John Watts Captures NCAA Singles National Title
Oberlin, Ohio, May 30, 2010 – Senior John Watts of the Washington University in St. Louis men's tennis team captured the 2010 NCAA Division III Singles National Championship on Sunday afternoon in Oberlin, Ohio, with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Chris Goodwin of Emory University. Watts is the first national champion in Washington University men's tennis history.
"The first thing that went through my head following the match was a sigh of relief. It felt great to have accomplished what I did and to win a national championship," Watts said.
Watts jumped out in the match by capturing the first set without losing his serve. He held a 2-1 edge in the second set, and extended his advantage to 3-1 after he rallied from a 40-love deficit. Watts broke Goodwin to go up 4-1, and then built the lead to 5-2, 40-love, with three match points. A missed volley and a double fault trimmed the lead to 40-30, but Goodwin missed a dropped shot for the final point.
"I wanted to make sure and hold my serve in the first set, which put some pressure on him. I fought for every single point, and got a lot of momentum heading into second set," Watts said.
Watts was making his fourth overall NCAA appearance, and second in the national championship match. He concludes his career as the most decorated student-athlete in Washington University men’s tennis program history. Watts posted a school record 238-43 overall record, with a 133-21 mark in singles and a 105-22 record in doubles.
"What a week and a career John Watts has had as a student-athlete and as a member of the Washington University men’s tennis program," said men’s tennis coach Roger Follmer. "It is quite impressive to witness John mature the past four years, as he has consistently put the time and effort in improving all aspects of his game. He will no doubt be a success in his future endeavors as he understands there is ‘no off-season’ or lapse of integrity as one handles the highs and lows of the game we call life."
Following a vacation in the Bahamas with members of the men’s tennis team, Watts will begin work as a business analyst for Capital One in Washington D.C.
"It has been a special four years at Washington University. I chose this school for both academics and men’s tennis," Watts added. "I won a team national championship in 2008, an individual national championship in 2010, and got a degree – it was everything I wanted it to be."