Aug. 12, 2009
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Georgia Tech sophomore Kevin King defeated the nation’s top overall junior tennis player Alexander Domijan, 6-7 (0), 6-4, 7-6 (2) in the fourth round of the United States Tennis Association National Championships Wednesday in Kalamazoo, Mich.
“I knew it was going to be a very difficult match,” King said. “I’ve seen him play before, so I had a really good game plan going into the match. I knew that if I went out and played well, I would have a good chance to win.”
King was edged in a tiebreaker in the first set, 6-7 (0), but fought back to take the second 6-4. He would battle through two match points before Domijan forced the tiebreak in the final set.
“I was just trying to stay in there and make him beat me, try not to give him too many free points, and make him come up with some shots,” King added. On match point, King, seeded 19th, slipped and fell, but scrambled up in time to angle a winner for the upset.
The win for King was his highest ever over a ranked opponent, and his first against a No. 1 seed. He faced the nation’s top-ranked junior in the same round just one year ago, falling in two close sets. King moves on to face Sekou Coker Bangoura in the fifth round Thursday at 2:30 p.m.
“Kevin [King] has worked extremely hard this summer,” head coach Kenny Thorne said. “This is definitely a great breakthrough for him, and he really deserves it. He wouldn’t have been satisfied with another close loss, so for him to come out this year and defeat the top player really shows a lot of maturity.”
King, a native of Peachtree City, Ga., handed Domijan just the 16th loss of his junior career and fourth in 2009. Standing at 6-foot-7, Domijan is currently the 17th-ranked juniors’ player in the world.
King posted a 17-17 overall record in singles play, going 12-9 during the dual match season for the Jackets in his first year on the Flats. He went 19-16 in doubles, playing primarily at the No. 2 position, as a 17-year old freshman.
Thirty-two of the nation’s best juniors are competing in the seven day tournament which started Sunday, Aug. 9. The winner of the championships will receive a wild card into the main draw of the U.S. Open, held Aug. 31-Sept. 13 at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, N.Y.