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Monday, February 19, 2024

Ohio State Beats TCU in Rare 4-3 Thriller to Claim Men's Team Indoor Championship; Kennedy and Frodin Capture ITF J200 Titles, Satterfield and Rodriquez Sweep at J60; Fritz Defends Delray Beach Title

The best was saved for last at the ITA Men's Division I Team Indoor Championships today, with top-seeded Ohio State preventing a third consecutive title for TCU with a dramatic come-from-behind victory. When fifth-year senior Robert Cash defeated Lui Maxted 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-3 at line 5 to give the Buckeyes a 4-3 win, it was the first final that had come down to the last match on since 2012, when USC defeated Ohio State in Charlottesville, and the first 4-3 match played in the 2024 Team Indoor Championships.

Neither TCU nor Ohio State had looked good in doubles over the weekend, so there was no obvious favorite there, and although there was singles strength by both teams to point to, the consensus prior to the match deemed TCU more in need of that critical point. They got it, and without much drama, with TCU getting a 6-3 set from Sebastian Gorzny and Pedro Vives at line 1 against Andrew Lutschaunig and Justin Boulais and a 6-4 set from Jake Fearnley and Jack Pinnington Jones against Cannon Kingsley and JJ Tracy at line 2. Ohio State's Cash and Alexander Bernard had blitzed past Maxted and Duncan Chan 6-2 at line 3 in 21 minutes to force TCU to take the top two lines.

The second-seeded Horned Frogs saw their lead doubled less than an hour later, with a surprisingly lopsided 6-1, 6-0 win for Fearnley over Kingsley at line 1 singles. All the first sets were not yet completed when Fearnley closed out Kingsley, but Maxted and Bernard put first sets on the board a few minutes later, for a split of the six singles first sets.

That meant Ohio State would need to hold their advantage on their three positions and force a third in the other two remaining matches, but those calculations are rarely that straightforward.

The Buckeyes did tie the score with nearly simultaneous finishes by Jack Anthrop at line 4 and Tracy at line 3, with Anthrop defeating Gorzny 7-5, 6-2 and Tracy earning a 6-4, 6-4 win over Vives.

The next point belonged to TCU, with Pinnington Jones beating Boulais 6-4, 6-4 at line 2, and minutes later, both remaining matches entered third sets, after Tomas Jirousek took the second set from Bernard at line 6 and Cash forced a third from Maxted at line 5. 

Cash and Bernard, who had delivered quick points for the Buckeyes in their three wins this weekend, were the two players Ohio State fans would want to have in that position, but Cash and Bernard were in pressure situations they had not encountered yet this year. Jirousek got the first break of the third set, but Bernard got it back quickly, while Cash made his early break stand up, staying in front and not deviating from his aggressive net-rushing game. 

Bernard then earned his second break of Jirousek at 3-4 and he served it out for a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory and a 3-3 tie.  After holding a tough service game from 15-30 down at 4-3, the pressure was all on Maxted, and although both stayed committed to their aggressive games, at 30-all it was Cash who forced a passing shot wide and then put away a forehand on his first match point to deliver the title.

"I was so nervous, I was trying so hard to focus, taking every point one by one, trying not to think about it," Cash told Alex Gruskin of Cracked Racquets after the match. "Ty (Tucker) was with me every point, told me to breathe, take my time between points, and I just stuck to the game plan, kept it simple."

Cash had committed to Ohio State, but was not yet playing for the Buckeyes when they last won the title in 2019. The 22-year-old from Ohio explained how important this title was to him and the program.

"It means everything," Cash said in his interview. "We've come so close so many times in this event, we've been the 1 seed so many times, we've had such great starts, and to finally cap it off with a national championship, it's the best feeling ever. It just means so much to us. I was one year out when they won it last, so I saw it from the sidelines as a commit, and it just looked so much fun to be a part of that environment, and I just wanted to be a part of it."

Ohio State now has its third ITA Team Indoor title and is a perfect 13-0 to start the season, with its last seven victories over ranked teams.

