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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Wake Forest Men, North Carolina Women Remain No. 1 in ITA Team Rankings; Five American Women Qualify at Rancho Santa Fe $25K; Eight US Men Through to Delray Beach Second Round

The latest ITA Division I team and individual rankings were released today, and for the first time this year, the team rankings are done not by ballot, but by the computer.  The women's post-Team Indoor rankings last week were by ballot and pretty much adhered to the results from that tournament at the top, but the men's rankings don't look quite as neat.  Finalist UCLA moved up from 7 to 4, but Ohio State, whom the Bruins beat 4-1 in the quarterfinals, is ahead of them, while Stanford moved into the No. 2 spot, probably due to a win earlier this year over UCLA.  Columbia took a big jump, from tied for 14th to 8th.

Although Team Indoor champion North Carolina and finalist Pepperdine stayed at 1 and 2 in the women's rankings, the computer did produce some surprises, with Ole Miss moving to No. 3, and Illinois to No. 5, after being ranked tied for 24th in the last ballot.  The USTA poll doesn't come out until tomorrow, but I would be surprised to see either of those teams in the Top 5.

North Carolina sophomore Will Blumberg has reached the No. 1 singles ranking for the first time, while Anastasia Rychagova of Kansas returns to the top rankings in women's singles, which she reached at the end of the fall season.  Full rankings can be view by clicking on the heading below.

February 21, 2018

ITA Men’s Team (previous ranking of Feb. 7 in parentheses)

1. Wake Forest (1)
2. Stanford (5)
3. Ohio State (2)
4. UCLA (7)
5. Texas A&M (6)
6. North Carolina (3)
7. Illinois (10)
8. Columbia (T14)
9. USC (8)
10. Oklahoma State (9)

Men’s Singles: (previous ranking of February 7 in parentheses)

1. William Blumberg, North Carolina (4)
2. Mikael Torpegaard, Ohio State (5)
3. Martin Redlicki, UCLA (1)
4. Nuno Borges, Mississippi State (2)
5. Alex Knight, Michigan (3)
6. Petros Chrysochos, (6)
7. Victor Pham, Columbia (15)
8. Brandon Holt, USC (11)
9. Johannes Ingildsen, Florida (7)
10. Alfredo Perez, Florida (9)

Men’s Doubles:

1. Johannes Ingildsen and Alfredo Perez, Florida (2)
2. Petros Chrysochos and Skander Mansouri, Wake Forest (1)
3. Rodrigo Banzer and Leonardo Telles, Texas (4)
4. Chema Carranza and Josef Dodridge, Wisconsin (3)
5. Will Little and Johannes Schretter, Baylor (12)

ITA Women’s Team: (previous ranking of Feb. 14 in parentheses)

1. North Carolina (1)
2. Pepperdine (2)
3. Mississippi (9)
4. Duke (4)
5. Illinois (T24)
6. Georgia (5)
7. Vanderbilt (3)
8. Texas Tech (8)
9. UCLA (10)
10. Wake Forest (11)

Women’s Singles: (previous ranking of February 7 in parentheses)

1. Anastasia Rychagova, Kansas (2)
2. Andrea Lazaro, Florida International (3)
3. Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov, Florida Atlantic (4)
4. Bianca Turati, Texas (1)
5. Fernanda Contreras, Vanderbilt (5)
6. Katarina Jokic, Georgia (8)
7. Gabriela Talaba, Texas Tech (13)
8. Alle Sanford, North Carolina (6)
9. Anna Danilina, Florida (7)
10.  Samantha Harris, Duke (9)

Women’s Doubles:

1. Emily Arbuthnott and Michaela Gordon, Stanford (6)
2. Erin Larner and Maddie Lipp, Northwestern (1)
3. Ellyse Hamlin and Kaitlyn McCarthy, Duke (2)
4. Paige Hourigan and Kenya Jones, Georgia Tech (3)
5. Jada Hart and Ena Shibahara, UCLA (4)

The USTA Pro Circuit has moved from Arizona to Rancho Santa Fe California this week, with another women's $25,000 tournament now underway.  Qualifying was completed today, with five Americans--Pepperdine junior Ashley Lahey[16], Claire Liu[2], Ingrid Neel, Robin Anderson[8] and Lorraine Guillermo--advancing to the main draw.  Vanderbilt senior Astra Sharma of Australia also earned her way into the main draw, beating top qualifying seed Chiara Scholl 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(1).

Wild cards in Rancho Santa Fe went to Vania King, Julia Elbaba, Allie Kiick and former UCLA star Pamela Montez, who hasn't played on the ITF Women's Circuit in 10 years.  Montez lost to Caroline Dolehide 6-3, 6-2.

Top seed Taylor Townsend lost today to Great Britain's Katie Boulter 6-3, 7-5.

Three young Americans qualified yesterday for the $25,000 ITF Women's Circuit event this week in Brazil: 16-year-old Alexa Ryngler, 17-year-old Elysia Bolton and 21-year-old Jessica Ho.  Ryngler and Ho dropped their first round matches today, but UCLA recruit Bolton picked up her first win above the $15,000 level today, beating fellow qualifier Carla Lucero of Argentina 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(4) in three hours and seven minutes.  WTA No. 112 Mariana Duque-Marino of Colombia is the top seed.

