Baylor wins BNP Paribas Open Collegiate Tennis Challenge after amazing comeback against USC

Tennis - The Bears beat 3 ranked teams in 3 days to clinch the title for the first time, losing the final in 2015

by Roxana Jo
Baylor wins BNP Paribas Open Collegiate Tennis Challenge after amazing comeback against USC

Indian Wells Tennis Garden was the site of the first Masters 1000 event of the season, but it also hosted the BNP Paribas Open Collegiate Tennis Challenge, with some of the best Collegiate men's tennis squads fighting for the title.

In the end, Baylor Bears managed to grab it, beating 3 ranked teams in 3 days, including SMU, California and USC Trojans in what has been an amazing final match. This is the first crown for Baylor at this event, losing in the final to Oklahoma in 2015 and they are 16-3 this spring following these 3 triumphs.

USC Trojans (17-3) had a great 3-0 lead in the final but they failed to deliver that ultimate point and take the crown, in what has been the 16th match between these two teams (9-7 for USC). The Trojans won the doubles point with two identical wins, Riley Smith/Brandon Holt beat Juan Benitez/Will Little 6-4 on the main court while Rob Bellamy/Jack Jaede toppled Max Tchoutakian/Constantin Frantzen by the same score on court 3.

Jack Jaede put USC 2-0 in front when he bested Jimmy Bendeck 6-3 6-1 on court 4 and it was Riley Smith who gave them a comprehensive 3-0 lead, ousting Constantin Frantzen 7-5 6-2 on court 6. With their back firmly against the wall, Baylor started to climb back in the next minutes, trying to make a complete comeback on the remaining courts, with no room for errors.

Johannes Schretter planted them on the scoreboard, scoring a 6-4 6-3 victory against Nick Crystal on court 2, and it was Juan Benitez who cut the deficit to 3-2 on the main court, coming from behind to defeat Brandon Holt 3-6 6-2 6-2.

Will Little made sure to keep the Bears in the game for one more match, he tops Thibault Forget 6-3 7-5 on court 5 to level the overall score to 3-3, sending all the attention to court 3. Max Tchoutakian and Logan Smith were to decide the winner and it was Max who was more focused in the closing stages, performing a 3-6 6-1 6-4 triumph to deliver the 4th point for the Bears, wrapping up a valiant effort from the whole team to start a huge celebration.

[6]Baylor Bears vs [7]USC Trojans 4-3 Doubles (Order of match finish - 1, 3) 1. Riley Smith/Brandon Holt (USC-M) vs Juan Benitez/Will Little (BU) 6-4
2. Jimmy Bendeck/Johannes Schretter (BU) vs Nick Crystal/Laurens Verboven (USC-M) Unfinished

Rob Bellamy/Jack Jaede (USC-M) vs Max Tchoutakian/Constantin Frantzen (BU) 6-4
Singles (Order of match finish - 4, 6, 2, 1, 5, 3) 1. Juan Benitez (BU) vs Brandon Holt (USC-M) 3-6 6-2 6-2
2. Johannes Schretter (BU) vs Nick Crystal (USC-M) 6-4 6-3

Max Tchoutakian (BU) vs Logan Smith (USC-M) 3-6 6-1 6-4
4. Jack Jaede (USC-M) vs Jimmy Bendeck (BU) 6-3 6-1
5. Will Little (BU) vs Thibault Forget (USC-M) 6-3 7-5
6. Riley Smith (USC-M) vs Constantin Frantzen (BU) 7-5 6-2 ALSO READ: Western Michigan men's squad ready to defend Mid-American Conference title