TCU suffered its first loss, but its 9-1 record includes six wins this month over ranked teams.

ITA Men's Division I Team Indoor Championships

FINAL
February 19, 2024
New York NY

Ohio State[1] 4, TCU[2] 3

Doubles:
1. Sebastian Gorzny and Pedro Vives(TCU) d. Andrew Lutschaunig and Justin Boulais(OSU) 6-3
2. Jake Fearnley and Jack Pinnington Jones(TCU) d. JJ Tracy and Cannon Kingsley(OSU) 6-4
3. Alexander Bernard and Robert Cash(OSU) d. Duncan Chan and Lui Maxted(TCU) 6-2

Order of finish: 3, 1, 2

Singles:
1. Jake Fearnley(TCU) d. Cannon Kingsley(OSU) 6-1, 6-0
2. Jack Pinnington Jones(TCU) d. Justin Boulais(OSU) 6-4, 6-4
3. JJ Tracy(OSU) d. Pedro Vives(TCU) 6-4, 6-4
4. Jack Anthrop(OSU) d. Sebastian Gorzny(TCU) 7-5, 6-2
5. Robert Cash(OSU) d. Lui Maxted(TCU) 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-3
6. Alexander Bernard(OSU) d. Tomas Jirousek(TCU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

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

The ITF Junior Circuit last week produced plenty of American champions, including a sweep of the four titles at the ITF J200 in the Dominican Republic.

Top seed Thea Frodin eked out a 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(5) win over No. 2 seed Christasha O'Neil in the girls singles final in Santa Domingo, with the 15-year-old Californian now up to a career-high of 46 in the ITF junior rankings with her highest level title to date.

No. 4 seed Jack Kennedy defeated No. 5 seed Rafael Botran Neutze of Guatemala 6-2, retired in the boys final in Santa Domingo after six Americans had advanced to the quarterfinals. Like Frodin, the 15-year-old Kennedy earned his best title by level with that win and is up to a career high of 83 in the ITF junior rankings.

Unseeded Cole Henceroth and Benjamin Willwerth won the boys doubles title, via a walkover from No. 2 seeds Botran Neutze and El Salvador's Cesar Cruz. It's their first ITF Junior Circuit title as a team.

No. 3 seeds Kayla Chung and Maya Iyengar won the girls doubles title, beating top seeds Frodin and McNeil 6-2, 2-6, 10-8 in the final. It's their first title ITF Junior Circuit title as a team.

There were sweeps for Americans at the J60 in Guatemala as well last week, with Jack Satterfield and Ava Rodriguez champions in both singles and doubles. 

The unseeded Satterfield didn't drop a set in claiming his first ITF Junior Circuit singles title, with the 16-year-old from Florida defeating Agassi Rusher 6-4, 6-3 in the all-American final. No. 8 seed Ava Rodriguez, 15, defeated unseeded Zaire Clarke in another all-US final 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 for her second ITF Junior Circuit title.

Rodriguez and Nina Marcela Chavez Vicente of Guatemala, the No. 2 seeds, defeated No. 4 seeds Aida Oviedo and Guatemala's Carlota Balseiro 6-3, 6-4 in the girls doubles final. 

At the J30 in Medford New Jersey, Mark Krupkin swept the titles, with the top-seeded 17-year-old defeating 15-year-old Sebastian Bielen, the No. 5 seed, 6-3, 6-4 in the singles final. He and Nicolas Iantosca, the top seeds, claimed the doubles title when unseeded Gavin Goode and Mason Taube retired trailing 2-0 in the final. 

Unseeded 16-year-old Rachel Smith won her first two titles on the ITF Junior Circuit, beating doubles partner Isabelle DeLuccia, the No. 6 seed, 6-3, 6-4 in the girls singles final. The third-seeded pair then took the doubles title, beating unseeded Anabelle Janczyk and Lauren Zhang 6-4, 6-3 in the final.

