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Friday, September 22, 2017

Top Seeds Shibahara and Chrysochos Reach Semifinals at ITA Oracle Masters


Defending champion Ena Shibahara of UCLA reached the semifinals of the ITA Oracle Masters with two victories today in Malibu.  The top seed defeated No. 8 seed Sara Daavettila of North Carolina 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in the quarterfinals and also advanced to the mixed doubles semifinals with Brandon Holt of USC.

Shibahara will face unseeded Lily Miyazaki of Oklahoma in Saturday's semifinals.  The other semifinal features No. 6 seed Alexandra Sanford, the North Carolina freshman, against unseeded Mayar Ahmed of Pepperdine.

Three of the top four seeds have advanced to the men's semifinals, with No. 4 seed Michael Geerts of Arizona State the only one failing to advance out of the quarterfinals.  Top seed Petros Chrysochos of Wake Forest will face unseeded Victor Pham of Columbia in the top half of the draw, with No. 2 seed Brandon Holt of USC meeting No. 3 seed Johannes Schretter of Baylor.  Pham beat two seeded players today, No. 5 Felipe Sarrasgue of Elon and Geerts.

Complete results from Friday singles results:

Women’s second round:
Ena Shibahara(UCLA)[1] def. Laura Gulbe(PEP) 6-4, 6-2
Sara Daavetilla(UNC)[8] def. Andrea Lazaro(FIU) 0-6, 6-3, 6-3
Jessica Livanu(SJU) def. Kaitlyn McCarthy(DUKE)[4] 6-1, 7-5
Lily Miyazaki(OU) def. Jessica Failla(PEPP)[5] 3-6, 6-4, 3-0 ret.
Samantha Harris(DUKE)[3] def. Anna Sanford(OSU) 6-4, 7-5
Alexandra Sanford(UNC)[6] def. Eva Voracek(LMU) 6-4, 6-4
Mayar Ahmed(PEPP) def. Veronica Miroshnichenko(LMU)[7] 6-2, 6-1
Celia Ruiz(ECU) def. Lauren Proctor(WIN)[2] 6-4, 7-6(3)

Men’s second round:
Petros Chrysochos(WF)[1] def. Adam Moundir(ODU) 6-7(6) 6-2, 6-3
Billy Griffith(CAL)[8] def. Vinny Gillespie(DRK) 7-6(3), 6-4
Michael Geerts(ASU)[4] def. William Bushamuka 6-4, 6-2
Victor Pham(COL) def. Felipe Sarrasgue(ELON)[5] 6-4, 6-0
Johannes Schretter(BAY)[3] def. Benjamin Hannestad(ASU) 6-3, 6-0
Harrison Scott(TEX)[6] def. Jack Malloy(CAL) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
Michail Pervolarkais(PORT) def. Thibault Cancel(BAMA)[7] 6-4, 6-4
Brandon Holt(USC)[2] def. Dennis Uspensky(PEPP) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3

Women’s quarterfinals:
Ena Shibahara(UCLA)[1] def. Sara Daavettila[8] 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
Lily Miyazaki(OU) def. Jessica Livianu(SJU) 6-4, 6-1
Alexandra Sanford(UNC)[6] def. Samantha Harris(DUKE)[3] 6-3, 6-3
Mayar Ahmed(PEPP) def. Celia Ruiz(ECU) 6-2, 6-3

Men’s quarterfinals:
Petros Chrysochos(WF)[1] def. Billy Griffith(CAL)[8] 6-4, 6-2
Victor Pham(COL) def. Michael Geerts(ASU)[4] 7-6(8), 6-4
Johannes Schretter(BAY)[3] def. Harrison Scott(TEX)[6], 6-1, 6-2
Brandon Holt(USC)[2] def. Michail Pervolarkais(PORT) 6-4, 6-0

Draws, Saturday's schedule and links to live scoring and live streaming are available at the ITA tournament page.  The mixed doubles semifinals have yet to be played tonight.

US Teams Reach Semifinals of Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup; Hilderbrand, Subhash Win ITF Grade 2 Titles in Canada; Duval Reaches Lubbock $25K Final, Seven Americans Advance to Semis in Laguna Niguel and Albuquerque

A long day ended in Budapest with both teams from the United States moving into Saturday's semifinals at the ITF's Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup competitions.

