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Buchanan and Austin Add Their Names to List of Kalamazoo Champions, Earn Invitations to US Open

Chase Buchanan marched along a very direct path to the 18s National title at Kalamazoo College's Stowe Stadium, Gonzales Austin took a more winding road in capturing the 16s championship, but both reached their ultimate destination: Flushing Meadow, New York and the US Open.

Boys 18s Champion Chase Buchanan
© ZooTennis.com
Buchanan, the second seed, defeated No. 8 seed Ryan Lipman in the best-of-five-set 18s final 6-2, 6-3, 6-4, while Austin, seeded eighth, upset top seed Jack Sock 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 to claim the 16s crown.

Despite temperatures and humidity that required implementation of the heat policy, Buchanan was as cool and consistent as the tournament's famous blueberries and frozen yogurt during his meeting with Lipman.

In their last encounter, in qualifying for a January Pro Circuit Futures, Buchanan had prevailed in a third set tiebreaker. Lipman was optimistic that this time, his crafty game would succeed in disrupting Buchanan, a 18-year-old right-hander from New Albany, Ohio, who had breezed through his first six matches in 12 routine sets.

But Buchanan played a mature and controlled game Sunday afternoon, with many of slice backhand exchanges in the first set ending in his favor.

"He played a lot different than I thought he was going to play, that's for sure," Lipman, of Nashville, Tenn., said. "The last couple of times I've played him, he was a little bit erratic, and didn't like the slice or the high balls, but today he was just really solid and made me press."

Buchanan cited his composure as the key to his victory, maintaining it even when he was penalized a game for returning late from the heat-mandated ten-minute break between the second and third sets.

"I stayed really calm, even if there were some bad games, bad points, to try to figure everything out," said Buchanan, who played this spring for Ohio State and plans to return to the Buckeye team next month.

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