Sept. 29, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - After an epic tennis match that last over three and a half hours, junior Cristian Gonzalez Mendez won the singles trophy at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center with a 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (2) win. He becomes the first Seminole to win the singles title in the Bedford Cup, which is in its third year.
"This weekend we've had really good records in the third sets," said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. "I thought some of our best tennis came out when we were playing against each other. Cristian was able to win two matches in three sets this weekend."
Sophomore Michael Rinaldi and Gonzalez Mendez both battled hard going back and forth in the first set until the junior got a break to win 6-4. The opposite happened during the second set with both players competing back and forth until Rinaldi got a late break to win 7-5.
In the third set, Rinaldi seemed to be in complete control, up 5-2, but Gonzalez Mendez fought back by winning three straight games to make it 5-5. With the set going into a tiebreaker, the junior won three straight points and held on to the lead to win 7-2 against the physically tired Rinaldi.
"It was a very tough match against my teammate," said Gonzalez Mendez. "There were a lot of ups and downs for both of us. I knew I had to fight hard just to get a chance to come back to win the match. It is an honor to win this prestigious event and to be the first Seminole to win the singles title. Michael had such a great tournament and played real hard today.
"Cristian was down 5-2 in the third and came back to win," continued Hultquist. "It's always good to see how someone can come back and not be out of the match. This is Michael's his first match that he's lost this fall and is now 7-1. It's important that he's playing good every day and is stronger than he was last year."
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