singles, doubles champs
Arthur Kapetanakis | May 26, 2019
Saturday concluded 10 days of NCAA Championships tennis at the USTA National Campus. After the Texas men and Stanford women claimed the team titles last weekend, the individual singles and doubles titles were handed out on the final day of competition in Orlando, Fla.
Paul Jubb (South Carolina) and Estela Perez-Somarriba (Miami) won the men's and women's singles titles, respectively, while UCLA swept the doubles titles through the men's team of Maxime Cressy and Keegan Smith and the women's duo of Ayan Broomfield and Gabby Andrews.
Jubb, the No. 4 seed, claimed the first NCAA title for South Carolina with a 6-3, 7-6 win over top-seeded Nuno Borges (Mississippi State). The British champion had lost to Borges twice previously this season, but ended the No. 1 seed's perfect run of 10 sets out of 10 en route to the final. ADVERTISEMENT On both of their previous meetings, Jubb had taken the opening set before falling in three. On Saturday, he would not relinquish the advantage.
"Just overcoming the mental part of today, just believing I could win after losing to him two times this season, I think that was the biggest part," he said, crediting his aggressive footwork for the victory.
Perez-Somarriba defeated Georgia's Katarina Jokic in a marquee women's singles final that featured the tournament's Top 2 seeds. It was the top-seeded Miami Hurricane who won, outlasting her Bulldog opponent, 6-7, 6-2, 6-3. The Madrid, Spain, native won the title on her seventh match point.
"Katarina played those match points very smart, and I was playing a little conservative," said the senior. "I knew that I had to play on my terms [on the later match points], play my tennis. It didn't matter what she was doing. I just had to play my game and trust my shots."
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In the doubles competitions, the UCLA sweep was the first time a school won both the men's and women's doubles titles since the Bruins accomplished the feat in 1988.
Cressy and Smith beat Patrick Kaukovalta and Mazen Osama of Alabama, 6-3, 6-4, for the men's title. The champions, both California natives, ended the season with a perfect 21-0 record as a tandem and won all 26 sets they played, including a perfect 10-0 at the NCAA Championships.
"That's the result of mental dedication to every single point," said Cressy, a senior from Hermosa Beach, Calif.
"There was definitely a little pressure going into the tournament with that record, being undefeated on the season," added Smith, a San Diego native. "It's always good finishing strong, and getting that pressure of our backs, just to be able to breath a little bit and smile."
On the women's side, Broomfield and Andrews defeated Michigan's Kate Fahey and Brianne Minor, 5-7, 7-6, [11-9]. In her post-match press conference, Andrews, of Pomona, Calif., called the victory the happiest moment of her life.
"I think the atmosphere really helped us out," Andrews said of the pro-Bruins crowd. "When the guys won, we were like, 'OK, we've got to get this now.' And I love how their crowd transferred over to our match. That kind of pumped us up."
For the UCLA seniors, it was the perfect end to a four-year career.
For more information on the NCAA Championships, visit the USTA National Campus tournament homepage.