Borges’ incredible season ends in NCAA Semifinals

Another spectacular All-American season is in the books for Mississippi State men’s tennis junior Nuno Borges.

Posted: May 27, 2018 10:29 PM

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – Another spectacular All-American season is in the books for Mississippi State men’s tennis junior Nuno Borges.

The second-ranked and third-seeded Borges once again reached the semifinals of the NCAA Singles Championship, but dropped a hard-fought 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 decision to Wake Forest’s seventh-ranked and seventh-seeded Borna Gojo on Sunday at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.

“I’m really proud of how hard Nuno fought today and all season. He really started off strong and had a great chance to put the match away in the second set. Hats off to Borna, though. He stepped up his serve and saved those three match points with all flat aces. Once he got the momentum back, the crowd gave him a jolt of energy and he was tough from then on out. It’s obviously not the outcome Nuno wanted, but I’m really proud of how determined he was throughout the season and this incredible tournament. I know he’s going to take this experience and build on it over the summer and come back even stronger.”

Borges bolted out of the gate, breaking Gojo to go up 4-2. From there, Borges held serve and then broke Gojo when the Demon Deacon double-faulted on a deciding point to take the first set, 6-2.

Gojo then battled back in the much closer second set. Down 15-40 with Borges playing for the match, Gojo fired off three straight aces to save three match points. He would break the next game and then hold to force a third set.

In the third set, the match was once again back-and-forth, with neither side breaking serve through the first four games. Knotted up at two-games-all, Gojo broke Borges on a deciding point to take a lead that he would not relinquish. Up 5-2, Gojo then served it out to take the set and match, advancing him to the NCAA singles final.

Borges put together yet another banner season for the Maroon and White, becoming the first player in SEC men’s tennis history to ever capture league Player and Scholar-Athlete of the Year laurels in a career, let alone the same season. Borges also became the third player in SEC history earn Player of the Year honors twice.

He also captured the ITA’s prestigious Arthur Ashe, Jr. Leadership and Sportsmanship Award, making him the first Bulldog since Marco Baron in 2001 to earn the honor. On the court, Borges not only earned singles All-American status, but also earned the billing on the doubles courts. There, he and partner Strahinja Rakic jumped from unranked in March to the top spot in the ITA doubles rankings prior to the NCAA Team Championship. By doing so, he became the first Bulldog since Baron in 2000 to earn All-American honors in both singles and doubles in the same year.

In the fall, Borges captured the inaugural Oracle ITA National Fall Championships singles crown, when he started a 16-match winning streak where he won every match in straight sets. That streak lasted until March 21 during the team season.

Borges once again played a key role in MSU’s success as a team in 2018, helping lead the Bulldogs their first SEC Tournament title since 1996 and first NCAA quarterfinal since 1998. State ended the year ranked No. 5 nationally with a 23-3 overall record, 11-1 in SEC play.

MSU In The 2018 NCAA Singles & Doubles Championships

May 27, 2018 – Winston-Salem, N.C. (Wake Forest Tennis Complex)


Semifinals – #7 Borna Gojo [7] (Wake Forest) def. #2 Nuno Borges [3] (MSU) 2-6, 7-5, 6-2

ITA National rankings precede player names; tournament seeding in brackets

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