Austin's run at National Indoors comes to an end
NEW YORK - Gonzales Austin's run in the 2013 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships came to an end in the quarterfinals, as the junior lost to No. 8 Ray Sarmiento of Southern California at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Saturday evening.
"AJ has had a great fall," said Vandy head coach Ian Duvenhage. "I would be surprised if he is not in the top 10 at the next ITA rankings, I feel that after all he has accomplished this fall he deserves it. With all that being said he can still get better. AJ and I talked following his loss today and he is fully committed to doing the work necessary to reach his full potential."
Austin picked up the first break in the match and went up big in the first 4-1. But the three-time All-American was able to bring it back on serve after a hold and break. The first set stayed on serve until Sarmiento broke again to go up 6-5. The Southern Cal senior won his ensuing serve to pull out the win in the first set, 7-5.
"AJ played very well early in the first set," said Duvenhage. "He got up 4-1 and had four break points to go up 5-1, but he played a bad game and Sarmiento held. At that point AJ started losing confidence and Sarmiento started getting his back, that really ended up being the turning point in the match."
Sarmiento used the momentum from the win in the first set and controlled the second set out of the gate. He jumped to an early 4-1 lead over Austin, but the Vandy junior could not duplicate the same late run Sarmiento did in the first. Austin fell, 6-2 in the second set, ending his run at nationals.
In his first match of the day No. 35 Austin knocked off No. 87 Joran Vliegen of East Carolina. The Miami native cruised to a 6-1 win in the first set before facing at set-point in the second. Austin battled in the second against the Carolina Regional champion and came back from being down 5-3 to win the set and the match, 7-5.
"AJ played his first round match very similar to how he played yesterday," Duvenhage said. "He served extremely well against Vliegen."
The Vanderbilt junior wraps up his fall with a 12-4 record, including going 5-2 against ranked opponents.
Round of 16
No. 35 Gonzales Austin def. No. 87 Joran Vliegen (East Carolina): 6-1, 7-5
No. 8 Ray Sarmiento (Southern California) def. No. 35 Gonzales Austin: 7-5, 6-2