Osuigwe and McNally at Wimbledon 2017
The top-seeded US girls defeated Italy 2-1, with the point lost by US Open girls champion Amanda Anisimova at No. 1 singles. Elisabetta Cocciaretto defeated Anisimova 6-2, 6-3, but Caty McNally and Whitney Osuigwe won the tiebreaking doubles match from Cocciaretto and Federica Rossi 6-0, 7-6(4) to give the US the win and the top spot in round robin Group A.  The US will face unseeded Canada in the semifinals, who beat Hungary 2-1 to finish tied with Russia, the No. 3 seed, at the top spot in Group B. But because it was a two-way tie at the top, head-to-head is the first tiebreaker and Canada had beaten Russia 2-1 in the previous round, so they advance, despite having won only 11 sets, while losing 13.  Russia had won 16 and lost 7. Maybe it's worth mentioning only because of hindsight, but when I saw that Canada wasn't seeded, I was surprised; they have a good team, and the US will need to play well to beat them Saturday.  The other semifinal features No. 2 Japan and No. 4 Ukraine, both of whom were 3-0 in their groups.

Like the Canadian girls, the third-seeded US boys had to advance via the tiebreak protocol, with Hungary, Australia[8] and the US all 2-1. With three teams, the first tiebreaker is matches won, which for the US was 7, after their 3-0 shutout of Australia today. Hungary won 6 and Australia won 5, so the US advances.  They will play No. 2 seed Argentina, while the other semifinal features No. 1 seed Czech Republic and No. 4 seed Croatia. Croatia also advanced via a tiebreaker with 7 matches won, while Taiwan and Brazil[6] had 6 and 5.

All scores can be found at the tournament website.

The ITF Grade 2 in Canada finished today, with top-seeded Americans Trey Hilderbrand and Natasha Subhash taking the titles.  Hilderbrand defeated unseeded Vikash Singh of India 6-2, 6-4, while Subhash beat No. 4 seed Elli Mandlik 7-5, 6-1 in an all-US final.  Subhash also won the doubles title, with Lea Ma.  The top seeds defeated unseeded Ariana Arseneault of Canada and McCartney Kessler 6-4, 6-1 in the final. The US got a sweep of all the titles this week, with unseeded Tomas Kopczynski and Mark Mandlik (Elli's twin brother) beating unseeded Stefan Leustian and Emilio Nava 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 11-9 in another all-US final.

Vicky Duval, who is back competing regularly after her Hodgkin's Lymphoma and other injury and health issues, is in her first Pro Circuit final since 2014 at the $25,000 tournament in Lubbock Texas.  The third-seeded Duval defeated top seed Harriet Dart of Great Britain 7-6(5), 6-2 and will face her doubles partner and fellow Hodgkin's Lymphoma survivor Alisa Kleybanova of Russia in the final. The unseeded Kleybanova defeated USC senior Gabby Smith, a qualifier, 6-4, 6-3.  Duval and Kleybanova won the doubles title this afternoon, beating No. 2 seeds Karman Thandi of India and Ana Veselinovic of Montenegro 2-6, 6-4 10-8.

The $80,000 women's event in Albuquerque New Mexico has its semifinal on Saturday, with no seeds remaining after former University of Michigan star Emina Bektas defeated No. 8 seed Sesil Karatantcheva of Bulgaria 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-4.  Bektas will face Sherazad Reix of France in the bottom half semifinal. The top half semifinal is all-US, with Maria Sanchez playing Sophie Chang.  Sanchez beat wild card Sanaz Marand 6-1, 7-6(3) and Chang defeated Jovana Jaksic of Serbia 6-3, 6-3.

The $75,000 ATP Columbus Challenger has just one American in the semifinals, with Dennis Novikov[7] beating top seed Quentin Halys of France 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 to advance. He will face unseeded Alexander Ward of Great Britain, who beat Denis Kudla[4] 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.  The other semifinal features Frank Dancevic of Canada and alternate Ante Pavic of Croatia.

At the $15,000 Futures in Laguna Niguel California, all four semifinalist are current or former collegians from the United States. TCU senior Trevor Johnson, a qualifier, had never earned an ATP point before this week, but today he beat top seed Takanyi Garanganga of Zimbabwe 6-4, 6-3 to advance to Saturday's semifinals, where he'll play No. 4 seed Ryan Shane(Virginia). Shane defeated No. 8 seed Jumpei Yamasaki of Japan 6-3, 6-2.  The other semifinal will feature Colin Altamirano, who will not be returning to Virginia for his senior year, against Henry Craig(Denver).  Altamirano downed wild card Tom Fawcett(Stanford) 6-1, 6-2, while Craig beat Hunter Callahan(Ohio State) 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.

