Men's Tennis Earns Home Win Over No. 18 Auburn

by Sidney Kleinpeter
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Men's Tennis Earns Home Win Over No. 18 Auburn

BATON ROUGE – The LSU men’s tennis team avenged an early season loss and snapped its three-match conference losing streak on Friday as the 34th-ranked Tigers upset No. 18 Auburn 5-2 at W.T. “Dub” Robinson Stadium.

The win ended the Tigers’ six-match losing streak to Auburn and improved LSU’s record to 8-10 overall and 3-4 in the SEC. Auburn falls to 11-7 on the season and 3-4 in conference play with the loss.

The match was the second time the two teams squared off this season, as Auburn rallied for a 4-1 win over the Tigers back on Jan. 30 at the ITA Kick Off Classic in Lubbock, Texas. LSU captured the doubles point and five out of six first sets before Auburn charged back to win four-straight singles matches for the victory.

“This was one our best wins of the year,” LSU head coach Jeff Brown said. “Auburn just beat No. 14 Kentucky in their last match and has been a perennial Top 25 team. The crowd played a big part in the match and is getting bigger and bigger every game. We now have a quick turnaround to switch our focus to a very good Alabama team.”

LSU started off strong by clinching the doubles point. Auburn struck first with an 8-4 victory on Court 2, but the Tiger pair of senior Julien Gauthier and Sophomore Olivier Borsos notched an 8-6 win over Auburn’s Rafael Rodino and Lucas Lopasso to even doubles at one each.

The 10th-ranked Tiger tandem of senior Sebastian Carlsson and junior Neal Skupski then came through in the clutch with an 8-5 victory against Auburn’s Tim Puetz and Daniel Chochrane at the top doubles spot to seal the point and give LSU the early 1-0 advantage.

In singles LSU kept the pressure on by quickly jumping out to a 3-0 lead. Sophomore Stefan Szacinski cruised by Auburn’s Tim Hewitt 6-2, 6-2 on Court 3 before Gauthier posted a 7-5, 6-2 win over Rodino on Court 6.

Auburn attempted to fight back as 15th-ranked Puetz defeated Borsos 6-4, 6-2 on the top singles court and Andreas Mies downed Mark Bowtell 7-6 (1), 6-2 on Court 5 to cut LSU’s lead to 3-2.

After capturing a hard-fought first set against No. 118 Alex Stamchev, 82nd-ranked Skupski found his stride in the second set as he cruised to a 7-6, 6-2 victory on Court 2 to clinch the match for the Tigers, 4-2.

With the match decided Carlsson’s match against Cochrane on Court 4 was played to completion, and Carlsson posted a same-set 6-4, 6-4 win for his fourth-straight dual victory and made the final score 5-2.

The win over No. 18 Auburn was the second-highest ranked win for the Tigers this season, who also took down No. 16 Michigan on March 17.

LSU will end its four-match home stand on Sunday when the 43rd-ranked Alabama Crimson Time visits the “Dub” for a 1 p.m. (CT) SEC match. Admission to all home matches is free.

For up-to-date information and behind the scenes access to the Tigers, fans can follow the LSU men’s team on Twitter @lsutennis and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsutennis.

#34 LSU 5, #18 Auburn 2

Singles competition
1. #15 Tim Puetz (AU) def. Olivier Borsos (LSU) 6-4, 6-2
2. #82 Neal Skupski (LSU) def. #118 Alex Stamchev (AU) 7-6, 6-2
3. Stefan Szacinski (LSU) def. Tim Hewitt (AU) 6-2, 6-2
4. #124 Sebastian Carlsson (LSU) def. Daniel Cochrane (AU) 6-4, 6-4
5. Andreas Mies (AU) def. Mark Bowtell (LSU) 7-6 (7-1), 6-2
6. Julien Gauthier (LSU) def. Rafael Rodino (AU) 7-5, 6-2

Doubles competition
1. #10 Sebastian Carlsson/Neal Skupski (LSU) def. Tim Puetz/Daniel Cochrane (AU) 8-5
2. #45 Alex Stamchev/Andreas Mies (AU) def. Roger Anderson/Stefan Szacinski (LSU) 8-4
3. Julien Gauthier/Olivier Borsos (LSU) def. Rafael Rodino/Lucas Lopasso (AU) 8-6

Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (3,6,1,5,2,4)