The Tennessee men’s tennis team ended its first weekend of the 2020 season on a high note as the No. 18 Vols Knocked off No. 22 Oklahoma, 4-3 in Norman.
It was a back-and-forth Sunday afternoon that saw the Vols claim the first two points before Oklahoma came storming back to tie it up at 2-2. The Vols would then take a 3-2 lead only for Oklahoma to tie it back up before Tennessee’s Luca Wiedenmann defeated Jochen Bertsch, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 to secure the win.
"First of all, kudos to Oklahoma," associate head coach James McKie said. "They fought their tails off. We were in control and they kept coming back. It comes down to Luca at the end and when he's in that situation we have full confidence that he is going to do it and help get us the win and he did."
The afternoon started with a pair of doubles matches won by the Vols that turned out to be the difference of the day.
Adam Walton and Martim Prata teamed up to take down Oklahoma’s Max Stewart and Mason Beiler, 6-3.
Giles Hussey and Scott Jones locked up the doubles point for the Vols handling Bertsch and Mark Mandlik, 6-1.
Hussey would turn right around and continue an efficient performance on the day beating Stewart in two sets, 6-3, 6-4.
Trailing 2-0, Oklahoma showed its fight picking up a pair of solo wins in two sets.
Justin Schlageter handled Tennessee junior Andrew Rogers, 7-5, 6-3 pulling the Sooners within one-point of the Vols.
Oklahoma star and No. 50 player Mason Beiler would even things up beating Jones in two sets.
It was then time for Tennessee’s star to go to work as Andrew Walton, the nation’s No. 23 player, defeated Jake Van Emburgh, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1.
Once again Oklahoma wouldn’t go away as Mandlik won a hard-fought point over Prata. Prata won the first set 7-6 (7-4) before Mandlick came storming back taking the next two sets 6-4. 6-4.
Wiedenmann finished the afternoon off with the win over Bertsch securing the win and 2-0 start to the season for the Vols.
"The most important thing is we came in here and we got the win," McKie said. "It was very important but it's very clear to me that we have work to do. We have to get back to Knoxville and watch a lot of film and get on the practice courts because we have work to do."
Tennessee will return to action on Saturday when the Vols host New Mexico State in the Barksdale Stadium for the spring home opener.