Putterman claims singles title; Kahler, Wagner capture doubles crown
KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- The Division III Men's Tennis Individual Championships ended on Saturday with Adam Putterman of Washington (Mo.) and Emory's Elliot Kahler and Ian Wagner taking home the singles and doubles crowns, respectively.
Sleep was all Putterman wanted to do Saturday afternoon on his return trip to St. Louis. Thankfully he could sleep comfortably, knowing he is the 2013 singles national champion. Putterman, who hails from Houston, defeated Amherst senior Mark Kahan 6-3, 6-1 Saturday morning in the national championship match at Kalamazoo College's Stowe Stadium.
With his doubles partner Ross Putterman (who is not related), Adam played a Round of 16 match that was decided after 11 p.m. on Thursday in a third-set tiebreaker, then lost a late quarterfinal match Friday night. Putterman's run through the singles tournament included a three-set match, with two tiebreakers, in the Round of 32, and another three-set match in the quarterfinals.
“I got like no sleep this week,” Putterman said late Satruday morning. “I'm going to sleep the whole way back.”
Sleep deprivation wasn't Putterman's only problem this week.
“I have always had shoulder problems and this week I had a huge knot in it,” right-handed Putterman said of his right shoulder. “It gave me some trouble but once I got warmed up it was okay. “
The No. 2 seed in the singles tournament, Putterman credited his opponents for pushing him to the national championship.
“Everyone I played was solid and gave me good competition,” he said. “Everyone I played pushed me and made me get better in every match.”
A management consulting position is Putterman's next challenge.
“I wish I could just go out and play tennis every day,” he said.
Law school is up next for recent Emory graduate Kahler, who teamed up with Eagles sophomore Wagner to win the NCAA DIII doubles championship Saturday afternoon. Kahler and Wagner beat the North Carolina Wesleyan duo of Robert Kjellberg and Artsiom Prostak 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 in the championship match.
“All of our matches were tough, but our first match was probably the toughest,” Kahler said. “We went three sets in each of our first two matches and then after winning those, we just rolled with the momentum.”
The Emory pair edged John Healey and Nicolas Howe of Case Western Reserve 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 in the Round of 16, then beat Texas-Tyler's Daniel Brown and Ryan Ybarra 0-6, 6-1, 6-1. Kahler and Wagner beat top-seeded Nicholas Ballou and Raymond Worley IV of Cal Lutheran 7-5, 7-5 in Saturday's semifinals.
“I'm a serve-and-volley player and he's more steady while I try to take advantage of things when I can,” Kahler said.
“If I feel my forehand I can stay back there and hit it all day long,” Wagner said. “[Kahler] blankets the net; he's huge up there.”
Kahler and Wagner, who is a physics and mathematics major, have played together for two years.
“It's been great playing with him,” Wagner said. “Even last year when he was a junior he was still a captain, so he has been a really good role model. I'm real high energy but I can get down on myself too, so he keeps me on an even keel out there.”