The IU men’s tennis team practices in a number of different doubles combinations on a daily basis.
Sophomores Jeremy Langer and Maxime Armengaud, however, had never been paired together before this week.
It looks like they should work together again in the future.
Langer and Armengaud continued to surprise in the All-American event at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla.
The duo won its third round qualifying match against North Carolina State’s Rob Lowe and Frideric Prandecki on Wednesday and earned the right to play in the tournament’s main event beginning today.
“This is a nice step for our program,” IU coach Randy Bloemendaal said. “It’s hard for two guys to come in a gel right away, but Jeremy and Max have good chemistry on the court, they get along well off the court and they’ve been able to apply what they’re supposed to do when they’re playing. Nothing is easy about that, but they have done a heck of a job working at it.”
Langer and Armengaud jumped to a 7-1 lead against the Wolfpack by committing very few unforced errors. After Lowe and Prandecki rallied to stay alive by taking the ninth game, the Hoosier pair came right back and closed them out.
“I don’t think either guy played unbelievable, I think we just played solid,” Bloemendaal said. “I thought the other team came out and played a little tight at the start and then we just came at them with the same pressure. From what we talk about doing mentally and physically, I think those two guys did it to a ‘T’ today.”
Armengaud said the inability of the Hoosiers to close out a first-round match Tuesday motivated them to beat Lowe and Prandecki before they were able to generate any sort of momentum.
“Coach (Bloemendaal) talked to us for a while after yesterday’s match to stay focused for the whole match,” said the Nice, France, native. “We were more focused than we used to be and that allowed us to do better.”
Langer and Armengaud, both of whom are playing in their first All-American event, now make up one of the final 32 teams in the doubles tournament. Their play during the next several days will not only help their rankings, it could also potentially impact the spring season.
If the Hoosier duo takes first place in the event, the entire IU team would earn an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament, regardless of its ranking at the time.
“It’s very exciting,” Armengaud said. “Our hard work has definitely paid off to be able to make it to this final weekend. These are only the best teams so the competition is very good. Hopefully we can win a few of these matches.”