Oct. 24, 2011
Athens, Ga. – Georgia Tech’s Kevin King outlasted Georgia’s Ignacio Taboada, 7-6, 6-4, Monday morning to win the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional Championships at the Dan Magill Tennis Center. With the victory, King has earned a berth in next week’s USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships in Flushing, N.Y.
King, ranked 85th in the nation and seeded sixth in the regional, dropped only one set in six matches along the way, winning the first singles title of his career. Ignacio is ranked No. 110 in the nation. “I’m very proud to get that win,” said King Monday on the ride back from Athens. “In all these tournaments, you’re going to face different styles of play, but it’s important to have your own identify and trust yourself going into each match. This has to be one of the better accomplishments I’ve had. Anytime you win any tournament, you have to string multiple matches together and stay consistent. It’s a great accomplishment for me.”
The senior from Peachtree City, Ga., reached the finals Sunday by defeating 37th-ranked Nassim Slilam of Florida, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, then defeated top-seeded and 24th-ranked Sadio Doumbia of Georgia, 6-0, 6-3.
“I’m so proud of Kevin,” said head coach Kenny Thorne, “He played against a lot of different styles with his opponents this weekend, but he committed to his own game. He fought through a close first set today and won the tiebreaker. The second set went back and forth, but he stayed committed to his own style. He’s been playing well, but this is a big difference to win a title, and there’s a lot on the line. He fought like a champion and handled himself with class through the whole tournament.”
King had won each of his first three matches in straight sets, beating Federico Sabogal of South Florida in the round of 32 Saturday, 6-3, 6-3, then coming back to rout Campbell Johnson of Georgia, 6-2, 6-2. He defeated Florida Golf Coast’s Dean Tsamas, 6-1, 6-2, on Friday in the first round.
2011 USTA/ITA Southeast Regional Championships
Dan Magill Tennis Complex, Athens, Ga.
Kevin King (7), Ga. Tech def. Ignacio Taboada, Georgia, 7-6 (5), 6-4