Sept. 23, 2012
WACO, Texas - For the eighth time in the 12-year history of the HEB Intercollegiate, a Baylor player won the event's singles title as sophomore Mate Zsiga repeated as champion on Sunday at the Hurd Tennis Center. Zsiga is just the second Bear to win the title in back-to-back years joining Benedikt Dorsch, who accomplished the feat in 2002 and 2003.
"I'm proud of Mate," head coach Matt Knoll said. "He was on the court a ton this weekend. I'm a little scared to think about how many hours he was out there. His ability to grind it out and find a way to win was very impressive. I'm very proud of him."
In the singles final, No. 1 seeded and seventh ranked Zsiga met up with Tennessee's second seeded and 34th-ranked Hunter Reese. In the first set, Zsiga and Reese each held serve until 3-3. Zsiga then broke Reese twice to pull away and win 6-3. In the second set, Zsiga took over again at 3-3 to win the set 6-3 and the match 6-3, 6-3.
Past Baylor winners at the event include Dorsch (2002 and '03), Matija Zgaga who triumphed in 2004, Lars Poerschke who claimed the 2005 crown, Michal Kokta who was the 2006 champ and Jordan Rux who won in 2009.
Before taking out Reese, Zsiga had to endure a marathon semifinal match versus teammate Marko Krickovic. The first set between the two players lasted two hours as both players broke each other's serves to open. For the rest of the set, both players were neck-and-neck with Zsiga claiming the set 7-6 with a 7-4 win in the tiebreaker. The second set was all Zsiga as he took down Krickovic 6-2 to advance to the finals.
"As we talked about before the tournament, Marko (Krickovic) has really improved," Knoll said. "That showed here and he had a great event. Guys have to get better if we are going to get better, and both Mate and Marko have. Across the board it was exactly what we were hoping for."
Freshman Julian Lenz lost his first collegiate match in the semifinals as he was beaten by Tennessee's Reese, 6-2, 6-1.
"I think he was just fried," Knoll said of Lenz. "He played eight matches - singles and doubles - in two days in 90 degree-plus heat. I just don't think that he was ready to handle that yet. You have to give Hunter (Reese) credit because he played very well. It'll be good for Julian to learn from that, but for him to make the semis in his first college tournament is a good start for him."
To start off the morning, Krickovic partnered with Robert Verzaal to take on Tennessee's Jarryd Chaplin and Edward Jones in the main draw doubles final. The Volunteers opened with a 4-1 advantage, before the Bears battled back to take the next three games. From there the two teams traded games to keep the match tied, 6-6. Chaplin and Edward next held serve and broke BU's serve to take the title, 8-6.
"To make the final was great," Knoll said of his doubles team. "You're disappointed certainly, but you lost to a caliber team and you have some things that you can do better. It's a great starting place."
For complete draws, visit: TennisLink.USTA.com and enter Tournament ID Code: 800035512.
BU-HEB Invitational Champions
2001 - Andy Leber - UTA
2002 - Benedikt Dorsch - BU
2003 - Benedikt Dorsch - BU
2004 - Matija Zgaga - BU
2005 - Lars Poerschke - BU
2006 - Michal Kokta - BU
2007 - Kellen Damico - Texas
2008 - Oleksandr Nedovyeson - OSU
2009 - Jordan Rux - BU
2010 - Arthur Surreaux - New Mexico State
2011 - Mate Zsiga - BU
2012 - Mate Zsiga - BU
2001 - Reiner Neurohr/Markus Hornung - BU
2002 - Jimmy Haney/Pete Stroer - Texas
2003 - Benedikt Dorsch/Ivor Lovrak - BU
2004 - Rafael Breu/Fabrizio Sestini - TCU
2005 - Lars Poerschke/Jon Reckewey - BU
2006 - Boris Gubic/Goran Vujaklija - Wichita State
2007 - Jonas Berg/Erling Tveit - Mississippi
2008 - Moritz Baumann/Marek Michalicka - Wisconsin
2009 - Jordan Rux/Maros Horny - BU
2010 - John Peers/Roberto Maytin - BU
2011 - Roberto Maytin/Marko Krickovic - BU
2012 - Jarryd Chaplin and Edward Jones - Tennessee