Cavaliers Advance to the Finals of the ITA All-American
Oct. 11, 2015
TULSA, Okla. – Junior Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Charlotte, N.C.) and senior Mac Styslinger (Birmingham, Ala.) will be playing in the finals of the 2015 Saint Francis Health System ITA Men’s All-American Championships after winning semifinal matches on Sunday afternoon in Tulsa, Okla. Kwiatkowski will be playing for both a singles and a doubles championship while Styslinger will be competing in doubles.
Kwiatkowski downed Stanford’s Tom Fawcett 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the finals. Kwiatkowski and Styslinger teamed up for a 6-4, 6-3 win over Florida’s Diego Hidalgo and Gordon Watson to reach the doubles final.
“It was tough getting a read on their returns and both of their serves move a lot, so once we were able to get a good read on it, I felt like we started returning better,” said Styslinger. “It’s a good feeling to be moving on to the final.”
Facing Virginia in the doubles final will be Brett Clark and Robert Kelly of North Carolina, who defeated Florida’s Maxx Lipman and Elliott Orkin in straight sets 6-4, 7-5. With Kwiatkowski competing in singles, the doubles final will begin not before 12 p.m. ET.
The singles final matches a pair of Top 10-nationally ranked players as No. 4 seed (10th ranked) Dominik Koepfer of Tulane will take on No. 3 (8th ranked) Kwiatkowski. Start time for Monday’s championship match is set for 10 a.m. ET.
Kwiatkowski looks to become the first player to win the All-American singles and doubles championships since Tennessee’s John-Patrick Smith accomplished the feat in 2009. In addition, the Cavalier junior looks to become the fifth Virginia player in the past six years to win the All-American singles title, and sixth straight ACC competitor to hoist the winner’s trophy.
Kwiatkowski won two singles matches Saturday afternoon to advance to the semifinals, topping Florian Lakat of Cal 6-3, 6-4 in the third round followed by a 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 win over Northwestern’s Konrad Zieba later that same afternoon in the quarterfinals.
“After our first home tournament, I took five, six days off, so I feel very fresh,” said Kwiatkowski, who is looking to become the fifth Cavalier in the past six years to win the ITA All-American. “I’ve done a good job this tournament of managing my body well between matches. Zieba played better than me in the first set and I was lucky to make it to 7-5. In the second, I tried to play my game more; I was too defensive in the first set. In a no-ad match anything can happen. I held once on my serve and got a break to get ahead.”
Kwiatkowski, partnering with Styslinger, went on to close out the day with a 6-2, 6-3 win over New Mexico’s Hayden Sabatka and Bart Van Leijsen to advance to Sunday’s doubles semifinals. Kwiatkowski and Styslinger will now face Florida’s Diego Hidalgo and Gordon Watson in the doubles semis.
Kwiatkowski, who also reached the singles semifinals in Tulsa last year, will take on Stanford’s Tom Fawcett in Sunday’s singles semifinal.
Kwiatkowski, the number three seed in the men’s singles tournament, advanced to the second round in the singles tournament after earning a 6-4, 6-2 victory over San Diego’s Filip Vittek on Thursday followed by a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Arthur Rinderknech of Texas A&M on Friday.
In the doubles main draw opener, Kwiatkowski and Styslinger logged a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Carlos Bautista and Juan Matias Gonzalez of Tulsa and then recorded a 6-3, 6-4 win over Standford’s Tom Fawcett and Maciek Romanowicz on Friday night in the second round.
Semifinal matches in singles and doubles will be contested on Sunday with championship matches for both singles and doubles scheduled for Monday, Oct. 12.
Keep checking VirginiaSports.com and @uvamenstennis Twitter for scores and updates from the tournament.
Singles quarterfinalists, doubles finalists and consolation champions will receive an automatic entry into the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships on Nov. 12-15, held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York.