Boutillier Saves 2 MPs to Reach QFs at
Virginia Freshman Frank Impresses Against Ohio State's Buchanan
TULSA, OKLA. -- Eight players earned berths into the 2011 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships on Friday by reaching the quarterfinals of the ITA Men's All American Championships.
None was as unlikely to get there as Remi Boutillier of Fresno State, who saved match point in two different sets to defeat Jarmere Jenkins of Virginia 5-7, 7-6(7), 7-5 in three hours and 10 minutes.
With a strong breeze blowing around Boutillier and Jenkins, momentum between the two players seemingly switched from side to side as often as the wind.
After taking a tight first set, Jenkins saved three set points in the second before earning a match point at 7-6 in the tiebreaker. But Boutillier bounced back, and three points later, the senior from France evened the match at one-set all by hitting a cross-court forehand winner.
With a flair for finishing points at the net, Boutillier raced to a 4-0 lead in the third set.
"I guess I don't have as good of groundstrokes as [other players] do," said Boutillier. "I try to mix it up because I can't keep up with them. I have to use my serve as much as I can, try to slice, come in and mix it up so they lose their rhythm."
Just as quickly as Jenkins lost the first four games of the set, he won the next five, and arrived back at match point with Boutillier serving at 4-5, 30-40.
Again, Boutillier dodged trouble, striking a first-ball forehand winner, an unreturnable serve, and then an overhead smash to reach 5-all.
"I just tried to play [match point] as if it was a normal point," Boutillier said. "Of course, if I lose the point, it's match. But I can't focus on that. I need to see further - that if I win the point, I'm still in the game."
Denied victory for a second time, Jenkins failed to hold at 5-all, and fell behind 40-Love when Boutillier served for the victory.
But the Frenchman committed errors on each of his three match points, and again on a fourth, to keep the Virginia junior's hopes alive. Finally, on his fifth chance, Boutillier hit a service winner to clinch his spot in the quarterfinals opposite No. 5 seed Wil Spencer of Georgia.
"I knew before the match that he wasn't going to give up," said Boutillier. "Even though I was up 4-0, I knew that he could come back at any time. So I was expecting it, and it happened I guess."
While Jenkins battled Boutillier on Court 1, freshman Mitchell Frank ensured Virginia's place in the quarterfinals with a comprehensive 6-4, 6-1 victory over No. 4 seed Chase Buchanan of Ohio State.
As the top-ranked newcomer in the country, Frank has made good use of his Tulsa wild card, sweeping six sets in just his second tournament as a collegiate player.
His match against Buchanan turned with the Buckeye serving at 3-3, 30-Love. Frank didn't miss another stroke in the game, retrieving shot after shot - including a pair of impressive gets off overheads - before drawing four errors from Buchanan.
After letting a 15-30 advantage slip away at 4-5 in the first set, Buchanan was never the same, double-faulting twice on break points in the second set to concede the match.
"My game style frustrates someone who isn't quite as steady," said Frank. "I can force him to press a little bit. Luckily today, I don't think Chase played his best, so that obviously helped a lot in getting the win."
Rounding out Friday's singles winners were Costin Paval of Oklahoma, Daniel Nguyen of USC, Alexis Klegou of Texas A&M and a pair of players from the University of Illinois: No. 6 seed Dennis Nevolo and qualifier Roy Kalmanovich.
With six wins in five days, Kalmanovich is the only qualifier through to the quarterfinals.
"Honestly, I don't feel that bad," said Kalmanovich, who won 11 of 13 matches during a 16-day stretch on the USTA Pro Circuit this offseason. "Over the summer, I played a lot of matches - and it was hot. At some point, I was playing so many matches consecutively in the heat that I learned how to manage that. A lot of fatigue is mental."
Each of the quarterfinalists will travel to Flushing, N.Y., next month for the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships - a prestigious 32-player event that brings together the best competitors from throughout the country at the home of the US Open.
Two berths in doubles will be awarded on Saturday to the teams that reach the Tulsa final.
The top-seeded duo of Kevin King/Juan Spir (Georgia Tech) meets Andreas Mies/Alex Stamchev (Auburn) in one semifinal, while 2010 tournament finalists Chase Buchanan/Blaz Rola (Ohio State) play Sadio Doumbia/Ignacio Taboada (Georgia) in the other.