INDIANAPOLIS, IND. --- The US Open National Playoffs Midwest Sectional Tournament came to a close today at the Fairview Tennis Center in Decatur, Ill. with the final matches for Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles and Mixed Doubles.
The singles matches included competitive college-level players, while the mixed doubles match featured Bartosz Jozwiak and Katarina Milinkovic who lost in the final match last year. All players were seeking to advance to the US Open National Playoffs and a chance to play in the US Open.
Defending champion Ronnie Schneider (Bloomington, Ind.) defeated Samuel Shropshire (Philadelphia, PA) to capture his second US Open National Playoffs Midwest Qualifying Tournament title. It was a tough match between the top seeds, putting No. 1 Schneider against No. 2 Shropshire. The match went to a third set after Shropshire won the second set 7-5, but Schneider prevailed, winning 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.
Schneider acknowledged that it was a tough match, but said he was prepared for the challenge knowing Shropshire’s level of play and that he was this season’s Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and I had a pretty tough draw to get through,” Schneider said. “I knew it would be a tough match. Sam is very, very good and this match lived up to my expectations.”
As the defending champion, Schneider admits this win was important to him. “It means a lot, probably because there was more pressure on me coming in, knowing I had won it last year,” Schneider said.
“Overall this was a very high quality match and it was a lot of fun to be a part of it,” he said.
Two Illinois natives faced each other in the women’s singles final with former University of Michigan star Denise Muresan (Lincolnshire, Ill.) defeating Alexandria Chatt (Western Springs, Ill.) 6-0, 6-3.
“I felt pretty solid going out there today,” said Muresan. “Today was the third match, third day in a row of playing, but you feel more and more comfortable each day that you are out there.”
Muresan said overall she was pleased with her play throughout the tournament and enjoyed the experience.
“It was really fun. The tournament was very well organized and everyone was friendly and helpful. And of course the courts are in great condition so it was fun to play here,” she said.
Bartosz Jozwiak and Katarina Milinkovic, former DePaul University players, made it to the final match again this year and captured the title by defeating Bradley Holt and Adesuwa Osabuohien 6-1, 7-5. While at DePaul, both Jozwiak and Milinkovi earned Big East All-Conference honors and were members of the All-Academic team.
In its fifth year, the US Open National Playoffs is a series of tournaments designed to give any player 14 years of age or older the opportunity to qualify for the US Open. The winners from each of the country’s 13 sectional qualifiers advance to the US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles to be held August 16-19, and the Mixed Doubles Championship, held August 21-24.
For more photos, stories and action from the tournament check out the US Open National Playoffs Midwest Qualifier FACEBOOK PAGE.