May 29, 2010
ATHENS, Ga. - Auburn's Tim Puetz earned a spot in the Final Four at the 2010 NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championships with a two-set victory over Virginia's Michael Shabaz Saturday. With the win, Puetz becomes the third Tiger in Auburn history to advance to the tournament semifinals.
Current assistant coach Gabor Pelva was the last Tiger to reach the semifinals, advancing in 2004 singles championships. Former Tiger and 2005 Wimbledon doubles champion Stephen Huss was the first Auburn player to earn a Final Four bid, coming in 2000.
"I'm really happy and this has become an unbelievable run," Puetz said. "I'm playing really well and am feeling tough both mentally and physically. I know I'm not done yet and still have something left."
With the opening set tied at four apiece, No. 16 Puetz broke serve to secure the 6-4 first-set win over No. 11 Shabaz. The Auburn junior from Usingen, Germany, took the final set by a score of 6-2 to advance in the national tournament.
"I'm very proud of Tim and how he is playing," head coach Eric Shore said. "I knew that he had a chance to do well in this tournament and he continues to do damage."
Puetz stands at 32-10 overall and is now 16-6 against opponents in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Top-125. He opened the tournament Wednesday with a two-set win over Sven Vloedgraven of Binghamton. Puetz reached the Elite Eight with two-straight, two-set victories over Texas A&M's Jeff Dadamo on Thursday and Tennessee's Rhyne Williams on Friday.
Puetz is set to face Louisville's Austen Childs Saturday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the campus of the University of Georgia.
Fans can follow the action with live scoring and free video streaming at www.georgiadogs.com.