Dogs' Quinn captures 2023 men's singles NCAA championship

By Georgia Sports Communications
Posted 3:13PM on Saturday 27th May 2023 ( 1 year ago )

LAKE NONA, Fla. — Georgia's  Ethan Quinn used a comeback win against Michigan’s Ondrej Styler, 6-7(2), 7-6(5), 6-2, to win the 2023 NCAA Singles National Championship on Saturday at the United States Tennis Association National Complex. 

Quinn. a redshirt-freshman, joins the elite company of Mikael Pernfors (1984, 1985) and Matias Boeker (2001, 2002) as the only three Bulldogs to capture the national singles title. The All-American is the fourth freshman to claim the crown since 1977, and the first Georgia player to advance to the finals since John Isner did so in 2007.

“Since I started college, my goal was to win the singles championship,” said Quinn. “Getting to achieve that goal is special and getting to join that list of guys is amazing. They had phenomenal careers, and I just hope my career can be just as good as theirs one day.”

The second-seeded Quinn saved four match points in the second set to force a tiebreaker. He would go on to take the breaker and the third set versus No. 8 Styler.

Quinn defeated TCU’s Luc Fomba, UNC’s Ryan Seggerman, Stanford’s No. 9-16 Nishesh Basavareddy, Michigan’s Andrew Fenty, Virginia’s No. 9-16 Chris Rodesch and No. 8 Styler to mark his place in history.

The Fresno, Calif. native closed the season by winning 17 consecutive singles matches and going 22-1 dating back to Feb. 19. His win against Styler, who is ranked No. 8 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association singles poll, moved Quinn to 34-10 on the year and 26-7 against ranked opponents. 

Quinn immediately went up 2-0 to start the championship match, going up a break and saving two break points to begin the day. He then broke Styler on a deciding point to take a 5-2 lead, however; the Michigan senior twice broke Quinn and held to put to take his first lead of the day, 6-5. Styler then took the set, 7-6(2).

Each side held in the second set until another pair of double faults, this time from Styler, gave Quinn the break he needed to get back on serve, 3-3. On the subsequent game at deciding point, Styler’s sliding pass went just out of reach from Quinn to earn the break back.

With Styler leading 5-4, he held championship point at 40-love, but Quinn dug deep and saved four match points to earn the break. The set again went into a breaker after holding serve. Quinn rocketed his first ace of the match past his opponent to tie the breaker 2-2 and then won three of the next four points to lead 5-3. He would then take the breaker to force a third set, 7-6(5).

Momentum began to swing towards Quinn as the match went into the deciding set. He broke Styler in the first game and routed four straight points while serving to lead 2-0. Styler would respond with a break of his own but was unable to hold serve and Quinn again took a break lead, 4-2.

He closed out the match and captured the national championship with a 6-7(2), 7-6(5), 6-2 victory.

The 2023 SEC Freshman of the Year and a member of the All-SEC First Team, Quinn is the first freshman in program history to both make the finals and win the national championship. Quinn is also part of an accomplished group of Bulldogs to make the finals, which includes Patricio Arnold (1991), George Bezecny (1985), Boeker (2001, 2002), John Isner (2007), Wade McGuire (1992) and Pernfors (1984, 1985).

“It was a match with a lot of big momentum swings,” said head coach Manuel Diaz. “In the end there, when Styler served for the match, you need to make some returns and he gave himself a chance. Ethan played with a little bit more freedom, and somehow it earned one point, then the other. It just seemed that time slowed down for him a little bit. He was patient when he needed to be and played assertively when he needed to in the end. I’m super proud of him for showing the grit and continuing to fight the good fight. He earned a great win for himself and our program.”

Ethan Quinn becomes the first player for Georgia to win the NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Singles Championship since Matias Boeker won back-to-back titles in 2001 and 2002.

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