There are no men's USTA Pro Circuit events this week, but the ATP event in Delray Beach Florida has a host of Americans in the draw, with eight of them advancing to the second round:  Jack Sock[1], Reilly Opelka, John Isner[6], Donald Young, Steve Johnson, Jared Donaldson, Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe.  Opelka, a wild card, beat Ryan Harrison 7-6(5), 7-6(6) in one of two all-US first round matches. In the other, Fritz defeated No. 4 seed Sam Querrey 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(4).

Monday, February 19, 2018

Wake Forest Claims First Men's ITA Team Indoor Title with 4-2 Win Over UCLA

Wake Forest has been among the top teams in the country over the past several years, but today will be remembered as a special day in the program's history, as the Demon Deacons collected their first national title with a 4-2 victory over No. 7 seed UCLA in the ITA Men's Team Indoor Championships in Seattle.

Wake, seeded No. 1, dropped a close doubles point, but they had survived the loss of the doubles point against USC in the quarterfinals, so they had no reason to panic. Wake took the first doubles match at line 3, but a late surge on courts 1 and 2 delivered the point to the Bruins.

In singles, Wake took four first sets, and was up a break in the second set in three of those matches, so UCLA never appeared in control of the match despite their lead after doubles.  Wake's Julian Zlobinsky, a transfer from Texas, gave his team its first point with a 6-3, 6-0 win over freshman Connor Hance at line 6.  Junior Maxime Cressy put UCLA back in the lead with a 6-3, 6-2 win over freshman Rrezart Cungu, who had not played in the singles lineup until today.  In the meantime, UCLA freshman Keegan Smith had taken a 5-2 lead in the second set against senior Skander Mansouri at line 3, and senior Martin Redlicki was up a set and 4-3 over sophomore Borna Gojo at line 1, giving the Bruins a path to their fourth point.

Wake took the lead for the first time when freshman Bar Botzer defeated senior Logan Staggs 6-4, 6-4 at line 4, meaning that UCLA needed both matches still on court.

Smith was unable to serve out the second set, losing four straight games to give Mansouri a chance to close out the championship.  Serving for the match and Wake's fourth point at 6-5 in the second set, Mansouri couldn't reach match point, with Smith hitting two stellar returns to get the break back and send the match to a tiebreaker.  Mansouri got off to a great start in the tiebreaker, going up 4-0, but Smith made it 4-2 at the changeover, just as Redlicki and Gojo had split at line 1, with Gojo taking that tiebreaker 7-3.

Serving at 5-4 in the tiebreaker, Mansouri hit an excellent first serve that Smith couldn't put in play to give himself two match points, but he missed a forehand badly on his own serve to waste the first one. Smith didn't get a first serve in on the second match point, but Mansouri couldn't get a good second serve back in play and they changed ends again. Mansouri earned a third match point with a deft lob winner, but Smith countered again with a sizzling backhand winner to deny Mansouri. At 7-all, Smith netted a backhand that he'd probably like to have back, giving Mansouri a fourth match point, and when Smith's forehand went long, Wake Forest had claimed its first national team title.

The recap of the final from Wake Forest is here. The recap from the UCLA perspective is here.

Wake Forest had been No. 1 in the ITA rankings prior to the tournament, so that will not change, while UCLA will certainly move up, given their wins over No. 2 Ohio State and No. 6 Texas A&M in the quarterfinals and semifinals.

ITA Men’s Division I Team Indoor Championships
Final, February 19, 2018, Seattle WA

No. 1 Wake Forest 4, No. 7 UCLA 2

1. Martin Redlicki/Evan Zhu(UCLA) def. Christian Seraphim/Ian Dempster(Wake), 7-5
2. Keegan Smith/Austin Rapp(UCLA) def. Borna Gojo/Skander Mansouri(Wake), 7-6(3)
3. Petros Chrysochos/Bar Botzer(Wake) def. Maxime Cressy/Bryce Pereira(UCLA), 6-4

Order of finish: 3, 1, 2

1. Martin Redlicki(UCLA) vs Borna Gojo(Wake), 6-4, 6-7(3), unfinished
2. Petros Chrysochos(Wake) def. Evan Zhu(UCLA), 6-3, 6-4
3. Skander Mansouri(Wake) def. Keegan Smith(UCLA), 6-4, 7-6(7)
4. Bar Botzer(Wake) def. Logan Staggs(UCLA), 6-4, 6-4
5. Maxime Cressy(UCLA) def. Rrezart Cungu(Wake), 6-3, 6-2
6. Julian Zlobinsky(Wake) def. Connor Hance(UCLA), 6-3, 6-0

Order of finish:
6, 5, 2, 4, 3

Sunday, February 18, 2018

UCLA, Wake Forest Advance to ITA Men's Team Indoor Final; Grade 1 Banana Bowl Begins Monday; Anderson Wins New York Open; Photo Gallery of USTA Level 2 in Lake Nona

Top seed Wake Forest advanced to the final of the ITA Men's Division I Team Indoor Championships for the first time in its history, while No. 7 seed UCLA reached its first final since 2004 with nail-biting wins on Sunday in Seattle. UCLA claimed a 4-2 victory over No. 6 seed Texas A&M with senior Martin Redlicki clinching the win for the Bruins at line 1, while Wake Forest outlasted No. 5 seed Stanford 4-3, with sophomore Borna Gojo coming from behind to win a third set tiebreaker, also at line 1.

