Corwin and Spec finding success

The sophomores are undefeated as a pair in doubles so far in collegiate matches.

Gophers tennis players Matic Spec, left, and Felix Corwin pose in the Baseline Tennis Center on Monday afternoon.

Joe Sulik

Gophers tennis players Matic Spec, left, and Felix Corwin pose in the Baseline Tennis Center on Monday afternoon.

Jack White

Sophomores Felix Corwin and Matic Spec have been perfect as a pair so far in doubles.
 
The duo is 6-0 together, with five of those six victories in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Regionals, which ended Oct. 19. That performance gave them a bid to the ITA National Indoors in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., this weekend.
 
“We’ve had really good chemistry when we’ve played together,” Corwin said. “So I don’t think [inexperience is] a huge factor, and I think we’re as prepared as we can be going into it.”
 
With the tournament looming, head coach Geoff Young didn’t travel with the team to its latest tournament, instead staying behind to prepare Corwin and Spec.
 
No Gophers doubles pair has ever won the National Indoors tournament.
 
The two both came in the Gophers 2014 recruiting class and are currently roommates.
 
The two both had successful freshman seasons, as Spec was named to the All-Big Ten first team and Corwin picked up 25 doubles wins, tied for the seventh most in a single season in program history.
 
The two were often not paired together in doubles, however.
 
Corwin was most often paired with senior Leandro Toledo last year, who finished his career 11th all-time in doubles victories at Minnesota.
 
Spec was most often paired with senior Eric Frueh, though he and Corwin competed together in two matches their freshman year. They won one, and the other was
unfinished. 
 
“We just clicked very well together,” Spec said. “Our games complement each other’s pretty well. We just won the regionals. We played really big, served big, returned big. When we were comfortable and confident in that, we were able to put pressure on our opponents.”
 
Corwin serves well for the duo, with his 6-foot-2-inch frame helping him get extra velocity on the ball. Spec returns well and said the pair’s skills go well together.
 
“I know that if I don’t make a return, there’s a high chance that he’s going to make a shot or two, which means that I don’t have to execute on every shot I have,” Spec said.
 
Corwin and Spec did not travel to the team’s last tournament, the Big Ten Indoors. They’ve been solely focused on the national meet instead.
 
“I’ve been telling them to keep the intensity up and to make sure they are engaged while practicing,” associate head coach Urban Ljubic said. 
 
Ljubic will travel with the pair to the tournament. He said he likes the pair’s chances at the event.
 
“They are both serving pretty big serves, and they both return well,” Ljubic said. “Those are the two most important shots in doubles, and I think they can do well by going big
on those two. And if they convert, they will be a pretty decent threat.”