SURPRISE, AZ. April 18, 2009 – Duke University beat the University of Wisconsin-Madison 26-21 in the championship match at the 2009 USTA National Campus Championship at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex.
This was the first championship match for either squad and Duke University's first national title.
Duke jumped out to an early lead, winning men's doubles 6-1, and women's singles 6-1.? However, the Badgers from Wisconsin clawed their way back into the match when the women's singles team of Lindsey Hughes and Amanda Von Horn, won 6-2.
Duke quickly swung the momentum back in their favor when southpaw Thibault Ducarme, captured the men's singles 6-4. It was a back-and-forth set, but Ducarme's strong serve and powerful ground strokes were too much to overcome.
Wisconsin hoped for another morning miracle when its mixed doubles team captured the set 6-5, forcing an overtime. However, the lead amassed by the Blue Devils earlier in the match was too great of a mountain for the Badgers to climb. Duke ultimately captured the title in overtime.
"It was a little nerve-wracking, but one of the best events I've ever been to," said Duke standout player Greg Van Winkle. "Oh man, this is fun. This is a blast."
Duke reached the Championship match by ousting Texas A&M in the semifinals 25-19. It was a great run for the Blue Devils, who displayed not only excellent tennis, but also great sportsmanship.
Tennis legend Billie Jean King was on hand to present the Wisconsin Badgers with its Finalist Trophy. Special guest Jon Vegosen, First Vice President of the USTA, had the honor of presenting Duke with its Championship Trophy.
Duke University d. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 26-21 OT (2-1)
Women's Doubles - Wisconsin d. Duke, 6-2
Women's Singles - Duke d. Wisconsin, 6-2
Men's Doubles - Duke d. Wisconsin, 6-1
Men's Singles - Duke d. Wisconsin, 6-4
Mixed Doubles - Wisconsin d. Duke, 6-5
*Overtime: Mixed Doubles - Duke d. Wisconsin 2-1
Note: A match using the World TeamTennis format includes sets of men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles and mixed doubles, each game during the match counts as a point towards the overall team score.
Past USTA National Campus Champions (Runner-Up) - Site
2000 - University of North Carolina (University of Texas) - Austin, Texas
2001 - University of North Carolina (University of Texas) - Austin, Texas
2002 - Texas A&M (University of Texas) - Austin, Texas
2003 - University of Florida (Texas A&M University) - Daytona Beach, Fla.
2004 - Texas A&M (University of Virginia) - Daytona Beach, Fla.
2005 - Texas A&M (University of Texas) - San Diego, Calif.
2006 - Texas A&M (University of Virginia) - Austin, Texas
2007 - Texas A&M (University of Virginia) - Cary, N.C.
2008 - University of Texas (California-Berkley) – Cary, N.C.
2009 - Duke University- (University of Wisconsin – Madison) – Surprise, AZ
The championship opened with 16 four-team pools, with schools advancing to bracket play. The first-place teams from each of the 16 pools advance to one bracket (that determines the overall champion), the second-place teams from the pools advance to another bracket, the third place teams advance to a third bracket and the fourth place-teams to a fourth bracket.
For more information on how to start a program at your school visit the USTA's Tennis on Campus website.