Senior Marc Abdelnour capped off a successful fall season with a straight-set win in Sunday's final at the UCF Fall Invitational
Oct. 31, 2010
Orlando, Fla. - Senior Marc Abdelnour's name will forever be enshrined in Florida Atlantic University men's tennis record book after winning the top flight singles championship at the University of Central Florida Invitational title on Sunday in Orlando. The victory has tied him for first on the college's all-time career singles list (71) and second in total victories (119).
"I am really proud to be doing something that is recognized by the school," said Abdelnour, who tied Doug Devriendt on the all-time list. "The personal honors are nice, but I want to do my best in doubles and singles to get the team ranked nationally. That is one of my goals for the spring."
Abdelnour believes that Sunday's tournament triumph was a strong way to end the Owls' successful fall campaign.
"It is nice to end the fall season on a positive note," said Abdelnour. "This will give me more confidence and make me work harder to get ready for the spring season."
Abdelnour, the top-ranked player in the tournament's top singles flight, did not drop a set during the three rounds of competition. The Syria native defeated Juan Pulgventos of Georgia Southern University by 6-3, 6-0 scores in the tournament's final match. He battled back in the opening set after trailing 2-0 early, closing out the set by winning a 21-point ninth game to gain the momentum.
"I stayed calm and the coaches helped me stay relaxed," noted Abdelnour. "My opponent was playing well. I changed a couple of things and was able to get back in the match. I focused on being more consistent."
FAU Head Men's Tennis Coach Brandon Stokes reflected on the Abdelnour's challenge faced as the flight's top-seeded player.
"As the No. 1 seed, Marc had a target on his chest throughout the tournament. He was determined to prove to himself, his teammates and others that his hard work and commitment are the reason he is one of the toughest players in the region and nationally. This tournament win will propel him for the rest of the season," Stokes said.
A second FAU player, freshman Oliver Webb, also advanced to the championship match in the tournament's second singles flight. The London, England native lost a three-set decision to top-seeded Matthew Gladstone of Central Florida. Webb won the opening set 6-4 before losing the next two 6-2 and 6-1.
"Oliver was unable to sustain championship-level play for the final two sets," said Stokes. "The fall season has been a learning experience for him. This tournament will make Oliver a hungrier competitor. I'm looking forward to seeing how he plays during the spring season."
Rounding out the tournament's action was freshman Andrew Sloan, who fell in straight sets 6-2, 6-3 to Sebastien Felt of Georgia Southern.
"Andrew was relentless today, just like (Friday's) first day of the tournament," said Stokes. "His hard work is earning his teammates' admiration."
The Owls will wait until 2011 to return to the court for the dual match spring season. FAU has posted three straight double-digit victory seasons and has advanced to the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference tournament in each of those seasons.