us on the ropes today. They played smart. They played really well and competed hard,” Denton said. “We were able to get three points on the board, but sometimes that fourth point is elusive. Great job by Arthur (Rinderknech) of coming back in the second set after being down a break and digging himself out of a hole in the third. As he’s done so many times, it’s great to see him out there competing like that. We couldn’t ask for any better player to be there. To have a senior like Arthur who’s done that many times, it’s awesome.”
Rinderknech said it felt great to get the win and be the one to send his team to the Final Four.
“It feels pretty great, obviously. Give credit to the team for putting me in a position to clinch the match. I’m really proud to clinch the first Final Four for the Aggies,” Rinderknech said.
The Aggies came out with an early 1-0 lead in doubles play after defeating the Gators in the last set. Freshman, Patrick Kypson and sophomore, Valentin Vacherot came out with a 6-2 win over Florida’s Duarte Vale and McClain Kessler.
With one doubles loss against A&M, senior, Jordi Arconda and freshman, Juan Carlos Aguilar gave their team a last push after defeating Alfredo Perez and Johannes Ingildsen 7-5.
Arconda and Aguilar made two more big wins in the singles round to give A&M a 3-0 advantage. Aguilar topped the Gator’s Chase Perez-Blanco in two sets (6-2, 6-3), and Arconda followed close behind him with a win over Alfredo Perez in two sets (6-3, 6-4).
Denton said Arconda and Aguilar’s performance in the doubles and singles competition was inspiring. He was glad to see them step up and give the team the leads they needed.
“That’s a big win for Jordi. Alfredo (Perez) is a really good player. Jordi really stepped up and took the ball early today,” Denton said. “He played some really inspiring tennis. It’s great for our seniors. (Juan) Carlos (Aguilar) came through for us. He played great in the doubles at the end. His match at five got us in the lead. Give credit to Florida for battling the whole day. It looked like we were going to win and then it looked like maybe we weren’t. It was looking pretty bleak there, but our guys hung in there and fought and we get to advance. That’s the most important thing.”
The Aggies will face No. 1 Wake Forest during Monday’s semifinal at 1 p.m. in Winston- Salem, North Carolina. Like A&M, this will be Wake Forest’s first NCAA semifinal appearance.

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