The overall top seed took home the top prize in the NCAA final match as Wake Forest defeated Ohio State, winning 4-2, aided in part by a comeback in the second set from 24-year-old freshman Bar Botzer, and in part by the crowd.
“I think we’d rather play these guys in Columbus,” quipped Ohio State Men’s Tennis Head Coach Ty Tucker. “These fans are incredible.”
Senior Christian Seraphim, who had clinched the matches for the Demon Deacons in both the Elite Eight and the Final Four, also credits the community saying, “You feel like you have all the support behind you. It lifts you up on the court and you start playing better. The permanent seating overlooking the Jim Leighton Courts overflowed, surely creating some neck injuries as fans standing craned to see each point. Side views were equally as fraught where the crowd was three or four people deep.
Businessman, Wake Forest Alumnus, and Winston-Salem Professional Tennis board member Don Flow beamed as the Demon Deacons hoisted the national trophy, remembering his first conversation about the possibilities for tennis with Wake Forest’s Athletic Director, “I stood up in Ron Wellman’s office and dreamed about what that old parking lot could look like. We did this together with the community and are really making Winston-Salem a center point for tennis in the south.”
That’s been the goal for nearly a decade says Winston-Salem Open Tournament Director Bill Oakes. “I think having a professional tournament helped the Wake Forest program, and without this facility we wouldn’t have the NCAA championships. We wouldn’t have the facility without the Winston-Salem Open. It all worked together for the benefit of the university, the NCAAs, and the community.”
The Winston-Salem Open kicks off August 18th, with the player field announcement on July 11th. Tickets go on sale June 4th.