FLUSHING, N.Y. – On court six of the US Open, Sydney Campbell played her final tennis match representing the Vanderbilt Commodores, as the 2017 graduate fell to Ingrid Neel, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 in the American Collegiate Invitational.
“It was a tight match and we both played well in the first set,” said Campbell. “I ran away in the second, but got tired in the third set and she (Neel) stepped her game up to take the match. Without having any actual coaches here, some of my really good friends who played men’s division one tennis volunteered to coach me. There were some laughs and they gave me some great advice. It was great to share this experience with them.”
Much like yesterday’s tournament opener versus North Carolina’s Alexa Graham, Friday’s semifinal competition was a fight riddled with deuce points throughout the first set. The former freshman Gator who recently turned pro, pulled off the first set advantage, 6-4.
However, Campbell stormed back into the match, only allowing the first team all-SECer a single game in the second set, 6-1. The Franklin, Tenn. native utilized her impressive serve to ace Neel twice in the second set (four times overall) and chose powerful forehands to force a third set.
In the final set, Neel earned an early lead and held on to ensure her spot in the ACI final, defeating the three-time All-American and SEC Tournament MVP in three sets, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2. In the end, only one point separated the two athletes, as Neel earned 90 of the match’s 179 points.
“Playing at the US Open is an amazing way to go out,” Campbell reflected. “It’s time (to retire), but at the same time it was fun to go back out there and have one last chance to play and represent Vanderbilt.”