Shabaz Falls to Kendrick in VNB Challenger Final
CHARLOTTESVILLE – Virginia senior Michael Shabaz (Fairfax, Va.) had his historic run at the Virginia National Bank Tennis Championships come to an end on Sunday. He fell to world No. 149 Robert Kendrick 6-2, 6-3 in the singles final of the ATP Challenger Tour event.
Shabaz was the first collegiate player to reach a Challenger Tour final since 1987, when Georgia’s Al Parker made the final in Raleigh, N.C.
“This was a great week,” said Shabaz. “When I made it through qualies, I didn’t know what to expect in the main draw. But I played well and it ended up being a huge week, probably the best week of my career. I am really looking forward to carrying the momentum from this week into the spring season.”
Shabaz, who entered the tournament with no ATP ranking, advanced to the main draw with three wins in qualifying. He then won four main draw matches to reach the final, defeating three players ranked in the top 225 in the world. With the run at the tournament, Shabaz will climb over 1,200 spots in the world rankings, to approximately No. 525 in the world next week.
“I am proud of Michael’s effort,” said Virginia head coach Brian Boland. “This was a great experience for him and the entire team. I know this will give him a lot of confidence as he prepares for his final semester and transitions into the professional game upon his graduation in May.”