The ITA Oracle Masters has two rounds of singles scheduled today, so I'll be posting those results separately much later this evening.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

More Rain in Budapest Puts Junior Davis/Fed Cup Behind Schedule; Oracle Masters First Round Complete; Robbye Poole Hired as Women's Assistant at Alma Mater Ole Miss

Rain continued at the Junior Fed Cup and Junior Davis Cup competitions in Budapest, with several matches sent indoors, including the deciding doubles rubber of the third-seeded US boys and unseeded Hungary. Hungary won that, with Will Grant and Govind Nanda losing to Domink Buzonics and Peter Makk 4-6, 7-5, 10-8. The US falls to 1-1 and will face No. 8 seed Australia in Friday's round 3. If they beat Australia and Hungary beats Morocco, all three teams will be 2-1 and the tiebreaker protocol will come into play.   The US girls finished their second round match on Wednesday and did not take the court today. They will face No. 6 seed Italy, with a win assuring they finish at the top of the round robin group.

With this loss of a day's play, I don't see how two teams from each round robin group can advance, as was the original plan, which is new this year.  If the semifinals are to be played Saturday and the finals Sunday, the schedule no longer has a day for the quarterfinal round, and playing two ties on Friday or Saturday (or Sunday) seems unwise when there is no precedent for doing so.

See the tournament website for scores, but don't go strictly by the dates, as they no longer are neatly divided by days/rounds.

The first round of singles is complete at the ITA Oracle Masters in Malibu, with no upsets of note.  The results are below.  Bobby Knight of College Tennis Today has the UTR numbers for all players posted and he notes that only one player with a higher UTR,  Marianna Petrei of Idaho, lost. She fell to Eastern Carolina's Celia Ruiz.

Women's singles first round:
Ena Shibahara(UCLA)[1] def. Jennifer Lu(QUIN) 6-1, 6-1
Laure Gulbe(PEPP) def. Julia O’Loughlin(DEN) 6-3, 6-2
Sara Daavetilla(UNC)[8] def. Lucile Pothier(ACU) 4-6, 7-5, 6-0
Andrea Lazaro(FIU) def. Lidia Yanes Garcia(APU) 6-0, 6-2
Kaitlyn McCarthy(DUKE)[4] def. Margita Sunjic(NKU) 6-1, 6-0
Jessica Livianu(SJU) def. Madara Straume(UNCW) 6-0, 6-4
Jessica Failla(PEPP)[5] def. Michelle Liu(SEA) 6-4, 6-1
Lily Miyazaki(OU) def. Kristina Mathis(DART) 6-2, 6-4
Samantha Harris(DUKE)[3]def. Tyler Smith(JACK) 6-3, 6-2
Anna Sanford(OSU) def. Claudia Herrero Garcis(NEV) 6-2, 6-1
Alexandra Sanford(UNC)[6] def. Anna Grigoryan(LIU) 6-1, 6-1
Eva Maria Voracek(LMU) def. Viktoriya Dzyuba(LIPS) 6-2, 6-0
Veronica Miroshnichenko(LME)[7] def. Elizabeth Tsvetkov(STON) 2-6, 6-1, 6-4
Mayar Ahmed(PEPP) def. Alexandria Stiteler(USA) 6-3, 6-2
Celia Ruiz(ECU) def. Marianna Petrei(IDA). 6-3, 6-2
Lauren Proctor(WIN)[2] def. Remi Ramos(BU) 3-6, 6-2, 6-2

