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MSU men's tennis cruises past Western Michigan 6-1 in season opener

January 19, 2024
<p>Freshman Ozan Baris prepares to serve during his singles match against Northwestern on Sunday, April 23 at the MSU Indoor Tennis Center.</p>

Freshman Ozan Baris prepares to serve during his singles match against Northwestern on Sunday, April 23 at the MSU Indoor Tennis Center.

In the season opener for the No. 22 Michigan State men's tennis team, the Spartans faced off against Western Michigan and took home the win, beating the Mustangs with a tallied score of 6-1. 

Making their first appearances in Michigan State uniforms, redshirt freshman Aristotelis Thanos and freshman Taym Al Azmeh defeated Western Michigan in one set with a score of 6-3. The match started as a quick back-and-forth until Thanos and Al Azmeh pulled away to finish off the Mustangs and win the first doubles match. 

In the second doubles match, graduate student Sebastien Collard and senior Graydon Lair would also win their match with a score of 6-3. In the beginning it was pure domination by both Collard and Lair, as they would win the first three games of the match, until Western Michigan got on the board making it 3-1. However it was already too late for the Mustangs, as Michigan State had complete control of the set and would not allow at Western to come back. 

In the third doubles match, it was a closer game: sophomore David Saye and graduate student Ronald Hohmann III had a tough opening as they went down 0-1. The pair would follow it up by tying up the score at 1-1, before trading games with Western Michigan. Eventually, the Spartans pulled ahead 5-4.

In the singles contests, Al Azmeh, Saye and Lair would win their matches in two sets. Lair and Saye both won 6-2 in both sets and Al Azmeh would win 6-1, 6-3. 

Sebastien Collard – who didn't look as dominant as he did in the doubles match – had a rough start against Ashton Adesoro of Western Michigan, losing the first set 1-6. However, Collard would come back in the second set and beat Adesoro 6-1. In the third set, Collard carried momentum from the last set and won convincingly with a score of 6-3.

The most entertaining matchup of the day was between Ronald Hohmann III and Western Michigan's Benjamin George. In the first set, Hohmann III was up 5-3 and looking to take the win. However, George had other plans – tying up the first set at 6-6 and producing a tiebreaker which he won 7-5. In the second set, Hohmann III got back on track and won 6-4. This led to a third set with another tiebreaker which Hohmann III took for the win, beating George in a ten point tie-breaker, 10-4.

The only singles match that ended with an MSU loss was Aristotelis Thanos’ match. He came up just short, losing both sets 4-6.

Michigan State's next matchup will be on Jan. 28, when they will travel west to take on UC Santa Barbara in Malibu, California.

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