Men’s Tennis looks to impress at ITA National Indoor Championships

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Senior Alex Rybakov and junior Alastair Gray celebrate winning a point against the Florida Gators on Sunday, Feb. 16. Photo by Jack Wallace

The turnaround from a Wichita State victory and Florida defeat last weekend will be quick as the No. 15 Horned Frogs travel to Chicago for the ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship this weekend.

TCU qualified for the finals after 4-0 sweeps against Loyola Marymount and then-No. 20 Oklahoma State on Jan. 26 and 27.

TCU missed the finals tournament the last two seasons and reached the semifinals in 2016, losing to No. 1 Virginia.

The best the Frogs have finished in the tournament was runner-ups in 1992, losing 5-1 to Stanford.

The ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship table for Round 1. Image courtesy of scores.tennisticker.de.

The Frogs secured the No. 15 seed and will face the No. 2 seed Mississippi State Bulldogs, a squad the Frogs defeated in the preseason Tempe Collegiate Cup 4-3.

In that victory, TCU lost the doubles point despite senior Reese Stalder and sophomore Bertus Kruger’s upset over the No. 7 ranked doubles duo.

Senior Alex Rybakov, junior Alastair Gray, freshman Luc Fomba and Kruger all won their singles matches to clinch.

In his biggest upset of the year, No. 8 Rybakov, No. 14 in the nation at the time, defeated then-No. 11 Nuno Borges. Borges has risen to No. 5 since the match.

“Rybakov can beat anybody. We lost [to Florida] 4-3 without Rybakov helping us in singles or doubles,” head coach David Roditi said. “For the program, it speaks a lot for our lineup.”

The Frogs used their indoor facility last weekend for the Wichita State and Florida matches because of storms and cold weather, giving them a possible edge for the indoor tournament.

“It turned out to be a great preparation for us going indoors. We got lucky in that respect,” Roditi said. “As far as preparation, it’s great. Hopefully, we can take advantage of that.”

TCU’s match begins at 9 a.m. this Friday and will play the winner of No. 9 Baylor and No. 8 North Carolina.

All matches will be available to stream here.

Alastair Gray looks after his shot against the Florida Gators on Sunday, Feb. 16. Photo by Jack Wallace