Men's singles first round:
Petros Chrysochos(WF)[1] def. Matt Kuhar(BRY) 6-2, 7-5
Adam Moundir(ODU) def. Simon Freund(UCSB) 7-6(4), 6-4
Billy Griffith(CAL)[8] def. Tanner Smith(USC) 6-2, 6-2
Vinny Gillespie(DRK) def. Josh Sheehy(ACU) 7-6(5), 7-6(5)
Michael Geerts(ASU)[4] def. Razvan Grigorescu(UNO) 6-1, 6-4
William Bushamuka(UK) def. Alexandr Cozbinov(UNLV) 6-2, 6-3
Felipe Sarrasague(ELON)[5] def. Luka Sucevic(SJU) 6-1, 6-7(1), 2-0 ret.
Victor Pham(COL) def. Christofer Goncalves(NMSU) 7-5, 7-6(4)
Johannes Schretter(BAY)[3] def. Michael Nguyen(ARMY) 6-2, 6-0
Benjamin Hannestad(ASU) def. Matic Spec(MINN) 7-5, 7-5
Harrison Scott(TEX)[6] def. Tim Handel(NAU) 5-7, 6-1, 6-1
Jack Malloy(CAL) def. Connor Thompson(UNCG) 6-3, 6-4
Thibault Cancel(BAMA)[7] def. Kennosuke Nouchi(WMU) 6-2, 7-5
Michail Pervolarkais(PORT) def. Eduard Mena(TTU) 1-6, 7-5, 6-1
Dennis Uspensky(PEPP) def. Scott Webster(APST) 6-4, 2-6, 6-1
Brandon Holt(USC)[2] def. Havier Restrepo(MAR) 6-2, 7-6(4)


Two rounds of mixed doubles were completed today. Results and draws can be found, along with links to live scoring and live streaming, at the ITA's tournament page.

Poole hitting with Serena Williams at 2016 Wimbledon 
Former Mississippi All-American Robbye Poole is returning to Ole Miss as the women's assistant coach, replacing associate head coach Jason Ontog, who, according to the release, is heading to the USTA.  Poole has been working as a hitting partner for Serena Williams the past two and a half years, but obviously has had some free time the last few months during Williams' pregnancy.  The release has comments on Poole from both Williams' coach Patrick Mouratoglou and John Isner, whose collegiate career at Georgia overlapped Poole's at Ole Miss.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Rain Continues at Junior Fed Cup and Junior Davis Cup, but Top-Seeded US Girls Post Second Win; Oracle Masters Begins Thursday; Six Americans Reach Semifinals at ITF Grade 2 in Canada; Making Sense of Cheating in Junior Tennis

Rain continued to pose a problem for the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup competition in Budapest, but the top-seeded US girls have won their second match, beating Uruguay 3-0 to move into first place in Group A of the round robin competition. With No. 6 seed Italy losing to Belarus 2-1 in their second match, that gives the US the only 2-0 record in the group and they will finish first with a win Thursday over Italy. Today, Caty McNally and Whitney Osuigwe won singles matches, with Amanda Anisimova and McNally partnering for the doubles win.

Not all the second round matches are complete, but No. 2 seed Japan and No. 4 seed Ukraine did earn victories to go 2-0. No. 3 seed Russia trails unseeded Canada 1-0.

The third-seeded US boys will need to win the doubles point to get their second win, with Will Grant winning at No. 2 singles, but Govind Nanda failing at No. 1 singles. Grant and Nanda will play the doubles decider.

For scores and standings, see the tournament webpage.

The third annual Oracle Masters begins Thursday in Malibu, with 32-player fields. Invitations were sent to the top players in each conference, and in a new twist, players are seeded from 1-32.  No. 1 for the women is defending champion Ena Shibahara of UCLA, with Lauren Proctor of Winthrop the No. 2 seed.  The men's top seed is Petros Chrysochos of Wake Forest, with USC's Brandon Holt the No. 2 seed. Mixed doubles is also part of the tournament, with teams made up from players from the same conference, if possible. Shibahara and Holt are the No. 1 seeds.

For draws and links to live scoring and live video, see the ITA's tournament page.

The semifinals are set for the ITF Grade 2 in Canada, with the girls final four consisting entirely of Americans. Top seed Natasha Subhash will face No. 3 seed Lea Ma, her doubles partner, in the top half, with No. 4 seed Elli Mandlik playing unseeded Addison Guevara in the the bottom half. Guevara, a 16-year-old from Texas, beat No. 2 seed Dalayna Hewitt 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-2.

Top seed Trey Hilderbrand will face unseeded Ronan Jachuck in the all-US semfinal, with the other semifinal featuring Canadian wild card Nicaise Muamba and unseeded Vikash Singh of India, who beat No. 3 seed Boris Kozlov in the second round.

Kelyn Soong of the Washington Post explores the problem of cheating in junior tennis in this article, with comments from former Florida Gator Spencer Liang, junior Reilly Tran, Brian Boland and Lew Brewer of the USTA and many others.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

USA Teams Post Wins Before Rain Cuts Short First Day of Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup; Four Pro Circuit Events in US This Week; Becker Retires, Returns to Baylor for Degree


Rain was a problem today in Budapest as the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup competitions began, but the United States' teams both managed to post two singles victories to secure their first wins in their round robin groups, with the girls defeating Belarus 2-0 and the boys beating Morocco 2-0.

