Virginia men’s tennis senior Thai-Son Kwiatkowski knows that each time he steps onto the court, it could be his last, and he’s playing like it. The three-time All-American defeated No. 8 Tom Fawcett of Stanford in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, in the semifinals to reach his first-ever NCAA Men’s Tennis Singles Championship finals.
He did so in convincing fashion, closing out the match with an emphatic ace.
Kwiatkowski will be facing North Carolina’s William Blumberg, who upset No. 2 Nuno Borges of Mississippi State, 6-2, 7-6 (1). Blumberg is the reigning ACC Freshman of the Year, Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA team tournament and the ITA National Rookie of the Year. Blumberg had also taken down the No. 6 seed in the tournament, Florida’s Alfredo Perez, in the Round of 16.
Kwiatkowski did not reach the finals without some upsets of his own though. He defeated the tournament’s overall No. 1 seed, Ohio State’s Mikael Torpegaard (6-1, 7-6 (3)), No. 5 Christopher Eubanks of Georgia Tech (4-6, 6-2, 6-4), and No. 8 Fawcett.
In this all-ACC final, this will be the fourth time this season that Kwiatkowski (32-7) and Blumberg (31-2) will have faced each other. Blumberg defeated Kwiatkowski last week in the NCAA team championship finals, 6-3, 6-2, and again previously in the ACC Championship semifinals, 7-5, 6-4. The match between the two at the ITA National Team Indoors was unfinished, with Kwiatkowski down 2-4 in the third set.
Here are highlights from both finalists’ semifinal matches:
The match is scheduled to start at 11:00 a.m. ET and can be streamed live online here. If Kwiatkowski can get one more singles win today, he’ll become just the third Cavalier to win the NCAA Singles title, following in the footsteps of Ryan Shane (2015) and Somdev Devvarman (2007, 2008).
Good luck, and go Hoos!