WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Wake Forest men's tennis team punched its ticket to the NCAA Championships with a come-from-behind 4-2 victory over 24th-ranked Michigan in the second round of the national tournament at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex on Saturday afternoon.
The sixth-seeded Demon Deacons fell behind, 2-0, but reeled off four-consecutive singles wins to extend their season. Christian Seraphim's 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 triumph at No. 5 singles sealed the win.
Wake Forest will take on No. 11 Oklahoma in the round of 16 at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla. on Friday at 8 p.m.
The Wolverines gained an early advantage in the match by rallying to win the doubles point. The No. 13-ranked duo of Seraphim and Skander Mansouri rolled to a 6-2 win at the top position, but Michigan negated match points at the second and third spots and pulled out tiebreaker wins in both matches to take a 1-0 lead.
After a short rain delay following the conclusion of the opening sets, Romain Bogaerts retired at No. 4 to give the Wolverines a 2-0 cushion.
The Deacons took over from there, however, as Jon Ho downed Carter Lin, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 3 and Petros Chrysochos dispatched 96th-ranked Jathan Malik, 6-0, 7-5, at No. 2 to knot the score. After a back-and-forth start at No. 1, Mansouri pulled away from Alex Knight for a 6-3, 6-1 win that gave the Deacs a 3-2 lead.
Chrysochos is now 23-4 on the year, including 20-2 at No. 2, while Ho picked up his 25th win of the season. Mansouri, an All-American, is now 14-6 at top flight this season.
In need of one more singles win to claim the match, Seraphim delivered. After riding an early second-set break to force a third frame, the Deacon redshirt sophomore used a late break to take a 5-4 lead before serving out for the win.
Dennis Uspensky fell behind, 5-3, in a third set of his own at No. 6. The rookie broke Davis Crocker's serve to bring the score to 5-4, but Seraphim's victory halted the match.
Seraphim now has 35 singles wins on the year, tying David Berè for the third most in a single season in program history.
The Demon Deacons will be making their fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament's round of 16. The Deacs also made it to the third round in 2007, 2009 and 2015. They are now 6-0 in national tournament matches played in Winston-Salem.
No. 6 Wake Forest 4, No. 24 Michigan 2
1. No. 13 Skander Mansouri (WF) def. Alex Knight (MICH) 6-3, 6-1
2. No. 27 Petros Chrysochos (WF) def. No. 96 Jathan Malik (MICH) 6-0, 7-5
3. Jon Ho (WF) def. Carter Lin (MICH) 6-1, 6-1
4. Runhao Hua (MICH) def. Romain Bogaerts (WF) 6-1, 1-0, retired
5. Christian Seraphim (WF) def. Kevin Wong (MICH) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
6. Dennis Uspensky (WF) vs. Davis Crocker (MICH) 6-1, 2-6, 4-5, unfinished
Order of Finish: 4,3,2,1,5
1. No. 13 Skander Mansouri/Christian Seraphim (WF) def. Alex Knight/Runhao Hua (MICH) 6-2
2. Jathan Malik/Kevin Wong (MICH) def. No. 79 Jon Ho/Petros Chrysochos (WF) 7-6 (6)
3. Tyler Gardiner/Myles Schalet (MICH) def. Maksim Kan/Dennis Uspensky (WF) 7-6 (5)
Order of Finish: 1,2,3