Place residence

Michigan State tennis star takes 3rd place in nation’s top junior tournament

KALAMAZOO, MI – In front of his friends, family and a boisterous group of Spartan fans, future Michigan State tennis player Ozan Baris capped off a memorable run Sunday at the USTA National Championships at Stowe Stadium. from Kalamazoo College.

The Kalamazoo-born Okemos resident took third place in the 18-and-under singles category of the nation’s top junior tennis tournament, losing in Sunday’s semi-final to runner-up Ethan Quinn, 3 -6, 4-6.

Baris was scheduled to face top-seeded Martin Damm in Monday’s third/fourth place match, but the Florida native pulled out of the tournament after losing a tough semifinal to eventual champion Learner Tien.

Instead, Baris spent his Monday relaxing on the stands at Stowe Stadium, watching the league match between Tien and Quinn and pondering a fourth and final appearance at his hometown tournament.

RELATED: 16-year-old tennis phenom claims US Open berth with win at 2022 USTA Boys Nationals

“It was definitely a great tournament,” he said. “It’s just special to play here. It’s kind of like my home tournament, and I look forward to playing there every year. Getting third place is no small feat. Obviously, I would have liked to have been able to hold that first place trophy or at least make the final, but it’s still a good race.”

After spending the first three years of his life in Kalamazoo, Baris moved to the Ann Arbor area and then to Okemos at age 6, where he became one of the top junior tennis players in the country. .

He reached the consolation final in the 16 singles bracket in 2016 and repeated that feat at 18 singles in 2021, which helped him earn an 11 seed at this year’s tournament.

Baris won his first five singles matches this year, including a quarter-final upset by fourth-seeded Kyle Kang of Fullerton, Calif., before seeing his championship hopes ended in straight sets against Quinn at the big dam of his fiery supporters. , who frequently used the “Go Green-Go White” chant throughout the contest.

“It was awesome,” he said. “It really motivated me, and moments like that you don’t really forget, and it makes you want to keep working harder and improving. I feel like there were so many people watching over me and supporting me, and that was a special feeling.

Baris wraps up his junior tennis career at the Junior US Open, which begins Sept. 4 at Flushing Meadows in New York, then dips into his college career at Michigan State, marking the first time he’ll be on a team since his first year. year at Okemos, when he won a No. 1 state singles title and led Wolves to the Division 2 championship.

“It will be a completely different vibe and a different way of playing tennis on a team,” he said of his future at MSU. “It can get a little rowdier, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ve never played in an environment like this, so it’s going to be great.

RELATED: Check Out Michigan’s Tennis Stars Competing in the 2022 USTA Men’s National Championships

Aidan Kim, from Milford, also put on a show in front of his Home State fans throughout the week, who won the consolation bracket of 18 singles at the tournament’s No.16 seed.

A round of 16 loss to fifth-seeded Michael Zheng knocked the 17-year-old Michigander out of the main draw, but he rallied to win his next two games and then avenged the loss to Zheng with a 6- 3, 6-1 victory in the consolation final.

Follow us to see how all the Michigan natives fared in the nation’s first junior tennis tournament.

Clayton Anderson

Hometown: Rochester Hills

Division: 16U

Singles tournament record: 3-2

Doubles tournament record: 2-1

Simon Calwell

Hometown: Great Rapids

Division: 16U

Singles tournament record: 2-2

Doubles tournament record: 2-1

Ozan Baris

Hometown: Okemos

Division: 18U

Singles tournament record: 6-1

Doubles tournament record: 2-1

Drew Hackney

Hometown: Norton Shores

Division: 16U

Singles tournament record: 0-2

Doubles tournament record: 0-1

Nicholas Herdoiza

Hometown: west flower field

Division: 18U

Singles tournament record: 1-2

Doubles tournament record: 0-1

Aidan Kim

Hometown: Milford

Division: 18U

Singles tournament record: 6-1

Doubles tournament record: 2-1

Sachiv Kumar

Hometown: novi

Division: 16U

Singles tournament record: 4-2

Doubles tournament record: 1-1

Ethan Portnoy

Hometown: Okemos

Division: 16U

Singles tournament record: 1-2

Doubles tournament record: 2-1

Chakor Sankaran Rajendra

Hometown: Ann Arbor

Division: 18U

Singles tournament record: 2-2

Doubles tournament record: 0-1

Rishi Verma

Hometown: Ann Arbor

Division: 18U

Singles tournament record: 0-2

Doubles tournament record: 0-1

André Vincler

Hometown: Rochester

Division: 16U

Singles tournament record: 0-2

Doubles tournament results: 0-1

Simon Volkema

Hometown: Great Rapids

Division: 18U

Singles tournament record: 0-2

Doubles tournament results: 1-1

Colson Wells

Hometown: Okemos

Division: 18U

Singles tournament record: 1-2

Doubles tournament results: 2-1