Flagler’s Baptiste Mercier Wins ITA Cup singles title

ROME, Ga. – Flagler College’s Baptiste Mercier competed against and beat some of the best NCAA Division II players in the country this weekend. It culminated with Mercier beating Tom Zeuch of the University of Indianapolis in straight sets – 6-4 and 7-6(4) – to win the ITA Cup men’s singles title Sunday morning at the Rome Tennis Center.

The reward for winning the ITA Cup is advancing to the ITA National Fall Championships, which will be held Nov. 1-5 at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, California. The Championships are the grand finale of the fall collegiate season and features 64 of the nation’s top singles players and 64 doubles teams (32 men and 32 women), regardless of division.

“I am very happy for Baptiste for winning a national title,” said head coach Jonas Piibor. “He really deserves this as he has put in the hard work every day and executed the details that matter. If he continues to work on his craft as diligently as he has, then his best tennis is in front of him.”

Mercier was one of two Flagler tennis players at the ITA Cup, the first time that has happened in the NCAA Division II era.

His path started on Thursday by taking down Roni Rikkonen of Queens College (N.Y.) 6-0 and 6-2 in the Round of 16. Mercier then beat the No. 4 seed, Martins Abamu of Lubbock Christian University 6-0 and 6-3 in the quarterfinals. Yesterday, he bested Takeshi Taco of Valdosta State University 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 in the semifinal round.

Jacopo Denitto, who won the ITA Southeast Region singles title against Mercier, won his Round of 16 match against Santiago Rendon of Washburn University 6-0, 3-6, 6-3. He lost in the quarterfinals to Zeuch, 6-4 and 6-2, and then moved to the consolation bracket. Denitto lost to Jorge Perez of the University of Charleston (W.Va.) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Flagler will wrap up the fall season with the Saint Leo Hidden Duals, Oct. 27-29, at Saint Leo, Florida.

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