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USTA: Shabaz Wins Second Futures This Month

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Article by: Paige Allen, pallen@lc.edu

GODFREY – No. 4 Michael Shabaz won the 16th Annual Lewis and Clark Community College USTA Men’s Pro Circuit Futures $10K tournament — his second Futures singles championship this month.

Shabaz, 25, of Virginia, posted a 6-3, 7-5 win against 17-year-old Noah Rubin, of Long Island, Sunday at the Andy Simpson Tennis Complex.

Earlier this month, he won the singles title at the $10K Futures in Pittsburgh. His other Futures wins include the 2012 Guatemala F1 Futures and 2012 India F17 Futures.

“It was a good match. I just approached it as if everything was on the line and was happy to get the win,” said Shabaz. “My opponent has a bright future. He’s one of the best up-and-coming tennis players.”

A former University of Virginia player, Shabaz last played in the L&C tournament in 2006.

He reached the singles semis in the 2011 NCAA Championships, and won the 2010 NCAA doubles title with Drew Courtney.

As a junior player, Shabaz won the Wimbledon doubles title in 2005 with Jesse Levine.

The next stop for Shabaz is the $10K Futures in Decatur, Ill.

Rubin said his first time at the tournament was positive. He just hoped it would be his first Futures win.

“I lost the first set but was up 5-3 in the second and didn’t quite pull through. He (Shabaz) is a good player and it was a good learning experience for me,” Rubin said.

Rubin came to L&C after playing in this year’s Wimbledon Juniors singles and doubles. He was America’s top junior to begin 2013 — having ascended as high as No. 6 in the world in January.

A pupil of John McEnroe’s Academy at Randalls Island, N.Y., he reached the quarterfinals at the 2012 French Open Junior Championships and has represented the U.S. in the Junior Davis Cup (16 and under.)

Rubin already has earned his junior spot in the U.S. Open and now is focused on playing well in the Kalamazoo tournament for a wildcard into the Men’s U.S. Open.

No. 3 Evan King and Peter Kobelt won the doubles championship in the L&C tournament — posting a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Marcos Giron and Devin McCarthy.

This is King’s second doubles win in the Lewis and Clark tournament. He won in 2010 with partner Jordan Cox.

A 2013 Michigan graduate, King was a three-time ITA All-American, two-time Big Ten Athlete of the Year, four-time All-Big Ten, and ITA Midwest Region Senior of the Year. He finished the season at No. 12 in the NCAA ITA singles rankings and No. 48 doubles ranking with Shaun Bernstein.

Kobelt, an Ohio State junior, is a two-time USTA/ITA Midwest Region Doubles Champion, a 2012 First Team All-Big Ten, 2012 Academic All-Big Ten, and three-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete. He finished this past Season at Ohio ranked No. 7 in singles and No. 11 in doubles with partner Connor Smith.

Kobelt is returning to compete in the qualifying rounds of the Decatur Futures. 

Giron, an All-American, ended the 2012-13 UCLA season with an NCAA ITA singles ranking of No. 13 and doubles ranking of No. 20 with partner Dennis Novikov. He earned the 2011-12 season honorable mention All-Pac-12 accolades, tied for the second-most singles wins on the team—ending the 2011-12 season with a 27-7 overall record.

A 2013 Ohio graduate, McCarthy was a two-time Second Team All-Big Ten recipient, a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, and four-time Ohio State Scholar Athlete recipient. He finished at Ohio with a No. 60 NCAA ITA ranking in singles and No. 70 in doubles with partner Ille Van Engelen.