URBANA, Ill. – Elon University junior men’s tennis standout Cameron Silverman became only the second player in program history to win a match in the NCAA Men’s Singles Championship following a three-set win (6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4) win over Baylor’s 55th-ranked Julian Lenz on Wednesday, May 22.
Silverman (15-8), ranked 67th nationally, advances to the second round where he will face Michigan’s 13th-ranked Evan King (30-4) tomorrow. The match time will be released Wednesday evening. King defeated Georgia’s 47th-ranked Nathan Pasha, 6-2, 6-2, earlier today.
The last Phoenix player to win a match in the NCAA Men’s Singles Championship was former standout Damon Gooch, who topped Tennessee’s Boris Conkic in 2009.
Silverman and Lenz battled back and forth in the first set, until Lenz broke Silverman’s serve to take a 4-3 advantage. But Silverman came back strong, breaking Lenz to even the match at 5-all. With the set tied, 6-all, the two players went to a seven-point tiebreaker, where Lenz claimed a 7-4 decision to win the first set, 7-6.
Silverman broke early in the second set, taking a 1-0 lead. Lenz came back to limit Silverman to a 3-2 lead, but Silverman answered the bell and created distance go ahead, 4-2. Silverman went on to win the second, 6-4, forcing a third and final set.
Silverman gained early momentum in the third after breaking Lenz’s serve again to take a 1-0 edge. But Lenz answered back, breaking Silverman’s serve to knot the third set at 1-all. Trailing 4-3 later in the match, Silverman broke Lenz and took the next two points to take a 5-4 lead. The Mount Kisco, N.Y., sealed the deal from there, winning the third set, 6-4, to advance in the NCAA Tournament.
Silverman and Stefan Fortmann play their doubles match tomorrow (time TBD) against Texas A&M’s Junior Ore and Jackson Winthrow.