Deacons Fight to 4-3 Win Over No. 75 Maryland
April 6, 2012
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Senior David Hopkins came through when it counted, winning a three-set match at the deciding No. 2 singles position to lead Wake Forest to a hard-fought 4-3 win over No. 75 Maryland on Friday at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.
Hopkins, who played almost his entire third set knowing that the overall match would be decided by him, broke his Terrapin opponent Vlad Stefan in the first game of the final frame and never looked back, closing out a 6-7 (7), 6-2, 6-3 victory.
"I'm incredibly proud (of David)," said head coach Tony Bresky. "He has worked really hard this year, and he played that third set about as well as he can. Hopefully our guys can learn a lot from that - the way that he competed and composed himself was an outstanding effort."
The Demon Deacons moved to 10-12 (1-6 ACC), earning the first conference win of the Bresky era. Maryland fell to 5-13 (2-6 ACC).
"It feels great obviously," said Bresky. "We got off to a tough start to the ACC season, not that we've played poorly but we've played some of the best teams in the conference and lost a couple of really tough matches. To come out and get a 4-3 win today was great.
The Demon Deacons strong doubles play set the tone for the match. Hopkins and Amogh Prabhakar posted their best win of the season at the No. 1 position, blowing by No. 24 John Collins and Maros Horny 8-3. Maryland evened the score with an 8-3 win at No. 3, leaving the doubles point to be decided at No. 2.
At the No. 2 position, Danny Kreyman and Adam Lee saved eight match points and won a marathon tiebreak to sneak by Tommy Laine and Vlad Stefan 9-8 (9), giving Wake Forest a 1-0 lead. The Demon Deacons have now taken the doubles point in five of their seven ACC matches.
"We've been working a ton on doubles," said Hopkins. "Earlier in the season we were struggling to win the doubles point, so we really tried to focus on doubles in practice and it's manifesting itself in these ACC matches."
Prabhakar was next off the court, taking down Jesse Kiuru 6-1, 6-3 at the No. 3 spot to again knot the score at a 2-2. The Deacons retook the lead at No. 4 where Lee battled past Sergio Wyss 6-3, 6-3, but Maryland's Horny completed a comeback at the top position, slipping by Kreyman 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to tie the score 3-3.
That left the match to be decided at No. 2 singles where Hopkins was facing Maryland's Stefan. Stefan took the first set by the narrowest of margins, winning a tiebreak 9-7, but Hopkins came back strong in the second to score a 6-2 win, forcing a deciding third frame.
The Deacon senior broke Stefan in the first game of the final set and then later broke him again to take a 5-2 lead. Serving at 5-2, Hopkins had two match points, but Stefan came up with shots equal to the task and came back to win the game.
But the comeback would be short-lived. Hopkins jumped on Stefan in the next game, putting him into a 0-40 hole, and converted on his third try to seal victory for Wake Forest.
Wake Forest has a quick turnaround as it hosts Boston College on Saturday at noon at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex. The Demon Deacons have never lost to the Eagles since they joined the conference in 2006.
Wake Forest 4, #75 Maryland 3