LANSING, Mich. – One year after winning the Big Ten Doubles title, Matt Mendez nearly won the singles title as his run fell short in the third set of the championship match. This came after he defeated teammate Alex Kobelt in the semifinals.
The semifinal dual between Mendez and Alex Kobelt was about what you would expect from two teammates. Mendez won the opening set 6-2 but Kobelt rebounded to win the second 7-5. The third set was a battle that Mendez would eventually win 6-4.
In the finals however, his run would end. He took on Northwestern’s Antonioni Fasano, who beat Buckeye Joseph Thomas on Sunday. Fasano won the opener 6-4, but Mendez turned the tables in the second and won 6-2. That set up a third set but unlike his match with Kobelt, he would fall 6-4 in the decisive set
Kobelt took out Iowa’s Will Davies in a three-set match 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 and then blew past Davis Crocker of Michigan 6-2, 6-4 to punch his ticket to the semis.
Mendez made his way to the semifinals in a very similar fashion. He lost the opening set 6-2 to Northwestern’s Kareem Allaf but then cameback to beat him 6-0, 6-3. In the quarters, he used that momentum to thump Indiana’s Bennett Crane 6-3, 6-1.
The semifinal match between Kobelt and Mendez will start at 9 a.m. Monday morning. No video or live scoring is provided for the tournament.
Also in action on Sunday was redshirt-freshman Joseph Thomas. He beat Joe Tyler of Iowa in his first match but then fell short to Northwestern’s Antonioni Fasano 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
Mendez and Kobelt each got first round byes and then won a second round match. Mendez beat Michigan’s Nick Beaty 6-4, 7-6(3) and Kobelt knocked-off Jack Winkler Michgan State in three sets 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Thomas had to win two matches on Saturday, beating Indiana’s Payam Ahmadi 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 and then had an easier time with Joe Tyler of Iowa, winning 6-2, 6-2.
In doubles play on Friday, defending champs Tubert and Medez advanced to the quarterfinals before bowing out.