Lobak and Diaz Freire Qualify for ITA Fall Championships

by Christian Verde
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Lobak and Diaz Freire Qualify for ITA Fall Championships

AUBURN- Ala. — The LSU men’s tennis team concluded the ITA Southern Regionals on Monday morning with Gabriel Diaz Freire and Vlad Lobak falling in the doubles finals, 6-2, 7-6(4).

Earlier on Monday, the LSU pair defeated Auburn’s Mugett/Dobai, 6-3, 7-6(5), to solidify themselves in the finals.

The duo made an impressive run as the No. 5-seed, stringing off five straight victories to find their way into the doubles finals.

Since they claimed a spot in the finals, the graduate transfers Diaz Freire and Lobak automatically qualify for the ITA Fall Championships in San Diego, Calif., from Nov. 4-7.

In the finals, Diaz Freire and Lobak faced the Alabama duo of Planinsek/Martin. LSU dropped the first set, 6-2, but came out strong in the second set, grabbing a 5-3 lead. The Tide duo came roaring back, taking four straight games and the match, 6-2, 7-6(4).

The six-day regional got underway on Oct. 14 with the qualifying rounds, where Tigers Joao Graca, Ben Koch, Nick Watson, Lobak, and Diaz Freire all participated in singles.

All five Tigers won their day one matchup, but only Diaz Freire and Lobak came out on top on day 2.

Lobak and Diaz Freire made their way to the main draw in singles, going 3-0 in the qualifying round.

Boris Kozlov awaited company as he automatically qualified for the singles main draw. Kozlov and Lobak won their first matches to get into the Round of 16, but their runs came to an end there.

Since the singles and doubles finalists advance to the ITA National Fall Championships in San Diego, Calif., in November, the Tigers next action will be Vlad Lobak and Gabriel Diaz Freire heading west to compete. The rest of the Tigers will be heading to Dallas, Texas, to compete in the Ralston/Neufeld Coaches Challenge at the SMU Tennis Complex from Nov. 5-7.

ITA Southern Regional
Oct. 14-19, 2021
Auburn, Ala.

Singles Results

Day 1: Qualifying
Ben Koch (LSU) def. Antoine Audain (USM) 7-6, 6-4
Gabi Diaz Freire (LSU) (default)
Joao Graca (LSU) def. Nicolas Rodriguez (Troy) 7-6, 6-1
Vlad Lobak (LSU) def. Oriol Fillat Gimenez (ULL ) 7-6, 2-6, 7-5
Nick Watson (LSU) def. Juan Rodriguez (ALST) 6-0, 6-3

Day 2: Qualifying
Vlad Lobak (LSU) def. Rudi Christensen (UA) 7-5, 2-1 (injury)
Gabi Diaz Freire (LSU) def. Pelayo Antuna (Troy) 7-5, 6-2
Jakob Cadonau (Ole Miss) def. Ben Koch (LSU) 7-6(0), 6-1
Jackson Ross (Auburn) def. Joao Graca (LSU) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
Lukas Engelhardt (Ole Miss) def. Nick Watson (LSU) 6-2, 6-4

Day 3: Main Draw Round of 32
Vlad Lobak (LSU) def. Dhruv Sunish (USM) 7-6(0), 7-6(8)
Boris Kozlov (LSU) def. Gregor Ramskoglar (MSU) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
Carles Anton (Troy) def. Gabi Diaz Freire (LSU) 4-6, 6-2, 6-1

Day 4: Round of 32
Nikola Slavic (Ole Miss) def. Vlad Lobak (LSU) 6-2, 7-5
Filip Planinsek (UA) def. Boris Kozlov (LSU) 6-2, 6-2

Doubles Results

Round 1
Ben Koch/Joao Graca (LSU) def. Tasker/Simkin (Troy)
Vlad Lobak/Gabriel Diaz Freire (LSU) def. Sunish/Sanson (USM)
Boris Kozlov/Nick Watson (LSU) Default

Round 2
Boris Kozlov/Nick Watson (LSU) Default
Suarez/Kuenkler def. Ben Koch/Joao Graca (LSU) 8-5

Doubles Main Draw

Round of 32
Vlad Lobak/Gabriel Diaz Freire (LSU) def. Cadonau/Engelhardt (Ole Miss) 8-5
Planisek/Martin (UA) def. Boris Kozlov/Nick Watson (LSU) 8-1

Round of 16
Vlad Lobak/Gabriel Diaz Freire (LSU) def. Cadonau/Engelhardt (Ole Miss) 8-5

Quarterfinals
Vlad Lobak/Gabriel Diaz Freire (LSU) def. Aguiard/Samofalov (UA) 8-2

Semifinals
Vlad Lobak/Gabriel Diaz Freire (LSU) def. Murgett/Dobai (Auburn) 6-3, 7-6(5)

Finals
Planinsek/Martin (UA) def. Vlad Lobak/Gabriel Diaz Freire (LSU) 6-3, 7-6(5)