Sept. 11, 2015
QUEENS, N.Y. – Virginia men’s tennis senior Ryan Shane (Falls Church, Va.) and junior Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.) both lost their semifinal matches at the second annual American Collegiate Invitational at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, N.Y.
Shane, the top-seeded player in the eight-man draw, won his opening set against Gonzales Austin of Vanderbilt, 6-3, but fell 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6) in the final two sets. Shane had defeated UCLA’s Dennis Mkrtchian 6-2, 6-1 to advance to the semifinals.
“I think I had maybe 15 break points in the second set that didn’t go my way,” Shane said. “I was up in both breakers and hit some double faults.”
“Ryan’s really added a lot to his game since the last time we’ve played,” said Austin, a four-time ITA first team All-American and 2015 SEC Player of the Year. “His movement is much better, he came out in the first set making a lot of balls. He hit a ton of winners and there wasn’t much I could do. In the second set, I just started making a few more balls and started going for shots so he couldn’t dictate (the pace).
Kwiatkowski, the No. 3 seed, fell 6-2, 6-2 to UCLA’s Mackenzie McDonald, the No. 2 seed after defeating Illinois’ Jared Hiltzik 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 on Thursday.
“Mackie was just playing at a higher level than me and I felt a little off,” Kwiatkowski said. “I took a long time off after NCAAs to rest, so I’m glad I came here and got a couple of matches. If you can’t be competitive and enjoy it at the U.S. Open, you probably shouldn’t be playing this sport.”
The matches of the American Collegiate are being played on the grounds of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center as part of the competitions that accompany the US Open. Shane also played in the main draw of the US Open men’s singles, dropping his opening-round match to No. 27 Jeremy Chardy, 6-2, 6-1, 6-7, 6-2 on Monday, August 31.
The men’s/women’s American Collegiate Invitational champions receive qualifying wild cards entries for the 2016 US Open. The champions will also get wild cards into two USTA Pro Circuit events, while each runner-up will get one.