Sixteen-year-old Aoife Kuo won her first title at the J60 in Mexico last week, with the No. 15 seed beating No. 8 seed Madelynn Ludwig of Canada 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the final. Fifteen-year-old Yannik Alvarez, who lives in Atlanta but represents Puerto Rico, won his third ITF Junior Circuit singles title, with the No. 6 seed beating unseeded Emilio Camacho of Ecuador 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in the final. Alvarez and Ryan Cozad won the doubles title, their second in the past two weeks, with the No. 5 seeds beating No. 7 seeds Camacho and Tomas Chaves of Colombia 6-2, 6-3 in the final.

At the J300 Inka Bowl in Peru, No. 5 seed Miguel Tabon of Colombia won the boys singles title, beating unseeded William Rejchtman Vinciguerra of Sweden 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 in the final. No. 3 seed Antonia Vergara Rivera of Chile won the girls title, beating unseeded 14-year-old Victoria Barros of Brazil 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 in the championship match.

The rain that postponed the two finals in Florida relented on Monday, and both the $15K in Palm Coast and the ATP 250 in Delray Beach were completed.

No. 2 seed Dmitry Popko of Kazakhstan won his second consecutive $15K on the USTA Pro Circuit, beating No. 8 seed Andres Andrade(Florida) of Ecuador 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in today's final.

At Delray Beach, No. 3 seeds Julian Cash (Mississippi State/Oklahoma State) and Robert Galloway(Wofford) won their first ATP title as a team, defeating top seeds Neal Skupski(LSU) of Great Britain and Mexico's Santiago Gonzalez 5-7, 7-5, 10-2 in this morning's final. For more on the first ATP title for both Cash and Galloway, see this article from the ATP.

Taylor Fritz defended his title in singles, with the top seed defeating No. 3 seed Tommy Paul 6-2, 6-3 for his seventh ATP title. Fritz is now 6-0 in his last six ATP finals, with more on the championship match here at the ATP website.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Top Seed Ohio State, Defending Champion TCU Reach Monday's ITA Division I Team Indoor Final; Men's Pro Finals in Florida Postponed Until Monday; USC Women Defeat Michigan in Ann Arbor

Both Ohio State and TCU will be playing for their third ITA Division I Men's Team Indoor title at the Milstein Family Tennis Center at Columbia University Monday, with the Buckeyes, who last won the title in 2019, aiming to end the run of the two-time defending champions Horned Frogs.


Top seed Ohio State earned their place in the final for this first time since that 2019 title with a 4-0 win over No. 4 Virginia, while TCU made it three finals in a row with a 4-2 victory over No. 6 seed Wake Forest.

Ohio State had lost three straight doubles points, including Friday against Alabama and Saturday against Harvard, and they looked to be heading for a fourth consecutive loss of that often key point when Robert Cash and Alex Bernard went down a break to Dylan Dietrich and Inaki Montes at line 3. Montes had not played doubles in the previous two Virginia victories and was still unable to serve with his regular service motion, but did hold his own in the match, and he and Dietrich had two match points with Cash serving at 4-5, after the other two doubles matches had finished. Cash saved both, Montes held serve on a deciding point to go up 6-5 and Bernard held to force the tiebreaker that would determine the point.

On the first point of the tiebreaker, Dietrich hit a second serve to Cash, who replied with backhand return deep at the baseline. Dietrich called it out, and the chair umpire confirmed the call, but Virginia head coach Andres Pedroso corrected his player and told the chair the point should belong to Ohio State. Dietrich and Montes then went down 4-0 and 6-1, and after one hold of serve by Dietrich, the Buckeyes took the set on their second opportunity.

I don't cover college tennis in person as much as I used to, but over the years I've seen too many line call controversies to count, including many overrules on match points and several game penalties that ended matches. Yet I've never seen a college coach correct his or her player's call in a situation like that. In fact, I have rarely seen any of them overrule their own players period, regardless of the significance of the moment. Chair umpires miss calls, as everyone, including the chairs themselves, knows, but it is their job to keep coaches out of situations like the one Pedroso found himself in. 

