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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Pepperdine's Stefani Beats Top Seed Turati in First Round of NCAA Singles; Middlebury Captures D-III Men's Title; Two US Boys Reach Third Round at Milan Grade A; Roland Garros Qualifying Update; Gauff Earns First Pro Win

The day after the team finals can be deflating for those who put their energy into the team event, but for many players, it's a chance to show off their games without the pressure that accompanies playing for others.  Upsets are not rare in these conditions, and today's first round produced a big one, with Pepperdine's Luisa Stefani beating No. 1 seed Bianca Turati of Texas 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-3.  Stefani was up 4-2 in the second set, but then proceeded to lose four straight games and the set. Stefani got back on track in the third set, broke at 3-all and held for 5-3, completing the upset with a break in the next game. Turati had been the nation's top ranked player since March; Stefani, who played No. 1 for Pepperdine, is ranked 27th.

Men's top seed Martin Redlicki of UCLA received a scare from Tim Sandkaulen of Ole Miss but came away with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory. With Redlicki holding for 5-4 in the second set, Sandkaulen went up 40-30, but Redlicki won the deciding point with a winner, and Sandkaulen never recovered. North Carolina's Makenna Jones, the No. 2 seed in the women's draw, was pushed to the limit by Gabby Smith of USC but managed to post a 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(2) victory.

Other than Turati, two seeded women are out, with No. 4 seed Samantha Harris of Duke withdrawing before her match and Katarina Jokic of Georgia, a 9-16 seed, losing to Mayar Sherif Ahmed of Pepperdine 7-5, 1-6, 6-4.

Men's seeds to fall in the first round were Michigan's Alex Knight, who lost to Cameron Klinger of Vanderbilt 6-4, 6-0; Ryotaro Matsumura of Kentucky, who lost to Billy Griffith of Cal 6-4, 6-3 and Tom Fawcett of Stanford, who lost to Mississippi State's Giovanni Oradini 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

The members of teams that were in yesterday's finals had mixed results. Stanford's Michaela Gordon[9-16] and Emily Arbuthnott advanced, but title clincher Melissa Lord lost to Andrea Lazaro, a 9-16 seed from Florida International, 6-4, 6-1.  Vanderbilt's Astra Sharma[9-16], and Fernanda Contreras[8] advanced, while Christina Rosca lost to Ena Shibahara[7] of UCLA.

Ohio State's Mikael Torpegaard[6] won his first round match, but JJ Wolf was beaten by Alfredo Perez of Florida, a 9-16 seed, 6-4, 6-4. Champion Wake Forest went 3-0 in singles Wednesday, with Skander Mansouri advancing after Johannes Schretter of Baylor retired trailing 7-5. No. 7 seed Borna Gojo beat Guanarteme Nuez of Texas-Arlington 6-3, 6-4 and No. 4 seed Petros Chrysochos closed out play for the night with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 win over Michail Pervolarakis of Portland.

The updated men's draw is here; the women's draw is here.

At the Division III Men's Team Championships in Claremont California, Middlebury and Bowdoin met for the title for the second time in three years, with Middlebury avenging their 5-0 loss in 2016 by taking out the Polar Bears 5-3. For more on the men's final, see Rhiannon Potkey's article at the Tennis Recruiting Network.  The women's final between Emory and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is still in progress.  See the CMS tournament page for updates.

At the ITF Grade A in Milan, just two Americans are left in the singles draw, both unseeded.  Tyler Zink beat Flavio Cobolli of Italy 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, and Keenan Mayo defeated Yannik Steinegger of Switzerland 7-6(4), 6-1, with both now advancing to the third round. Live scoring is available at Tennis Ticker.

At Roland Garros, Denis Kudla advanced to the final round of qualifying, while Reilly Opelka will play his second round on Thursday. In women's first round qualifying action, Claire Liu, Jamie Loeb and Francesca Di Lorenzo won, with Liu beating No. 9 seed seed Danka Kovinic of Montenegro 6-2, 6-1. Liu, Loeb and Di Lorenzo will play their second round matches on Thursday, as will Nicole Gibbs[8], Caroline Dolehide[17] and Grace Min.

The USTA Pro Circuit is back with a $25,000 Women's tournament in Osprey Florida.  Playing in her first pro tournament, 14-year-old Coco Gauff qualified today (rain pushed qualifying into today) and then won her first round match over 26-year-old Alexandra Perper of Moldova, a Mississippi State alum, 6-2, 6-3.  Sixteen-year-old Hailey Baptiste also qualified and won her first round match, and 17-year-olds Salma Ewing(USC recruit) and Ann Li(LSU recruit) also advanced to the second round.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Stanford Wins Another, Wake Forest Claims First NCAA Team Championship; D-I Singles Championships Begin Wednesday; Defending Champions Fall in D-III Semifinals; Few American Left in Milan Grade A; Roland Garros Qualifying Continues

One of the two NCAA Division I team champions crowned today was a No. 15 seed and one was a top seed, but determining which was most unexpected winner isn't an easy task.

On the one hand, Wake Forest, who beat No. 3 seed Ohio State 4-2 for the men's title, was the top seed, the ITA National Indoor champion and playing at home, but until this week they had never reached the NCAA semifinals, let alone played in the title match. On the other hand, Stanford, who beat top seed Vanderbilt 4-3, had lost to the Commodores 7-0 earlier this year, didn't play the ITA National Indoor and kept losing the doubles point, but they were playing in their third straight final, and have a long history of coming through at the end of the season.

The Cardinal again lost the doubles point, for the third time in their four matches at the Wake Forest finals site, with Vanderbilt winning at lines 1 and 2 to counter Vanderbilt's win at line 3.

But it didn't take long for Stanford to assert itself in singles, winning five first sets, while Vanderbilt's Astra Sharma got their only first set at line 1 against Michaela Gordon.

Emma Higuchi tied the match with a 6-3, 6-2 win at line 6, with Higuchi winning her 17th straight match.  Caroline Lampl closed out Vanderbilt's Christina Rosca 6-4, 6-2 to give Stanford a 2-1 lead, but it didn't last long, with Sharma, who was cramping at the end, managing a 7-6(2), 6-3 win over Gordon to make it 2-2.

Stanford's road got a little rockier when Vanderbilt's Fernanda Contreras earned a split over Melissa Lord at line 2 and Amanda Meyer took the second set from Stanford's Emily Arbuthnott at line 4.

Janice Shin gave the Cardinal a little breathing room by beating Emma Kurtz 6-3, 6-3 at line 5, so Vanderbilt needed the last two matches.  Meyer delivered one, beating Arbuthnott 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, but Lord had already had a championship point come and go in her match with Contreras, serving for the match at 5-3 in the third after winning three straight deciding points for that lead. Down 15-40 serving for the title, Lord hit two big first serves to get to yet another deciding point, but this one she lost, with Contreras putting away a forehand winner to deny Lord the championship point.

In the rare game that didn't go to a deciding point, Contreras held for 5-5, but returning to the theme of the match, Lord held for 6-5 on yet another deciding point (I don't know how, as the stream went out right at that juncture). That meant Contreras had to hold serve to force a tiebreaker, but she fell behind 15-40. Contreras saved the first of those three match points with a backhand into the open court, but at 30-40, her forehand clipped the tape and fell back on her side to give Stanford its 19th NCAA team title and second in the past three years.

No. 15 Stanford 4, No. 2 Vanderbilt 3
1) No. 11 Contreras/Sharma (VANDY) d. No. 3 Arbuthnott/Gordon (STAN) 6-3
2) No. 69 Kurtz/Smith (VANDY) d. No. 84 Lampl/Kimberly Yee (STAN) 6-4
3) Lord/Shin (STAN) d. Meyer/Rosca (VANDY) 6-4
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2

1) No. 11 Astra Sharma (VANDY) d. No. 15 Michaela Gordon (STAN) 7-6 (3), 6-3
2) No. 40 Melissa Lord (STAN) d. No. 10 Fernanda Contreras (VANDY) 6-4, 2-6, 7-5
3) No. 93 Caroline Lampl (STAN) d. No. 44 Chris Rosca (VANDY) 6-4, 6-2
4) Amanda Meyer (VANDY) d. No. 43 Emily Arbuthnott (STAN) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
5) No. 96 Janice Shin (STAN) d. Emma Kurtz (VANDY) 6-3, 6-3
6) No. 102 Emma Higuchi (STAN) d. Summer Dvorak (VANDY) 6-3, 6-2

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

The crowds were large for the home team, and fortunately, after a frustratingly wet weekend and a late night on Monday due to rain and lightning delays, the weather cooperated. With fans supporting them from all over the Tennis Complex, Wake Forest took the doubles point, with wins at 1 and 2, with line 3 in a tiebreaker when Wake clinched.

