TULSA, Okla. – William Blumberg of North Carolina will be hanging up the 2017 Saint Francis Health System ITA Men’s All-American singles draw in his room in Chapel Hill. On that draw will be his signature on the “Champion” line.
Blumberg had the opportunity to become just the fifth player in ITA Men’s All-American history to win both the singles and doubles titles. When Blumberg stepped on the court for the singles final on Monday, there is no doubt it was the only thing on his mind. The sophomore from Greenwich, Connecticut dropped the first game to Martin Redlicki of UCLA, but didn’t allow the Bruin much room for error after that. Blumberg took a 2-1 lead in the first set and never looked back, winning the set 6-4. Blumberg took the momentum from the first set and applied it to the second. In quick order, Blumberg took the set 6-4 and secured the singles title.
Just a couple hours later, Blumberg was back on the court for the doubles final with his partner Robert Kelly to face Florida’s Johannes Ingildsen and Alfredo Perez. Florida raced out to an early 3-0 lead, but the Tar Heels battled back to force a set tiebreak. The tiebreak mirrored the rest of the set, with each team trading points and neither gaining a significant advantage. Ingildsen and Perez eventually broke their opponents, taking the tiebreak 8-6.
The second set started with Blumberg and Kelly taking a 2-0 lead. The North Carolina squad appeared truer to form in the set, evening the match at one set apiece after taking the set 6-3.
Florida took a commanding 6-3 lead in the match tiebreak, but North Carolina found a way to pull within two at 9-7. However, the Florida team would hit a hard shot to force the Tar Heels to hit the ball into the net, giving the Gators the victory.
In the consolation singles final, Ingildsen took on Valentine Vacherot of Texas A&M. Ingildsen took the first set 6-4, then came back in the second set to thwart Vacherot’s attempt at a comeback, winning the set 6-4 and taking the consolation singles title.