Oct. 26, 2009
ATHENS, Ga. - No. 33 Clint Bowles, a junior on the Florida State men's tennis team, defeated No. 38 Javier Garrapiz of Georgia to take the singles title at the Wilson/ITA Southeast Regional Championship. Bowles has automatically qualified for the ITA National Indoor Championships.
"I think we played in about the toughest region," stated head coach Dwayne Hultquist. "For him to come through and win where the No. 4 player in the country, No. 5 and No. 11 player in country were all in the tournament and to beat Garrapiz on his home court is a great effort."
In an exciting three set match, Bowles, a native of Tampa, Fla., won at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 against Garrapiz in the singles finals. Bowles had an excellent tournament defeating two ranked opponents.
This was the first time the Seminoles have had someone win the regional championships since Hultquist took the helm in 2000.
"The whole team prepared really well these last two weeks before the tournament," stated Bowles. "We were working really hard. We made the finals of doubles, some of our freshmen won good matches. I played pretty well throughout the whole tournament. Today, I didn't play my best match but I just fought really hard and stayed in it. I was down in the third set but I just told myself I wasn't going to lose."
While the singles match was going on, the duo of senior Vahid Mirzadeh (Wellington, Fla.) and freshman Connor Smith (Tampa, Fla.) were competing in the doubles finals. They fell to Florida's Antoine Benneteau and Alexandre Lacroix 8-2. This tournament was the first time the duo competed with each other.
"I was really proud of how they did," concluded Hultquist. "I thought they played pretty good today; just breaks didn't go their way. From their first time playing together to win four matches and get to the final at the regional championships is a great accomplishment."
The Seminoles head to the ITA National Indoor Championships at Yale University Nov. 5-8 and then take a break until the spring season starts January 15.