By Steve Pratt, special to USTA.com
CALABASAS, Calif. -- Unseeded 20-year-old Tennys Sandgren captured his third USTA Pro Circuit Futures title with a straight-set win over Daniel Kosakowski on Monday completing the rain-delayed $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit Futures event at the Calabasas Tennis and Swim Center.
Sandgren, from Gallatin, Tenn., earns 27 valuable ranking points and a $1,950 check by virtue of his 6-3, 7-5 victory over the No. 5 seeded former UCLA Bruin Kosakowski, who is also 20 years old, at the USTA Men’s Pro Tennis Championship of Calabasas.
Last summer, Sandgren won two $10,000-level Pro Circuit events in Illinois. "I haven’t had too many good tournaments; it’s been kind of a tough year for me so far," said Sandrgen, who turned pro last summer after two years at the University of Tennessee. "I’m just now starting to build my confidence back and feeling good about my game right now."
After a day of rest, both players will head to Costa Mesa and begin play in the $15,000 Futures event at the Costa Mesa Tennis Center.
Sandgren needed three sets to advance in both his quarterfinal and semifinal wins, but was able to hang in there against Kosakowski, who had to win two matches yesterday after a full day of rain washed out the tournament on Saturday.
Up 3-0 and then 4-2 serving in the second set, Sandgren got a little bit tight and enabled Kosakowski to break back and make for a very competitive last four games.
Sandgren had his only double fault in the seventh game trying to hold and go up 5-2. "It’s hard to go an entire match without double faulting, but I definitely picked the wrong time to throw it in there, that’s for sure," he said.
"But I’m still up a set and on serve and it’s late in the match so I just knew I had to lock it down and I did," Sandgren added. "But both the games at 4-4 and 5-5 I was down 15-30 and I could feel the momentum switching and him getting his feet under him. I’m thinking two points and it’s all square and one set each whereas five minutes ago I was walking off the court with the win."
Kosakowski said he was a little sore after four-set wins Sunday but that he didn’t feel tired. "I just had to keep going for my shots and hoping things would turn around for me," he said. "I felt fine. Tennys just played well and is playing with a lot of confidence.
Sandgren said it was great for a couple of ex-college players to make the final at a USTA Pro Circuit event. "College tennis was great for both of us," he said. "You play so many matches and the coaching is great and you practice hard. Sure the school part is hard, but it’s a really good setting. I’m glad I did it."
Monday’s Final Score
Tennys Sandgren, U.S., def. Daniel Kosakowski, U.S., (5) 6-3, 7-5