US Open champion Amanda Anisimova and French Open champion Whitney Osuigwe picked up straight-sets wins, with Caty McNally, the third member of the team, not playing with doubles cancelled.  With two of this year's junior slam champions the United States is the top seed in the competition, with the other seed in their round robin group A No. 6 Italy.  Group B has No. 3 seed Russia and No. 8 seed Thailand, Group C contains No. 4 Ukraine and No. 7 Colombia and Group D's seeds are No. 2 Japan and No. 5 France.  Japan has posted a 2-0 win over Morocco, while France is tied at 1 singles match apiece with Argentina.  The ITF Junior website spoke with Osuigwe about her training with the US Fed Cup team in this article.

The US boys team of Will Grant, Govind Nanda and Tyler Zink is seeded No. 3 and is round robin group C with no. 8 seed Australia. Zink and Grant posted straight-sets wins for the US today. The top seeded boys team is the Czech Republic and they are in Group A with No. 7 Japan. In Group B are No. 4 Croatia and No. 6 Brazil. Group D's seeds are No. 2 Argentina and No. 5 Italy. Russia, the defending champions, are not seeded.

This year, teams are not required to win their round robin group to advance. The top two teams in each group then move to the quarterfinals, which did not exist prior to this year.

There is live streaming through the ITF Junior website, but I have not been able to find the live scoring that was promised. For teams and scores, see the tournament website.

Four USTA Pro Circuit events are underway in the US this week, with a $15,000 Futures tournament in Laguna Niguel California and a $75,000 Challenger in Columbus Ohio for the men, and an $80,000 event in Albuquerque New Mexico and a $25,000 event in Lubbock Texas for the women.  In addition, Canada is hosting a $25,000 Futures and Mexico has a $100,000 ITF Women's event, which also have attracted their share of Americans.

In Columbus, the first round will spread to its third day on Wednesday, in order to accommodate the three players who competed in the Davis Cup tie between Canada and India last week in Edmonton, which Canada won 3-2. Yuki Bhambri[3] and Ramkumar Ramanathan[2] of India and former North Carolina star Brayden Schnur of Canada will play the last three first round matches on Wednesday.  Cary champion Kevin King, who also played Sunday did not get a Wednesday start, and he won his 11th straight match, beating wild card John McNally, an Ohio State freshman, 4-6, 6-3 ,6-3. Wild card JJ Wolf, an Ohio State sophomore and Kalamazoo 18s finalist, earned his first ATP points today, beating qualifier Luke Bambridge 6-4, 6-2 and will play No. 4 seed Denis Kudla in the second round on Wednesday. Defending champion Mikael Torpegaard, an Ohio State senior, lost his first round match today to Canada's Filip Peliwo 7-6(2), 6-4.  Ohio State junior Martin Joyce, another wild card recipient, also advanced to the second round. Evan King, Dennis Novikov[7] and Austin Krajicek also earned first round victories.

In Laguna Niguel, only three first round singles matches were played today, with qualifier Trevor Johnson(TCU), Jenson Brooksby and Hunter Callahan posting wins.  The 16-year-old Brooksby, who reached the quarterfinals last week in Claremont, will move into the ATP rankings next Monday.  Qualifier Gianni Ross, wild card Jacob Bullard and Sam Riffice are juniors who will play their first round matches Wednesday. American Collegiate Invitational champion Tom Fawcett, who also received a wild card, plays No. 2 seed Benjamin Lock, the former Florida State star, Wednesday.

The first round is complete in Lubbock, with the top three seeds--Great Britain's Harriet Dart, India's Karman Thandi and Vicky Duval--all advancing.

In Albuquerque, only one singles first round match was played, with the final round of qualifying the other singles activity on Tuesday's schedule.  Advancing to the main draw were Amanda Rodgers, Megan McCray, Sabrina Santamaria and Slovakia's Zuzana Zlochova. McCray will face Wimbledon girls champion Claire Liu in the first round on Wednesday. Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland is the top seed, Sonya Kenin is the No. 2 seed and Kayla Day accepted a wild card and is the No. 3 seed. Free live streaming of the tournament is available at the USTA website.

