Friedrich Falls in NCAA Singles Second Round
May 26, 2016
TULSA, Okla. — South Carolina redshirt sophomore and 51st-ranked Gabriel Friedrich fell to South Florida senior Dominic Cotrone, 7-5, 6-3, Thursday in the Second Round of the NCAA Tennis Singles Championships. Cotrone advances to the Round of 16, where he will take on No. 5 Cameron Norrie of TCU Friday.
“The Second Round of NCAAs is a pressure-packed day for these players,” head coach Josh Goffi said. “You either go home with All-America honors or nothing. Gabriel (Friedrich) played a fifth-year senior that had a lot of experience, and that was the story of today. It was a great experience for Gabe this early in his career.”
After dropping the first two games, Friedrich found his rhythm and pulled to within 3-2 in the opening frame. Trailing 4-2 and on serve, Friedrich turned a 15-30 deficit into a 40-30 advantage before crushing an ace to take the game and pull to within 4-3. Friedrich then broke Cotrone’s serve and held his own to catapult in front, 5-4. The lead was short-lived, however, as Cotrone battled back to win three straight games and take the set, 7-5.
Friedrich found himself facing a 2-0 deficit in the second set, before fighting back to trail just 3-2. Both sides traded games, putting Friedrich on serve down 5-3, where he powered to a 40-30 advantage. Cotrone, however, forced deuce and won a long rally to capture the hard-fought victory.
Friedrich finishes his first full season of competition 21-18 overall with six wins over ranked opponents. His First Round victory on Wednesday continued a three-year streak under head coach Josh Goffi in which a Gamecock has advanced past the First Round in either the NCAA Singles or Doubles Championships. Friedrich put together an impressive campaign at the top of the lineup that earned him Second Team All-SEC honors, while also being named the ITA Carolina Region Player to Watch.
Information, including live scoring, on both men’s and women’s individual championships is available at www.TulsaHurricane.com.