UCLA won the doubles point, as it has done in all three of its wins this weekend, but Texas A&M took four first sets in singles, and quickly tied the score with a win by freshman Juan Carlos Aguilar at line 5.  UCLA started its comeback in singles by earning splits at lines 3, 1 and 6, while Logan Staggs made it 2-1 Bruins with a straight-sets win over Valentin Vacherot  at line 4. Freshman Keegan Smith put UCLA ahead 3-1 with a three-set victory over Jordi Arconada, meaning Texas A&M had to win all three matches still on court.  Redlicki and Patrick Kypson were tied at 3 in the third set at line 1, while A&M's AJ Catanzariti, playing for the first time in the tournament was also at 3-3 in the third at line 6, against freshman Connor Hance. UCLA's Evan Zhu had a chance to end the match against Arthur Rinderknech in straight sets, but he lost the second set tiebreaker just as Redlicki was breaking Kypson to serve for the match at 5-4 in the third.

Redlicki saved a break point at 30-40, but Kypson hit a backhand crosscourt pass on the deciding point to keep his team alive, and held easily in the next game.  Redlicki had to win a deciding point on his serve, which he did with a good first serve, to send the match to a tiebreaker, and he led 3-1 and then again 5-4 with two serves to come in the tiebreaker, but couldn't close out Kypson. Redlicki had to save another match point at 5-6, which he did with a big forehand that forced an error from Kypson.

Kypson netted a forehand to give Redlicki a second match point, and he missed his first serve. On his second serve, a deep one, Kypson called the ball out as he returned it, but the chair umpire overruled him, giving Redlicki the match and UCLA the victory.

In the evening match, Wake Forest won the doubles point quickly, but the teams split first sets in singles, indicating the match would be a lengthy one. Wake went up 2-0 with Petros Chrysochos defeating Axel Geller 6-4, 6-3, and Stanford countered with a 6-4, 6-2 win by David Wilczynski over Christian Seraphim at line 5, but nothing came easy for either team after that.  Stanford tied it up with Eric Fomba's 7-5, 7-5 win over Bar Botzer at line 4, with the other three matches all in the third set.  Stanford's William Genesen was up a break in the final set at line 6, but Julian Zlobinsky roared through the final five games for a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 victory that gave Wake Forest a 3-2 lead. Stanford's Sameer Kumar held on to his early break and closed out Skander Mansouri 6-7(10), 6-3, 6-4 at line 3, just as Tom Fawcett and Gojo were heading to a third set tiebreaker at line 1.

Fawcett, who had been up a set and 4-2 earlier in the match, took a 4-1 lead in the tiebreaker, but lost four consecutive points.  At 5-5, Gojo stayed aggressive, executing a perfect forehand volley winner to earn a match point, but on Fawcett's serve. Fawcett did get his first serve in and he also committed to aggressive play, coming to the net. But a net cord threw his timing off and he netted a volley, giving Gojo and Wake Forest the victory.

The final on Monday is scheduled for 3 p.m. eastern time, and live streaming will be available here.

ITA Men’s Division I Team Indoor Championships
Semifinals, February 18, 2018, Seattle WA

No. 7 UCLA  4, No. 6 Texas A&M 2

1. Patrick Kypson/Arthur Rinderknech(TexasA&M) vs Martin Redlicki/Evan Zhu(UCLA), 6-5, unfinished
2. Keegan Smith/Austin Rapp(UCLA) def. Jordi Arconada/Juan Carlos Aguilar(TexasA&M), 6-4
3. Maxime Cressy/Bryce Pereira(UCLA) def. Valentin Vacherot/Barnaby Smith(TexasA&M), 6-3

Order of finish: 3, 2

1. Martin Redlicki(UCLA) def. Patrick Kypson(TexasA&M), 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(6)
2. Evan Zhu(UCLA) vs Arthur Rinderknech(TexasA&M), 7-6(5), 6-7(1), 2-2, unfinished
3. Keegan Smith(UCLA) def. Jordi Arconada(TexasA&M), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
4. Logan Staggs(UCLA) def. Valentin Vacherot(TexasA&M), 7-5, 7-5
5. Juan Carlos Aguilar(TexasA&M) def. Maxime Cressy(UCLA), 6-2, 6-2
6. AJ Catanzariti(TexasA&M) def. Connor Hance(UCLA), 6-3, 4-6, 6-3

Order of finish: 5, 4, 3, 6, 1

No. 1 Wake Forest 4, No. 5 Stanford 3 

1. Sameer Kumar/Michael Genender(Stanford) vs Christian Seraphim/Ian Dempster(Wake), 4-2, unfinished
2. Borna Gojo/Skander Mansouri(Wake) def. Axel Geller/Tom Fawcett(Stanford), 6-3
3. Petros Chrysochos/Bar Botzer(Wake) def. David Wilczynski/Timothy Sah(Stanford), 6-1