On Saturday, the ATP posted a conversation with 2004 NCAA champion Benjamin Becker of Germany about his decision to retire after 12 years on the ATP Tour.  The former Baylor star, whose ATP ranking career high was 35, has returned to Waco to finish his degree and is serving as a volunteer assistant for the men's team.

Monday, September 18, 2017

My American Collegiate Invitational Recap; Interviews with the Eight Men Participants

I wrapped up the American Collegiate Invitational at the US Open with this article for the Tennis Recruiting Network. Stanford's Tom Fawcett and Ohio State's Francesca Di Lorenzo won the titles and with those title comes qualifying wild cards into next year's US Open. Last week I provided excerpts from my interviews with all eight women's participants. Below are the conversations I had with the eight men's competitors.

William Bushamuka, University of Kentucky senior
(Bushamuka lost to Brandon Holt 6-2, 6-2)

On his last-minute inclusion as an alternate: I was in class when I found out and I called my mom and my coach and told them I was going to come here.

On his schedule during the summer:
I went to Africa this summer to play some Futures, and that was fun. There’s a big Challenger in Lexington and I played that. I lost (to JP Smith of Australia), but I had a good match.

On switching from representing Congo to the United States after juniors:
I was born here in New York, but my dad is originally from Congo.

On his schedule for this fall:
I’m going to play a bunch of ITA tournaments. I’m going to Malibu [the Oracle Masters this weekend], then All Americans in Tulsa, Regionals. Then probably some Challengers, I’d like to play in some Challengers over the fall.

On what’s improved most in his game while in college:
I’d say my mental game. I was a little bit crazy in juniors, but I feel like I’ve matured a lot thanks to my coach Cedric [Kaufman]. My team also helped me a lot. I think overall I’ve improved a lot from juniors.

On his goals for this season: I’m hoping to be Top 10, Top 5, that’s where I’m trying to aim. To get really far in NCAAs as a team and individually. Hopefully we can do something great this season and I think we can with the team we have this year.

Christopher Eubanks, Georgia Tech senior
(Eubanks lost to Michael Redlicki 6-2, 6-4)

On his summer highlight: Close between playing in the first round here and getting my first tour-level wins in Atlanta. Those two are neck and neck, though maybe even the doubles win here (partnering with Christian Harrison to beat Mikhail Youzhny and Mischa Zverev in the first round). That was pretty cool. It’s been fun from beginning to end.

On what he’s learned about his game during the summer: I think I’ve gained a little bit of professionalism, mainly off the court stuff is the biggest thing for me. I’m going about that extra stuff a little bit more diligently and learning as I go, making adjustments throughout matches, things like that.

On his schedule this fall: I’m taking the fall off, going to play primarily some Challengers  and maybe throw some $25Ks in. We’ve got to manage it as we go, but that’s the plan now, play a few Challengers and see where it goes from there. Kenny [Georgia Tech head coach Thorne] has been influential in devising what the next course of action is going to be.

On his academic status: I’m a senior 24, 25 hours away from graduation. Pretty close to getting my degree.


Thai Kwiatkowski, recent University of Virginia graduate

(Kwiatkowski lost to Tom Fawcett 7-6(5), 6-4)

On the contrast between competing in the ACI and the main draw of the men's singles: It's different for sure, but if you can't enjoy playing at the US Open maybe you shouldn't play at all.

On taking Mischa Zverev to five sets in the first round of men's singles:
It was an incredible experience and a real bummer that I lost out on that. That one hurt a lot more. To be honest this doesn't really mean that much until you get to the finals. There was a lot a money and a lot of points on the [Zverev] match last week. It's every kid's dream to play in the main draw of the US Open and I really cherish the moment and am happy that I got that experience, but it's a tough loss. It lets you know where your level is, but at the same time, losing 6-3 in the fifth set or losing 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 is the same result. But it was positive overall and I have no regrets with how I competed.

On the $50,000 prize money earned from that match: It definitely gives me an opportunity to play in 2018. I graduated with a business degree from UVA, so there's massive opportunity cost every day I step out on the tennis court, so I have to understand that and do my best day in and day out, because I could be doing a lot of other things in my life. I know that eventually I will get into the business world. I think right now I'm playing tennis because I've played tennis my whole life and it's always been a dream and I know if I quit now and start working, I'll definitely enjoy that job, but I'll always have in the back of my mind that I should have played. I'm basically getting that out of my system and doing my best and seeing how far that can take me. I'm going to give myself probably to the end of next year, then reassess at the end of 2018.

