UF Pair Win NCAA Doubles Title; St. Pete’s Collins Wins Singles
University of Florida sophomore Brooke Austin and junior Kourtney Keegan are NCAA doubles champions after defeating California’s No. 4-ranked Denise Starr and Maegan Manasse 6-2, 6-0 in the finals of the 2016 NCAA Women’s Tennis Doubles National Championships on May 20 in Tulsa, Okla.
It was the first singles or doubles individual title for the UF women’s team in 15 years.
“They played like pros,” said UF head coach Roland Thornqvist. “Any time you win a national championship, you have to play well and play with courage.”
The No. 3-ranked Austin/Keegan finished the year with a 33-7 win-loss record. It was the UF women’s program’s ninth overall individual national title (four singles, five doubles).
In the women’s singles final Danielle Collins of St. Petersburg won her second NCAA singles title for the University of Virginia. The senior in the final defeated top-seeded Hayley Carter of the University of North Carolina 6-3, 6-2.
Both Collins and Austin/Keegan for their efforts will receive wild cards into the main draws of the 2016 US Open.
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Gulfport Teen Herman Part of U.S. International Jr. Wheelchair Tennis Team
Eighteen-year-old Chris Herman of Gulfport, Fla., won the doubles point with teammate Conner Stroud to help the U.S. to its second straight BNP Paribas World Team Cup junior wheelchair tennis championships in Tokyo last Friday.
The U.S. defeated Chile 2-1 in the final, with the 16-year-old Stroud in singles defeating Chile’s Bryan Tapia 6-0, 7-6(3), the U.S.’s Casey Ratzlaff falling to Chile’s Alexander Cataldo 6-4, 7-5, and Herman/Stroud clinching the doubles with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Cataldo/Tapia.
Herman at age of 10 was in a car accident that left him a paraplegic, and he quickly rose to become a top junior wheelchair tennis player.
Stroud, a Mooresboro, N.C., native, has drawn local and national media attention for his play, both with and without a wheelchair, despite being born without hips, femurs, knees or ankles due to a rare disability.
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