Order of finish: 3, 2

1. Borna Gojo(Wake) def. Tom Fawcett(Stanford) 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(5)
2. Petros Chrysochos(Wake) def. Axel Geller(Stanford), 6-4, 6-3
3. Sameer Kumar(Stanford) def. Skander Mansouri(Wake), 6-7(10), 6-3, 6-4
4. Eric Fomba(Stanford) def. Bar Botzer(Wake), 7-5, 7-5
5. David Wilczynski(Stanford) def. Christian Seraphim(Wake), 6-4, 6-2
6. Julian Zlobinsky(Wake) def. William Genesen(Stanford), 7-5, 3-6, 6-3

Order of finish: 2, 5, 4, 6, 3, 1

Qualifying was completed today at the ITF Grade 1 Banana Bowl in Brazil, with 14-year-old Alexandra Yepifanova the only American to get through to the main draw. The 13 US girls in the 48-player draw, with the seeds getting first round byes:  Addison Guevara, Sabina Dadaciu[15], Peyton Stearns[6], Lea Ma[4], Yepifanova, Vanessa Ong, Hailey Baptiste[11], Shelly Yaloz, Elli Mandlik[10], Kacie Harvey, Katie Volynets, Chloe Beck[12] and Alexa Noel[2].  Maria Osorio Serrano of Colombia, who has already won three Grade 1s this year, is the top seed.

The eight US boys in the 48-player draw are Eliot Spizzirri, Drew Baird[6], Tyler Zink[16], Will Grant, Govind Nanda, Nathan Han, Tristan Boyer[5] and Brian Shi.  Sebastian Baez of Argentina is the top seed.

The only USTA Pro Circuit event this week was a $25,000 tournament in Surprise Arizona. Julia Boserup[8] was the only American to reach the singles quarterfinals, with No. 2 seed Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium winning the title with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over qualifier Ana Sofia Sanchez of Mexico.  Wickmayer and partner Misaki Doi of Japan won the doubles title, with the No. 3 seeds beating No. 4 seeds Jacqueline Cako(Arizona State) and Caitlin Whoriskey(Tennessee) 2-6, 6-3, 10-8 in the final.

Former University of Illinois star Kevin Anderson won the ATP New York Open, with the top-seeded South African beating No. 2 seed Sam Querrey 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(1).  With his fourth ATP title, the 31-year-old Anderson moves to a career-high ranking of 9. For more, see the ATP website.

The Tennis Recruiting Network has posted a Zootennis photo gallery from the USTA National Level 2 in Lake Nona. Photos of 34 of the participants in that 18s tournament can be viewed here.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

UCLA, Stanford, Wake Forest and Texas A&M Advance to Men's Team Indoor Semifinals; Shaikh Wins Second Straight ITF Junior Title

The first round of the ITA Men's Division I Team Indoor Championships went according to form, with the top 8 seeds advancing to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2004, according to Bobby Knight at College Tennis Today.  It was surprising that this year, which is considered to feature plenty of parity, would be so predictable, but that lasted only one day, with No. 2 seed Ohio State, No. 3 seed North Carolina and No. 4 seed Georgia all falling in today's quarterfinals.

Ohio State, the runner-up to Virginia last year, lost the doubles point for the first team this season to No. 7 seed UCLA, and the Bruins didn't let up, getting impressive wins from freshman Connor Hance, Evan Zhu and Logan Staggs, who clinched the 4-1 upset.

No. 5 seed Stanford took the doubles point from Georgia without much fuss, but the next three points were harder to come by.  William Genesen and freshman Axel Geller provided two straight-set wins, with Tom Fawcett clinching the 4-2 victory for the Cardinal with a three-set win at line 1.

Top seed Wake Forest lost the doubles point to No. 8 seed USC, but came out strong in singles, getting straight-sets wins from the top 4 in their lineup to close out the 4-1 victory.

The first match to go the distance was No. 6 Texas A&M's 4-3 win over North Carolina.  The Aggies dropped the doubles point, but took five first sets in singles, and they held on to four of those points, but not without plenty of drama.  The match was decided at No. 2, between freshman Benjamin Sigouin of North Carolina and Texas A&M's Arthur Rinderknech.  Rinderknech took the first set 6-4, lost the second 7-5, and early in the third set, they were the only match still going.  Serving at 3-4, Rinderknech saved a break point on a deciding point. Sigouin then fell behind 15-40, saved two break points, but not a third, giving Rinderknech the opportunity to serve for the match. He closed it out at 40-30, a result that had to be particularly satisfying as Rinderknech lost the deciding match in last weekend's 4-3 loss to Ohio State in Columbus.

Texas A&M will face UCLA at 3 p.m. Eastern Sunday, with Stanford and Wake Forest following at 6:30 p.m. I believe both matches will be live streamed here.

