The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

July 23, 2012

Boltz wins Freeman Futures tourney

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Sebastien Boltz used all of the width and length of the court and defeated Darian King, 6-3, 6-3 Sunday for the championship of the USTA Freeman $10,000 Men’s Futures.

Boltz, a 19-year-old from France, displayed a variety of cross-court volleys, drop shots and lobs and kept his opponent on the move through most of the match that lasted one hour, 40 minutes.

“It was my plan in the beginning of this match,” said Boltz, who accepted a check for $1,001 after taxes for the victory in singles and a semifinal appearance in doubles play. “I played him very well. I played a lot of strokes. Yes, it’s like that.”

A key juncture of the match came when King double-faulted on the final point of the first game of the second set, then Boltz held serve for a 2-0 lead. Boltz held serve throughout the match.

“It was very important to keep my serve,” he said. “He returned well. When the point was very important like 30-40, I must serve very well. I won a lot of points like that.”

King came into the match, which began an hour early at 10 a.m. because of heat-related issues, a day after he defeated top-seeded Sanam Singh 6-0, 7-6 (5) in the semifinals.

King and his partner, Yuri Bezeruk, had defeated Boltz and Alex Blumenberg in the doubles semifinals Thursday and were runners-up in the doubles final on Friday.

“Getting up at 7:30 a.m. to play Singh, my concentration and focus was very high,” he said. “Sebastien Boltz is another tough match.

“I played OK, but I just wasn’t ready really for this,” said King, who is from Barbados. “Physically, I was pretty beat down. Coming to the net just wasn’t working for me, and he was just more solid.”

Boltz struggled with his serve early in the match. He won the first game despite two double-faults. He fell but still returned a shot during one of the lengthy baseline-to-baseline volleys that marked the second game, eventually won by King.

Leading 4-3, Boltz showed a drop shot for the first time and broke King’s serve to take a 5-3 lead, then sealed his victory in the first set with another drop shot.

Boltz’s coach, Nicolas Heurtebise, said Boltz’s mental approach and preparation improved as he advanced in the tournament.

“Today and yesterday were the same,” he said. “He won the match with his mental. He was positive. The mental makes the difference, for sure, and determination.”

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