Louisville's Austen Childs Finishes Runner-Up




ATHENS, Ga. - Louisville junior Austen Childs' run in the NCAA singles championship ended with a 6-1, 6-2 loss to Stanford's Bradley Klahn in the title match on May 30. Childs' runner-up finish is the best-ever for a Louisville player. "[Klahn] played really well. He has a big forehand and was cranking winners all match," said Childs. "I tried to get to his backhand, but just couldn't do it. I just didn't have the shots. In the second set, I tried to slow it down and he missed a few shots which gave me chances but I couldn't capitalize. He finished really well. I played really well this week and I'm pretty happy. It wasn't a good draw for me at all. I had lost to nearly everyone that I had to play, but came out in the first round and [beat J.P. Smith] and that gave me a lot of confidence. Now I believe that I can come out and play with anybody...if I go out and compete, I know that I can beat anyone." Childs entered the tournament unseeded as the 19th-ranked player in the nation. After snapping a nine-match win streak with a loss to Tennessee's top-ranked John-Patrick Smith in Louisville's round of 16 in the team championship, Childs opened the singles championship with five consecutive wins. En route to his runner-up finish, he upset four higher-ranked opponents and avenged four prior losses along the way - including a first-round victory over Smith. "We have been so regimented every day for eight days, it really hasn't hit Austen that he was one match from a national championship," said U of L head coach Rex Ecarma. "We were focused on preparation and were not obsessed about what round he was in. We tip our hats to Bradley Klahn, he suffocated Austen with his forehand and played like a professional. To still be playing on the final day of our sport is a good feeling. We came into this match confidently and expected to win today. He was not overwhelmed by the moment, but by a good player having a perfect day. A lot of people were talking about Louisville in the championships here and we plan to give them more to talk about next season." Childs closes his junior season with a 33-12 overall record and is the first tennis player in Louisville history to compete for the national title. Prior to the Childs' NCAA run, only Michael Mather had reached the round of 16 in the 1998 season. This was Childs' third consecutive season competing in the NCAA singles championship and the first time he advanced past the first round. The 2010 (and 2009) BIG EAST Player of the Year also became only the second All-American in program history when he reached the NCAA round of 16.