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No 'clean' break: Cid has unfinished business at USF

USF sophomore Roberto Cid became the first All-American in Bulls men's tennis history, reaching the quarterfinals of the NCAA singles championships.


USF sophomore Roberto Cid became the first All-American in Bulls men's tennis history, reaching the quarterfinals of the NCAA singles championships.

Before dusting off most of his opposition during his surreal spring, lanky USF sophomore Roberto Cid did the same to the bedroom in his off-campus apartment.

For Cid, an unkempt room led to a disheveled psyche on the court.

"It's one of the things where I feel comfortable, just getting out of my room and everything has to be well done," the 20-year-old Dominican Republic native said. "I mean, it worked for this season. It might be silly but it's just a mental thing."

Then again, Cinderella did a heavy bit of cleaning in her day, too.

Unseeded entering the NCAA men's singles championships in Athens, Ga., the Bulls' resident neatnik polished off his first three opponents in straight sets before falling in the quarterfinals. By making the round of 16, he automatically became the program's first All-American.

"I was very pleased with all the messages and e-mails that I got congratulating me for everything that I did," said Cid, whose season ended with an 0-6, 3-6 loss to Pepperdine's Alex Sarkissian in the round of eight. "I was very happy after everything." 

The American Athletic Conference Player of the Year, Cid led the Bulls to the conference tournament title and earned an automatic berth in the NCAA singles field after being named the tourney's most outstanding player. His opening-round foe: UCLA's Clay Thompson, the overall top seed.

"My coach (Matt Hill) and I saw him earlier in the week when they were playing the (team) championships," Cid said. "It was quite helpful to watch him because when we saw the draw that I was playing against him, we were able to (devise) a tactic on how to play the guy in order to come out on top that day."

Offsetting Thompson's serve-and-volley style, Cid leaned heavily on his forehand in an effort to block Thompson's serve and aim return shots toward his feet. The result was a 6-4, 6-3 triumph.

"When you're facing the first seed and you barely got into the tournament, all you have to do is just do your best and try not to think much about the match itself," Cid said.

"Just focus on doing what you've been doing in practice and trusting your game and do your best, and get off the court and be proud of what you did. ... That's what I was focusing on, and that day it went my way, so I was very excited and happy."

Two more straight-set wins followed before the loss to Sarkissian. Cid, the youngest of three kids born in Santo Domingo, ended his inaugural spring on USF's campus with a 24-6 singles record.

Shimmering, but not quite spotless. Hence the reason Cid is bent on remaining a Bull. Still a few things to clean up.

"Obviously there's always room to improve," he said.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 4:42pm]


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