ITA Men’s Division I Team Indoor Championships
Quarterfinals, February 17, Seattle WA

No. 5 Stanford 4, No. 4 Georgia 2

1. Sameer Kumar/Michael Genender(Stanford) vs Robert Loeb and Jan Zielinski(Georgia) 3-4, unfinished
2. Tom Fawcett/Axel Geller(Stanford) def. Wayne Montgomery/Walker Duncan(Georgia), 6-3
3. David Wilczynski/Timothy Sah(Stanford) def. Alex Diaz/Paul Oosterbaan(Georgia), 6-3

Order of finish: 2, 3

1. Tom Fawcett(Stanford) def. Wayne Montgomery(Georgia), 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3
2. Axel Geller(Stanford) def. Emil Reinberg(Georgia), 7-5, 6-3
3. Sameer Kumar(Stanford) vs Nathan Ponwith(Georgia), 6-3, 4-6, 6-6, unfinished
4. Jan Zielinski(Georgia) def. Eric Fomba(Stanford), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
5. Walker Duncan(Georgia) def. David Wilczynski(Stanford), 6-3, 6-3
6. William Genesen(Stanford) def. Paul Oosterbaan(Georgia), 7-5, 6-3

Order of finish: 5, 6, 2, 1

No. 7 UCLA 4, No. 2 Ohio State 1 

1. Mikael Torpegaard/Martin Joyce(Ohio State) vs Martin Redlicki/Evan Zhu(UCLA) 6-5, unfinished
2. Austin Rapp/Keegan Smith(UCLA) def. John McNally/JJ Wolf(Ohio State), 6-4
3. Maxime Cressy/Bryce Pereira(UCLA) def. Hunter Tubert/Matthew Mendez(Ohio State), 6-4

Order of finish: 3, 2

1. Mikael Torpegaard(Ohio State) def. Martin Redlicki(UCLA), 6-4, 6-4
2. Evan Zhu(UCLA) def. JJ Wolf(Ohio State), 6-3, 7-6(5)
3. John McNally(Ohio State) vs Keegan Smith(UCLA), 6-4, 2-6, 3-1, unfinished
4. Logan Staggs(UCLA) def. Tim Seibert(Ohio State), 7-5, 6-3
5. Maxime Cressy(UCLA) vs Kyle Seelig(Ohio State), 7-6(3), 5-6, unfinished
6. Connor Hance(UCLA) def. Martin Joyce(Ohio State), 6-3, 6-4

Order of finish: 6, 1, 2, 4

No. 1 Wake Forest 4, No. 8 USC 1

1. Brandon Holt/Riley Smith(USC) def. Christian Seraphim/Ian Dempster(Wake), 6-4
2. Borna Gojo/Skander Mansouri(Wake) def. Jack Jaede/Laurens Verboven(USC), 6-1
3. Tanner Smith/Daniel Cukierman(USC)def. Petros Chrysochos/Bar Botzer(Wake), 6-3

Order of finish: 2, 3, 1

1. Borna Gojo(Wake) def. Brandon Holt(USC), 6-3, 6-3
2. Petros Chrysochos(Wake) def. Daniel Cukierman(USC), 6-4, 6-3
3. Skander Mansouri(Wake) def. Logan Smith(USC), 6-1, 6-1
4. Bar Botzer(Wake) def. Jack Jaede(USC), 7-5, 6-2
5. Christian Seraphim(Wake) vs Laurens Verboven(USC), 6-3, 5-6, unfinished
6. Jake Devine(USC) vs Julian Zlobinsky(Wake) 7-6(5), 2-5, unfinished

Order of finish: 3, 1, 2, 4

No. 6 Texas A&M 4, No. 3 North Carolina 3

1. William Blumberg/Robert Kelly(UNC) def. Patrick Kypson/Arthur Rinderknech(TexasA&M), 6-2
2. Benjamin Sigouin/Anu Kodali(UNC) vs Jordi Arconada/Juan Carlos Aguilar(TexasA&M), 3-5 unfinished
3. Mac Kiger/Simon Soendergaard(UNC) def. Barnaby Smith/Valentin Vacherot(TexasA&M), 6-4

Order of finish: 1, 3

1. William Blumberg(UNC) def. Patrick Kypson(TexasA&M), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
2. Arthur Rinderknech(TexasA&M) def. Benjamin Sigouin(UNC), 6-4, 5-7, 6-4
3. Jordi Arconada(TexasA&M) def. Robert Kelly(UNC), 7-6(6), 6-1
4. Valentin Vacherot(TexasA&M) def. Simon Soendergaard(UNC), 6-0, 4-6, 6-4
5. Juan Carlos Aguilar(TexasA&M) def. Josh Peck(UNC), 6-2, 6-4
6. Bo Boyden(UNC) def. Barnaby Smith(TexasA&M), 6-3, 7-6(3)

Order of finish: 3, 5, 6, 1, 4, 2


In ITF junior circuit news, 15-year-old Hibah Shaikh won her second consecutive ITF tournament in her second ITF tournament played. Last year, Shaikh won a Grade 5 in Antigua and Barbuda in her ITF junior debut. Today, she claimed the title at the Grade 4 Jalisco Junior Cup in Mexico. Shaikh, who was unseeded, defeated No. 12 seed Jada Bui of Canada 7-6(3), 7-5 in the final, collecting her 10th straight singles win on the ITF Junior Circuit.   Unseeded Kailey Evans and Savannah Broadus reached the doubles final, losing to No. 3 seeds Romary Cardenas Rifka of Mexico and Jessica Plazas of Colombia 7-5, 6-3.

