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Sacks Beats Britton to Take Home USTA Claremont Futures Title

CLAREMONT, Calif., (Sept. 19, 2010) – You can’t blame Gary Sacks for not feeling totally confident about his one-set, 5-0 lead against Devin Britton in the singles final of 15th Annual Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center USTA Pro Classic on Sunday at the Claremont Club.

All Sacks had to do was think back the last time he held a big lead against Britton back in February at the Brownsville, Texas, Futures event. “I was up a set and 5-2 and had match points,” said Sacks. “I let him back in and he won the match. So up a set and at 5-2 today I was thinking, ‘You better finish this.’ “

Finish it Sacks, 23, of Woodland Hills, Calif., did winning the $10,000 Pro Circuit event with an entertaining and highly competitive 7-6 (8), 6-2 win over the former NCAA singles champion Britton, 19, of Brandon, Miss.

Ironically, it was after that loss to Britton in Brownsville that the former USC Trojan Sacks decided to quick tennis. “I just needed some time off and it was after I lost that match I decided I was done with tennis,” said Sacks, who added a bad back was another reason he decided to stop playing. “I had to be away from it for awhile to really fully appreciate it. I started coaching tennis and learned a lot just teaching kids. I’ve rededicated myself and I’m a different player now.”

Tournament director Barry Friedman said it was the first time in the tournament’s history that a qualifier had gotten even as far as the semifinals, let alone win the entire tournament. Sacks pocketed $1,300 for his win while Britton takes home $900.

Britton said Sunday’s match and the one in Texas were like night and day. “This was 10 times better,” said Britton, who held three set points in the first set but could not convert on any of them. “Oh, man. In Texas there were 30 mile per hour winds and the balls were going everywhere. It was so ugly. Gary played really well today and I did too.

“He was just a little more aggressive on the big points. I just had no energy left in the second set.”

Britton is entered in both the Costa Mesa and Irvine $10,000 USTA Futures events while Sacks will take a week off and then play the Irvine tournament. “This feels great,” Sacks said. “I am so tired. To come through qualifying to win the tournament is really amazing.”

Sunday’s final singles results

Gary Sacks, South Africa (q), def. Devin Britton, U.S., 7-6 (8), 6-2

Recent Claremont Champions

Year      Singles Winner               Singles Runner-up              Doubles Champions

2010      Gary Sacks                    Devin Britton                      Taylor Fogleman-Chris Kearney

2009      Matej Bocko                   Bradley Klahn                    Brett Joelson-Ashwin Kumar

2008      Tigran Martirosyan          Adriano Biasello                 Marcus Fugate-Nima Roshan

2007      Carsten Ball                    Robert Yim                        Nikita Kryvonos-Michael McClune

2006      Dudi Sela                       Sascha Kloer                     Ryler DeHeart-Dennis Zivkovic

2005      Benedikt Dorsch             Tyler Cleveland                  K.C. Corkery-James Pade

2004      Bobby Reynolds            Huntley Montgomery          Nick Rainey-Brian Wilson

2003      Glenn Weiner                  Jimy Szymanski                 K.C. Corkery-James Pade

2002      Dmitry Tursunov             Raven Klaasen                   Chris Magyary-Mirko Pehar

Points, Prize Money for $10,000 Futures Tournaments

Singles                         Doubles

Points               Prize $              Points               Prize $

Winner                          17                     $1,300              17                     $630

Finalist                          9                         $900                9                    $330

Semifinalist                   5                         $480                5                    $260

Quarterfinalist                2                         $290                2                    $180

Round of 16                  1                         $200                1                    ——

Round of 32                  0                         $117.50            –                     ——

USTA Pro Circuit

With 94 tournaments throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed on the USTA Pro Circuit for approximately $3.2 million in prize money and valuable ATP and WTA Tour ranking points. Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Lindsay Davenport, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Jelena Jankovic are among the top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit. The USTA Pro Circuit is world-class tennis administered on the local level and played on local tennis courts as part of the fabric of communities nationwide — an opportunity for current and new fans to experience the excitement and intensity of the professional game in their neighborhood.