June 30, 2015
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech’s Cole Fiegel earned the first tournament title by a Yellow Jacket this summer by capturing the singles championship Monday in a first-round ITA Summer Circuit event in Tallahassee, Fla.
One of the event’s top eight seeds, the rising Tech junior completed a successful trip through the 128-player bracket by defeating another top-eight seed, Elliott Orkin, 7-6 (4), 7-5, in the championship match. Orkin, a rising junior from Marietta, Ga., led Florida with an overall 27-6 record in singles last spring.
Fiegel, who went 24-15 for Tech last year, defeated two other top-eight seeds along the way – Furman junior Adam Steryous, 7-6 (3), 6-3 in the semifinals, and Kavir Kumar of Charlotte Country Day school, 6-0, 2-6, 1-0 (10-4), in the quarterfinals. He lost only one set in six matches.
“I’ve been playing a lot,” said Fiegel, who lives in Alachua, Fla., near the University of Florida campus, and has been able to train with the Gators’ players this summer. “Coach Shelton has been generous enough to let me train with his guys. That’s helped me a lot. I don’t think I’ve taken a day off this summer except for today. I took a week off after NCAAs, and since then I’ve been doing everything I can to improve. This summer I’ve worked really hard on getting in shape, and I’m moving a lot better. My footwork has improved a lot this summer, and I’ve been able to hit some shots much better than I could before.”
The ITA Summer Circuit, a series of events open to college players and juniors, is made up of nine regional circuits (Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, Central, Mountain, Texas, Northern California and Southern California) consisting of four consecutive open tournaments played during the month of July, leading up to the ITA/USTA National Summer Championships in Bloomington, Ind. in August.
The Tallahassee event is part of the Southeast region, which includes upcoming tournaments in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (July 11-13), Tuscaloosa, Ala. (July 18-20) and Gainesville, Fla. (July 25-27). Fiegel also plans on playing in the Gainesville event.
Michael Kay STRONG IN THREE ATLANTA EVENTS
Rising sophomore Michael Kay reached the finals of the U.S. Open National Playoffs Southern Qualifying tournament for the second straight year last weekend at Life Time Athletic in Peachtree Corners. Kay dropped a 6-1, 6-4 decision in the Saturday finals to top-seeded Jesse Whitten, 32, of Naples, Fla., who is ranked No. 825 in the world and as recently as 2009 reached the third round of the U.S. Open.
A victory would have earned Kay, the third seed in the qualifier, a spot in the 2015 US Open National Playoffs – Championships Aug. 21-29 in New Haven, Conn., during the Connecticut Open, a WTA event. Kay won all of his matches in the 64-player bracket in straight sets leading up to the final. Along the way, he defeated 13th-seed Steven Patrici, 10th-seed Garrett Johns and 12th-seed Antonio Ruiz.
It was the second strong performance of the summer for Kay, who reached the Atlanta City Open final two weeks earlier. The fifth-seed in that event, Kay rolled to the finals of the 64-player draw with five straight-set wins, including a 6-3, 6-3 decision over Tech teammate Daniel Yun in the round of 16. He lost 6-2, 6-2 to the ninth-seed, Trey Yates of Atlanta, in the finals.
Kay, went 23-21 in singles for Tech last year as a freshman, also has reached the semifinals of the BB&T Atlanta Open Wild Card Challenge. The 19-year-old from Alpharetta won one of four local events the weekend of June 14-15 to earn the berth in the semifinals, which will be played July 21-22.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S TENNIS
Georgia Tech’s men’s tennis team has completed 17 years under head coach Kenny Thorne. The Yellow Jackets have played in the NCAA Championship 15 times. Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Tennis on social media by liking their Facebook page, or following on Twitter (@GT_MTEN). For more information on Tech men’s tennis, visit Ramblinwreck.com.