The top-seeded Colombians swept the singles titles at the ITF Grade 1 in Paraguay.  Maria Osorio Serrano defeated unseeded Ana Geller of Argentina 6-3, 6-1 and Nicolas Mejia downed No. 5 seed Filip Jianu of Romania 7-6(6), 7-5.

Friday, February 16, 2018

My Recap of USTA 18s Level 2 in Orlando; Baird, Noel Win Doubles Titles at G1 in Paraguay; First Round Underway at ITA Men's Division I Team Indoor;

As I mentioned earlier this week, I spent Sunday and Monday at the USTA National Level 2 tournament in Lake Nona Florida and my coverage of the titles by 16-year-olds Briana Crowley and Ron Hohmann is available now at the Tennis Recruiting Network. These 3-day tournaments squeeze a lot of tennis--five best of three singles matches for the semifinalists and finalists, plus doubles--into a short period of time, but at least for this age group, the players seemed able to handle the workload.

Both Drew Baird and Hailey Baptiste lost in the singles semifinals of the Grade 1 Asuncion Bowl today in Paraguay.  Baptiste, the No. 4 seed, lost to top seed Maria Osorio Serrano of Colombia 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(1), while Baird, also seeded No. 4, was beaten by No. 5 seed Filip Jianu of Romania 6-4, 6-4.  Baird did pick up a title however, in doubles.  He and Nicolas Mejia of Colombia, the No. 1 seeds, defeated the No. 4 seeds Igor Gimenez and Joao Reis da Silva of Brazil 6-3, 6-3 in the final. The top seeds in the girls doubles, Alexa Noel and her partner Ana Markatsaria of Georgia, defeated No. 2 seeds Kacie Harvey and Vanessa Ong 6-3, 6-1 in the final.

The opening day of competition at the ITA Men's Division I Team Indoor Championships has yet to produce an upset, or any compelling match really, with No. 2 seed Ohio State, No. 3 seed North Carolina and No. 6 seed Texas A&M blanking Duke, Notre Dame and Florida respectively.  No. 4 Georgia beat Columbia 4-1 and The only close matches were No. 7 UCLA's 4-2 win over No. 10 Illinois and No. 5 Stanford's 4-2 win over No. 12 Baylor.

Because it could be after midnight when results of the last two matches (No. 1 Wake Forest v No. 16 Washington and No. 8 USC v No. 9 Oklahoma State) are known, I won't wait for them before posting, but I will add those results to this post Saturday morning.

For a preview of the tournament, which includes a UTR for each of the players, see College Tennis Today.

ITA Men’s Team Indoor
First Round, February 16

No. 2 Ohio State 4, No. 15 Duke 0

No. 1: Mikael Torpegaard/Martin Joyce (OSU) def. Nick Stachowiak/Sean Sculley (DUKE) 6-3 No. 2: JJ Wolf/John McNally (OSU) vs. Nicolas Alvarez/Catalin Mateas (DUKE) 4-5, unfinished No. 3: Hunter Tubert/Matt Mendez (OSU) def. Jason Lapidus/Ryan Dickerson (DUKE) 6-3
Order of Finish: 3, 1

No. 1: Mikael Torpegaard (OSU) vs. Nico Alvarez (UGA) 2-6, 6-2, unfinished
No. 2: JJ Wolf (OSU) def. Catalin Mateas (DUKE) 6-2, 5-5, unfinished
No. 3: John McNally (OSU) vs. Nick Stachowiak (DUKE) 3-6, 6-2, 1-2, unfinished
No. 4: Tim Seibert (OSU) def. Sean Sculley (DUKE) 6-4, 6-2
No. 5: Kyle Seelig (OSU) def. Ryan Dickerson (DUKE) 6-0, 6-2
No. 6: Martin Joyce (OSU) def. Robert Levine (DUKE) 6-3, 6-4

Order of finish: 5, 6, 4

No. 7 UCLA 4, No. 10 Illinois 2

No. 1: Martin Redlicki/Evan Zhu (UCLA) def. Aron Hiltzik/Aleks Vukic (ILL) 6-3
No. 2: Austin Rapp/Keegan Smith (UCLA) vs. Zeke Clark/Aleks Kovacevic (ILL) 5-4, unfinished No. 3: Maxime Cressy/Bryce Pereira (UCLA) def. Alex Brown/Caleb Chakravarthi (ILL) 6-4
Order of Finish: 1, 3

No. 1: Martin Redlicki (UCLA) def. Aleks Vukic (ILL) 6-4, 2-6, 6-3
No. 2: Aron Hiltzik (ILL) def. Evan Zhu (UCLA) 6-3, 7-5
No. 3: Keegan Smith (UCLA) def. Alex Brown (ILL) 7-6 (8), 6-3
No. 4: Zeke Clark (ILL) def. Logan Staggs (UCLA) 6-2, 6-4
No. 5: Maxime Cressy (UCLA) vs. Aleks Kovacevic (ILL) 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-6, unfinished
No. 6: Connor Hance (UCLA) def. Caleb Chakrvarthi (ILL) 6-3, 7-5

Order of finish: 4, 3, 6, 2, 1

No. 6 Texas A&M 4, No. 11 Florida 0

1. Patrick Kypson/Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. McClain Kessler/Duarte Vale (UF) 7-5
2. Alfredo Perez/Oliver Crawford (UF) def. Juan Carlos Aguilar/Jordi Arconada (TAMU) 6-4
3. Valentin Vacherot/Barnaby Smith (TAMU) def. Johannes Ingildsen/Chase Perez-Blanco (UF) 6-2

