Virginia’s Ryan Shane rallies to win NCAA men’s championship

Virginia's Ryan Shane reacts to winning the NCAA men's tennis title.

Rod Aydelotte/AP

 

Ryan Shane already shared one NCAA championship as part of Virginia’s team title. The hard-hitting junior then rallied for an individual trophy, as well.

Shane recovered after losing the first five games in the men’s singles match Monday. Though he dropped the first set, after play had been suspended by rain and lightning and moved inside, Shane had a break when Wake Forest freshman Noah Rubin was serving for the match before a second-set tiebreaker and went on to win 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-1 on Monday.

Right after play ended, even before the trophy presentation, players and spectators were evacuated from Baylor’s indoor facility for about an hour because of a tornado warning in the area.

”It’s new, but I’m still happy. I’ll hide down here for as long as I have to,” Shane said, while doing an interview in a cramped hallway in the bowels of the Ferrell Center, the Baylor basketball arena.

The only other Virginia player to win the singles title was Somdev Devvarman in 2007 and 2008.

Lloyd Glasspool and Soren Hess-Olesen of Texas won a matchup of Big 12 teams for the doubles championship, beating Hugo Dojas and Felipe Soares of Texas Tech 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. The Longhorns’ seventh doubles title was their first since 1944.

Shane was up 5-2 in the first set when singles play was suspended, but had lost consecutive games before the switch to the indoor courts across the street.

”After the first set, I came out definitely a little slow, and he was on his game, not missing anything,” Shane said. ”I was trying to stay calm, but I was a little too calm, so I tried to bring more energy in the second set, and it paid off throughout the match.”

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This was the first NCAA men’s final matching players from the same conference since 2002.

Rubin, broken to start the third set and never able to get even again, was the first Wake Forest player to make the final. He won at No. 1 singles against Shane last month in Virginia’s victory over Wake Forest in the ACC tournament final.

”He got the rhythm easier inside. He hits a tremendous ball. I can run down more balls outside. Inside, he just goes for everything, it seemed like he was hoping for the best, and it was going in,” Rubin said. ”I should be able to serve it out at 5-4 anyway. That’s my problem and I have to deal with that.”

Glasspool and Hess-Olesen were the second Texas duo in three years to play for the championship. They advanced by winning their semifinal match in a third-set tiebreaker over Baylor’s No. 8-ranked duo of Julian Lenz and Diego Galeano playing on their home court.