The teams split first sets, meaning Ohio State had to force a third set in order to win, but the Buckeyes were unable to do that. Wake Forest couldn't accomplish that either, with all five completed matches ending in straight sets.  

Ohio State got on the board quickly with Kyle Seelig's 6-2, 6-2 win over Alan Gadjiev at line 5, followed closely by Wake's Petros Chrysochos's 6-1, 6-3 victory over JJ Wolf at line 2. Martin Joyce made it 2-2 with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Christian Seraphim at line 6, but Skander Mansouri put Wake back on top 3-2 with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over John McNally at line 3.  

Ohio State looked to be heading to that third set they had to have when Tim Seibert went up 5-2 on Bar Botzer in the second set, after Botzer had taken the first set 6-4.  Seibert, who hadn't played in the previous three matches at the finals site, couldn't serve out the set at 5-3, with Botzer's passes just too precise for the net-charging freshman. Botzer held for 5-all, then broke Seibert, who missed an easy putaway volley well wide to give Botzer a chance to serve it out.  He did, triggering a celebration befitting a home team's win, the first since the Georgia men won in Athens in 2007.  Botzer was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.

1. #21 Borna Gojo/Skander Mansouri (WF) def. JJ Wolf/Martin Joyce (OSU) 7-5
2. #35 Petros Chrysochos/Bar Botzer (WF) def. #61 Mikael Torpegaard/John McNally (OSU) 7-5
3. #48 Ian Dempster/Christian Seraphim (WF) vs. Matt Mendez/Hunter Tubert (OSU) 6-6, unfinished

1. #7 Borna Gojo (WF) vs. #6 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU) 4-6, 6-6, unfinished
2. #4 Petros Chrysochos (WF) def. #41 JJ Wolf (OSU) 6-1, 6-3
3. #38 Skander Mansouri (WF) def. #92 John McNally (OSU) 6-2, 6-2
4. Bar Botzer (WF) def. Tim Seibert (OSU) 6-4, 7-5
5. #96 Kyle Seelig (OSU) def. Alan Gadjiev (WF) 6-2, 6-2
6. Martin Joyce (OSU) def. Christian Seraphim (WF) 6-1, 6-3

Match Notes:
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (5,2,3,6,4)

The NCAA singles championships begin tomorrow morning at 8 a.m.  Bianca Turati of Texas is the top seed in the women's event.  The men's event has seen a large number of withdrawals, with the alternate list now exhausted.  Martin Redlicki of UCLA is the No. 1 seed. Live scores and streaming is available at the Wake Forest tournament page.

The Division III Team Championship finals will be held on Wednesday in Claremont California.  In the men's final, the top seed Bowdoin will square off against No. 2 seed Middlebury.  Bowdoin beat No. 5 seed Chicago 5-0 and Middlebury took out defending champion and No. 6 seed Emory 5-3, after Emory had taken two of three doubles points.

The women's D-III final, will, like the men's D-I final, feature the home team, with No.  2 seed Claremont-Mudd-Scripps facing top seed Emory.  CMS defeated defending champion Williams 5-3, while Emory squeezed past No. 5 seed Middlebury 5-4.  See the CMS tournament page for links to video and scoring for the finals, which begin with the men's championship at 11 a.m. Pacific on Wednesday. 

At the Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglio in Milan, only one US girl remains: unseeded Peyton Stearns.  Caty McNally, Katie Volynets and Gabby Price lost first round matches today, while Kacie Harvey lost in the second round.  Three US boys have advanced to the second round: Keenan Mayo won yesterday and he is joined by Govind Nanda and Tyler Zink.  Drew Baird[9] and qualifier Siem Woldeab lost first round matches today, while Cannon Kingsley and Tristan Boyer[6] lost in the second round.  

Live scoring for the tournament is at Tennis Ticker.  Tommy Hemp has more coverage from today's matches in Milan at Tennis Underworld.

Rain cut short qualifying today at Roland Garros, with some women's first round matches being postponed. The men completed their first round, but only one American was able to advance to the second round, Reilly Opelka. Kevin King, Bradley Klahn and Stefan Kozlov lost their opening matches, with Denis Kudla[7], who won yesterday, the only other American to advance. He plays again on Wednesday.

Caroline Dolehide[17], Nicole Gibbs[8] and Grace Min are through to the second round, with Jamie Loeb up a set in her first round match when play was cancelled for the day.  Irina Falconi, who lost to Dolehide, and Kayla Day are out, with Danielle Lao, Claire Liu, Francesca DiLorenzo and Kristie Ahn on the schedule for Wednesday.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Vanderbilt and Stanford Meet for Women's D-I Team Title, Ohio State and Host Wake Forest Face Off for Men's Championship Tuesday; D-III Team Championships Underway; US Women Begin French Open Qualifying Tuesday, US Men Have Dismal First Day; Noel Falls in First Round at Milan Grade A, Mayo Tops No. 4 Seed

All four of the NCAA Division I team semifinals were tense affairs, with the Vanderbilt and Stanford women and the Wake Forest and Ohio State men claiming victories Monday at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.

The women started the day, with top seed Vanderbilt getting by No. 4 seed Georgia Tech, taking the doubles point and a quick 2-0 lead when Astra Sharma breezed past Paige Hourigan 6-0, 6-3 at line 1. Nami Otsuka got the Yellow Jackets on the board with a win at line 5, but Fernanda Contreras put up another point for the Commodores at line 2. At 3-1, Vanderbilt was in a good position, but Georgia Tech got a second point from Ida Jarlskog at line 4 and had the first set in hand at line 3 and an essential split at line 6.  But Christina Rosca won a tiebreaker to earn a split at 3 over Johnnise Renaud, and Summer Dvorak took control of her third set at 6, leaving most of the suspense for which player would get the fourth point. It turned out to be Rosca, who took the match 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-1.

No. 15 seed Stanford lost the doubles point to No. 3 seed Duke, but that has not been an issue for them; they also dropped the doubles point in their round of 16 win over No. 2 seed North Carolina, only to roar back in singles.  The Cardinal got two quick wins from Emma Higuchi and Janice Shin at lines 6 and 5, and made it 3-1 with yet another victory for Melissa Lord at line 2.  Lord is now an amazing 14-0 in NCAA team matches in her three years at Stanford. After Duke's Samantha Harris defeated Michaela Gordon at line 1, it was 3-2 and the final two matches were in third sets, but it was Stanford who got the comeback win, with Caroline Lampl defeating Kaitlyn McCarthy 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 to clinch another trip to the finals, their third straight.

For more on the women's semifinals, see this Tennis Recruiting Network article from Rhiannon Potkey.

