After leading the Frogs to victory at the 2022 ITA Team Indoor Championship in Seattle, TCU Junior Sander jong was named Big 12 Player of the Week. Jong won her doubles and singles matches in the quarter and semifinals, as well as the final, to help TCU claim their first-ever national championship.
Although the day started inauspiciously for Jong, having lost both of his matches in the round of 16, he persevered, winning the tournament’s remaining six matches and all but one set, to claim the TCU National Championship.
With his partner, Him maxte, Jong picked up the doubles point in the quarterfinals against No. 14 Texas. They won the last four games of the game for a 6-3 victory, putting TCU in the lead, 1-0. In singles, Jong produced equally impressive performances, winning four of his first five matches in his first set to sail 6-3 before battling his opponent to a tie-break in the second set, which he won. 7-5. The win put TCU up 3-0, allowing John carlos Aguilar to seal the sweep a few minutes later.
Jong, a native of Amsterdam, proved to be TCU’s biggest hope in the semifinal against No. 1 Ohio State. Again with Maxted, he easily overcame the nation’s No. 2 ranked doubles team for a 6-2 victory. The Frogs then clinched a 1-0 advantage in what would prove to be the closest game of the tournament. In singles, the other five matches were decided in straight sets. With the score tied at 3-3, Jong started his second decisive set in the lead (6-4, 6-6). After a loss, he bounced back with a 6-0 sweep in the third set, securing victory for himself and the Frogs and securing the team a place in the national championship the following day. This second set would prove his only defeat in the last three rounds of the tournament.
In the final, against third seed Tennessee, Jong showed neither nervousness nor remorse, winning two more games for the Frogs. In doubles, he and Maxted earned the first break of serve for TCU, leading 4-2 in what would equate to a 6-3 win. They were once again the first to finish, allowing Luke fomba and James Fearnley to clinch the doubles point on the first court. In singles, Jong was usually confident, winning the last four matches of his opening set against No. 110 Emile Hudd and dominating the set, 6-2. In the second, albeit behind, Jong rallied his wits and again conquered his opponent in the last four games, to win the set, 6-4, and win the match in straight sets, putting TCU ahead, 3-0 , while Tennessee tried to rally on the other courts. De Jong’s momentum propelled the Horned Frogs to a 4-1 victory, thanks to pedro by Vives victory at No. 4. Thus, TCU won its first-ever national championship.
following: Jong and the Horned Frogs will have some time off before opening the 2022 outdoor season at home against Michigan’s No. 20 on Wednesday, March 2, at 1 p.m. Matches are free to attend at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center.
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