Emory junior Chris Goodwin captured the 2011 NCAA Division III Men’s Singles Tennis Championship on Sunday afternoon, defeating teammate Dillon Pottish.
Goodwin becomes just the second player in school history to earn the singles crown, joining his older brother Michael (2009) in that elite company, after topping Pottish in straight sets, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3).
Goodwin, the No. 4 seed in the 32-player field, used a patient style of play against the No. 1-seeded Pottish in capturing the first set. Goodwin claimed the first three games of the set before Pottish rallied to win the next two. However, Goodwin broke Pottish twice and held serve in winning three consecutive games.
Each player broke serve twice before Goodwin held his to take a 3-2 lead in the second set. Goodwin then broke Pottish’s serve and held his in laying claim to what appeared to be a commanding 5-2 bulge. Serving to stay in the match, Pottish staved off three match points before winning that game to stay alive. Pottish then drew to within 4-5 after breaking serve and then knotted the set after holding serve. Each player then held serve to force a tiebreaker. Trailing at one point by a 1-3 score, a blistering forehand by Pottish drew him to within 3-4, but Goodwin closed out the match with three straight points to claim the championship.
• Sunday’s all-Emory final marked the fifth time since the DIII Men’s Tennis Singles Championship began being contested in 1976 that both players in the final hailed from the same school. The other occasions where that occurred came in 1990 (Larry Gewer and Scott Read of Washington (Md.), 1995 (Damian Polla and Robin Sander of Washington (MD), 1999 (Thomas Oechel and Brian Cummings of UC-Santa Cruz) and 2003 (Eric Butorac and Kevin Whipple of Gustavus Adolphus)
• Pottish finishes the year with an overall record of 37-3 with his victory good for second place on the school’s all-time seasonal list, just one shy of the top mark of 38 held by Gavin O’Connell (1990-91)
• Ironically, Pottish’s setback Sunday against his teammate was his only one against a Division III opponent this year
• Goodwin registered a won-lost slate of 31-4 with his victory mark No. 3 on the Eagles’ seasonal ladder
• Three of Goodwin’s five wins during his march to the singles championship were three-set battles and he finished the 2010-11 campaign with a 6-0 record in three-set matches.