by Bobby Knight. Pictured UCLA's Clay Thompson
The men's final is set in New York and it will be Illinois sophomore Jared Hiltzik taking on UCLA senior Clay Thompson.
Thompson used his big serve and forehand to run his winning streak to 14 and improved his record on the fall to 17-1 by powering his way past Oklahoma sophomore Axel Alvarez by a score of 6-3 7-5. With the loss Alvarez will finish the fall with a stout 17-3 record and has positioned himself to play in the top 3 for the Sooners in the spring. Thompson who played at 5 most of last year for UCLA has clearly elevated his game and mindset heading into his senior season and his results this week have been phenomenal.
Hiltzik took the opening set against Sarmiento 6-2 but then had to rally from 2-5 down in the 2nd to win it by a final score of 6-2 7-6. With the win Hiltzik runs his record this fall to 11-3 while with the loss Sarmiento finishes the fall out with a 6-2 record. Both players will more than likely anchor their team’s lineup at #1 in the spring
Men’s Singles Final:
#8 Jared Hiltzik (Illinois) vs. #6 Clay Thompson (UCLA) – After 3 full days of tennis covering 4 matches each neither Hiltzik nor Thompson has yet to drop a set so there’s a good chance that whoever drops a set on Sunday will probably lose the match. Thompson's run to the finals has been great but I see Hiltzik knocking off a Bruin for the 2nd time this tournament (Giron-R32) and I look for the Illini #1 to grab it in straight sets. Prediction: Hiltzik 6-4 6-2