Minnesota’s doubles dominate at Gopher Invitational

The Gophers squad only lost one doubles match and fared well on the singles side, too.

by Dane Mizutani

Gophers head men’s tennis coach Geoff Young said two weeks ago that his doubles pairings needed to gain confidence to take the next step forward.

This weekend might have provided that boost.

The Gophers dominated on the doubles side at the Gopher Invitational and lost one match all weekend.

Young said he was satisfied with the performance, but “that doesn’t necessarily mean we are doing what we need to be doing all the time.”

“It’s most about execution,” he said, “but I think we are doing well out there.”

Minnesota paired Rok Bonin and Mathieu Froment together for the first time this weekend. It paid dividends as the pair won all five matches they played and claimed the No. 1 doubles title.

Bonin said although the two have not played together in the past, he thought they had natural chemistry on the court.

Bonin’s serve is better than Froment’s, but Froment has a better return game. That allows the two to play off of each other.

“We normally don’t have problems with my serve, and even if we do on his serve, it doesn’t matter because we know we are going to break them,” Bonin said.

Juan Pablo Ramirez and Eric Frueh made up the other doubles squad for the Gophers, and they finished the tournament with a 4-1 record.

Minnesota also fared well on the singles side on the weekend, although it didn’t win a title.

The Gopher Invitational had an odd setup, as there were eight groups total with one player from each team in each group.

Drake owned the singles side of the tournament and won every title.

Still, Minnesota got consistent play across the board, headed by Bonin and Leandro Toledo.

Young said he was pleased with Bonin’s and Toledo’s play over the weekend.

He also said he liked Frueh’s play. Frueh competed in doubles and also capped his weekend with a singles win.

“I’ve seen him play like that in practice, but for him to transfer that to a match was nice to see,” Young said.

Toledo was limited over the weekend as he prepared for the National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, which begin Thursday.

He said he feels like he has to work on his aggressiveness throughout his matches in order to compete at the next level.

“It’s a big honor to play there because it’s pretty selective,” Toledo said. “I’m really looking forward to it because I will face the very best players. I can win some matches there.”

The championships will be played on the US Open site in Flushing, N.Y., which adds to the excitement for Toledo.

“That’s a big motivation because it’s where the big players and big stars play in their careers,” he said.