Women’s Division semifinals, May 21, 2018

#15 [15] STANFORD (23-3) def. #3 [3] DUKE (27-4), 4-2 
Wake Forest Tennis Complex
Head Coaches: Jamie Ashworth (DUKE) and Lele Forood (STANFORD)

1. #9 Kaitlyn McCarthy/Ellyse Hamlin (DUKE) def. #3 Emily Arbuthnott/Michaela Gordon (STANFORD) 6-3
2. #84 Caroline Lampl/Kimberly Yee (STANFORD) def. #6 Kelly Chen/Samantha Harris (DUKE) 6-4
3. Meible Chi/Hannah Zhao (DUKE) def. Melissa Lord/Janice Shin (STANFORD) 7-5

1. #6 Samantha Harris (DUKE) def. #15 Michaela Gordon (STANFORD) 6-2, 7-6(3)
2. #40 Melissa Lord (STANFORD) d. #55 Meible Chi (DUKE) 6-2, 7-6(0)
3. #93 Caroline Lampl (STANFORD) def. #116 Kaitlyn McCarthy (DUKE) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
4. #28 Kelly Chen (DUKE) vs. #43 Emily Arbuthnott (STANFORD) 6-4, 3-6, 3-4, unf.
5. #96 Janice Shin (STANFORD) d. #84 Ellyse Hamlin (DUKE) 6-1, 6-1
6. #102 Emma Higuchi (STANFORD) d. Hannah Zhao (DUKE) 6-4, 6-0

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (1,2,3) Singles (6,5,2,1,3)

#2 [1] VANDERBILT (27-3) def. #4 [4] GEORGIA TECH (25-6), 4-2
Wake Forest Tennis Complex
Head Coaches: Geoff Macdonald (VANDERBILT) and Rodney Harmon (GEORGIA TECH)

1. #11 Astra Sharma/Fernanda Contreras (VANDERBILT) vs. #1 Paige Hourigan/Kenya Jones (GEORGIA TECH) 5-5, unf.
2. #69 Emma Kurtz/Emily Smith (VANDERBILT) def. #48 Ida Jarlskog/Victoria Flores (GEORGIA TECH) 6-4
3. Christina Rosca/Amanda Meyer (VANDERBILT) def. Johnnise Renaud/Nami Otsuka (GEORGIA TECH) 6-4

1. #11 Astra Sharma (VANDERBILT) def. #14 Paige Hourigan (GEORGIA TECH) 6-0, 6-3
2. #10 Fernanda Contreras (VANDERBILT) def. #60 Kenya Jones (GEORGIA TECH) 6-4, 6-4
3. #44 Christina Rosca (VANDERBILT) def. Johnnise Renaud (GEORGIA TECH) 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-1
4 #125 Ida Jarlskog (GEORGIA TECH) def. Amanda Meyer (VANDERBILT) 6-2, 6-4
5. Nami Otsuka (GEORGIA TECH) def. Emma Kurtz (VANDERBILT) 6-1, 6-3
6. Summer Dvorak (VANDERBILT) vs. Victoria Flores (GEORGIA TECH) 6-2, 7-5, 5-2, unf.

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (2,3) Singles (1,5,2,4,3)
The men's semifinals were even more exciting, but also frustrating, with a three-hour rain delay early in the singles and another lightning delay less than an hour later.  But when the matches finally finished it was host and top seed Wake Forest and No. 3 seed Ohio State who had survived the seven hour ordeal, with Wake defeating No. 5 seed Texas A&M 4-3 and Ohio State beating No. 2 seed UCLA 4-1.

Wake Forest won the doubles point and quickly took lines 1 and 2 in singles, with Borna Gojo and Petros Chrysochos making it 3-0. It looked like it might be another routine win for the Demon Deacons, but Texas A&M hung around, got a win at No. 4 from Valentin Vacherot to make it 3-1, and that was the score for a very long time, as the Aggies forced three sets in two matches and Juan Carlos Aguilar won his very long two-set match at line 5.  Jordi Arconada pulled the Aggies even with a comeback at line 3, but Christian Seraphim was already up 3-0 against Barnaby Smith at line 6 and he went on to close out the match, no doubt to the great relief of all the Wake Forest fans who left after the second rain delay.

Ohio State won an exceedingly close doubles point from UCLA, winning at lines 2 and 3 in tiebreakers, while the Bruins took line 1 by a 7-5 score. In singles, each team took three first sets, but the only player able to close out his match in two sets was UCLA's Connor Hance at line 6, leaving the score at 1-1. The third point was posted until much later, with Mikael Torpegaard defeating Martin Redlicki 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 at line 1 to give Ohio State a 2-1 lead. Kyle Seelig made it 3-1 Ohio State with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win at line 4, and minutes later, Buckeye Martin Joyce broke Maxime Cressy at line 5 to earn a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 victory and put Ohio State in the title match for only the second time in school history.  Whoever wins on Tuesday will bring home the school's first NCAA team tennis title, with Wake Forest reaching the final for the first time.

#3 [3] OHIO STATE (34-2) def. #2 [2] UCLA (30-3), 4-1
Wake Forest Tennis Complex
Head Coaches: Billy Martin (UCLA) and Ty Tucker (Ohio State)

1. #29 Martin Redlicki/Evan Zhu (UCLA) def. Martin Joyce/JJ Wolf (OHIO STATE) 7-5
2.#61 Mikael Torpegaard/John McNally (OHIO STATE) def. #16 Austin Rapp/Keegan Smith (UCLA) 7-6(4)
3.Matt Mendez/Hunter Tubert (OHIO STATE) def. Maxime Cressy/Bryce Pereira (UCLA) 7-6(3)

1. #6 Mikael Torpegaard (OHIO STATE) def. #1 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
2. #41 JJ Wolf (OHIO STATE) vs. #81 Evan Zhu (UCLA) 7-5, 6-4, 1-4, unf.
3. #92 John McNally (OHIO STATE) vs. #56 Keegan Smith (UCLA) 6-7(5), 6-4, 2-0, unf.
4. #96 Kyle Seelig (OHIO STATE) def. #103 Logan Staggs (UCLA) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
5. #112 Martin Joyce (OHIO STATE) def. Maxime Cressy (UCLA) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
6. Connor Hance (UCLA) vs. Hunter Tubert (OHIO STATE) 7-5, 6-3

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (1,2,3) Singles (6,1,4,5)

#1 [1] WAKE FOREST (30-2) def. #5 [5] TEXAS A&M (26-6), 4-3 
Wake Forest Tennis Complex
Head Coaches: Tony Bresky (Wake Forest) and Steve Denton (Texas A&M)

1. #21 Borna Gojo/Skander Mansouri (WAKE FOREST) def. #3 Juan Carlos Aguilar/Jordi Arconada (TEXAS A&M) 6-0
2. #35 Petros Chrysochos/Bar Botzer (WAKE FOREST) def. AJ Catanzariti/Arthur Rinderknech (TEXAS A&M) 6-3
3. #46 Christian Seraphim/Ian Dempster (WAKE FOREST) vs. Patrick Kypson/Valentin Vacherot
(TEXAS A&M) 5-4, unf.

1. #7 Borna Gojo (WAKE FOREST) def. #5 Patrick Kypson (TEXAS A&M) 6-2, 6-1
2. #4 Petros Chrysochos (WAKE FOREST) def. #12 Arhtur Rinderknech (TEXAS A&M) 6-2, 6-1
3. #48 Jordi Arconada (TEXAS A&M) def. #38 Skander Mansouri (WAKE FOREST) 4-6, 6-2, 7-5
4. #72 Valentin Vacherot (TEXAS A&M) def. Bar Botzer (WAKE FOREST) 6-3, 6-2
5. Juan Carlos Aguilar (TEXAS A&M) def. Alan Gadjiev (WAKE FOREST) 7-6(6), 6-3
6. Christian Seraphim (WAKE FOREST) vs. Barnaby Smith (TEXAS A&M) 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-0

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (1,2) Singles (1,2,4,3,5,6)

The women's championship match is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the men's championship match is scheduled for 5 p.m. I believe both matches will be streamed, with commentary, at ncaa.com.

For more information, see the Wake Forest tournament site.

The Division III quarterfinals began today at the finals site in Claremont California, but three of the women's matches are not yet complete. Women's top seed Emory has advanced to the semifinals with a 5-1 win over No. 8 seed Chicago.

Today's men's results:
Bowdoin[1] d. Washington-St. Louis[8] 5-0
Chicago[5] d. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps[4] 5-2
Middlebury[2] d. Whitman 5-1
Emory[6] d. Williams[3] 5-0

Ten US women are entered in the French Open qualifying, with eight of them in action on Tuesday: Francesca Di Lorenzo, Irina Falconi, Caroline Dolehide[17], Kayla Day, Nicole Gibbs[8], Claire Liu, Jamie Loeb and Grace Min.  Danielle Lao and Kristie Ahn[19] will play their first round matches on Wednesday. Falconi and Dolehide will square off in the first round. The women's qualifying draw is here.

The US men went 1-6 today, with No. 7 seed Denis Kudla the only winner. Donald Young[19], Tim Smyczek[11], Evan King, Ernesto Escobedo, Dennis Novikov and Christopher Eubanks all lost their first round matches.  Kevin King, Stefan Kozlov, Bradley Klahn and Reilly Opelka play their opening matches on Tuesday.

