May 30, 2010
ATHENS, Ga. - Auburn junior Tim Puetz's run in the NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championships ended Sunday with a two-set loss to Louisville's Austen Childs in the tournament semifinals at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the campus of the University of Georgia.
Puetz was just the third Tiger in Auburn history to reach the singles tournament semifinal. Current assistant coach Gabor Pelva was the last Tiger to reach the Final Four, advancing in the 2004 singles championships. Former Tiger and 2005 Wimbledon doubles champion Stephen Huss was the first Auburn player to earn a semifinal bid, coming in 2000.
"Losing is never fun, but I'm very proud of making it this far in the tournament," Puetz said. "It was a good run and it will help my confidence for next year. I have a lot to improve on and to work for come the fall. I'm excited for next year because I know now that I can do well and go far."
Sixteenth-ranked Puetz, who was competing in his first-career NCAA singles tournament, battled No. 19 Childs to a 6-6 tie in the first set, but fell in the tiebreak to drop the first set, 7-6 (2). Childs went on to take the second set by a score of 6-0.
"It was a great run for Tim," head coach Eric Shore said. "I felt that he had a chance to win the whole thing, but Childs was better today. Tim ran out of gas physically and mentally toward the end. The good thing is that he has another year and he can build on this for his senior season."
The Usingen, Germany, native concludes the year with a 32-11 overall mark and finished 16-7 against opponents in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Top-125. His road to the tournament semifinal started with a first-round, two-set win over Sven Vloedgraven of Binghamton on Wednesday.
Puetz advanced to the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight with two-straight, two-set victories over Texas A&M's Jeff Dadamo on Thursday and Tennessee's Rhyne Williams on Friday. On Saturday, Puetz picked up a two-set victory over Virginia's Michael Shabaz to qualify for the Final Four.