October 19, 1998
DALLAS, Texas – Notre Dame junior All-American mens tennis player Ryan Sachire advanced to the final of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association All-American Championships, the second of the four ITA collegiate grand slam events, before losing 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) to Harvards second-seeded and fourth-ranked James Blake on Monday. Sachire became just the second Notre Dame mens tennis player to reach the final of a collegiate grand slam, joining David DiLucia in 1992. Sachire, ranked eighth in the ITA rankings, reached the final by rallying for a 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 6-4 semifinal win over Washingtons unseeded and 21st-ranked Robert Kendrick in his first match on Monday.
To get to the final of a collegiate grand slam is pretty special, said Sachire, who earned All-America honors as sophomore with his third-round performance at the NCAA championships. It was a lot of fun out there. In the semifinal match, both of us were playing well, and it came down to who fought harder and won the big points. Fortunately, I won most of those points down the stretch. Against Blake, I wasnt totally disappointed to lose. He is the second seed and a great player. It came down to a point here and a point there, and he won them. I was pleased with my performance, and Im really excited about the rest of the upcoming year and helping the team as much as possible.
The Canfield, Ohio, native and former Canfield High School standout was one of eight seeds in the 64-player draw at the ITA All-American Championships. He reached the quarterfinals of the tournament last year as a sophomore. Sachire finished with a 5-1 record in the tournament and posted straight-set wins over Texas A&Ms Shuon Madden, Northwesterns 64th-ranked Doug Bohaboy, Miamis 46th-ranked Ivan Rodrigo and Stanfords 30th-ranked Alex Kim to reach the semifinals. He is now 7-2 in singles this season.