BENTONVILLE -- The top two boys doubles seeds qualified for the semifinals Monday in the Class 6A boys state tennis tournament held at Memorial Park, while upsets eliminated three of the top four singles players.
Little Rock Central's Alex Wells and Stefan Tudoreanu, the top doubles seed, bounced back from a sluggish start to defeat Noah Furuseth and Aaron Day of Rogers Heritage 6-4, 6-2.
"We started out slow, because it was our first match after getting a bye in the first round," Tudoreanu said. "The other team already had a match under their belts, so they were ready to play. And they had a pretty big crowd out there cheering for them, so they were in my head a little bit to start out."
The senior duo, who have yet to lose a match this season, found themselves down 3-2 in the first set, before they reeled off 11 straight points to take command.
"It took us a little time to get used to their style of play," Wells said. "The second set, we came out much stronger. They were playing at a lot slower pace and that can take some time to adjust to, but we eventually settled down and were able to play our game."
Central will now face Bentonville's Ricky Iselin and Anish Guntreddi, who defeated 6A-West No. 2-seed Adam Ledzinski and Thompson Maner of Fayetteville 6-2, 7-5.
"We just tried to come out with a lot of energy and get the momentum on our side first," Iselin said. "I knew if we came out strong, then everything else would take care of itself. We started playing as a team, continuing to hit the ball cross-court, which kept them on the run."
Boyce Read and Santiago Aguirre of Bentonville, the No. 1 seed from the 6A-West, lost the first set before rebounding to get past Fayetteville's Michael Mathias and David Zhu, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
"We had beaten them twice already this season, so I think we started feeling the pressure and stopped being aggressive," Aguirre said.
Read credited Tigers Coach Richie Roberts with keeping them calm and focused in the early going, which helped turn the match around in the second set.
"He really helped getting us back in the match, as well as our other teammates who were really cheering us on," he said. "After we won the second set, I felt we had the momentum going into the third set."
Read and Aguirre advanced to meet Bentonville West's team of Luke Ralston and Sankalp Pandey, who upset the 6A-Central's No. 2 seed, Fort Smith Northside's Trey Rajsombath and Kevin Praphan, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5, in a match that lasted 2 hours, 42 minutes.
Springdale Har-Ber sophomore Carter Swope was the lone top seed to advance on the singles side, as the 6A-West No. 1-seed had to hold off a strong battle from Fayetteville's Spencer Holloway 6-1, 6-4.
"I came out in the first set playing pretty well, but in the second set he started to put things together," said Swope, who is undefeated this season. "It was just back-and-forth, breaking each other, but eventually I held my serve and that was the big thing. The first match is always the toughest one, so it feels good to get that one under the belt. Now I'm just looking forward to the semifinals."
Swope will now face Bentonville West's Graham Hardin, who upset 6A-Central No. 2-seed Spartagus Wolfe of Little Rock Catholic 6-1, 6-0.
Fayetteville sophomore Jacob Nordin pulled off what may have been the upset of the day, knocking off 6A-Central No. 1-seed Isaiah Bordador 6-2, 6-3.
Nordin lost in last year's quarterfinal, so he said he was determined to make it through this year.
"He broke my serve in the very first game, so that is never a good sign to start a match," Nordin said with a chuckle. "But I was able to come right back and break his serve, so that started giving me the confidence that I could win. I just started playing really aggressive, making him change his game. And that seemed to work and get him tired."
Nordin will now take on Fort Smith Southside's Robinson Wright, who entered the tournament as the sixth-seed, but upset 6A-West No. 2 seed, Emiliano Aguirre of Bentonville 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
The semifinals for the tournament begin today at 10:30 a.m., followed by the championship matches beginning at 1 p.m.
At A Glance
CLASS 6A STATE BOYS TENNIS TOURNAMENT
At Memorial Park, Bentonville
First Round (1 p.m.)
C4 Caden Highfill, LR Central vs. W5 Spencer Holloway, Fayetteville
W3 Graham Hardin, West vs. C6 Trey Lemieux, Conway
W4 Jacob Nordin, Fayetteville vs. C5 Sam Carlisle, FS Northside
C3 Yash Gokarakonda, LR Central vs. W6 Robinson Wright, FS Southside
Quarterfinals (5 p.m.)
W1 Carter Swope, Springdale Har-Ber vs. Highfill-Holloway winner
C2 Spartagus Wolfe, LR Catholic vs. Hardin-Lemieux winner
C1 Isaiah Bordador, LR Catholic vs. Nordin-Carlisle winner
W2 Emiliano Aguirre, Bentonville vs. Gokarakonda-Wright winner
First Round (11 a.m.)
W5 Michael Mathias-David Zhu, Fayetteville vs. C4 Avery Horton-DeAndre Ross, LR Centzral
C6 Cooper Teague-Michael Mainord, Conway vs. W3 Luke Ralston-Sankalp Pandey, West
C5 Rhodes Roberts-Tommy Nolan, LR Catholic vs. W4 Noah Furuseth-Aaron Day, Heritage
W6 Ricky Iselin-Anish Guntreddi, Bentonville vs. C3 Brody Wilson-Tanner New, Conway
Quarterfinals (3 p.m.)
W1 Boyce Read-Santiago Aguirre, Bentonville vs. Mathias-Zhu/Horton-Ross winner
C2 Trey Rajsombath-Kevin Praphan, FS Northside vs. Teague-Mainord/Ralston-Pandey winner
C1 Stefan Tudoreanu-Alex Wells. LR Central vs. Roberts-Nolan/Furuseth-Day winner
W2 Adam Ledzinski-Thompson Maner, Fayetteville vs. Iselin-Guntreddi/Wilson-New winner
Semifinals (10 a.m.)
All finals will be played at 1 p.m.