At the ITF Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglio in Milan Italy, No. 3 seed Alexa Noel was beaten in the first round by Marta Custic of Spain 6-4, 6-1. Lea Ma and Natasha Subhash also went out in the first round, with Kacie Harvey posting the only win among the US girls who were in action today.

In the boys draw, No. 15 seed Andrew Fenty lost to Otto Virtanen of Finland 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 and Emilio Nava also was eliminated from singles today, but No. 6 seed Tristan Boyer and Santa Croce Grade 1 champion Cannon Kingsley advanced, as did Keenan Mayo, who beat No. 4 seed Nicolas Mejia of Colombia 6-3, 6-1.  Live scores for the tournament can be found at Tennis Ticker.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

11 US Men in Roland Garros Men's Qualifying; Opelka Wins Challenger in France; Nine US Boys, Eight US Girls Begin Play Monday in ITF Grade A in Milan; Three of Four D-I Men's Quarterfinals Go the Distance in NCAA Team Championships

The qualifying for the 2018 French Open begins Monday in Paris, with 11 US men vying for a place in the main draw.  Three of them are seeded: Donald Young[19], Denis Kudla[7] and Tim Smyczek[11].  The other eight are: Evan King, Kevin King, Ernesto Escobedo, Stefan Kozlov, Bradley Klahn, Dennis Novikov, Reilly Opelka and Christopher Eubanks.

The draw is here, and the order of play for Monday, which includes Young, Escobedo, Novikov, Smyczek, Evan King, Eubanks and Kudla, is here.

Opelka has the day off Monday, after he won the second ATP Challenger title of his career at the  106,000+H tournament in Bordeaux France. The 20-year-old came back to defeat the unseeded Gregoire Barrere of France 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-5 for his first pro title on clay. Klahn also will be starting his quest for a main draw berth in Paris with a title, as he and Peter Polansky won the doubles title in Bordeaux, beating the Argentinian team of Guillermo Duran and Maximo Gonzalez 6-3, 3-6, 10-7.

Also of note, 17-year-old Rudolf Molleker of Germany won the €85,000+H Heilbronn ATP Challenger in his home country as an unseeded wild card. Molleker, who is among the Roland Garros junior entries, defeated No. 2 seed Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the final.

At the ATP Masters event in Rome, former USC Trojan Rob Farah of Colombia and his partner Juan Sebastian Cabal won their first Masters title, beating Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain and Joao Sousa of Portugal 3-6, 6-4, 10-4. Farah and Cabal are the first Colombia team to win a Masters event, and are now No. 3 in the ATP's doubles Race to London.

At the $15,000 Futures tournament in Mexico City, former TCU star Gerardo Lopez Villasenor of Mexico defeated former Texas A&M star Harrison Adams 6-4, 6-2 to claim his first pro singles title. Lopez is in his first year on the Pro Circuit, while Adams' last season as an Aggie was 2015-16.

The qualifying for the ITF Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglio in Milan is complete, with Siem Woldeab winning two matches today to advance to the main draw.  Woldeab joins eight US boys in the main draw: Tristan Boyer[6], Drew Baird[9], Andrew Fenty[15], Emilio Nava, Tyler Zink, Govind Nanda, Keenan Mayo and Cannon Kingsley.  Kingsley, who won the Grade 1 in Santa Croce yesterday, received entry via a special exemption.  The US girls in the main draw include just one seed, No. 3 Alexa Noel.  The other seven American girls in the draw are Caty McNally, Katie Volynets, Lea Ma, Gabby Price, Natasha Subhash, Peyton Stearns and Kacie Harvey.  Top seeds are Sebastian Baez of Argentina in the boys draw and Xinyu Wang of China in the girls draw.

Tommy Hemp has more coverage from today's two rounds of qualifying in Milan at Tennis Underworld.

The ITF Grade 4 in Plantation, scheduled to be completed on Saturday, was plagued by rain throughout the week and has been using short scoring from very early in the tournament. The singles were completed today after numerous walkovers, etc. with unseeded Briana Crowley winning the girls title, with a 4-1, 4-2 decision over No. 6 seed Ariana Arseneault of Canada and unseeded Hunter Heck winning the boys title with a 4-1, 4-0 decision over No. 2 seed Blu Baker of Great Britain.

It was an exciting day of men's quarterfinals at the NCAA Division I Men's Team Championships, with three of the four matches coming down to a final match with the teams tied at 3. All four matches were completed outside, without an interruption due to rain, the first time that has happened in this tournament.

No. 2 seed UCLA earned its fourth win of the season over crosstown rival USC, the No. 10 seed, with Martin Redlicki defeating Brandon Holt 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 at line 1 to clinch the victory for the Bruins. UCLA won the doubles point and four first sets in singles, but they needed that cushion, with the Trojans pressuring them on every court.

No. 3 seed Ohio State dropped the doubles point to No. 6 seed Mississippi State, but came back to win four of the six singles, with the match again coming down to line 1.  Mikael Torpegaard defeated Nuno Borges 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 to put the Buckeyes into the semifinals.

In the afternoon matches, host and top seed Wake Forest defeated No. 8 seed Illinois 4-0 to reach its first NCAA semifinal.  The Demon Deacons will face No. 5 seed Texas A&M, who also advanced to their first NCAA semifinal.  The Aggies led 3-1 for a long time, but the 13th-seeded Florida Gators were in good position, with first sets in the two remaining matches at lines 1 and 2 and having forced a third set in the third at line 4. Two of those matches went to Florida, with Oliver Crawford winning the battle of freshmen over Patrick Kypson 6-4, 7-6(2) at line 1 and freshman Andy Andrade coming back for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Valentin Vacherot at line 4. But at line 2, Aggie senior Arthur Rinderknech fought back against Johanes Ingildsen, winning deciding point after deciding point in the final set to claim a 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 win and the 4-3 decision for the Aggies.

The weather forecast for Monday has again caused a schedule change, with the women's semifinals moved up to 10 a.m. and the men's semifinals scheduled for 2 p.m.

Women's Division I semifinals:
Vanderbilt[1] vs Georgia Tech[4]
Duke[3] vs Stanford[15]

Men's Division I semifinals:
Wake Forest[1] vs Texas A&M[5]
Ohio State[3] vs UCLA[2]

Live scoring and live streaming is available at the Wake Forest tournament page.

Bobby Knight has a men's quarterfinal recap and will have previews, I'm sure, at College Tennis Today, and Slam Tennis has their odds updated.  Below are the complete results from the men's quarterfinals, with recaps from the school's athletic sites available by clicking on the scores.

Men’s Division I Quarterfinals, May 20, 2018

#2 [2] UCLA (30-2) def. #10 [10] SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (20-9), 4-3 
Wake Forest Tennis Complex
Head Coaches: Billy Martin (UCLA) and Peter Smith (USC)

1. #29 Martin Redlicki/Evan Zhu (UCLA) def. #10 Brandon Holt/Riley Smith (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) 6-3
2. #16 Conor Rapp/Keegan Smith (UCLA) def. #9 Jack Jaede/Laurens Verboven (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) 6-3
3. Maxime Cressy/Bryce Pereira (UCLA) vs. Daniel Cukierman/Tanner Smith (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) 4-4, unf.

