- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 5, 2012

The stadium lights came on early Sunday afternoon as dark storm clouds delayed the Citi Open men’s singles final at Rock Creek Park. But before sheets of rain overwhelmed that match, two former Virginia Cavaliers had reason to celebrate.

Collegiate teammates Dominic Inglot and Treat Conrad Huey surged past Sam Querrey and Kevin Anderson to capture the men’s doubles title at the Citi Open in stunning fashion, 7-6 (7), 6-7 (9), 10-5. In the process, Huey and Inglot became the fifth pair of former college teammates to win an ATP doubles event since 2000. They were not seeded.

“Obviously it was a good week for us,” Huey said. “Last year, I played my first tournament final and I asked myself, ‘How cool was that?’ It feels a lot better to win a title.”

The match for the singles title was on hold Sunday evening, with Tommy Haas leading Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-5 in the first set. But the doubles final earlier Sunday went on as scheduled, allowing Huey to live out something of a childhood dream.

The 26-year-old remembers coming to Rock Creek Park as a kid to watch the tournament and being in awe of the speed and power displayed by the pros. Having reached four ATP doubles finals in the past 12 months, Huey realizes he now is one of them.

A Washingtonian through and through, Huey was born in the District and raised in Alexandria, where he excelled at St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School.

He played collegiately at Virginia and professionally for the Washington Kastles, who he joined as an Olympic replacement last month.

So on Sunday afternoon, it was even more exciting to win his first ATP title in the city he has always called home.

“It’s been unbelievable to play here in Washington. Dominic and I had a fun week here,” Huey said. “It’s always more fun when you win, so that definitely helps.”

Inglot was born and raised in London before coming to the United States and attending Virginia. He won an NCAA doubles championship in 2009 and finished his senior season as the No. 15 singles player in the country. Like his partner, Inglot was thrilled to take home the trophy not far from where he played collegiately.

“We played a high level of tennis,” Inglot said. “It’s good to know that we’re able to compete with these kinds of guys, and [that] we kept on in the final as well.”

Huey and Inglot were individual standouts at Virginia but never played together in Charlottesville. After debuting in January, they’ve played together in a handful of tournaments to mixed results.

They have reached three tournament finals, won a small event in Britain and advanced to the round of 16 at the French Open. For each finals appearance, however, there also has been a first-round exit.

The former Cavaliers won the tight match by minimizing unforced errors and winning the most critical points. They stole the first set tiebreaker 9-7 and forced Querrey and Anderson to commit six errors in the match’s final game.

Huey and Inglot entered Sunday’s final overmatched and undersized. Querrey and Anderson were two of the tallest players in the field, standing at 6 feet 6 inches and 6 feet 8 inches, respectively. Their size alone made returning serves difficult and net play downright impossible.

“A lot of serves went right by us,” Huey acknowledged. “We tried to return as many as we could.”

The strength of having a consistent partnership is that Huey and Inglot have similar motivations — and similar memories. Both remember losing to Querrey and his partner at the time, Citi Open quarterfinalist James Blake, in Houston in April. It was a loss both players wanted to avenge.

“We were like, ‘We don’t want to lose to this guy again in the final of another tournament,’” Huey told the ATP. “So it’s good we got the win in the end and played real well at the big points in the end when we needed to.”

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