No. 4 USC Holds Off No. 7 Stanford For 5-2 Win

April 2, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The No. 4 USC men's tennis team squeezed past No. 7 Stanford in another tight battle between the Trojans and the Cardinal, with USC snagging another win in a 5-2 decision for a Pac-10 tally in the Trojans' favor. With the Friday afternoon win at Marks Stadium, USC improves to 17-2 overall and is 3-0 in Pac-10 play, while Stanford goes to 11-5, 1-1. Daniel Nguyen served up the singles clincher in this one, as the sophomore passed up Richard Wire for a 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 win that tipped the match into the Trojans' win column.

The doubles point was dominated by USC, thanks to a resounding 8-3 win by USC's #8 Farah/Johnson, who upset the nation's #1 pair, Stanford's Klahn/Thacher, to start off the day. On court two, USC's Nguyen/Sundling staged a similarly strong win over #31 Clayton/Wire to secure that first point for USC. At No. 3, USC's Lucassen/Poldma held serve to go up 7-4 over Kandath/Lin, and with the point already decided, the win went to the Trojans to push the teams into singles action.

Stanford managed the equalizer first as Denis Lin stayed at least a step ahead of USC's #103 Peter Lucassen down the stretch to post a 6-3, 6-4 win that made it 1-1. USC's top-ranked Steve Johnson was putting in work on court two at the same time, however, seeking revenge for an earlier loss to #45 Alex Clayton in last month's USC-Stanford clash. #1 Johnson rattled off a 6-3, 6-2 win over Clayton in this meeting, punching the Trojans to a 2-1 lead. From court six, USC senior Jason McNaughton took care of business to the tune of a 6-4, 6-3 win over Greg Hirshman, and USC was up 3-1 in the match.

To keep things interesting, Stanford answered back, as #93 Ryan Thacher managed a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 win over USC's #73 Jaak Poldma. That pulled the match to a 3-2 USC advantage with two very competitive matches raging in third sets. On court four, USC's #83 Daniel Nguyen was working on rebounding from a second-set slip against Richard Wire. The sophomore got up a break early and added to his lead, going up 4-1 in the third before Wire pulled back to make it 4-3. Nguyen would step to the line and hold serve, then dish out one last break of Wire to clinch his match and the Pac-10 victory for the Trojans with his 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 win.

Meanwhile, at the No. 1 slot, USC's #15 Robert Farah was once again up against Stanford's #5 Bradley Klahn in an all-out three-set battle. After Farah snagged the first set in a tiebreak, Wire responded with a strong 6-1 win in the second. In the third, things were again dramatic. On serve until Farah was broken to fall behind 3-4, Wire would go up 5-3. Farah fought back with a hold and a break that leveled it 5-5, but Wire again broke Farah to edge Stanford ahead 6-5. Then it was Farah's turn to dig in, as the senior pulled it even again with a break to bring up the deciding tiebreaker. There, Farah climbed ahead 5-2 before Klahn reined him in to make it 5-5. Farah had match point twice, but Klahn warded it off and would go up match point himself, ahead 8-7. Farah got big at the net and pulled even, then would go on to charge to victory and claim the match with a 10-8 win in the tiebreaker, rounding out the USC win with his 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (8) decision that wrapped up play at Marks Stadium for the day.

USC now turns to host No. 17 Cal in another big Pac-10 face-off at Marks Stadium. The Trojans will square off against the Bears at 1 p.m. on Saturday (April 3).

#4 USC 5, #7 Stanford 2
April 2, 2010 - Marks Stadium
(1) #8 Farah/Johnson (USC) def. #1 Klahn/Thacher (STAN) - 8-3
(2) Nguyen/Sundling (USC) def. #31 Clayton/Wire (STAN) - 8-4
(3) Lucassen/Poldma (USC) def. Kandath/Lin (STAN) - 7-4
USC wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3
(1) #15 Robert Farah (USC) def. #5 Bradley Klahn (STAN) - 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (8)
(2) #1 Steve Johnson (USC) def. #45 Alex Clayton (STAN) - 6-3, 6-2
(3) #93 Ryan Thacher (STAN) def. #73 Jaak Poldma (USC) - 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
(4) #83 Daniel Nguyen (USC) def. Richard Wire (STAN) - 7-5, 2-6, 6-3*
(5) Denis Lin (STAN) def. #104 Peter Lucassen (USC) - 6-3, 6-4
(6) Jason McNaughton (USC) def. Greg Hirshman (STAN) - 6-4, 6-3
Order of finish: 5, 2, 6, 3, 4*, 1

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