1. #1 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) def. #11 Brandon Holt (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
2. #74 Daniel Cukierman (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. #81 Evan Zhu (UCLA) 6-3, 6-4
3. #56 Keegan Smith (UCLA) def. Jack Jaede (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) 7-5, 6-3
4. #103 Logan Staggs (UCLA) def. Laurens Verboven (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) 3-6, 6-1, 6-0
5. Maxime Cressy (UCLA) def. Thibault Forget (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) 6-3, 7-6(2)
6. Riley Smith (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. Connor Hance (UCLA) 6-2, 7-5

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (1,2) Singles: (3,2,6,4,5,1)
#3 [3] OHIO STATE (33-2) d. #7 [6] MISSISSIPPI STATE (23-2), 4-3 
Wake Forest Tennis Complex
Head Coaches: Ty Tucker (Ohio State) and Matt Roberts (Mississippi State)

1. #1 Nuno Borges/Strahinja Rakic (MISSISSIPPI STATE) def. Martin Joyce/JJ Wolf (OHIO STATE) 6-4
2. #38 Niclas Braun/Giovanni Oradini (MISSISSIPPI STATE) def. #61 Mikael Torpegaard/John McNally (OHIO STATE) 6-3
3. Matt Mendez/Hunter Tubert (OHIO STATE) def. Florian Broska/Trevor Foshey (MISSISSIPPI STATE) 6-4

1. #6 Mikael Torpegaard (OHIO STATE) def. #2 Nuno Borges (MISSISSIPPI STATE) 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
2. #23 Giovanni Ordini (MISSISSIPPI STATE) def. #41 JJ Wolf (OHIO STATE) 6-4, 6-3
3. #92 John McNally (OHIO STATE) def. #84 Strahinja Rakic (MISSISSIPPI STATE) 6-4, 6-3
4 #96 Kyle Seelig (OHIO STATE) def. Niclas Braun (MISSISSIPPI STATE) 6-1, 7-6
5. #112 Martin Joyce (OHIO STATE) def. Florian Broska (MISSISSIPPI STATE) 7-5, 6-1
6. Trevor Foshey (MISSISSIPPI STATE) def. Hunter Tubert (OHIO STATE) 6-2, 6-3

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (3,2,1) Singles: (6,5,3,2,4,1)

#1 [1] WAKE FOREST (29-2) def. #9 [8] ILLINOIS (24-8), 4-0 
Head Coaches: Tony Bresky (Wake Forest) and Brad Dancer (Illinois)
Wake Forest Tennis Complex

1. #21 Borna Gojo/Skander Mansouri (WAKE FOREST) def. Alex Brown/Caleb Chakravarthi (ILLINOIS) 6-3
2. #35 Petros Chrysochos/Bar Botzer (WAKE FOREST) vs. Aron Hiltzik/Aleks Kovacevic (ILLINOIS) 4-3, unf.
3. #46 Christian Seraphim/Ian Dempster (WAKE FOREST) def. Aleks Vukic/Vuk Budic (ILLINOIS) 6-3

1. #7 Borna Gojo (WAKE FOREST) vs. #13 Aleks Vukic (ILLINOIS) 2-6, 6-4, 3-1, unf.
2. #4 Petros Chrysochos (WAKE FOREST) vs. #87 Alex Brown (ILLINOIS) 2-6, 6-2, 5-4, unf.
3. #38 Skander Mansouri (WAKE FOREST) def. Aron Hiltzik (ILLINOIS) 6-4, 6-3
4. Bar Botzer (WAKE FOREST) def. Aleks Kovacevic (ILLINOIS) 6-4, 7-5
5. Alan Gadjiev (WAKE FOREST) vs. Zeke Clark (ILLINOIS) 6-7(4), 4-3, unf.
6. Christian Seraphim (WAKE FOREST) def. Caleb Chakravarthi (ILLINOIS) 6-4, 7-5

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (3,1) Singles: (3,4,6)

#5 [5] TEXAS A&M (26-5) def. #13 [13] FLORIDA (19-10), 4-3 

Head Coaches: Steve Denton (Texas A&M) and Bryan Shelton (Florida)
Wake Forest Tennis Complex

1. #3 Juan Carlos Aguilar/Jordi Arconada (TEXAS A&M) def. #5 Alfredo Perez/Johanes Ingildsen (FLORIDA) 7-5
2. #42 Chase Perez-Blanco/Oliver Crawford (FLORIDA) def. AJ Catanzariti/Arthur Rinderknech (TEXAS A&M) 6-3
3. Patrick Kypson/Valentin Vacherot (TEXAS A&M) def. #36 Duarte Vale/McClain Kessler

1. #49 Oliver Crawford (FLORIDA) def. #5 Patrick Kypson (TEXAS A&M) 6-4, 7-6(2)
2. #12 Arthur Rinderknech (TEXAS A&M) def. #28 Johanes Ingildsen (FLORIDA) 5-7, 7-5, 6-2
3. #48 Jordi Arconada (TEXAS A&M) def. #14 Alfredo Perez (FLORIDA) 6-3, 6-4
4. Andy Andrade (FLORIDA) def. #72 Valentin Vacherot (TEXAS A&M) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
5. Juan Carlos Aguilar (TEXAS A&M) def. Chase Perez-Blanco (FLORIDA) 6-2, 6-3
6. McClain Kessler (FLORIDA) def. AJ Catanzariti (TEXAS A&M) 7-5, 6-2

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (3,2,1) Singles: (5,3,6,1,4,2)

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Kingsley Wins ITF Grade 1 Santa Croce; Woldeab, Dawson Advance in Milan Grade A Qualifying; Opelka Reaches Challenger Final; Futures Titles for Two Former Cavaliers; Little Drama in Women's D-I Team Quarterfinals

Cannon Kingsley, photo copyright 2018 FOTOPARRI via tournament Facebook
Cannon Kingsley won his first ITF Grade 1 title today on the red clay in Santa Croce Italy. The unseeded 17-year-old defeated No. 4 seed Yanki Erel of Turkey 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 to become the first American to win the 40th edition of this event, according to this article.  No. 2 seed Qinwen Zheng of China won the girls title, becoming the first from her country to do so, beating No. 16 seed Stefania Dzik Rogozinska of Poland 5-7, 6-1, 6-2.

Kingsley was scheduled to compete in the qualifying of the Grade A  in Milan, which began today, but he should receive a special exemption into the main draw.

Only two Americans are in the qualifying in Milan, with Siem Woldeab and Najah Dawson both picking up wins today. Woldeab defeated Alessandro Conca of Italy 6-1, 6-4, while Dawson beat Valentina Urelli Rinaldi of Italy 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.  Tommy Hemp was on site watching the girls qualifying today, and he has observations on Varvara Gracheva of Russia, Dawson, Noa Krznaric of Croatia and Helene Pellicano of Malta in this post at Tennis Underworld.

In pro tennis action, Reilly Opelka has reached the final of the 106,000+H ATP Challenger in France. The unseeded 20-year-old had been 0-4 in Challenger semifinals this year until today's 6-3, 7-6(7) win over Ernests Gulbis of Latvia.  Opelka, who beat Stefan Kozlov in the quarterfinals, will face unseeded Gregoire Barrere of France in Sunday's final.  Bradley Klahn, playing with Canadian Peter Polansky, is in the doubles final.

A year ago, Alexander Ritschard and Thai Kwiatkowski were playing 1 and 2 singles for the University of Virginia on the way to their third consecutive NCAA team title.  Today they won Futures titles, with Kwiatkowski collecting his at the $15,000 event in Singapore and Ritschard at the $15,000 event in Sweden.  The second-seeded Kwiatkowski, who had played only one other tournament since January, beat No. 4 seed Soichiro Moritani of Japan 6-2, 6-2 in the final, for his third career Futures title.  Former Harvard standout Nicky Hu won the doubles title with Clement Larriere of France.

Ritschard is on a roll, with his title today his second straight in Futures competition.  After collecting his first career Pro Circuit title last week, also in Sweden, the unseeded 24-year-old won again this week without the loss of a set. Ritschard, who had played under the Swiss flag but is now shown as representing the USA on the ITF Circuit, beat three seeds en route to the final, where he defeated unseeded Federik Press of Germany 6-4, 6-3 for his 10th straight win.

At the $15,000 Futures in Mexico City, Harrison Adams has advanced to his first Futures final. The former Texas A&M star defeated another former Aggie, Junior Ore, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals today.  The unseeded 23-year-old will play unseeded Gerardo Lopez Villasenor of Mexico in the final. Ore did pick up a doubles win over Adams, in the final, when and Jorge Panta of Peru, the No. 4 seeds, beat No. 3 seeds Adams and Miles Seemann 6-3, 6-7(1), 10-6 for the title.

In Spain, 2015 NCAA singles champion Jamie Loeb won the doubles title at the $25,000+H tournament, giving her seven doubles titles on the Pro Circuit. Loeb and Ana Sofia Sanchez of Mexico beat another unseeded team, Yvonne Cavalle-Reimers of Spain and Chiara Scholl, 6-3, 6-2 in the final.

