No. 8 Stanford men’s tennis (8-2, 0-0 Pac-12) traveled to Seattle this past weekend to take part in the ITA National Indoors Championships. The Cardinal ended up going 1-2 in the event after dropping out of the main draw in the first round. The team had qualified for this tournament after winning the Orlando ITA Regional at the end of January.
Stanford was drawn against No. 13 South Carolina (11-2, 0-0 SEC) in the first round, and it would prove to be a close match-up as every singles match would have to be played to completion. The Gamecocks took the doubles point after wins on courts two and three.
The Cardinal responded with a strong start in singles play, winning three straight matches to take a 3-1 lead. Fifth-year Timothy Sah was first off the courts with a 6-3, 6-4 win at the No. 6 position. Freshman Max Basing then followed up with a court four 6-2, 6-3 victory. Those were the only two matches that took just two sets.
At the top of the lineup, sophomore Arthur Fery — the nation’s top-ranked singles player — outlasted No. 14 Daniel Rodrigues 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. After dropping the second set, Fery took control early in the third set and did not look back. With games ongoing on three courts, Stanford just needed to win one of them to move on to the next round, whereas the Gamecocks had to win all three.
South Carolina then got one back as Toby Samuel beat senior Alexandre Rotsaert 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 on court two. At this point in the match, the Cardinal clung to a 3-2 lead and were down in the two remaining matches. Things were trending in favor of the Gamecocks.
Stanford fifth-year Axel Geller was down 4-6, 6-4, 2-5 and senior Sangeet Sridhar was in a close battle in his third set. Geller, however, came back with a vengeance, knotting up the set score at 5-5. South Carolina’s Connor Thomson recovered and won the next two games to take the match. Sridhar was also unable to win his match on court five.
With the 4-3 loss, the Cardinal were out of the main draw and into consolation for the remainder of the weekend. Each team was guaranteed three matches.
Stanford next faced No. 12 Texas A&M (6-3, 0-0 SEC). This time, the Cardinal took the doubles point thanks to Fery and Geller at No. 1 and Basing and Rotsaert at No. 2. The teams would then trade the lead back and forth.
Rotsaert was defeated by Raphael Perot 2-6, 3-6 to start off singles play. Fery continued his undefeated singles streak, dispatching Noah Schachter 6-4, 6-3 at the No. 1. The Aggies then won two straight, at the No. 6 and No. 5 spots, respectively.
Down 3-2, Stanford needed to take its remaining two matches. Geller delivered with a decisive third set, winning 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 on court three. Basing then won in two sets, 7-6 (9) 6-3 to clinch for the Cardinal.
That win set up a rematch against No. 11 USC (8-2, 0-0 Pac-12), a team Stanford had beat 4-1 just a few weeks before. The Cardinal took the doubles point thanks to a pair of 6-3 wins on courts one and three. That would be about the only success Stanford had against the Trojans in this second bout with USC.
The Trojans swept courts three through six to earn the 4-1 win. Overall, it was not the ITA Indoors performance that the Cardinal were hoping for, but the team did earn a win against a top-15 opponent to show they belong with other top teams. Stanford will now return to the Farm to take on Saint Mary’s at 1:30 p.m. PT this coming Saturday.