The doubles finals of the Olivier Borsos invitational featured two LSU duos: Ronald Hohmann and Rafael Wagner and Boris Kozlov and Nick Watson. The interesting scenario ended with an 8-5 victory for the former.
LSU dominated the doubles bracket this weekend. Three out of the four duos in the semifinals sported purple and gold, guaranteeing at least one pair in the finals.
The best-case scenario occurred, and two Tiger duos would remain in the winners bracket come Sunday.
It was a hard match to predict because each duo has a considerable track record. Hohmann and Wagner and Kozlov and Watson each developed their chemistry significantly last season.
LSU men’s tennis hosted their first home event and LSU’s first Olympic sporting event since March yesterday.
Hohmann and Wagner started off last spring on fire, not dropping a set until March on their way to a 9-1 record and a brief stint in the top-60. Kozlov and Watson had a similar stretch, playing throughout most of the spring and ending with a 7-2 record.
Sporting the two best doubles records on the team last year, it was bound to be an intriguing match to watch. But one duo came more ready than the other.
Hohmann and Wagner came out of the gate swinging, jumping out to a 3-0 lead that eventually ballooned to 7-2. With one more game needed to take it, they were on their way to being crowned the champions of this invitational’s doubles bracket.
But they could not seem to finish the match. Games 10-12 went to Kozlov and Watson, who appeared to be making a comeback.
Finally, Hohmann and Wagner were able to take it, with the final score being 8-5, concluding the weekend for the Tigers in winners.
Considering how talented the teams featured at this invitational were, this weekend’s performance is nothing to hang their heads at, even with how poor singles play was. Coach Chris Brandi agreed, commending the talent that these teams demonstrated.
LSU tennis' strong doubles play carried over to Saturday, as the three duos that made it to the second round advanced to the semifinals, then …
“Arkansas is an up and coming team, who’s well coached, and [Texas] A&M and Mississippi State have been two of the best teams in the country for a while,” Brandi said. “This was a tough event.”
The team displayed potential and handled themselves well against strong competition. We will likely see Arkansas grow quickly, just like LSU, and Mississippi State and Texas A&M are vastly talented.
It’s clear that improvements will need to be made over the next few months if the Tigers want to contend for the Southeastern Conference title. Coach Brandi recognized this, stating that the team is young and has a lot of work to do.
“We are an inexperienced bunch, and it showed this weekend,” Brandi said. “It’s time to get to work over the next three months, especially in singles, so we can fight to get in the mix with the nation’s best.”
The first competition of the fall is a wrap, and we will have to wait another month to see if the Tigers are trending upward. One thing is for sure, if the Tigers can develop an efficient singles squad, there’s no telling how high this team can go.