|No. 1 seed Tony Bujan of Tustin defeated No. 4 Marcio Carlsson of Brazil|
7-6 (4), 6-4 to win the USTA National 40 Hard Court Championships in La
Jolla, Calif. Photo courtesy of JFS Communications/USTA
The No. 1 seed, from Tustin in the Los Angeles area, No. 4 defeated Marcio Carlsson of Brazil 7-6 (4), 6-4 on Sunday in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla.
Bujan, a three-time All-American at Texas Christian in the early 1990s, reached a career-high No. 477 in the world in 1994. He overcame a 5-2 deficit in the first set to become the first man to win three straight titles in the tournament since USC coach Peter Smith from 2005 to 2007.
"I felt like I was the underdog today," Bujan, a 45-year-old teaching professional, admitted in a press release. "I didn't start well, but once I got my teeth into the match, I thought I was going to be OK. I was trying not to let him get into any rhythm.
"I volleyed particularly well today. It came down to coming up with big serves and big shots on the big points."
Carlsson, 40, climbed as high as No. 119 in the world in 1998 and had lost only four games in five matches in the tournament. Still, the surface favored Bujan.
"He's Brazilian. He grew up on clay courts," Bujan noted. "I (wanted to) get it in on him, serve-and-volley, make it less of a running match and not let him hit those heavy groundstrokes."