Henrik Wiersholm Wins Singles Title at Pensacola Futures Championship
Nov. 22, 2015
Virginia men’s tennis sophomore Henrik Wiersholm (Kirkland, Wash.) won his first career ITF Futures Singles title on Sunday, Nov. 22 at the $10,000 Pensacola Futures Championship held at the Roger Scott Tennis Center in Pensacola, Fla.
Wiersholm downed Alex Rybakov, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, in Sunday’s championship match to secure the title.
“It’s an incredible feeling to win my first ITF Futures tournament,” Wiersholm said. “This past year-and-a-half, I’ve been able to see a lot of success firsthand, with Ryan [Shane] winning NCAA’s and Thai-Son [Kwiatkowski] winning Tulsa [ITA All-American] this year. Their success has helped inspire me, and I can attribute part of my success in Pensacola to being a part of such a culture of excellence. I believe a lot in trusting the process. The coaches at UVA told me that I may or may not play in the lineup, but that my focus should be on developing my game each and every day. With the resources we have available, it was easy to get stronger and smarter on the court.”
Wiersholm began competing Friday, Nov. 13, in the 128-player qualifying tournament, earning one of eight spots in the 32-player main draw after logging four wins in the qualifier.
In Tuesday’s (Nov. 17) main-draw opening round, Wiersholm dropped his first set to Patrick Kypson, 6-0, but rebounded to take the second-set, 7-6 (3) and then dominated the third set, 6-1. On Wednesday, Wiersholm defeated Andrew Carter 6-0, 6-0 to advance to the quarterfinals where he again didn’t lose a game, downing No. 474 Evan King, 6-0, 6-0. King was the No. 3 seed in the main singles draw. In Saturday’s semifinal, Wiersholm dispatched Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-2.
Wiersholm had a stretch during his title run where he won 28-straight games.
Pensacola is Wiersholm’s second time reaching the main draw of a Futures Tournament this year as he also advanced out of qualifying at the Texas Tamale Company Houston Cup Futures Tournament in October, but fell in the first round.
“Last year, I was relatively burnt out with my tennis, having had a great but stressful junior career,” Wiersholm said. “Because of this, I had to spend some time figuring out my reason for why I play tennis. At UVA, I was able to find a few reasons why. I play for the people who support and believe in me, which now includes my teammates and coaches. I play because I love competing, and the tennis court has become my arena. Finally, I play out of a desire to be greater than my expectations. This desire permeates throughout the entire program we have at UVA.
“Last year was probably the best thing that could’ve happened to me. It gave me the opportunity for experiences I never could’ve had otherwise. I gained a new perspective, learned humility and thankfulness, and grew as an individual. I have trusted in the vision that the coaches have for me, and now it is starting to pay off. I’ve become disciplined, which has led to the freedom I now play with. My outlook and perspective has never been better, which is honestly more important than any ball I hit.”
Wiersholm is the second Cavalier this fall to win their first career ITF Futures Singles title. Senior Ryan Shane (Falls Church, Va.) won the singles title at the Costa Mesa Pro Classic in September in Costa Mesa, Calif. In August, Shane and his brother, former Cavalier Justin Shane (’14), won the doubles title at the $15,000 CarX Futures event in Champaign, Ill.