Buxbaum and Walsh Win Third Straight ITA Southeast Doubles Title
FREDERICKSBURG, VA - Johns Hopkins juniors Mike Buxbaum and Emerson Walsh won their third straight USTA/ITA Southeast Doubles title on Monday afternoon. With the win, the Blue Jay pair earns a berth in the 2015 USTA/ITA National Small College Championship. The championship will take place at the Palmetto Tennis Center in Sumter, SC, October 15-18, 2015.
Buxbaum and Walsh earned All-America honors with their win. The pair are the only three-time All-Americans in doubles in JHU history. Buxbaum now counts a total of five All-America honors in his career, tied with David Maldow '10 for most in program history. In addition to the doubles final, Buxbaum advanced to the finals of the championship singles draw. Buxbaum and Walsh are the only multi-time champion at the regional in the last nine years. In fact, a Hopkins doubles team has won five of the last nine regional doubles titles.
Top-seeded Buxbaum and Walsh had a bye in the first round and then beat Tyler Arsenault and Dalton Lynch (UC), 8-0, in the round of 32. The pair beat Abhishek Alla and Kiril Kirkov (CMU), 9-8 (5), to advance to the quarterfinals. Buxbaum and Walsh then defeated a pair of teammates, freshman Eshan Dave and senior Christopher Jou, 8-6. In the semifinals, they took on and beat another pair of teammates, senior Nicholas Garcia and freshman Nakul Narendran, 8-5. The pair then faced third-seeded Yuvraj Kumar and Daniel Levine (CMU). Buxbaum and Walsh took the first set 7-5, then clinched the title with a 6-3 win the second set.
Dave and Jou opened with an 8-6 win over Tommy Cheng and Julian Sweeney (CMU). The pair then defeated fifth-seeded Ari Cepelewicz and Mark Fallatai (SC), 8-2, to move on to the round of 16. Dave and Jou faced ninth-seeded Alexander Cragg and David Lunding-Johansson (UMW) and won 8-5 before squaring off against Buxbaum and Walsh. Garcia and Narendran beat Joseph Dillenbeck and Axel Jobeus (UMW), 8-4, in the opening round. They then topped ninth-seeded Justin Cerny and Sam Thomson (CNU) by an 8-3 score. In the round of 16, the pair beat Doug Kaplan and Jack Rothman (FM), 8-4. They followed with a 9-8 (2) win over Eric Hurwitz and Nolan Perugini (UMW) to advance to the semifinals.
In the bottom half of the draw, ninth-seeded sophomores Justin Kang and David Perez had a bye in the first round and then beat Giovanni Corrado and William Samuels (FM), 8-6. They then lost to fifth-seeded Steven Boslet and Chiragg Shetty, 8-2, in the round of 16. Freshmen Colin Muraika and Rod Saad opened with a 9-8 (5) win over Evan Han and Simon Vernier (SC) and then beat Derek Hagino and Matthew Miles (UMW), 8-5. Muraika and Saad's run ended in the round of 16 with a loss to finalists Kumar and Levine, 8-4. Junior Jeremy Dubin and freshman Scott Thygesen, seeded fifth, had a first round bye and then defeated James Hahn and Joshua Powell (SC), 8-4. In the round of 16, they beat Arttu Fiva and William Trang (CNU), 8-6. The pair then had to withdraw from the quarterfinals due to an injury to Dubin.
In the singles draw, Buxbaum was the top seed and defending champion. He opened with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Cepelewicz and then a 6-3, 6-1 win over Hurwitz. In the round of 16, Buxbuam topped Kirkov 6-1, 6-1 and then beat ninth-seeded Lunding-Johansson 6-2, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. In Monday's semifinal, he faced unseeded Brandon Griffin of host Mary Washington. Buxbaum took the first set, but Griffin won the second in a tiebreak, 7-6 (5), to force a deciding set. Buxbaum won 6-3 to set up a rematch of last year's final. This time it was Alla, seeded second, who claimed the title with a 6-2, 6-0 win. Alla and Buxbaum have combined to win the last three titles. Hopkins has boasted the regional singles champion in three of the last five years.
Kang won his first round match when Christopher Salisbury (WC) retired with the score 6-4, 6-7 (3), 3-1. He then lost a tough three-setter to Lunding-Johansson 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Garcia lost his first round match to Vernier 6-2, 6-2. Perez, who was seeded ninth, lost just one game in his first round match versus Alexander Machalick (EC). He then beat Boslet 7-5, 6-1 and sixth-seeded John Larkin (SC) 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinals. There he fell to Griffin in three sets 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.
In the other half of the draw, ninth-seeded Dubin beat William Bannister 6-4, 6-2 in the first round. He followed with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Kumar. In the round of 16, Dubin beat seventh-seeded Kaplan 6-4, 6-0 to move on. In the quarterfinals, he had to retire in the third set versus ninth-seeded Levine with the score 5-7, 7-6 (2), 1-0. Jou opened with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Evan Davis (DC) and then fell to fourth-seeded Michael Holt (WL) 7-6 (5), 6-4. Dave was seeded ninth and opened with a 7-6 (2), 6-1 win over Fiva. He then lost just on game in his win over Mark Hardesty (SMC) before falling to fifth-seeded Stratton Gilmore (UMW) in three sets 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (3). Thygesen beat Steven Baker (SHEN) 6-2, 6-4 in the opening round and then lost to Alla 6-1, 6-1. In the Blue 1 Singles draw, Muraika lost his first match to Hahn 8-3.