On his fall schedule: Right now I'm trying to figure out where to live, where to train. I'm taking a lot of advice from people who have done it before and try to figure out a good balance. Get a lot of books to continue learning, because it's weird not being in a classroom anymore. There's so much down time on the tour, lying around, wasting a lot of time.

On his coaching arrangements: I'm working with my coach back in Charlotte, Bill Belser, and I'm also working with Carlos Benatzky at USTA.

On what he'll miss about college tennis: I'll miss everything about college tennis. Playing individual tournaments and college team tournaments isn't remotely close from enjoyment. It helps when you're winning three national championships in four years, but those bus rides, tough matches and celebrations. Thankfully we got to celebrate a lot, so it's pretty good memories and I'm still best friends with all those guys, talk to them everyday, so it's not too far away.

Alex Rybakov, TCU junior
(Rybakov lost to Alfredo Perez 7-5, 6-3)

On his sophomore year at TCU: My season went well. I won 23 matches in a row at one point, lost one match then lost to Alfredo [Perez] at NCAA individuals. It was a very good season overall individually. As a team it was good; we came up a little bit short to Ohio State in the quarters.

On his summer: I won my first Futures title, won a couple of rounds in Challengers, which I hadn't done before, so that was good. I’m definitely progressing, it’s just tough I couldn’t get it done here. I didn’t play badly, but there’s a couple of things I need to keep working on.

On the success of former teammate Cam Norrie: He’s definitely helped me a lot. And seeing what he’s done transitioning to the ATP level is definitely a positive for me, that I can possibly do the same thing. We’ve had a good two seasons [as teammates] where we’ve pushed ourselves in practice and we've become close, good friends. Now that he’s left, I would like to, obviously, follow in his footsteps, take the No. 1 spot and do what he did last year, which was basically dominate. It’s easier said than done, but I’d like to replicate what he’s done.

On his academic progress after starting in January of 2016: I’m doing communication studies, that’s my major. When you first get to school it’s tough to get in a rhythm, with class and practice, but once you’re a couple of weeks in it, you kind of get into the schedule and it goes pretty well. I’m not doing mechanical engineering, so I think the classes are obviously doable if you put in the time to study. I’m a second semester sophomore; I’ve done some classes to catch up. I'll be a first semester junior in the spring. If I stay all four years, I’ll need an extra semester to finish my degree.

On playing regular scoring during the event: I don’t mind going back and forth. I think it’s honestly easier to go from no-ad back to ad. But I don’t really mind either one; I probably prefer playing with ads, just because that's what they do everywhere else. I think it’s good for the college atmosphere to have no-ad, there’s a bit more pressure, more excitement, but I don’t think it really makes a difference. The same with the shot clock and everything. I didn’t really notice it too much.

Brandon Holt, University of Southern California sophomore
(Holt defeated William Bushamuka 6-2, 6-2, lost to Michael Redlicki 4-6, 6-0, 6-3)

On returning to the National Tennis Center: I feel like I've been here more than anyone else. First time I was here, I was zero years old and I came here (with mother Tracy Austin and father Scott Holt) every single year until, I want to say, eighth grade. Then I played the juniors, but there was a little hiatus in high school. So I'm definitely comfortable here; I love it here and of course I'm happy to play. It was a treat to get the call (to fill a spot as an alternate).

On his plans for the fall: I'm going to play the Oracle Masters and I think I'll be all right by then [after a muscle injury worsened at ACI). And I think then a Futures? But I'll have to look at the schedule; I'm not really the guy to ask on that, which isn't a good thing.

On his freshman year: It was definitely positive. I had a back injury from the French Open juniors two years ago, which kind of lingered through the year, so I was kind of on and off with my back. Every three weeks my back would kind of go out. I had a stress fracture in my first rib and then I have two disc issues, but I've got them all figured out and they're all better basically; I've been doing some exercises to get back on the right track. The year was kind of tough, but I played well and did well.

On his goals for this year: It's tough to say. I've got a lot of goals. I don't really set too many goals, maybe that's something I should start doing. Win the tournament I'm about to play. No ranking goals. I think we have a chance to win the NCAA [team] championship. We've got two new freshmen who are very good I think and we lost two seniors. But I think the replacements will be good and we've all been improving a lot over the summer, really working hard. Our coaching is great and I've seen a huge improvement in everyone and I think we're on an upward trend right now and getting better.

