Former University Of Virginia And University Of North Carolina Stars To Face Off
Ryan Shane is no stranger to singles championships on the USTA Men’s Futures tour, competing in three, including winning two, since 2015. It’s foreign ground for Ronnie Schneider, however, who has won three doubles titles since turning pro in June, but has yet to play in a singles final.
That changes Sunday in Fountain Valley when Schneider, a 23-year-old product of the University of North Carolina, faces Shane, a 23-year-old product of the University of Virginia, in the finals of the $15,000 Los Cab USTA Men’s Futures.
The two are no strangers. They played each other often in both the junior ranks and college, and were actually teammates last week in Laguna Niguel when they won the doubles championship.
“We know each other pretty well,” said the unseeded Schneider, who beat Brazil’s Igor Marcondes to advance to his first singles championship. “There won’t be any secrets out there.”
“We’re actually good friends,” said Shane, who is the fourth seed. “It should be a fun match. He’s playing very well right now and I guarantee it will be some high-quality tennis.”
Shane needed all he could muster Saturday in defeating American Henry Craig in three sets. He cruised to a 6-2 first set victory, but then lost the first five games of the second set, which he ultimately dropped 6-3. In the third set, he lost the first three games before rallying for a 6-4 victory.
“My left knee is bothering me and it really flared up in the second set,” said Shane, who won the Los Cab event in 2015 when it was in Costa Mesa, and who beat Craig last week in two sets in the finals at Laguna Niguel. “I stopped going for the serve and just tried to get points. In the third set, I could tell he was getting a little tired so I just dug for some energy. It was enough to get by today.”
Schneider, meanwhile, played consistent tennis against 20-year-old Marcondes.
“I played much better today,” he said. “We were both playing to get into our first finals, so I think we might have started a little tight. I know I played better further into the match. I was really happy with my return today.”
Schneider and doubles partner Elliott Orkin won the doubles championshipFriday, after former UCLA player Karue Sell, and current Bruin Martin Redlicki, withdrew due to a back injury sustained by Sell during his singles quarterfinal earlier in the day.
Schneider entered the tournament ranked 887 in the world, while Shane, who won the NCAA singles title in 2015, entered ranked 549.
The singles championship is set to begin at 11 a.m..
The final Sunday will also feature a free junior play day for kids designed to introduce them to the game of tennis. It will run from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact Los Caballeros Racquet & Sports Club 714-756-8560 for more info and to sign up.
Part of the developmental tour of the USTA, the free event, which ran for 18 years in Costa Mesa before moving to Fountain Valley last year is an opportunity to see the future of professional tennis today.USTA League, the country’s largest adult recreational tennis league, gets hundreds of thousands of participants nationwide competing, exercising and enjoying the camaraderie of teammates. Tennis is the sport of a lifetime! Play is based on the National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) rating system so you will play with and against players of similar ability. Whether you are new to the game or a former player, there’s a spot for you. USTA League also offers you and your teammates a chance to advance from local play to USTA League National Championship events.