Salazar Captures Title In Three-Set Thriller

Final Tournament Results | Final Draws

STILLWATER, Okla. – In a back-and-forth match that went the full three sets, Jose Salazar bested Minnesota’s Matic Spec, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 for the ITA Central Regional singles title. With the win, Salazar also punched his ticket to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships next month.

Salazar, the No. 45 player in the nation, won six matches in four days, not dropping a set until the second set of the final against Spec. His run to the title also included wins over No. 106 Florin Bragusi (Oklahoma) and No. 29 Julian Cash (Oklahoma State).

“Jose played a fantastic match against a guy who will be an elite player this year,” head coach Andy Jackson said. “Jose was aggressive on big points and he deserved to win and go to the National Indoor. “Nestor Briceno is masterful in the coaching he does with Jose and played a big part in his winning this event. With Mike (Redlicki) also likely to get an at-large bid to the National Indoor, it could not be better for us.”

In the first set against Spec, Salazar broke back twice, trailing 0-2 and 2-4, and then won a decisive break at 5-5, before serving out the set leading 6-5. Spec came back and won the second set. In the third set, Salazar won another big break, tied 2-2, to lead 3-2 and then held serve for the remainder of the match for the 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 win.

Salazar improves to 10-2 in singles matches this fall, including three wins over nationally-ranked players. He also combined with Redlicki for a semifinal appearance in doubles at the ITA Central Regional Championship, a run that included a win over Wichita State’s Haru Inoue and Miroslav Herzan, the No. 36 doubles team in the nation.

With his regional singles title, Salazar will also be among the 32 players at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships, which will be held Nov. 3-6 in Flushing, New York, becoming the first Arkansas men’s tennis player to compete in the event since Blake Strode in 2008.

The Razorbacks return to action this weekend at the FGCU Fall Invite, with play beginning Friday.

 ITA Central Regional Championship:

Monday Results:


  • (Final) Jose Salazar def. Matic Spec (Minnesota), 7-5, 2-6, 6-4

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