Alfredo Perez, University of Florida junior:
(Perez defeated Alex Rybakov 7-5, 6-3, lost to Tom Fawcett 6-1, 6-2)

On rubbing shoulders with the world's best tennis players at the US Open: It was a really good experience, I really enjoyed being able to play on the same courts as the professionals. Yesterday I was eating lunch and I looked back and Rafa (Nadal) was eating lunch two feet away from me. Today I walk in he's eating lunch again and playing this Spanish board game Parchis that I play all the time with my family. I couldn't believe it. The great Rafa Nadal plays this game, I was really surprised.

On his goals for the coming season: Keep improving and playing my game and being good enough that hopefully my teammates will have trust in me that when I step on the court I'll win my match. I would like to be SEC Player of the Year and go farther in the NCAAs (he lost in the round of 16 in May), hopefully win it. But the goal is to improve as much as I can.

On his academic path and career after pursuing pro tennis: I'm studying International Studies, especially in the Caribbean. I'm focusing on tennis right now, but I would like to help countries like Cuba; they are not doing so good, so help the people there. My family is from Cuba, but we live now in Miami.

On the Gator freshmen competing in the US Open Juniors: I'm always excited by new guys, getting to know them, making friendships that last forever. They're really good guys and really good tennis players at the same time, so that's a bonus.

Michael Redlicki, University of Arkansas graduate student


(Redlicki defeated Christopher Eubanks 6-2, 6-4 and Brandon Holt 4-6, 6-0, 6-3; lost to Tom Fawcett 7-6(4), 6-7(6), 6-4)

On competing in the ACI and playing the final on the Grandstand: We all love coming to New York City, it's one of the coolest place on earth, so who wouldn't love to be able to invited to play at the US Open on the main courts during the main tournament in New York City? It doesn't get better than that. You feel it, you certainly feel it,  On Court 5 you feel it, on Grandstand it's a whole other experience. Huge thanks to the USTA for setting this whole event up and putting us on the Grandstand. We both sincerely appreciate it.

On completing his master's degree in business:  I just have two classes which will end in December and I'll graduate. It's an MBA with a concentration in finance. That'll be done in December and in January I'll go out on tour.

On playing full time next year: I have been putting a really large emphasis on school. It is tough, for a master's degree a lot more is required from you as a student. A lot of times people in these programs are way older than 23. A lot more is expected of them, they've been around the block more than once, so it's tough. So I'm really happy to have my master's and have it be in my pocket and have it as mental security more than anything going on the pro tour. I think being able to be on the tour with a clear head is invaluable.

On missing a golden opportunity: I'm upset because there is no flight out of LaGuardia after 2:30 tomorrow [due to Hurricane Irma]. I was actually asked to hit with Kevin [Anderson] tomorrow at 1:30; because he's playing Rafa they were going to use the lefty warmup. I would never think in my life I would tell a US Open finalist I can't warm up, because I have a flight to catch. I wish him all the best, a former Illini, and [Illinois head coach] Brad Dancer is a very close friend of mine. I'm wishing he can make some history tomorrow; to beat Rafa would be really special, that would be great.

Tom Fawcett, Stanford senior
(Fawcett defeated Thai Kwaitkowski 7-6(5), 6-4, defeated Alfredo Perez 6-1, 6-2 and Michael Redlicki 7-6(4), 6-7(6), 6-4)

On playing the final on the Grandstand: I've never played on a court like that before. Although there wasn't too many people out there because of the timing, it was really cool. Hawkeye didn't go well, I used all my Challenges and wasn't successful with any of them. It was cool; I've never had that system before in place and I thought it was interesting to play with it out there.

On his academic progress: I'm a senior. I'm studying science, technology and society. We have four or five guys on our team with that major, so it's a popular one.

On his plans after graduation: Playing pro tennis, that's the goal.

On incoming freshman Axel Geller, a two-time finalist at junior slams this summer: It's incredible. He's doing some great things, playing amazing tennis. We're all excited to have him there and push us to get better. I don't know him too well. I've seen him at this tournament and on his visit to Stanford, but we've gotten close from those two times and I can tell we're going to be pretty good friends.

On prospects for Stanford team this season: I'm really excited. We've got a great group of guys, everyone's pretty good and we have really good team chemistry. I think it's going to be a good year for us.