The rain finally relented long enough to allow women's NCAA Division I quarterfinals to be played outdoors Saturday.  Duke and Texas Tech, the first match of the day, was played indoors at Wake Forest, but the other three quarterfinals were all started outdoors.  No. 3 seed Duke dropped the doubles point, but dominated in singles, posting a 4-1 win.  The Blue Devils will face No. 15 seed Stanford on Monday, after the Cardinal rolled over No. 7 seed Georgia 4-0.  Top seed Vanderbilt needed less than two hours to breeze past unseeded Florida State 4-0 and they will play the winner of tonight's match between No. 12 seed UCLA and No. 4 seed Georgia Tech. That match, although started outside, is currently in a rain delay about halfway through the singles matches, with UCLA leading 1-0.  [UPDATE: the match between UCLA and Georgia Tech did produce the previously missing drama in the quarterfinals, coming down to the last match on at line 4, between Abi Altick of UCLA and Ida Jarlskog of Georgia Tech.  The Bruins led 1-0 when a nearly two-hour rain delay eventually moved play indoors, and shortly thereafter, they took a 3-1 lead, with wins by Jada Hart at line 2 and Alaina Smith at line 6, while Georgia Tech earned its first point with a win by Johnnise Renaud at line 3.  The Yellow Jackets fought back to tie it at 3-3, with Paige Hourigan coming back to beat Ena Shibahara at line 1 and Nami Otsuka closing out Ayan Broomfield in two long sets. Jarlskog got an early break in the third set and held on for a 7-6(6), 0-6, 6-3 win, although she had to come from 0-40 down serving for the match at 5-3, after Altick had saved three match points in the previous game. The match ended at 12:09 a.m. Sunday morning].

The men's quarterfinal match times have been adjusted due to a forecast of rain later in the day Sunday. Originally scheduled for noon, the first two matches will be played at 10 a.m., with the last two matches, originally scheduled for 4 p.m., now at 2 p.m.

UCLA[2] vs Southern California[10] 10 a.m.
Ohio State[3] vs Mississippi State[6] 10 a.m.
Wake Forest[1] vs Illinois[8] 2 p.m.
Texas A&M[5] vs Florida[13] 2 p.m.

Live streaming and live scoring is available at the Wake Forest tournament page.  Bobby Knight has the men's quarterfinal previews and predictions at College Tennis Today.

Below are the results from the first three of today's women's quarterfinals. I will update with the UCLA-Georgia Tech score when it becomes available. Click on the score to read the winning school's recount of the match.

#3 [3] DUKE (27-3) def. #15 [11] TEXAS TECH (23-7), 4-1
Wake Forest Indoor Tennis Center
Head Coaches: Jamie Ashworth (DUKE) and Todd Petty (Texas Tech)

1. #28 Sarah Dvorak/Sabrina Federici (TEXAS TECH) def. #9 Kaitlyn McCarthy/Ellyse Hamlin (DUKE) 6-3
2. Felicity Maltby/Gabriela Talaba (TEXAS TECH) def. #6 Kelly Chen/Samantha Harris (DUKE) 7-5
3. Meible Chi/Hannah Zhao (DUKE) def. Alex Valenstein/Lana Rush (TEXAS TECH) 6-4

1. #6 Samantha Harris (DUKE) vs. #21 Gabriela Talaba (TEXAS TECH) 6-4, 3-6, 3-0, unf.
2. #55 Meible Chi (DUKE) def. #58 Felicity Maltby (TEXAS TECH) 2-6, 6-2, 6-4
3. #116 Kaitlyn McCarthy (DUKE) def. Alex Valenstein (TEXAS TECH) 6-2, 6-2
4. #28 Kelly Chen (DUKE) def. #106 Sabrina Federici (TEXAS TECH) 6-3, 6-0
5. #84 Ellyse Hamlin (DUKE) vs. Sarah Dvorak (TEXAS TECH) 6-5, 3-6, 1-1, unf.
6. Hannah Zhao (DUKE) def. #120 Katelyn Jackson (TEXAS TECH) 6-2, 6-4

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (1,3,2) Singles (6,3,4,2)

#15 [15] STANFORD (22-3) def. #7 [7] GEORGIA (18-7), 4-0
Wake Forest Tennis Complex
Head Coaches: Jeff Wallace (GEORGIA) and Lele Forood (STANFORD)

1. #10 Eleni Christofi/Morgan Coppoc (GEORGIA) vs. #3 Emily Arbuthnott/Michaela Gordon (STANFORD) 5-3, unf.
2. #84 Caroline Lampl/Kimberly Yee (STANFORD) def. #26 Mariana Gould/Katarina Jokic (GEORGIA) 6-3
3. Melissa Lord/Janice Shin (STANFORD) def. Kennedy Shaffer/Annette Goulak (GEORGIA) 6-4

1. #12 Katarina Jokic (GEORGIA) vs. #15 Michaela Gordon (STANFORD) 4-6, 4-3, unf.
2. #40 Melissa Lord (STANFORD) def. #75 Kennedy Shaffer (GEORGIA) 6-1, 6-2
3. #93 Caroline Lampl (STANFORD) def. #90 Marta Gonzalez (GEORGIA) 6-4, 6-2
4. #43 Emily Arbuthnott (STANFORD) d. Mariana Gould (GEORGIA) 6-4, 6-2
5. Eleni Christofi (GEORGIA) vs. #96 Janie Shin (STANFORD) 6-2, 1-6, unf.
6. #103 Morgan Coppoc (GEORGIA) vs. #102 Emma Higuchi (STANFORD) 7-6(5), 3-1, unf.

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (2,3) Singles (2,3,4)
#2 [1] VANDERBILT (26-3) vs. #21 FLORIDA STATE (20-13), 4-0
Wake Forest Tennis Complex
Head Coaches: Geoff Macdonald (VANDERBILT) and Jennifer Hyde (FLORIDA STATE)

1. #11 Astra Sharma/Fernanda Contreras (VANDERBILT) def. #56 Carla Touly/Ariana Rahmanparast (FLORIDA STATE) 6-2
2. #69 Emma Kurtz/Emily Smith (VANDERBILT) def. Julia Mikulski/Andrea Garcia (FLORIDA STATE) 6-1
3. Christina Rosca/Amanda Meyer (VANDERBILT) vs. Gabriella Castaneda/Petra Hule (FLORIDA STATE) 4-2, unf.

1. #11 Astra Sharma (VANDERBILT) def. #19 Carla Touly (FLORIDA STATE) 6-3, 6-1
2. #10 Fernanda Contreras (VANDERBILT) def. #122 Petra Hule (FLORIDA STATE) 6-1, 6-1
3. #44 Christina Rosca (VANDERBILT) vs. Nandini Das (FLORIDA STATE) 6-1, 5-2
4. Amanda Meyer (VANDERBILT) vs. Gabriella Castaneda (FLORIDA STATE) 7-6(5), 2-3
5. Emma Kurtz (VANDERBILT) vs. Ariana Rahmanparast(FLORIDA STATE) 6-0, 5-5, unf.
6. Summer Dvorak (VANDERBILT) vs. Andrea Garcia (FLORIDA STATE) 6-4, 6-0

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (1,3,2) Singles (2,1,6)
#4 [4] GEORGIA TECH (25-5) def. #14 [12] UCLA (23-6), 4-3

Wake Forest Tennis Complex and Indoor Tennis Center
Head Coaches: Rodney Harmon (GEORGIA TECH) and Stella Sampras Webster (UCLA)

1. #1 Paige Hourigan/Kenya Jones (GEORGIA TECH) def. #7 Terri Flemming/Jada Hart (UCLA) 6-4
2. #64 Gabby Andrews/Ayan Broomfield (UCLA) def. #48 Ida Jarlskog/Victoria Flores (GEORGIA TECH) 6-2
3. Alaina Miller/Ena Shibahara (UCLA)  def. Nadia Gizdova/Nami Otsuka (GEORGIA TECH) 6-4

1. #14 Paige Hourigan (GEORGIA TECH) def. #9 Ena Shibahara (UCLA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
2. #33 Jada Hart (UCLA) def. #60 Kenya Jones (GEORGIA TECH) 6-1, 6-3
3. Johnnise Renaud (GEORGIA TECH) def. Terri Flemming (UCLA) 6-1, 6-3
4. #125 Ida Jarlskog (GEORGIA TECH) def. #67 Abi Altick (UCLA) 7-6(6), 0-6, 6-3
5. Nami Otsuka (GEORGIA TECH) def. Ayan Broomfield (UCLA) 7-5, 7-6(2)
6. #121 Alaina Miller (UCLA) def. Victoria Flores (GEORGIA TECH) 6-3, 6-4

