Quigley Defeats Nevolo to Win Singles Consolation Finals Title
Nov. 7, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Eric Quigley wrapped up what has been an impressive fall campaign by beating No. 26 Dennis Nevolo of Illinois on Sunday, claiming the 2010 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Singles Consolation Championship at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
The native of Pewee Valley, Ky., who is ranked eighth in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s preseason singles poll, claimed the title with a three-set thrilling victory over Nevolo. The match started with Quigley winning the first set 7-5 to gain momentum in the match. Nevolo would answer in the second set, claiming a 6-4 victory to force a decisive third set. In the third, Quigley and Nevolo went back and forth before Quigley finally broke Nevolo and held serve to claim the set 6-4 and the match 7-5, 4-6, 6-4.
Quigley is now 5-0 in his collegiate career against Nevolo, who advanced to the finals with a win over No. 1 seed Alex Domijan of Virginia and John-Patrick Smith of Tennessee, the No. 1-ranked player in the ITA preseason singles poll. Quigley and Nevolo met three times last season, including twice in dual-match play and once in the NCAA Singles Championships. The two last met earlier this season in the Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic when Quigley took down Nevolo in a pro set 10-5.
“Eric played a nearly flawless third set because he was forced to by Nevolo’s high level of play,” Kentucky head coach Dennis Emery said. “Nevolo is a much-improved player and it is an indication of how much Eric has improved that he won this match.”
The finals appearance is the fourth of the season for Quigley, who won his second consecutive USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships in late October. The junior also played in the finals of the ITA All-American Championships in early October and the Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic in September. Quigley made school history at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla., by becoming only the sixth player in school history to play in the finals of a collegiate tennis grand slam tournament. Quigley joined former UK greats Jesse Witten, Carlos Drada, Cedric Kauffmann, Greg Van Emburgh and Rich Benson as the only players in Kentucky's rich history of tennis to play in one of the four collegiate grand slam tournaments.
Quigley ends the fall season at 18-3, including a remarkable 12-1 record against top-45 ranked players with wins over Nos. 1, 13 (twice), 21, 26 (twice), 28, 30, 31, 33, 44 and 45. Quigley’s only three losses came to No. 9 Alexandre Lacroix of Florida and the No. 1- and No. 2-ranked freshmen in the country, who both have an impressive ATP ranking.
Quigley’s trip to the national indoors started with a loss to Blaz Rola of Ohio State in the singles main draw first round. Rola is ranked second in the ITA preseason singles poll for freshman and newcomers and has an ATP ranking of 417. Quigley took the first set from the talented freshman in a tiebreaker 7-6, but then Rola responded with a second-set tiebreaker win to force a decisive third set. In the third, Rola jumped out to a 3-0 lead and didn’t look back from there, taking the match 6-7, 7-6, 6-2.
In the consolation bracket, Quigley took down four top-33 players, including No. 13 Sanam Singh of Virginia in the semifinals for the second time this fall. In the first round of the consolation bracket, Quigley defeated No. 30 Jose Hernandez of North Carolina 6-4, 6-4 before knocking off No. 33 Ionut Beleleu of Oklahoma 6-3, 6-3 in the second round. In the semifinals, Quigley beat No. 13 Singh 6-3, 7-5, marking the fourth time that Quigley has taken down the quality player from Virginia.
The event features the nation's top men's and women's collegiate tennis players. The championships feature a 32-player singles field and 16-team doubles field for men and women, including champions from USTA/ITA Regional Championships held across the country during October, the USTA/ITA National Small College "Super Bowl" champions, the doubles champions and singles quarterfinalists from the D'Novo/ITA Men's and Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships, as well as at-large and wild card selections made by the ITA National Tournament Committee.
The National Indoors Championship was inaugurated in 1978 for the men and 1984 for the women. Past champions and finalists include current professionals Benjamin Becker (Baylor), James Blake (Harvard), Bob and Mike Bryan (Stanford), Somdev Devvarman (Virginia), Laura Granville (Stanford), John Isner (Georgia), and Lisa Raymond (Florida). Big Ten legends and Grand Slam finalists Todd Martin (Northwestern) and MaliVai Washington (Michigan) are also among the past champions.