Dan Martin of Canada and the University of Miami successfully fought through swirling 25 mph winds and came back from 3-5 down in the final set to beat Jaycer Lyeons of Houston 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 to win his first career ITF World Tennis Tour title at the $15,000 Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships.
Martin, 22, entered the tournament unseeded in the 32-player field with a ranking of No. 1065 and earned 15 valuable ATP ranking points that will put him into the ATP top 1,000. However, Martin mainly entered the event to get in competitive shape before May’s NCAA singles championship. Martin, a senior at Miami after transferring from Dartmouth, is ranked No. 22 in the ITA collegiate singles rankings and will be a threat to win the singles title for the Hurricanes when he competes in late May at the USTA National Campus at Lake Nona.
WATCH a post-match one-on-one interview of Martin discussing his win here: https://youtu.be/el1_0gCpSWs
WATCH the trophy presentation and on-court interviews of both players here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el1_0gCpSWs&t=12s
Lyeons, who now trains in Miami, was the last player added into the main draw of the event before the start of the qualifying event and ended up finishing second in his first ever ITF World Tennis Tour final. With an ATP ranking of No. 1,337 Lyeons was the last player not directly accepted into the main draw as of last Sunday night when the sign-in for the tournament concluded. However, the U.S. Tennis Association had only issued two of its three main draw wild cards (or free direct entries) and decided to award the last entry to Lyeons as the highest-ranked American not in the main draw. This allowed Lyeons to not have to win two qualifying round matches just to get into the main draw. Once in the main draw, Lyeons had a crazy run into the final first beating top American junior Kaylun Bigun in the first round. Lyeons battled top-seed and Romanian Davis Cupper Adrian Boitan in the second round the two fought until 3-3 in the third set, when rain delayed the match. After a three-hour delay, they resumed the match with only about 45 minutes of daylight remaining. Just after sunset, Lyeons led 4-1 in the final-set tiebreaker when Boitan asked for the match not to continued due to darkness, which was accorded. Lyeons, then sleeping on being only three points from the biggest win of his career, needed four points to close out the 6-4, 6-7 (6), 7-6(2) victory, saving three match points in the three-hour-plus epic. Lyeons then returned to the court a bit later on Friday and faced Dominican Davis Cupper Roberto Cid Subervi in the quarterfinals. Late in the first set, he became stricken with cramps, but was able to properly rehydrate and re-nourish himself and benefitting from Cid Subervi himself suffering from cramps and was able to advance when Cid Subervi retired due to his cramps after Lyeons won the second set. In the semifinals, Lyeons saved another match point, his fourth in the tournament, in his three-hour 18-minute semifinal win over Duarte Vale 7-5 in the third set.
Lyeons has only been playing pro tennis on the ITF World Tennis Tour since late July and this was his first career singles final.
In the doubles final, Peter Bertran of the Dominican Republic and Lorenzo Claverie of Italy defeating Americans Thomas Brown and Jake Bhangia 4-6, 7-6(3), 10-8.
WATCH the doubles ceremony and post-match interviews here: https://youtu.be/caidWS6AZpQ