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (3,1,2) Singles (3,2,6,1,5,4)

Friday, May 18, 2018

My Conversation with UTR's New Chief Tennis Officer Stephen Amritraj; Kingsley Reaches ITF Grade 1 Final in Santa Croce; Qualifying Begins for Grade A in Milan; Top Men's Seeds Advance at NCAA D-I Team Championships

Just a few months ago, I spoke with USTA Director of Collegiate Tennis Stephen Amritraj about what was happening in college tennis from the USTA's perspective.  Earlier this month Amritraj left the USTA for UTR powered by Oracle, where he has taken the position of Chief Tennis Officer and I spoke to him last week about that move and what he hopes to accomplish in his new role with the company.  Raising the visibility and accelerating the adoption of their rating system is a top priority, with providing more tournaments another important goal.  Amritraj and I discussed his role in those objectives, his accomplishments at the USTA and how the ITF's new Transition Tour will affect aspiring pros in this interview for the Tennis Recruiting Network.

At the ITF Grade 1 in Santa Croce Italy, unseeded 17-year-old Cannon Kingsley has reached his first Grade 1 final, defeating No. 13 seed Harold Mayot of France 6-1, 6-1 in today's semifinals.  Kingsley, who has committed to Ohio State for 2019, will play No. 4 seed Yanki Erel of Turkey in Saturday's final. Kingsley has beaten three seeds and has not dropped a set in his five victories this week.  In the boys doubles final today, unseeded Tyler Zink and Govind Nanda fell to No. 8 seeds Jesper de Jong of the Netherlands and Davide Tortora of Italy 6-2, 6-1.

At the ITF Grade 2 in Austria, No. 2 seeds Will Grant and Tomas Kopczynski won an all-American doubles final, beating Zane Khan and William Woodall 6-3, 6-2.

The qualifying draws are out for the ITF Grade A in Milan, with just two Americans attempting to make the main draw: Siem Woldeab and Najah Dawson.  Italian Tommy Hemp, who contacted me last month about providing some coverage of the event, will be attending the qualifying and writing about it at the Tennis Underworld website.

At the $60,000 ITF Women's Circuit event in France, Francesca Di Lorenzo won the doubles title with Naiktha Bains of Australia.  The No. 3 seeds beat the unseeded French team of Manon Arcangioli and Sherazad Reix 6-4, 1-6, 11-9 in the final. It is the 2017 NCAA doubles champion's second career pro doubles title.

The Division I men's round of 16 will be played entirely indoors, once this evening's two matches are completed.  Last night, even with the three women's matches going at once at two different sites, it was 11 p.m. before play was completed.  Tonight, the Florida[13] and Ole Miss match will begin at 8 p.m. in Chapel Hill, so I will be posting the results I have now, and updating later tonight or tomorrow morning.

The forecast for Saturday is such that the women's quarterfinal times have changed from two matches at noon and two matches at 4 p.m. to matches at 10, 1, 4 and 7, so they can all be played indoors at Wake Forest if necessary.

The women's quarterfinal schedule for Saturday:

10 a.m. - Duke [3]vs. Texas Tech[11]

1 p.m. - Stanford[15] vs. Georgia[7]

4 p.m. - Vanderbilt[1] vs. Florida State

7 p.m. - UCLA[12] vs. Georgia Tech[4]

None of first five matches completed went down to the last match, but there were no blowouts either.  No. 3 Ohio State beat Minnesota 4-1 and will face No. 6 Mississippi State in the quarterfinals. Mississippi State beat No. 11 seed Texas 4-1, but leading 2-1, the Bulldogs were down a break in the third sets of the four remaining singles matches, only to recover for the win.  The only lower seed to win the first five matches played today was USC, with the Trojans beating 2017 finalists North Carolina 4-2. USC will face, for the fourth time this year, No. 2 seed UCLA, after the Bruins fought off a tough Michigan team 4-2.  UCLA has won their previous three meetings this year with USC.

Probably the easiest win of the first five matches was top seed Wake Forest's 4-1 victory over No. 16 seed Columbia.  Wake Forest will play the winner of the match between No. 8 seed Illinois and No. 9 seed TCU.  

In the late matches, Texas A&M[5] plays Alabama and Ole Miss meets No. 13 seed Florida. Live streams and live scores are available at the Wake Forest tournament page.

For recaps from the schools' athletic websites, click on the links in the scores below.

NCAA Division I Men’s Round of 16, May 18, 2018

Wake Forest Indoor Tennis Center 
Head Coaches: Sam Paul (UNC) and Peter Smith (USC)

1. #2 William Blumberg/Robert Kelly (NORTH CAROLINA) vs. #10 Brandon Holt/Riley Smith (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) 6-6 (3-1), unf. 
2. #9 Jack Jaede/Laurens Verboven (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. Bo Boyden/Benjamin Sigouin (NORTH CAROLINA) 6-4
3. Daniel Cukierman/Tanner Smith (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. Mac Kiger/Simon Soendergaard (NORTH CAROLINA) 7-6(3) 

1. #3 William Blumberg (NORTH CAROLINA) def. #11 Brandon Holt (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) 6-3, 6-0
2. #74 Daniel Cukierman (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. #32 Benjamin Sigouin (NORTH CAROLINA) 7-5, 7-6(2)
3. Simon Soendergaard (NORTH CAROLINA) vs. Jack Jaede (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) 7-6(5), 2-6, 0-2, unf.
4. Laurens Verboven (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. #90 Robert Kelly (NORTH CAROLINA) 7-5, 6-4
5. Thibault Forget (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. Bo Boyden (NORTH CAROLINA) 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
6. Mac Kiger (NORTH CAROLINA) def. #123 Riley Smith (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) 6-4, 6-4

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (2,3) Singles: (1,6,4,2,5)


UNC Cone Kenfield Tennis Center
Head Coaches: Billy Martin (UCLA) and Adam Steinberg (Michigan)

1. #29 Martin Redlicki/Evan Zhu (UCLA) def. Myles Schalet/Connor Johnston (MICHIGAN) 6-4
2. #16 Austin Rapp/Keegan Smith (UCLA) vs. #73 Runhao Hua/Mattias Siimar (MICHIGAN) 5-5, unf. 
3. Maxime Cressy/Bryce Pereira (UCLA) vs. Alex Knight/Harrison Brown (MICHIGAN) 6-4

1. #1 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) d. #17 Alex Knight (MICHIGAN) 6-4, 6-2
2. #47 Runhao Hua (MICHIGAN) def. #81 Evan Zhu (UCLA) 6-1, 2-6, 6-1
3. #56 Keegan Smith (UCLA) def. Myles Schalet (MICHIGAN) 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
4. Mattias Siimar (MICHIGAN) def. #103 Logan Staggs (UCLA) 6-2, 6-4
5. Maxime Cressy (UCLA) def. Carter Lin (MICHIGAN) 6-3, 6-4
6. Connor Hance (UCLA) vs. Davis Crocker (MICHIGAN) 6-1, 4-6, 2-3

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (1,3) Singles: (1,5,4,2,3)

Wake Forest Indoor Tennis Center 
Head Coaches: Ty Tucker (Ohio State) and Geoff Young (Minnesota)

1. Martin Joyce/JJ Wolf (OHIO STATE) def. Felix Corwin/Josip Krstanovic (MINNESOTA) 6-4
2. #61 Matic Spec/Jystyn Levin (MINNESOTA) def. Mikael Torpegaard/John McNally (OHIO STATE) 6-4 
3. Matt Mendez/Hunter Tubert (OHIO STATE) def. Stefan Milicevic/Marino Alpeza (MINNESOTA) 6-1 

