Feb. 2, 2004
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HORNED FROGS' MATCH #2:
#16 TCU (1-0) vs. #39 SMU (1-1)
Feb. 4, 2004 * Fort Worth, Texas * 1:30 p.m. CST
Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center * Tut Bartzen Varsity Courts
The No. 16 TCU Horned Frogs host No. 39 SMU Wednesday, Feb. 4, at 1:30 p.m. The match will be played on the Bernard J. "Tut" Bartzen Varsity Tennis Courts at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center. The event begins with three doubles matches followed by Nos. 1-6 singles after a 10-minute intermission.
ABOUT THE MUSTANGS
SMU has played a couple of matches thus far, although it should have three under its belt. The Mustangs' Jan. 17 season opener with Oral Roberts was postponed. SMU snatched a 7-0 win over Lamar Jan. 18 to start the season, but fell by a 4-3 margin to the Miami Hurricanes Jan. 25 in Coral Gables, Fla. The Mustangs could not win the doubles point, which proved to be the difference in the match.
TCU and SMU have a longstanding rivalry in many sports and men's tennis is no different. After dropping three in a row to the Ponies over two seasons in 2001 and 2002, the Horned Frogs recorded three triumphs against SMU last season. TCU won both regular season contests by 6-1 scores and then ousted the Mustangs in the first round of the NCAA Regional Tournament in Waco, 4-1. SMU still holds the historical edge on TCU with a 24-22 record since 1974.
A pair of Horned Frogs are currently ranked in the top-100 in singles in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's poll. Senior Alex Menichini is No. 44 in singles and junior Fabrizio Sestini is 75th. Sestini is also rated No. 19 in doubles with sophomore Rafael Abreu. SMU's Johan Brunstrom is ranked No. 91 in singles and 39th in doubles with partner Henrik Soderberg.
TCU'S LAST TIME OUT
The Horned Frogs recorded a 6-1 victory over No. 68 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in their season opener with the Islanders Jan. 24 at the Friedman Tennis Center. TCU took the doubles point by winning Nos. 2 and 3, but suffered an upset at No. 1, where sophomore Rafael Abreu and junior Fabrizio Sestini fell in a tiebreaker, 9-7. In singles competition, the Purple and White won every spot except for No. 5. Sestini recorded an impressive victory against No. 83 Goncalo Figeiredo at two, 6-4, 6-1. The Rome, Italy, native actually trailed in the first set, 4-1, before winning 11 of the next 12 games.
SOME NEW FACES
The Horned Frogs snagged a couple of new faces for the spring with the additions of Hector Almada and Tobias Virdhage. Almada played two seasons at Fresno State and one at Fresno City College prior to coming to Cowtown. He entered last fall ranked No. 6 in doubles and was 76th in singles. Virdhage, a native of Sweden, is a three-time Swedish national champion and boasts victories over some of the top players in the world, such as Daniel Klemetz, formerly of Middle Tennessee State. Klemetz won the 2002 ITA All-American Championships.
REPRESENTING THE WORLD
TCU's roster this season has six different countries represented. Besides the United States, the Horned Frogs have players from Italy, Mexico, Spain, Sweden and Venezuela. The Frogs' Americans are senior Alex Menichini and freshmen Robert Gallman, Collin Hart, Craig Stopa, and Andrew Ulrich. Two Italians don the purple and white with juniors Fabrizio Sestini and Jacopo Tezza. The lone Mexican is senior Hector Almada and junior Jacob Martin hails from Spain. Freshman Tobias Virdhage is TCU's Swedish player.
A RICH NCAA HISTORY
The Horned Frogs have a rich tradition of excellence in the NCAA Tournament. TCU has made 18 appearances in the event since the current team format was adopted in 1977. TCU has been in every tourney since 1991 and made 16 of the past 17 NCAAs. The Purple and White owns a record of 23-18 in the tournament and has made three appearances (1989, 1996, 2001) in the national semifinals. TCU has also reached at least the NCAA quarterfinals on seven occasions (1982, 1989, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001). In the individual championships, TCU had a string of 26 consecutive appearances from 1976 to 2001. During that span, TCU won one doubles title, coming in 1981 with Karl Richter and David Pate. In 1996, Ashley Fisher and Jason Weir-Smith finished as the runner-ups. Several Horned Frogs reached the round of 16 in singles, but Esteban Carril is the only one to advance to the quarterfinals. Carril made his run his sophomore year in 1999.
NEW TEAM BUILDING DEDICATED
The new TCU Tennis Team Building was dedicated Jan. 30, 2004. The latest addition to TCU's assortment of facilities houses the men's and women's coaching staffs and provides locker rooms for the men and women. Other amenities in the complex include a spacious lounge area with a big screen television, a laundry and equipment room, a computer workstation for student-athletes and a racket stringing area. The building cost about $700,000 to construct and was finished last December after breaking ground in June.
TCU ADDS LIVE MATCH SCORING
TCU men's tennis will offer fans something this season with the addition of live match scoring via the Internet. It is featured on the official Web site of TCU athletics, www.GoFrogs.com. Updates from the match are given periodically as the players progress and the order of finish, along with match notes, are also available on the site.