Raquin falls short in National Championship first round, advances to consolation bracket final
By MTN Sports Reporter: Dixon Riggins
Middle Tennessee men’s tennis player Leo Raquin became the first Blue Raider to compete in the fall national championship tournament since 2018. His run for a national title was short-lived, coming up short in the first round. His tournament appearance didn’t end there, making a final run in the consolation bracket.
In the first round, Raquin matched up against Oklahoma State’s Alejandro Garcia. Raquin took the first set 6-3, before ultimately losing the next two by scores of 1-6 and 4-6. This loss sent Raquin into the consolation draw.
Raquin went on to win his next three matches on his way to the consolation finals. In the first round, Raquin and Memphis’ Pau Fanlo matched up in a rematch of the Ohio Valley regional finals. Just like the previous match, Fanlo took the first set in a 7-6 (5) victory. Raquin won the next two sets 6-4 and 6-3, advancing to the next round.
In the quarterfinals, Raquin defeated Georgia’s Miguel Perez Pena in comeback fashion as well, winning two sets in a row after falling in the first. In the semifinals, he took down Arizona’s (No. 23) Colton Smith by winning the first and third sets.
Raquin’s run came to a close by way of losing both sets to Mississippi State’s Petar Jovanovic. “I played five very good matches against tough opponents, and I won three out of five so it was a very good weekend.” The senior said about his performance in the tournament. “I know that now I can compete against the best guys in the nation.”
Associate head coach Andrea Caligiana traveled with Raquin to California, and when asked about his thoughts on Raquin’s performance he said, “It’s always nice to be at the big tournaments because all of the top guys are there and the biggest schools are there. It was very nice to see that Leo could compete at the same level and beat most of those big named players and highly-ranked players.”
The Blue Raider men’s tennis fall season has officially come to a close. The team will regroup to prepare and begin regular season play in January.