1. #6 Mikael Torpegaard (OHIO STATE) def. #53 Felix Corwin (MINNESOTA) 7-6(5), 6-0
2. #41 JJ Wolf (OHIO STATE) vs. #85 Matic Spec (MINNESOTA) 4-6, 5-4, unf.
3. #92 John McNally (OHIO STATE) vs. #79 Stefan Milicevic (MINNESOTA) 6-2, 6-5, unf.
4. #96 Kyle Seelig (OHIO STATE) def. Josip Krstanovic (MINNESOTA) 6-3, 7-5
5. Jackson Allen (MINNESOTA) def. #112 Martin Joyce (OHIO STATE) 6-3, 6-4
6. Hunter Tubert (OHIO STATE) vs. Eli Ogilvy (MINNESOTA) 6-3, 6-4

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (3,2,1) Singles: (6,4,5,1)


UNC Cone Kenfield Tennis Center
Head Coaches: Matt Roberts (Mississippi State) and Michael Center (Texas)

1. #1 Nuno Borges/Strahinja Rakic (MISSISSIPPI STATE) def. #39 Harrison Scott/Christian Sigsgaard (TEXAS) 6-4 
2. Leonardo Telles/Adrian Ortiz (TEXAS) def. #38 Niclas Braun/Giovanni Oradini (MISSISSIPPI STATE) 6-3
3. Florian Broska/Trevor Foshey (MISSISSIPPI STATE) vs. Yuya Ito/Colin Markes (TEXAS) 6-4

1. #2 Nuno Borges (MISSISSIPPI STATE) vs. #110 Christian Sigsgaard (TEXAS) 7-6(3), 4-6, 5-4, unf.
2. #23 Giovani Oradini (MISSISSIPPI STATE) def. #52 Yuya Ito (TEXAS) 6-2, 6-3
3. #84 Strahinja Rakic (MISSISSIPPI STATE) vs. #89 Harrison Scott (TEXAS) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 
4. Niclas Braun (MISSISSIPPI STATE) vs. #93 Leonardo Telles (TEXAS) 6-1, 4-6, 4-4, unf.
5. #104 Rodrigo Banzer (TEXAS) def. Florida Broska (MISSISSIPPI STATE) 6-4, 6-1 
6. Trevor Foshey (MISSISSIPPI STATE) vs. Adrian Ortiz (TEXAS) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (3,2,1) Singles: (2,5,3,6)


Wake Forest Indoor Tennis Center 
Head Coaches: Tony Bresky (Wake Forest) and Bid Goswami (Columbia)

1. #21 Borna Gojo/Skander Mansouri (WAKE FOREST) vs. #41 Victor Pham/Jackie Tang (COLUMBIA) 5-4, unf. 
2. #35 Petros Chrysochos/Bar Botzer (WAKE FOREST) def. #43 Jack Lin/William Matheson (COLUMBIA) 6-2,
3. #46 Christian Seraphim vs. Ian Dempster (WAKE FOREST) def. Adam Ambrozy/Michal Rolski (COLUMBIA), 6-3 

1. #7 Borna Gojo (WAKE FOREST) def. #27 Victor Pham (COLUMBIA) 7-5, 6-3
2. #4 Petros Chrysochos (WAKE FOREST) def. #64 Jackie Tang (COLUMBIA) 6-3, 6-0
3. #38 Skander Mansouri (WAKE FOREST) vs. Jack Lin (COLUMBIA) 6-3, 5-5, unf.
4. Bar Botzer (WAKE FOREST) d. Adam Ambrozy (COLUMBIA) 6-1, 6-4
5. Austen Huang (COLUMBIA) def. Christian Seraphim (WAKE FOREST) 6-1, 6-4
6. Julian Zlobinsky (WAKE FOREST) vs. William Matheson (COLUMBIA) 4-6, 6-4, unf.

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (3,2) Singles: (2,5,4,1)
#9 [8] ILLINOIS (24-7) def. #8 [9] TCU (20-5), 4-0 

UNC Cone Kenfield Tennis Center
Head Coaches: Brad Dancer (Illinois) and David Roditi (TCU)

1. Alex Brown/Caleb Chakravarthi (ILLINOIS) def. #6 Alex Rybakov/Guillermo Nunez (TCU) 7-6(7)
2. Trevor Johnson/Reese Stalder (TCU) def. Aron Hiltzik/Aleks Kovacevic (ILLINOIS) 6-3
3. Aleks Vukic/Vuk Budic (ILLINOIS) def. Max Kurzban/Eduardo Roldan (TCU) 6-4

1. #21 Alex Rybakov (TCU) vs. #13 Aleks Vukic (ILLINOIS) 3-6, 6-2, 3-3, unf.
2. #65 Trevor Johnson (TCU) vs. #87 Alex Brown (ILLINOIS) 4-6, 7-6(2), 1-1, unf.
3. Aron Hiltzik (ILLINOIS) def. #114 Guillermo Nunez (TCU) 6-2, 7-5
4. Aleks Kovacevic (ILLINOIS) def. Reese Stalder (TCU) 6-3, 2-6, 6-2
5. Eduardo Roldan (TCU) vs. Zeke Clark (ILLINOIS) 3-6, 5-5, unf.
6. Caleb Chakravarthi (ILLINOIS) def. Mex Kurzban (TCU) 6-0, 6-4

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (3,2,1) Singles: (6,3,4)
#5 [5] TEXAS A&M (25-5) def. #42 ALABAMA (20-13) 4-0
Wake Forest Indoor Tennis Center
Head Coaches: Steve Denton (Georgia Tech) and George Husack (Alabama)

1. #3 Juan Carlos Aguilar/Jordi Arconada (TEXAS A&M) vs. #26 Edson Ortiz/Mazen Osama (ALABAMA) 6-3.
2. AJ Catanzariti/Arthur Rinderknech (TEXAS A&M) vs. Thibault Cancel/Alexey Nesterov (ALABAMA) 6-3
3. Patrick Kypson/Valentin Vacherot (TEXAS A&M) vs. Patrick Kaukovalta/Zhe Zhou (ALABAMA) 3-5, unf.

1. #5 Patrick Kypson (TEXAS A&M) vs. #10 Mazen Osama (ALABAMA) 6-3, 3-6, unf.
2. #12 Arthur Rinderknech (TEXAS A&M) def. Patrick Kaukovalta (ALABAMA) 6-4, 6-1
3. #48 Jordi Arconada (TEXAS A&M) def. Thibault Cancel (ALABAMA) 6-3, 6-3
4. #72 Valentin Vacherot (TEXAS A&M) def. Edson Ortiz (ALABAMA) 6-4, 6-4
5. Juan Carlos Aguilar (TEXAS A&M) vs. Alexey Nesterov (ALABAMA) 7-5, 2-3, unf.
6. Barnaby Smith (TEXAS A&M) vs. Zhe Zhou (ALABAMA) 4-6, 3-3, unf.

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (2,1) Singles: (3,2,4)
#13 [13] FLORIDA (19-9) def. #38 OLE MISS (16-13), 4-3

UNC Cone Kenfield Tennis Center
Head Coaches: Bryan Shelton (Florida) and Mark Beyers (Ole Miss)

1. #5 Oliver Perez/Johanes Ingildsen (FLORIDA) def. #22 Tim Sandkaulen/Grey Hamilton (OLE MISS) 6-2
2. #62 Filip Kraljevic/Zvonimir Babic (OLE MISS) def. #42 Chase Perez-Blanco/Oliver Crawford (FLORIDA) 6-4
3. Fabian Fallert/Finn Reynolds (OLE MISS) def. #36 Duarte Vale/McClain Kessler (FLORIDA) 7-5

1. #49 Oliver Crawford (FLORIDA) def. #45 Gustav Hansson (OLE MISS) 6-1, 6-1
2. #33 Tim Sandkaulen (OLE MISS) def. #28 Johanes Ingildsen (FLORIDA) 2-6, 6-3, 5-3, default
3. #14 Alfredo Perez (FLORIDA) def. #107 Filip Kraljevic (OLE MISS) 6-4, 6-2
4. Grey Hamilton (OLE MISS) def. Andy Andrade (FLORIDA) 6-1, 6-4
5. Chease Perez-Blanco (FLORIDA) def. Fabian Fallert (OLE MISS) 6-3, 6-4
6. McClain Kessler (FLORIDA) vs. Zvonimir Babic (OLE MISS) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
Order of Finish:
Doubles: (1,2,3) Singles: (1,4,5,3,2,6)