Minnesota wins first Big Ten matchup

Freshman Felix Corwin turned in a comeback victory over the weekend.

Danny Chen

With the help of freshman Felix Corwin, No. 33 Minnesota kept its focus during each set of Saturday’s match, propelling it to a 4-1 victory over Wisconsin in its first Big Ten contest.

Men’s tennis head coach Geoff Young said Corwin played very well and remained calm throughout the whole match.

Corwin, No. 117 in the nation, fought through two tough sets against Josef Dodridge for the victory.

In the first set, he took an early 3-2 lead before Dodridge fought back. The set eventually headed to a tiebreaker, where Corwin dominated 7-1.

In the second set, he trailed Dodridge by a break until the deciding game. Down 6-5, Corwin made a comeback surge and tied the set up at 6-6.

Again, Corwin won the tiebreaker.

“He didn’t panic when he was down, and he stayed with it to win some big points,” Young said.  “He played two really good tiebreakers, which really helped the team a lot.”

Corwin said the match was really intense and that his opponent played well.

“At the end of each set, I was just trying to go for my shots and control the points like I wanted to,” Corwin said. “I was really happy with how I played and the match overall.”

Corwin also helped the team in doubles action, giving the Gophers a one-point team lead when he and Leandro Toledo  won their match 7-5.

Toledo, No. 17 in the nation, also excelled in singles, continuing his dominant performance this season by extending his record to 6-1 in the No. 1 singles position.

Toledo defeated Wisconsin’s Alexander Kokorev 6-3 and 6-4.

“I played pretty steady from the baseline,” Toledo said.  “In the key moments I served really well, and I got myself out of trouble there.”

However, even with what seems like a great victory on paper, Toledo said he still has areas that he needs to improve on.

“[I] have to try to stay aggressive and be more consistent from the baseline,” Toledo said.  “Especially when I have break points, those are big moments, and I have to try to take advantage of that.”

No. 107 Matic Spec finished his singles match 6-3, 6-4, while two other Gophers did not complete their matches.

With the victory over the Badgers, the Gophers have now won five meets in a row and are off to their best start since 2011.

Young said the great start to the season shows his team is doing something right.

“It is important that we don’t stay satisfied with our record,” Young said.  “We’re interested in things that are more important than that. We have to keep our hunger to improve as the season goes on each week.”