TULSA, Okla. - The singles and doubles finals are set for tomorrow's championship matches at the 2010 D'Novo/ITA Men's All-American Championships.
With three out of the eight quarterfinalists hailing from the University of Virginia, there was a strong possibility that one of the Cavs would land a spot in tomorrow's finals. After Duke's Reid Carleton and Kentucky's Eric Quigley quickly disposed of Drew Courtney and Sanam Singh of Virginia, respectively, the title opportunity would rest on the shoulders of the top college freshman in the country - Alex Domijan. For complete results and event information, visit www.itatennis.com.
Domijan was the top American junior player entering the collegiate ranks this year. He is currently ranked No. 574 in the world in the ATP singles rankings having reached the finals at two Futures Tour events and reaching the quarterfinals of Junior Wimbledon, edged in three sets by 2009 NCAA singles champion Devin Britton.
After picking up three straight 6-2, 6-1 wins over No. 42 Daniel Nguyen of USC and seeded players No. 13 Javier Garrapiz from Georgia and No. 2 Henrique Cunha of Duke on the first two days, Domijan continued to display his dominance with two more straight set victories over top 10-ranked opponents, Florida's No. 9 Alexandre Lacroix and reigning NCAA Champion, Bradley Klahn from Stanford. Through five of the possible six matches played in the tournament, Domijan has yet to drop a set.
Just when it appeared that the streak would run out, falling behind 5-2 to Klahn in the first set of today's semifinal match, Domijan stromed back to claim the first set 7-5, relying heavily on his unparalleled serve.
"I started off somewhat nervous after I was broken right away", said Domijan. "I served pretty well and have been working on my movement, which I feel helped me at the baseline to set up my shots." It also didn't hurt that Domijan has quite literally towered over his opponents with his 6-foot-7 frame. "The height definitely helps me with my serve."
Last year, Eric Quigley was the all of the buzz on day one after stunning the college tennis world by knocking off the 2009 Campbell/ITA National Player of the Year and top seed, Oleksandr Nedovyesov of Oklahoma State. Entering last year's event as a qualifier and 70th-ranked player, Quigley won 26 of 28 points on his first serve over the last set and a half he which was the key factor in the match.
From that victory on, Quigley never looked back and entered this year's championship as the No. 8 seed. With wins over the No. 13, 28, 31, 44 and 45th-ranked players, there is no question Domijan has played the tougher opponents but Quigley does have the experience under his belt that the UVA frosh has not yet gained.
After surviving two three-set matches in his previous two matches, today Quigley wasted no time to seal his ticket to the championship match, recording back-to-back straight set victories.
Quigley won his quarterfinal match over No. 13 Sanam Singh of Virginia 6-4, 6-1 Saturday morning then continued his dominance with a 6-4, 6-3, straight-sets victory over No. 45 Reid Carleton of Duke to advance to the championship.
Quigley and Carleton went back-and-forth in the first set before Quigley came out victorious. Carleton started the match with two straight wins, but Quigley answered with wins in four straight games to take a 4-2 lead. Carleton then came back to cut the UK junior's lead to 5-4, but Quigley held serve to win the first set 6-4.
In the second set, Carleton jumped out with a win in the first game before Quigley bounced back and took a two-game lead. The two ranked players then held serve to take the match to 5-3 before Quigley broke Carleton to seal the match and earn his spot in the championship.
In doubles action, Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola, a newly formed Ohio State doubles tandem, will face off against the third-seeded duo of Drew Courtney and Michael Shabaz in tomorrow's championship match.
Buchanan and Rola opened the day with an 8-5 win over qualifier Aleksey Bessonov and Rifat Biktyakov of Oklahoma State before dispatching the reigning USTA/ITA Intercollegiate Indoor Champions, Klahn and Ryan Thacher of Stanford and dispatched the Cardinal tandem by another 8-5 score.
The Duke duo of Carleton and Cunha were named the 2010 Campbell/ITA Doubles Team of the Year and have lived up to the billing, entering the All-American tournament as the top seed but were unable to exact revenge on the reigning NCAA Doubles Champions, Shabaz and Courtney, dropping the hotly-contested match 6-7, 6-4, 6-3, in Saturday's last match of the day.
The tournament, hosted by the University of Tulsa at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center, kicked off on Saturday, October 3 with six rounds of prequalifying and qualifying singles and doubles leading up to today's main draw competition.
Tournament play concludes tomorrow with both championship matches beginning at 10 am CT.