MTENNIS: Ethan Quinn Defeated Philip Henning in Finals to Win ITA All-American Championships
Redshirt freshman Ethan Quinn defeated teammate Philip Henning by a 6-2, 6-2 score in the finals at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championships on Sunday morning at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center, winning the program’s sixth singles title in the event’s 43-year history, tied for the most all-time.
Quinn has become the fifth player in Georgia history to win the singles title, joining Mikael Pernfors, Al Parker (twice), John Isner and Travis Helgeson, and is the first to do so since Helgeson won it in 2007.
“I can’t really express the pride and sense of accomplishment that comes from seeing two of our players in the finals,” said head coach Manny Diaz. “An incredible accomplishment for Ethan today, playing so well in all areas of his game. Philip also played very well as well in getting to the finals, but today, Ethan had his day. This is just one tournament, and we are hungrier than just this one event. Our guys have bought into our vision for success and are giving it their all. We will enjoy this for a couple of days and get back to work. Like our slogan this year, we want more. We must want to Be More.”
Quinn jumped out to an early three-games-to-none advantage over Henning. The senior Henning managed to pick his first game behind a strong service performance, capped by an ace while leading 40-15.
While Quinn took the next game, Henning again capitalized on his serve, cutting into the lead, 4-2, after the redshirt freshman after returning a backhand slice into the net. However, Quinn managed to pick up the next two games and claim the first set.
Like the first set, Quinn raced out to a 4-2 lead to start the second and never looked back. While Henning created long rallies that he took advantage of, he was unable to mount a comeback.
While serving down 5-2 but up 40-30 in the game, Henning could not return a well-placed ball from Quinn to put it at deuce point for the match. Quinn then put a forehand winner exactly into the corner, winning the singles title.
The Fresno, Calif. native is the first freshman to win the ITA All-American Championships since Virginia’s Mitchell Frank did so in 2011.
The singles title match marked the first time since 1996 and fourth time in the history of the event that two teammates faced each other in the finals. With both Henning and Quinn competing, Sunday was the first time a Bulldog played for the singles title since Wil Spencer fell to Frank in 2011.
Quinn is still flawless to open his collegiate career, now standing with at 9-0. He won the first three matches at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships, winning the singles title at the event as well.
Quinn also finished in the quarterfinals of the doubles main draw along with partner Trent Bryde, The tandem fell on day three of the main draw to Texas’ Eliot Spizzirri and Cleeve Harper in a close third set tiebreaker, ending Bryde’s furthest run in the doubles event.
The freshman’s resume is loaded with two tournament titles under his belt. In addition, Quinn holds wins over the current top-ranked singles player in the nation, the No. 15 player and the 2021 ITA Newcomer of the Year. All nine of his wins have come against players ranked within the top 50 in the singles rankings.
The event began Henning’s fall season with a 5-1 record as the Bloemfontein, South Africa native made the semifinals and finals of the tournament for the first time. The senior defeated three seeded opponents in a row between the round of 32 and the quarterfinals, highlighted by taking down No. 6 Chris Rodesch in the Round of 16 in straight-sets.
Henning defeated the No. 7, 10, 16, 40 and 48players in the country during his run to the finals before falling to the 2022 ITA Newcomer of the Year. He also competed with Blake Croyder in the doubles qualifying draw this week.
Seniors Bryde, Croyder and Tedor Giusca all competed and impressed in the singles qualifying draw as well. Giusca went 2-1 in his matches, falling in the final round before advancing in the main draw in a three-set battle. Bryde and Croyder picked up wins in their singles qualifying consolation matches to close out their individual performances.
The Bulldogs will next compete at the ITA Regional event in Tallahassee, Fla. on Oct. 20. The winners of the event will qualify for spots in the ITA Fall Championships starting on Nov. 3 in San Diego, Calif.
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