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College Commitment
Countdown: Saba to the Devils

Frederick Saba was 13 when Nick Saviano told him that full-time dedication to tennis would make him one of the elite players in the country. At the time, Saba wasn't even an elite player in his native Florida.

Frederick Saba is heading to Durham
© ZooTennis.com
Now, Saba is the No. 5 player in TennisRecruiting.net's class of 2010. He will sign with Duke later this month.

In other words, Saba's famous coach was right, and it's happened sooner than either expected.

"There's been a huge turnaround in my game," Saba said. "I had the talent when I was younger, but I was more of a work in progress. Then everything started clicking due to the great work done with Nick. It's been a year and a half of great results."

The big result came in March with Saba's victory at the USTA Spring Nationals in Mobile, Ala. Saba was the No. 11 seed. He beat No. 4 Jack Sock in the final. Saba started the year 16-1, his only loss to current Florida State freshman Connor Smith, a defeat that Saba avenged in Mobile.

Saba went on to finish third at the USTA Boys 18 Clay Court nationals in July and made the round of 16 at the USTA National Championships in Kalamazoo in August.

"Funny thing is people didn't know who I was before spring nationals," Saba said. "It was a breakthrough for my confidence on and off the court - since I never believed I would win a national title. It also gave me lot of options to choose from. Duke was the best fit, but I have lot of respect for other programs out there. It's been a really thrilling year so far."

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Page updated on Sunday, November 23, 2014
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