COLUMBUS, Ohio – What a start the fall season it has been for the Ohio State men’s tennis team. There was an all-Buckeye doubles final at the ITA All-American Championship earlier this month and Monday featured an all-Buckeye singles final at the ITA Midwest Regional Championship.
Senior James Trotter played beautiful tennis Monday, winning a pair of matches, the second of which coming against teammate JJ Tracy in the final to claim the ITA Midwest singles title. Trotter won the championship match 6-3, 6-4.
This was the second Midwest Regional in a row which has featured an all-Buckeye final as John McNally defeated teammate Kyle Seelig in the 2019 final. Trotter becomes the 11th Buckeye to claim an ITA Midwest Regional singles crown.
In the semifinals on Monday morning, Tracy rolled past Trice Pickens or Northwestern 6-1, 6-2 and Trotter took the opening set 6-2 and was up 1-0 in the second when Ondrej Styler of Michigan suffered an injury and was forced to retire.
Two more Buckeyes were also in action on Championship Monday. Robert Cash and Justin Boulais took on Michigan’s pair of Andrew Fenty and Nino Ehrenschneider. The Wolverine duo took a close opening set 7-5 and the went on to claim the title with a 6-2 win in the second. This was the third-consecutive year that a Buckeyes team has been in the doubles finals of the Midwest Regional. Cash and John McNally won the event in 2019 and Martin Joyce and Hunter Tubert finished runner-up in 2018.
Both doubles teams began the doubles draw with first round byes as duo Boulais and Cash and duo Tracy and Trotter entered the tournament ranked first and second respectively.
Boulais and Cash had a strong start to their tournament after defeating Chicago State’s Javier Sanchez and Pedro Alvarez 8-2 in the round of 32. They continued to control the court and advanced after dowing Cleveland State’s Maxime Mareschal-Hay and JuandeDios Abboud 8-1 to earn a spot in the quarterfinals.
Tracy and Trotter also began their tournament with a dominant victory, defeating Youngstown State’s Laurentiu Mandocescu and Will Everett 8-1 in the round of 32. Their run came to an end after an 8-6 defeat to Illinois’ Nic Meister and Olivier Stuart in the round of 16.
The Buckeye’s stayed hot going into the singles draw where every Buckeye won in straight sets in the opening round. Tracy began with a strong 6-1, 6-1 victory over Michigan State’s Nick Williams earning his spot in the round of 32. Boulais also advanced to the round of 32 after defeating Illinois’ Gabrielius Guzauskas. Cash advanced with a win against Michigan’s Patorn Hanchaikul. The fourth and final Buckeye to advance to the round of 32 when third-ranked Trotter as he beat Illinois’ Lucas Horve.
All four Buckeyes won their first match on Sunday to reach the quarterfinals. Trotter advanced to the semis on Sunday afternoon with a 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3 win over No. 114 Patrick Maloney of Michigan. Tracy joined him in the semifinals as he easily dispatched of Illinois’ Olivier Stuart 6-2, 6-2. Cash advanced to the quarterfinals with a nice 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 25 Axel Nefve of Notre Dame but his run ended with a loss to Northwestern’s Trice Pickens. Boulais came out on the wrong end of a three-set battle with Michigan’s Ondrej Styler as he fell 7-6(8), 3-6, 7-6(5).
Cash and Boulais had two easy wins in doubles on Sunday, beating Jakic and Tonejc from DePaul 8-4 and then dispatching of Wisconsin’s Vile and Parts 6-4, 6-2 to reach the championship match.
With the win, Trotter qualifies for the ITA Fall Championship next month in San Diego, Calif. Cash and Matej Vocel won the ITA All-American Championship to also earn their spot in the event.