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LAKE NONA, Florida – Georgia men’s tennis redshirt freshman Ethan Quinn became the seventh Bulldog in program history to make the NCAA Championship singles final as he defeated Chris Rodesch of Virginia. in the semifinals, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4, Friday afternoon at the National Complex of the United States Tennis Association.
This is the first time in the program’s history that a freshman will compete for an individual national championship. Quinn is now the seventh Bulldog to reach the singles final and the first since John Isner did so in 2007 as the top seed.
Quinn will look to win Georgia’s fifth singles title against Michigan’s No. 8 Ondrej Styler on Saturday, May 27 at 10 a.m. ET. Styler, a senior from Prague, Czech Republic, is 33-4 on the year, going 11-1 on the first court and 22-1 in the spring season.
“A great win from Ethan,” said head coach Manuel Diaz. “The first set, Chris Rodesch played really well. It seemed like the better Ethan played, Chris matched him. We challenged him to change his game plan a bit and play a bit higher and slower. Ethan just has a terrific competitive nature and was up to the challenge. He did a great job of getting his rhythm in the second set. As the game progressed he got a little more confident and his level game has increased. Just a tremendous win in a tough situation.”
The Fresno, Calif. native has now won 16 straight singles matches and is 21-1 since Feb. 19. His win over Rodesch, ranked No. 9 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s singles poll, moves Quinn to 33-10. on the year and 25-7 against ranked opponents.
The first lead of the match went to Rodesch, who took a 4-1 lead in the opening set after breaking Quinn’s serve and hold. The Virginia junior would win the first set, 6-2, after winning the set point on Quinn’s serve. Quinn would start the second set the same way, taking a 5-1 lead by holding serve and after breaking Rodesch in the opener and again to go up 4-1. The Bulldog would also take second place by a score of 6-2.
The third set would stay on serve until 3-3. Quinn would take a 15-40 lead coming back, but Rodesch fought back to force a breakout point. The final break of the match came after Rodesch’s return from Quinn’s backhand slice went long, allowing the freshman rookie to take a 5-3 lead in the set after holding. Quinn would win the set and the match by a score of 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.
The 2023 SEC Freshman of the Year and All-SEC First Team member, Quinn is now part of an accomplished group of Bulldogs to advance to the Finals, which includes Patricio Arnold, George Bezecny, Matias Boeker, John Isner, Wade McGuire and Mikaël Pernfors.
“We’ve had players in the final before, but every year is different,” coach Diaz said. “This year Ethan has just come into his own and has improved over the year. Tomorrow he’ll face a very good, very seasoned opponent. We’ll come up with a game plan and he’ll be ready to go. He’s played his better tennis towards the end of this season. He has done a great job of preparing, not just physically but mentally, he has improved in many areas over the year and over the spring.”