MinThe University of Minnesota men's tennis team escaped with a 4-3 victory over Indiana today in the quarterfinals of the 2004 Big Ten Championships in East Lansing, Mich. With the dual tied at 3-3, Minnesota's Dusan Tabak prevailed in a three-set match at No. 5 singles to help advance the third-seeded Golden Gophers (14-8) to the semifinals against No. 2 seed Ohio State. Indiana, the No. 6 seed, captured the doubles point and pushed three singles matches to three sets to give 35th-ranked Minnesota all it could handle.
The Golden Gophers opened the dual with a 0-2 record in doubles play to fall behind IU, 1-0. The Hoosiers picked up two 8-4 victories at Nos. 2 and 3, beginning with Dmytro Ishtuganov and Jakub Praibis at No. 2 over Clay Estes and Aleksey Zharinov. IU clinched the doubles point with Tom Bagnato and Ryan Recht's win over Avery Ticer and Dusan Tabak.
Minnesota rallied in singles play with wins at the bottom four positions of the lineup, but not before going down 2-0 with IU's No. 51 Jakub Praibis' 6-4, 6-3 win over No. 56 Aleksey Zharinov at No. 1. With the loss, Zharinov saw his season-long five-match winning streak come to an end. The Maroon and Gold began their rally with Andres Osorio at No. 3 and Estes at No. 4 claiming straight-set victories to tie the dual at two.
Minnesota took its first lead of the afternoon a short time later when Brian Lipinski prevailed in a three-set match against Ryan McCarthy at No. 6. Lipinski won the first set, 6-3, but dropped the second, 6-2. He rallied in the final set with a 6-4 win to give UM a 3-2 lead in the team scoring. Indiana tied the dual again with Ryan Recht's 7-6, 0-6, 6-3 victory over 69th-ranked Chris Wettengel at No. 2.
The dual came down to No. 5 with Tabak against IU's David Bubenick. Bubenick drew first blood, taking the first set, 6-2, but the Golden Gopher freshman from Novi Sad, Serbia struck back with wins in the second and third sets, 6-3, 6-2, to give Minnesota the hard-fought quarterfinal victory. With his triumph, Tabak pushed his season-long winning streak to six matches.
The Maroon and Gold moves on to the semifinals of the Big Ten Championships to face second-seeded and 17th-ranked Ohio State tomorrow at 2 p.m., Eastern time. The Buckeyes defeated Minnesota, 5-2, in the final dual of the regular season to clinch second place in the conference. The loss also snapped UM's seven-dual winning streak.
#35 Minnesota 4, #61 Indiana 3
Big Ten Championships - Quarterfinals
East Lansing, Mich.
April 30, 2004
1. #51 Jakub Praibis (IU) def. #56 Aleksey Zharinov (MN), 6-4, 6-3
2. Ryan Recht (IU) def. #69 Chris Wettengel (MN), 7-6, 0-6, 6-3
3. Andres Osorio (MN) def. Neil Kenner (IU), 6-3, 6-3
4. Clay Estes (MN) def. Tom Bagnato (IU), 6-1, 6-3
5. Dusan Tabak (MN) def. David Bubenicek (IU), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
6. Brian Lipinski (MN) def. Ryan McCarthy (IU), 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
Order of finish: 1,3,4,6,2,5
1. Kenner/McCarthy (IU) led Osorio/Wettengel (MN), 7-5 (DNF)
2. Dmytro Ishtuganov/Praibis (IU) def. Estes/Zharinov (MN), 8-4
3. Bagnato/Recht (IU) def. Tabak/Avery Ticer (MN), 8-4
Order of finish: 2,3