Trotter Comes From Behind, Breaks Ponwith Three Times In Final Set To Win Edwardsville Futures Singles Title 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
EDWARDSVILLE - James Kent Trotter, a native of Yogo, Japan, currently playing at Ohio State University in Columbus, rallied from a one-set deficit to win the singles championship over Nathan Ponwith of Scottsdale, Ariz. and Arizona State University in Tempe, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 of the Edwardsville Futures tennis tournament, presented by the EGHM Foundation, Sunday afternoon at the Edwardsville Tennis Center.
Trotter, who celebrated his 23rd birthday on Saturday, won his first-ever professional singles championship and was very happy and relieved to have won the championship after having won doubles titles thus far in his career.
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"I feel very good," Trotter said in a post-match interview. "I mean, I always wanted to a singles title more than a doubles title. I don't think many people wouldn't be happy, but I wasn't happy winning doubles and now won a singles, so it's a good feeling. Finally, I win one."
Trotter, who'll be a fifth-year senior with the Buckeyes this coming season, agreed that this was the perfect start to his new collegiate season, winning a pair of doubles titles along with his singles crown.
"My coach (at Ohio State) was telling me that he wants me playing higher in the lineup this year," Trotter said/ "I'd been down, like five, six, so this definitely will help, having the confidence and having the level to play top in the lineup."
After dropping the opening set, Trotter started his comeback in the second set and took total control in the third, which was important after having played in three tiebreaker sets in winning his semifinal match on Saturday over Patrick Kypson.
"I mean, honestly, I don't know," Trotter said. "I was really struggling in the first set, cramping, and I just told myself that no one cares that I'm cramping and it's all in my head. I just kept telling me that be tough, because that's what my coach tells me every day, so I just kept telling me that for myself."
And winning the final was very rewarding to Trotter, having played a tough three-and-a-half hour match in warm and humid weather the day before.
"Very rewarding," Trotter said with a laugh. "Yesterday, i played three hours and thirty minutes, something, all tiebreakers. I was really shocked when I didn't think I would be able to play in a three-set match today, so I was in a shock when I lost the first set, but found my way."
Ponwith felt he played well all week and felt he was in a good position after winning the first set and gave Trotter much credit for his fight back.
"Yeah, it was a good week," Ponwith said, "a lot of good tennis played. Tough match today. I felt like I was in a good position to make something happen there in the second set. He kept playing tough and served well. Third set just kind of got away, but yeah, it was a tough, competitive match and that's just how the way it goes sometimes."
Ponwith had all of the momentum in the opening set as Trotter started his comeback in the second set, but Ponwith hung in and kept fighting throughout the entire match.
"Yeah, I did the best I could," Ponwith said, "but it just wasn't enough and congrats to my opponent over there for a great tournament."
Ponwith described his experiences at the tournament as a very positive one as well.
"It was awesome," Ponwith said. "It was a good tournament, a lot of tough matches and happy to make it to today and tough match today, but overall, a great week and a very positive week before."
For Ponwith, it's now time to take some time off and prepare for upcoming tournament play.
"I'm going home for a little bit," Ponwith said, "and I'll have some more tournaments in a couple of weeks."
With the ultimate goal of qualifying and playing in the ATP Tour one day soon.
"Yeah, that's the goal, that the final," Ponwith said. "Just thank you to everyone for making the tournament happen."
Trotter served to start the match and came up with an ace en route to winning the game and taking a 1-0 lead in the set. Ponder then came up with the first service break to take a 2-1 lead in the set, and in the next game, Trotter came up with a great shot that Ponder just barely couldn't get to, as the game eventually went to deuce, with Ponder winning to take a 3-1 lead. The players held their next serves as the score went to 4-3 for Ponder, still up a service break. In the next game, Trotter came up with some great shotmaking to put the score at 15-40, but Ponder came back to force deuce and eventually took the game, then broke Trotter's serve for a second time to win the set 6-3 and go up 1-0 in the match.
Both players held their serves to start the second set, with Trotter coming from behind to tie the set 1-1, then in the next game, broke Ponwith's serve for the first time to go ahead 2-1. Ponwith returned the favor in the next game to regain service advantage and tie the set 2-2. Both players held service in their next games to go into a 3-3 tie, with Trotter gaining a second service break to regain the advantage and go ahead 4-3. Eventually, Trotter would go on to take a 6-4 in in the set and tie the match, forcing a third and deciding set.
In the opening game of the final set, Trotter had triple break point, but Ponwith fought back to force deuce again, but a double fault on a Trotter advantage point gave him the service break to take a 1-0 lead. Trotter broke Ponwith's serve for a second time to go ahead 3-0, and from there, Trotter dominated play, winning the set and championship when Ponwith hit a ball into the net to give him the set and the championship 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.