American Stefan Kozlov captured the 2019 Centercourt Shootout title, defeating Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic 6-2, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 on Sunday afternoon at Centercourt Athletic Club of Chatham and earning the $50,000 winner-take-all prize.
“When I found out about the tournament and they asked me to play, I was super excited to come here,” said Koslov, who was given the check by Bruce Schonbraun, Chairman of Saint Barnabas Medical Center Trustees, the tournament’s presenting sponsor. “This can be life-changing money for some of us; the tour can be really tough sometimes, so I was really happy to win.”
The 21-year-old Pembroke Pines, Fla. native came to New Jersey fresh off a run at the Winnetka Challenger in Illinois, and defeated Kevin King in the quarterfinals before taking out Donald Young in the semifinals.
That put him into the finals against Burgos, who beat Michael Redlicki and Collin Altamirano in his quarterfinal and semifinal matchups, respectively. Kozlov got things started early with a break of serve in the match’s opening game, and he would break again for a 4-1 lead before going on to win the first set 6-2.
Kozlov broke to open up the second set to take the early lead, and after he and Burgos traded breaks in the middle of the set, Kozlov held at 5-4 to take the commanding two-sets-to-love lead.
Burgos played a dominant third set to extend the match into a fourth, but Kozlov would allow the match to go on any further after that, finishing the match off with a 6-3 win in the fourth set.
“The club did a great job with us players, making us feel like we were at home,” said Kozlov. “It was a great tournament.”
Following the championship, fans were able to enjoy the Sunday evening with food, drinks and live music to close out the 2019 Centercourt Shootout weekend.
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for New York Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org