Order of finish: 3, 2, 1

1. Patrick Kypson (TAMU) def. #9 Alfredo Perez (UF) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
2. Arthur Rinderknech (TAMU) def. #7 Johannes Ingildsen (UF) 7-6(4), 6-4
3. Jordi Arconada (TAMU) def. #43 Duarte Vale (UF) 6-2, 6-1
4. Valentin Vacherot (TAMU) vs. Oliver Crawford (UF) 7-6(4), 4-6, 0-1, unfinished
5. Juan Carlos Aguilar (TAMU) vs. Andy Andrade (UF) 5-7, 6-5, unfinished
6. Barnaby Smith (TAMU) vs. McClain Kessler (UF) 6-1, 4-6, 4-2, unfinished

Order of finish: 3, 2, 1

No. 3 North Carolina 4,  No. 14 Notre Dame 0

1. No. 11 William Blumberg/Robert Kelly (UNC) def. Brendon Kempin/Tristan McCormick (ND) 6-1
2. Benjamin Sigouin/Anu Kodali (UNC) def. Alex Lebedev/William Howells (ND) 7-5
3. Richard Ciamarra/Matt Gamble (ND) def. Mac Kiger/Simon Soendergaard (UNC) 6-3

Order of finish: 1, 3, 2

1. No. 4 William Blumberg (UNC) def. No. 28 Alex Lebedev (ND) 7-5, 6-0
2. No. 57 Benjamin Sigouin (UNC) def. No. 118 Guillermo Cabrera (ND) 6-2, 6-1
3. Tristan McCormick (ND) vs. No. 81 Robert Kelly (UNC) 3-6, 4-3, unfinished
4. No. 124 Simon Soendergaard (UNC) def. Richard Ciamarra (ND) 6-4, 6-1
5. Matt Gamble (ND) vs. Josh Peck (UNC) 3-6, 5-4, unfinished
6. Grayson Broadus (ND) vs. Bo Boyden (UNC) 1-6, 2-4, unfinished

Order of finish: 2, 1, 4

No. 4 Georgia 4, No. 13 Columbia 1

1. Robert Loeb/Jan Zielinski (Georgia) def. Victor Pham/Jackie Tang (COL), 7-6(6)
2. Walker Duncan/Wayne Montgomery (Georgia) def. Jack Lin/William Matheson (COL), 6-2
3. Adam Ambrozy/Michael Rolski (COL) def. Alex Diaz/Paul Oosterbaan (Georgia), 6-4

Order of finish: 2, 3, 1

1. Wayne Montgomery (Georgia) vs. Victor Pham (COL), 4-6, 5-5, unfinished
2. Jackie Tang (COL) def. Emil Reinberg (Georgia), 6-2, 7-5
3. Nathan Ponwith (Georgia) vs. Jack Lin (COL), 5-7, 3-4, unfinished
4. Jan Zielinski (Georgia) def. Adam Ambrozy (COL), 7-5, 6-4
5. Walker Duncan (Georgia) def. Alex Keyser (COL), 6-4, 6-3
6. Paul Oosterbaan (Georgia) def. Tim Wang (COL), 6-2, 6-3

Order of finish: 6, 5, 2, 4

No. 5 Stanford 4, No. 12 Baylor 2

1. Johannes Schretter/Will Little (Baylor) def. Michael Genender/Sameer Kumar (Stanford), 6-4
2. Tom Fawcett/Axel Geller (Stanford) def. Bjoern Petersen/Jimmy Bendeck (Baylor), 6-3
3. David Wilczynski/Timothy Sah (Stanford) def. Matias Soto/Roy Smith (Baylor) 7-6(6)

Order of finish: 2, 1, 3

1. Tom Fawcett (Stanford) def. Bjoern Petersen (Baylor), 6-2, 6-1
2. Axel Geller (Stanford ) def. Johannes Schretter (Baylor), 6-4, 6-3
3. Matias Soto (Baylor) def.  Sameer Kumar (Stanford) 6-1, 2-6, 6-3
4. Eric Fomba (Stanford) def. Will Little (Baylor) 2-6, 6-2, 6-2
5. Roy Smith (Baylor) def.  David Wilczynski (Stanford) 6-2, 6-4
6. William Genesen (Stanford) vs. Constantin Frantzen (Baylor) 4-6, 6-6, unfinished

Order of finish: 1, 5, 2, 3, 4

No. 1 Wake Forest 4, No. 16 Washington 0

1. Enzo Sommer/Kawika Lam (UW) def. Christian Seraphim/Ian Dempster (WF), 6-4
2. Borna Gojo/Skander Mansouri (WF) def. Jake Douglas/Jack Davis (UW), 6-4
3. Petros Chrysochos/Bar Botzer (WF) def. Piers Foley/Mitch Stewart (UW), 6-2

Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2

1. Borna Gojo (WF) vs. #48 Jake Douglas (UW), 6-3, 5-4, unfinished
2. Petros Chrysochos (WF) vs. Mitch Stewart (UW), 6-2, 5-3, unfinished
3. Skander Mansouri (WF) vs. Enzo Sommer (UW), 6-4, 5-3, unfinished
4. Bar Botzer (WF) def. Amit Batta (UW), 6-3, 6-1
5. Christian Seraphim (WF) def. Piers Foley (UW), 6-4, 6-1
6. Julian Zlobinsky (WF) def. Seb Hawken (UW), 6-4, 6-2

Order of Finish: 5, 6, 4


No. 8 USC 4, No. 9 Oklahoma State 1

1. Julian Cash/Luke Hammond (OKST) def. Brandon Holt/Riley Smith (USC), 6-2
2. Jack Jaede/Laurens Verboven (USC) def. Artur Dubinski/Eleftherios Theodorou (OKST), 6-2
3. Daniel Cukierman/Tanner Smith (USC) def. Jurence Mendoza/Mathieu Scaglia (OKST), 6-1

Order of finish: 3, 1, 2

1. Brandon Holt (USC) def. #88 Julian Cash (OKST), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
2. Daniel Cukierman (USC) vs. #94 Artur Dubinski (OKST), 5-7, 6-4, 5-1,  unfinished
3. Tristan Meraut (OKST) def. #119 Logan Smith (USC), 6-1, 6-4
4. Jack Jaede (USC) def. #55 Mathieu Scaglia (OKST), 6-4, 6-4
5. Laurens Verboven (USC) def. Jurence Mendoza (OKST), 7-6(6), 6-3
6. Jake DeVine (USC) vs. #125 Luke Hammond (OKST) 7-6 (4), 4-6, 3-4, unfinished

Order of finish: 3, 4, 5, 1

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Baird and Baptiste Reach Semifinals at ITF Grade 1 in Paraguay; Daavettila Named Most Outstanding Player at Team Indoor; Bellis and Tiafoe Through to Quarterfinals

This week's ITF Grade 1 in Paraguay is the start of three consecutive tournaments, which culminates in the Porto Alegre Grade A in Brazil. Several of the US juniors who are playing in this South American swing did not play in the previous Grade 1 events in Central and South America: Drew Baird, who played Australia instead, Katie Volynets, who hadn't played in 2018 until this week, Hailey Baptiste, who played just one Pro Circuit tournament last month and Charlotte Owensby, who played only the Coffee Bowl back in early January.

All four have had good weeks at the Asuncion Bowl this week, with the 14-year-old Owensby, a qualifier, and 16-year-old Volynets reaching the quarterfinals before losing today. Owensby lost to Ana Geller of Argentina 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 and Volynets, the No. 9 seed, was beaten by top seed Maria Osorio Serrano of Colombia 6-3, 7-6(4).  Osorio Serrano won the Grade 1 in Costa Rica and the Grade 1 in Colombia back-to-back late last month.  The fourth-seeded Baptiste, who struggled in the second half of 2017, last made a Grade 1 semifinal at last February's Banana Bowl. She defeated No. 7 seed Loudmilla Bencheikh of France 6-4, 7-5 in today's quarterfinals and will face Osorio Serrano in Friday's semifinal.  Alexa Noel, the No. 2 seed, lost to unseeded Leylah Fernandez of Canada in the third round.

Baird, the No. 4 seed, defeated No. 7 seed Taisei Ichikawa of Japan 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals to set up a semifinal meeting with No. 5 seed Filip Jianu of Romania. Baird has also reached the doubles final, with Nicolas Mejia of Colombia.  At least one of the girls doubles champions will be from the United States, with Noel and Ana Makatsaria of Georgia, the No. 1 seeds, facing No. 2 seeds Kacie Harvey and Vanessa Ong.

The ITA announced the All-Tournament team for the Women's Division I Team Indoor, with champion North Carolina's Sara Daavettila named the Most Outstanding Player.  The All-Tournament team is below, with details on each player's results available in the ITA release.

No. 1 singles: Ashley Lahey, Pepperdine
No. 2 singles: Sara Daavettila, North Carolina
No. 3 singles: Christina Rosca, Vanderbilt
No. 4 singles: Alexa Graham, North Carolina
No. 5 singles: Meible Chi, Duke
No. 6 singles: Amanda Meyer, Vanderbilt

No. 1 doubles: Jessie Aney and Alexa Graham, North Carolina
No. 2 doubles: Mariana Gould and Katarina Jokic, Georgia
No. 3 doubles: Christina Rosca and Amanda Meyer, Vanderbilt

Most Outstanding Player: Sara Daavettila, North Carolina

Two young Americans earned professional milestones today, with CiCi Bellis getting her first WTA Top 5 win and Frances Tiafoe reaching his first ATP quarterfinal.  Bellis, a qualifier, defeated No. 5 seed and defending champion Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 7-6(4), 6-3 to advance the the quarterfinals at Doha's WTA Premier 5 event, where she will face No. 2 seed Simona Halep of Romania. For more on the Bellis upset, see the WTA website.

Tiafoe downed Dudi Sela of Israel 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 in the second round of the ATP 250 New York Open to reach an ATP quarterfinal for the first time. The 20-year-old will face top seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa, who just squeezed by qualifier Ernesto Escobedo 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(5).