A third trip, a third title.
Roman Borvanov, at the expense of Medford native Nate Schnugg, experienced both Sunday at the $17,500 UBS Financial Open and Senior Clay Championships at Rogue Valley Swim and Tennis Club.
Borvanov, 26, won his third consecutive men's open singles championship in as many appearances with a 7-5, 6-2 triumph over Schnugg.
The Chisinau, Moldova native and University of Portland graduate, who is the only repeat champion in the tournament's 13 years, earned a $3,000 payout for the victory, which is the second-highest on the Pacific Northwest circuit. Schnugg received $1,500 for runner-up.
Sunday's finale featured the top two seeds for the third straight year. Borvanov, as the No. 1 seed, defeated Amir Hadad last year in three sets and took down Oren Motevassei in straight sets two years ago.
"They are all special in their own way," said Borvanov of the three championship wins. "Every year it gets tougher because the level of competition goes up. You get the tougher players because the money is so good.
"It definitely feels good to win every year I have been here."
The victory in the grueling, back-and-forth opening set helped shoot momentum squarely into Borvanov's corner for the final set.
"I definitely felt like that first set was a tough battle that could have gone my way," said Schnugg, 19, who lost in the semifinals last year. "He did a good job of using that momentum and controlling the second set."
But Schnugg wasn't completely denied a championship on Sunday. He and older brother Scott Schnugg, the No. 1 seed, eased by the third-seeded duo of RVSTC tennis pro Jonathan Endrikat and Brett Joelson, 6-4, 6-1, in the men's open doubles final.
The Schnuggs last teamed up to win a doubles championship in 2004.
In other finals on Sunday, Brad Joelson took down Andris Olins, 6-2, 6-2, to win the 45 singles crown, George Watts defeated Gale Holt, 7-5, 4-6, 6-0, in the 65 singles finale and Gary Bowman and Gary Woodring claimed a 6-3, 6-3 triumph over John Ehrlich and Jerry Hugley in a 65 doubles round robin contest.
Borvanov, who has climbed to a ranking of 348 on the ATP Tour, traded games with Schnugg to 4-all in the opening set.
Schnugg countered with three consecutive aces to go up 40-love, then pounded a forehand winner down the line to take a 5-4 edge.
But Borvanov quickly answered with two straight wins and went up 40-30 on an ace in the decisive game.
Schnugg, who had rallied from deficits earlier in the set, hit wide on the next point to give Borvanov the opening-set victory.
Borvanov felt Schnugg may have tired after rushing from a tournament in Sacramento, Calif., to play in the UBS Open.
"I think Nate may have had a longer week than I did," Borvanov
said. "He may be a little tired. I could see it.
"I know how that is because I had to do the same thing last year."
Borvanov was never threatened in the final set.
"I was trying to play consistent and not give any free points," said Borvanov. "That is important in a tournament."
The second-seeded Schnugg may have come up short but he still had his sense of humor following the match while addressing the hometown crowd.
"I haven't been bullied around on the court like that in a while," Schnugg said. "Thanks for that Roman."
Borvanov hopes to be back in Medford next year for a crack at a fourth title. The Wimbledon Championships, however, may take top priority if he can qualify.
"I missed (qualifying) by 50 spots this year," said Borvanov. "If I can get to 250 (ranking) then I think I will be in."
Minus Sunday's final, Schnugg has been on the right side of the score card for much of the season.
He was named All-American after going 43-9 during the season and 9-0 in the postseason — primarily as the No. 2 singles competitor — for the University of Georgia last spring in leading the Bulldogs to their second straight NCAA men's tennis championship.
On Tuesday, Schnugg will make his second appearance in as many years at the White House to get honored with his teammates by the president for their NCAA crown.
After that, Schnugg has a full summer of tournaments mapped out.
None, however, will have the welcoming atmosphere as the UBS Open.
"It's a lot of fun to come here and play," Schnugg said. "I knew it was a fun tournament. I love playing tennis in front of my family and friends."
Reach reporter Kevin Goff at 776-4483, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
A three-peat for Borvanov
A third trip, a third title.