Tennis standout James Kent Trotter in action. (Photo by Dan Brannan)EDWARDSVILLE - James Kent Trotter, who plays for Ohio State University in Columbus and a native of Yogo, Japan, won his first-ever professional singles title by winning the final over Nathan Ponwith of Scottsdale Ariz. 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the Edwardsville Futures tournament, presented by the EGHM Foundation, on Sunday at the Edwardsville Tennis Center.

He got to the final by winning over Patrick Kypson of Durham, N.C. in a hard-fought three-set win 7-6 (8-6 in the tiebreaker), 6-7 (4-7 in the tiebreak), 7-6 (7-4 in the tiebreak) in what might have been the best match of the tournament.

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After the semifinal match on Saturday, Trotter felt very good about having won the match and felt confident he could keep battling under very difficult circumstances.

"I feel very good," Trotter said in an interview that followed the match. "It was three tough sets, all tiebreakers, but confident that I can tough it out, keep my concentration high. So, it feels good."

Both players held their service throughout the match, with the exception of early in the second set, where both players broke each other's serve back-to-back, with both players staying focused. Trotter felt that playing for Ohio State helped him greatly in the match.

"I'm from Ohio State," Trotter said, "so our coach just like teaches us to be tough, serve like a guy. I think that really paid off today. It was a match that really showed the importance of being tough, to hold serve, making first serves."

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Making those first serves was also an important key to the match as well.

"Yeah, I was serving really well today," Trotter said, "well, throughout the week. That really helped me get through all the matches."

Trotter went through the qualifying process to get to the main draw and, eventually, the final, which was a great feat unto itself.

"It is a good feeling," Trotter said, "because I played more matches than the other guys in the main draw. But it shows I can be still tougher than them."

Trotter wasn't sure what he could expect from Ponwith in the final, but concentrated on his own game to ensure success.

"I already have doubles tournament titles," Trotter said, "so I am glad to get a singles title."

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