LSU’s Venus, Ole Miss Duo Crowned Champions at D’Novo/ITA Men's All-American Championships

LSU’s Venus, Ole Miss Duo Crowned Champions at
D’Novo/ITA Men's All-American Championships

TULSA, Okla. – Michael Venus from LSU was able to hold off the nation’s top-ranked player in Oleksandr Nedovyesov from Oklahoma State, 7-6 [5], 2-6, 6-4 in Sunday's D’Novo All-American Championship singles final held at the University of Tulsa's Michael D. Case Tennis Center. Meanwhile, Mississippi’s doubles squad of Jonas Berg and Bram ten Berge were crowned doubles champions with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Arnau Brugues and Phil Stevens of Tulsa.

Venus, though not seeded in the tournament, is currently ranked No. 20 in the ITA preseason rankings. His remarkable run to the title included six victories over opponents from Illinois, Georgia, Stanford, Arkansas, East Tennessee State and Oklahoma State.

Coming into today’s final match, his most impressive victory in the tournament came in the third round, knocking off fourth-seeded Alex Clayton of Stanford in a 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5), 6-4 marathon match. However, that would soon change after knocking off the No. 1 seed in today’s title match.

When asked if he had ever had a bigger victory, Venus responded by saying, “No, I don’t think so. It’s pretty cool to win the tournament by beating the No. 1 player in the nation in the final. It’s pretty awesome.”

After winning a grueling tiebreak set in the first, Venus fell behind early and was obviously in pain midway through the second set but was able to bounce back and win the match in the third set, 6-4. “At the end of the second set, my knee was really hurting. My coach reminded of how hard I’ve worked through three games and to give it all I’ve got”, said Venus. “I made sure to play one point at a time but play every point hard.”

For Nedovyesov, he became the eleventh No. 1 seed and first Oklahoma State player to advance to the All-American men’s finals and the first since Georgia’s John Isner in 2006, who also lost to Brugues of Tulsa 7-6 [5], 6-4. It was the fifth year in a row that a player from the SEC has made it to the singles final match, having won the title four of those years.

On the doubles side, the Ole Miss duo of Jonas Berg and Bram ten Berge defeated Bruges and Phil Stevens of host, Tulsa University. It was a long time coming for Berg of Mississippi, who lost in last year’s doubles final with his previous partner Erling Tveit, 6- 2, 7-5 to the top-seeded Virgina squad of Somdev Devvarman and Treat Huey. “I’m very happy to have won it, finally”, said Berg.

This was only the second tournament that the twosome has played together. “When you look at our game, our volleys are good which makes us good doubles players. Having the same mindset about certain situations really compliments each other well," ten Berge said.  It was also the third straight year that an SEC squad has had a team in the doubles final, having won the title twice.

This event, administered by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), kicks off the 2008-09 collegiate tennis season and is the first of three national championships. The other national title opportunities this season are the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in November and the season-ending NCAA Championships in May.

Main Draw Singles Final - Sunday, October 12
Michael Venus, LSU def. Oleksandr Nedovyesov (1) , Oklahoma State, 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-4

Main Draw Doubles Final - Sunday, October 12
Jonas Berg-Bram ten Berge, Mississippi def. Arnau Brugues-Phil Stevens, Tulsa (6-4, 6-4)

For complete results and event information, visit www.itatennis.com.

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