Sept. 15, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. ----- UAB senior Chris Helliar capped off a nearly perfect weekend with a straight-set victory Sunday night in the singles final of the 46th Southern Intercollegiate Championships.
Helliar, from Bournemouth, England, went 6-0 the past three days in the tournament's Division II bracket. The event held at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the University of Georgia campus is the oldest collegiate fall tournament in the South and annually attracts some of the top players in the southeast and around the country.
Helliar did not lose a set in his three days of singles play in the event and culminated his outstanding performance with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Alabama's Andrew Goodwin in Sunday's championship match.
Helliar's win in Sunday evening's final is even more impressive when considering it was his third match in the day. The day started with a morning quarterfinal win over East Tennessee State's Diego Nunez, 6-2, 6-1, that was followed by a 6-4, 6-3 semifinal victory over Charlotte's Forrest Edwards. That set up the title match against the Crimson Tide's Goodwin.
"It feels good to start my senior season off with a tournament win," said Helliar. "The hard work during the summer has helped and I'm feeling really good on the court. Hopefully, we can keep going forward as a team and have a strong season."
Overall, the Blazers had an outstanding weekend in what is one of the top fall tournaments held. UAB went 15-6 through three days of play.
"I thought we had a really good weekend," head coach Derek Tarr said. "I'm happy for Chris. He worked hard on his game this summer, but he didn't play matches, so coming into the tournament, I was a little concerned on how he might play. He played really well, though. I thought he could have been in the other division, but he made the most of the opportunity."
Meanwhile, UAB's Mitchell Martell
and Donovan McSeveny
, who lost opening round singles matches Friday, turned the weekend into a success. The Blazer tandem advanced to the Division II quarterfinals before falling to the Win5.rop team of Juan Pablo Boada and Yuta Horokawa, 8-6.
The UAB duo also bounced back in singles play. McSeveny won his consolation draw, downing Austin Emmet of Mercer, 6-0, 6-1, and Josh Record of the College of Charleston, 6-4, 6-3.