Aug. 12, 2012
August 2012
Aug. 12, 2012
July 2013

Novikov Sweeps 18s

Dennis Novikov made it a sweep in the boys 18s, winning the singles title on Sunday, a day after he and Michael Redlicki won the doubles championship. Novikov earned two wild cards into the main draw of the U.S. Open, one in singles and the other in doubles. Novikov defeated Alexios Halebian, 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, Sunday in the best-of-five final. “It feels great right now,” Novikov said. “It’s big to win this tournament, especially to win the singles and doubles the same year. I haven’t won either here and getting my first two gold balls is a good experience for me.” Halebian said he started well, taking a 5-3 first-set lead, but couldn’t close out the set. “I started off pretty well like I’ve been doing the whole week,” he said. “This time, I didn’t close it out. I don’t know why. I had my chances. I missed a few backhands I should make usually. The set kinda got away from me; a tight tiebreaker. I tried my best to come back and the next couple sets I started pretty slow and he got on top of me, except the second set. Once you lose the first set, you don’t have much room for error.” Novikov was up 5-1 in the fourth set, but Halebian kept chipping away. “Nerves a little bit because it’s the finals of Kalamazoo,” Novikov said. “There’s a lot of the line.” Serving for the match, Novikov said he was confident after going up 40-love. “Then I know I have six serves just to win the point,” he said. “I figured I’d get one of those in.” He did, on his first match point. As with doubles, Novikov said he doesn’t care who he plays in the U.S. Open as long as he can win the first match. “I’d rather win and then play (Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer) because I could still play them second round,” he said.

Source: USTA Nationals Staff