The past 10 days have been a whirlwind of tennis heaven for me. Yesterday’s individual tournament finals was the perfect ending!
The first matches on were the men’s and women’s singles finals with Marcos Giron of UCLA playing Pepperdine’s Alex Sarkissian for the men’s title, and Danielle Collins of UVA playing Lynn Chi of Cal for the women’s title. Immediately following the singles, I got to watch Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe of Bama play Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase of UGA in women’s doubles, and Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese of Tennessee play Peter Kobelt and Kevin Metka of Ohio State for the men’s doubles title. For details on each of these matches, be sure to read Colette Lewis’s ZooTennis piece (click here to read).
As a UCLA alum, I have to say, the highlight of the day for me, though, was seeing Marcos take the title for the Bruins. He had been playing incredible tennis the entire tournament, partnering with Mackie McDonald in the doubles event (the pair lost to the Tennessee guys in the Round of 16). During the team competition, UCLA made it to the semifinals before losing a tight dual match to Oklahoma, so Marcos was pretty determined to take things a step further in the individual tournament. He definitely accomplished that goal, taking the Championship Trophy home with him to Westwood.
I had the opportunity to watch Marcos, a junior at UCLA, practice throughout the entire tournament and to see him interact with his coaches and teammates. His work ethic is enviable, and his contribution to the UCLA tennis program is very evident. Assuming USTA does indeed award him a wildcard into the US Open main draw, he will be one to watch, for sure!