2009 NCAA Championships
Monday, May 25, 2009
Men’s Singles Draw
(9-16) Steven Moneke (Ohio State) vs. Devin Britton (Mississippi) Noon ET
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Senior tri-captain Steven Moneke, a member of the national runners-up Ohio State men’s tennis team, became the program’s first NCAA championships singles finalist Sunday after defeating 26th-ranked Sanam Singh of Virginia 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, in the semifinals at the 2009 NCAA Singles Championship in College Station, Texas. Moneke, a two-time ITA All-American (’07 and ’08) will face Ole Miss freshman Devin Britton at noon ET Monday at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
“Singh is a great player who likes to be tricky against you,” Moneke said. “I made it pretty tough on him after going up 3-0 in the third set and it’s hard to come back from being down like that. It’s been an unbelievable season for me, a dream almost. I advanced to the quarterfinals the last two seasons and I knew coming in I could be a tough matchup to face. I have to give credit to my coaches and teammates for all the support they have given me the last four years at Ohio State.”
The ninth-ranked Moneke, a native of Alten-Buseck, Germany, is now 45-4 overall this season and 23-2 in NCAA play, winning his last 22 matches. The win against Singh ties Moneke for first on the program’s all-time single season wins list with 45 set by Roger Smith (1983-1986) during the 1986 campaign. Moneke becomes the first student-athlete in program history to advance to the NCAA final after former Buckeye Ernie Fernandez (1979-82) advanced as far as the semifinals at the 1980 NCAA Singles Championship.
“Steven is a very physical player and doesn’t get too tired during a match,” Jeremy Wurtzman, Ohio State assistant coach, said. “His physical ability makes him more tough mentally, which gives him an advantage in a tournament like this. The courts are a little slower and Steven is able to grind down an opponent after three sets of tennis. Britton is a serving athletic freshman and is a great young player. It will be an extremely tough match tomorrow.”
Moneke, who was named to the 2009 Men’s NCAA Tennis Championship All-Tournament Team last Tuesday at No. 2 singles, now has a program-best 146 career victories in four years in the Scarlet and Gray. The entire 2009 NCAA Championships will last 12 days; Moneke will have competed in 10 of those 12 days, including nine-consecutive days of hard-court tennis.
Live stats and video of the 2009 NCAA Singles Championship final will be available at www.aggieathletics.com.
2009 NCAA Division I Tennis Championships
Men’s Singles Draw
May 24, 2009
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
College Station, Texas
No. 9 Steven Moneke (Ohio State) def. No. 26 Sanam Singh (Virginia), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
*Rankings listed are from the latest Campbell/ITA College Tennis Division I Rankings