Forman and Atkinson Upset Buckeyes to Reach NCAA Doubles Quarterfinals
May 28, 2010
ATHENS, Ga. - The Wake Forest doubles team of senior Steven Forman and junior Iain Atkinson upset Ohio States' Chase Buchanan and Dino Marcan in three sets Friday to reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Doubles Championships at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.
By virtue of their 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 win over the Buckeyes, who were in the group of teams seeded No. 5-8, the Deacon duo will face No. 2 seeds Davey Sandgren and John-Patrick Smith of Tennessee in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Both teams held serve for the first eight games of the match. With the score tied at 4-4 and the Buckeyes serving at deuce, Forman cracked an inside-out backhand return for a winner to give the Deacs a set point. Atkinson followed with a nicely angled backhand return of his own that Buchanan could not get a racket on to give Wake Forest the first set 6-4.
The Buckeyes came out firing in the second set and jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Forman held serve to close the gap to 3-1, and Buchanan missed an overhead on break point in the next game to put the Deacs back on serve. Each team won a series of tough service games before the Buckeyes finally broke serve again to take the second set 7-5.
A brief rain shower interrupted the first game of the final set, but the Wake Forest faithful who waited out the delay saw the Deacons play their best tennis of the match. Atkinson and Forman picked up two early service breaks to vault out to a 5-1 lead. The Buckeyes held to get to 5-2, but on match point in the next game, Forman ripped a cross-court forehand winner to send the Deacons into the quarterfinals.
"Iain and I just started really clicking," Forman said. "We started focusing on our returns and being aggressive, and we knew that we could overpower them."
Forman is the first player in school history to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Doubles Championships three times after he reached the round of eight with former partner Cory Parr ('09) in 2008 and 2009.
"It feels good because Cory carried me for two years so now I've realized that I can play a little bit of doubles myself," joked Forman.
The Deacons will be looking for revenge in their match against Sandgren and Smith tomorrow, as the Volunteer tandem defeated Forman and Atkinson 8-5 during the regular season and also knocked Forman and Parr out of last year's NCAA Doubles Championships in closely contested three-set match.
"We just have to play well and I think we'll have a good chance," Forman said.
The Atlantic Coast Conference is well-represented in the quarterfinals, as teams from Duke, Virginia and North Carolina are also among the remaining competitors.
R16: Iain Atkinson/Steven Forman def. (5-8) Chase Buchanan/Dino Marcan 6-4, 5-7, 6-2
Q: Atkinson/Forman vs. (2) Davey Sandgren/John-Patrick Smith, Saturday 1:30 p.m.