NCAA Mens Tennis

Ozolins Wins Men’s Singles Title at ITF M15 Tokyo

Ozolins Wins Men's Singles Title at ITF M15 Tokyo

TOKYO – Fighting Illini men’s tennis’ rising senior Karlis Ozolins won his second professional singles title of the summer on Sunday, securing the tournament victory at ITF M15 Tokyo.

After winning the singles crown at ITF M15 Anseong on June 16, Ozolins battled through two rounds of qualifiers before prevailing in the main draw in Tokyo, marking his second title in his last three tournaments.

The highest seed among qualifiers, Ozolins secured a 6-0, 6-3 decision over Hiroki Sakagawa in the opening round of singles qualification. He then earned a spot in the main draw with a 6-4, 6-2 victory against Hong-Lin Fu.

In his first-round match in the singles main draw, Ozolins defeated No. 6-seeded Shintaro Imai in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5. The following day, the Latvia native recorded a 6-3, 6-4 win over Woobin Shin, which sent Ozolins into the singles quarterfinals.

Ozolins then advanced into the semifinals after posting a 7-5, 6-1 victory over No. 3-seeded Yusuke Takahashi, who entered the competition over 300 spots ahead of the Illini All-American in the ATP rankings. Ozolins then moved into the final via a walkover.

Facing Masamichi Imamura in the singles final, Ozolins jumped out to a quick 3-0 edge before winning the first set. He then took advantage of an early lead in the second frame, and he used an ace – his 12th of the match – to clinch the set, the match, and the tournament title. The 6-3, 6-4 victory clinched his second tournament win in the span of 21 days.

Ozolins was a singles and doubles All-American during his phenomenal junior season in 2023-24, and he earned a spot on the All-Big Ten First Team. A qualifier to the NCAA Singles and Doubles Tournaments, he finished his junior campaign ranked No. 25 in singles and No. 9 in doubles.

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