NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State men’s tennis team was handed a 4-3 home loss against Cumberland on Thursday afternoon. Senior Kyle Burton and junior Shashank Nautiyal both won in doubles and singles action on the day.
“It was another tough match for the guys,” TSU Head Coach Monroe Walker III said. “We won the doubles point and had the momentum going into singles. Kyle pulled out another good win. He is playing great tennis and showing great heart. Shanky played well too. He hit some huge forehands and served well. We have to do better as a team. We are not grinding out points and leaving it all out on the court. This is a match we should have won but without complete effort from everyone we will not get the results we want. I am going to demand better effort and more composure.”
TSU won two doubles matches and a pair of singles matches on Thursday afternoon.
In No. 2 doubles play, Burton teamed up with Tom Parant for a 7-6 victory over Ramon Puertolas and Alejandro Garcia. Burton and Parant won an intense match by edging the Cumberland team out 10-8 in the tie-breaker. The win gave TSU a 1-0 lead going into singles. Jorge Rodriguez and Nautiyal dominated in a 6-3 No. 3 doubles win early in the afternoon.
Moving to singles, Nautiyal defeated Garcia at the No. 4 position, 6-3, 6-3. Burton showed a flare for the dramatic side as his singles match at No.5 went to three sets. After dropping the first set 2-6 Burton bounced back to dominate 6-3 in set two. With his team cheering him on and down 8-6 in the tie breaker, Burton dug deep and used his team as motivation to win the tie breaker 10-8.
The Tigers are back in action against Arkansas Pine Bluff, Rhodes College and LeMoyne-Owen March 3-4 in Memphis.