Filip Jeff Planinsek Makes History At NCAA Tennis Championship

Filip Jeff Planinsek (photo: Tenis Slovenija)

STARNBERG, May 27, 2024 (Tenis Slovenija Press Release)

Twenty-two-year-old Filip Jeff Planinsek triumphed in the NCAA college tennis championship final by defeating Columbia University’s Michael Zheng 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday. Planinsek is the second Slovenian to win this title, following in the footsteps of Blaz Rola, who won in 2013.

This victory marks the first championship in the history of the competition for the University of Alabama. Although Planinsek lost the first set, he rallied to secure the next two, sealing the victory with four consecutive aces in the final four points.

“I still can’t describe all the feelings I’ve experienced throughout this week and the entire season. I’m overjoyed. I want to thank all the coaches at the university, including the fitness trainers, as well as my coaches back home. Thanks to my family as well,” said Planinsek.

“It’s truly special to be the first Alabama player to win the championship. This will go down in history and is something I will cherish and remember for the rest of my life. I couldn’t have wished for a better end to the season. With this victory, I’ve earned six wildcards for Challenger tournaments. We’re still waiting to see if these will be for the qualifying or the main draws. This win will provide me with extra motivation for the rest of the tennis season.”

The 2022 college champion was US-American Ben Shelton, who is currently ranked World No. 15. The legendary John McEnroe also won the championship in 1978.

Path to Victory:

1st Round: Jonas Hartenstein 6-2, 6-1
2nd Round: Cannon Kingsley 7-6(5), 6-1
Round of 16: Micah Braswell 6-4, 6-4
Quarterfinals: Cooper Williams 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
Semifinals: Ozan Baris 7-5, 5-7, 7-6(6)
Final: Michael Zheng 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-2