In this instance, Pedroso certainly had the option of deferring to the chair, but he did not take the easy way out, instead choosing to immediately rectify what he obviously saw as a clear mistake by both his player and the chair umpire. There have been several viral videos of egregious line calls by college players (often when chair umpires are not present) and irate viewers of those videos demand action from the coaches of those players. As I've said, any action of that nature is rare, but this deserves to get equal or greater exposure, to serve as an example of how college tennis might improve its reputation when it comes to line calling.

Now back to the semifinal. The loss of that doubles point wasn't ideal, but Virginia had come back from dropping the doubles point Saturday against Tennessee, who didn't manage another point despite taking three first sets in singles.

But Ohio State has been so rock solid in singles, especially in the bottom two positions, all year, that it proved too much for the Cavaliers, who dropped four first sets. Bernard again got a quick win at line 6, beating Mans Dahlberg 6-0, 6-3 and Cash followed with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Alex Kiefer at line 5 to make it 3-0. The other three matches were all going to third sets, so it was up to JJ Tracy to get the Buckeyes off the court with three straight-sets singles victories and he did, beating Montes 6-3, 6-4 at line 3 to hand the Cavalier senior his first singles loss this weekend, despite his inability to serve normally.


Like Ohio State, TCU has had difficulty with their doubles point, which was so solid last year. They lost their second straight doubles point today against Wake Forest, with the No. 2 team of Jack Pinnington Jones and Jake Fearnley unable to close out a 4-2 lead, losing four straight games to Filippo Moroni and Matthew Thomson of Wake Forest.

But as they had done Saturday against Texas A&M, TCU responded in singles, taking five first sets, and while Wake freshman Luca Pow gave the Demon Deacons a point, briefly tying the match after TCU's Lui Maxted at line 5 and Fearnley at line 1 had made it 2-1 Horned Frogs, 15 minutes later it was over, with Pinnington Jones at 2 and Sebastian Gorzny at 4 getting the third and fourth points within seconds of each other.

Monday's championship match, a rematch of the 2023 NCAA semifinal won by Ohio State, is scheduled for noon, with coverage available at the Cracked Racquets YouTube channel. Mike Cation and Alex Gruskin will provide the commentary.

There has yet to be a 4-3 match at this year's Team Indoor Championships, including in the consolation matches, with one of the latter still ongoing this evening. Could that sort of drama be in the cards for Monday?

ITA Division I Men's Team Indoor Semifinals:
February 18, 2024
New York, NY


Doubles:
1. Andrew Lutschaunig and Justin Boulais(OSU) d. Jeffrey von der Schulenburg and Chris Rodesch(UVA) 6-4
2. Edoardo Graziani and James Hopper(UVA) d. Cannon Kingsley and JJ Tracy 6-2
3. Robert Cash and Alexander Bernard(OSU) d. Dylan Dietrich and Inaki Montes(UVA) 7-6(2)

Order of finish: 2, 1, 3

Singles:

1. Cannon Kingsley(OSU) v Chris Rodesch(UVA) 6-4, 3-6, 1-0, unfinished
2. Dylan Dietrich(UVA) v Justin Boulais(OSU) 6-3, 4-6, 1-0, unfinished
3. JJ Tracy(OSU) d. Inaki Montes(UVA) 6-3, 6-4
4. Jeffrey von der Schulenburg(UVA) v Jack Anthrop(OSU) 6-4, 3-6, 2-0, unfinished
5. Robert Cash(OSU) d. Alexander Kiefer(UVA) 6-2, 6-2
6. Alexander Bernard(OSU) d. Mans Dahlberg(UVA) 6-0, 6-3

Order of finish: 6, 5, 3
=================


Doubles:
1. Holden Koons and DK Suresh(WAKE) d. Sebastian Gorzny and Pedro Vives(TCU) 6-3
2. Filippo Moroni and Matthew Thomson(WAKE) d. Jack Pinnington Jones and Jake Fearnley(TCU) 6-4
3. Duncan Chan and Lui Maxted(TCU) d. Luca Pow and Luciano Tacchi(WAKE) 6-3

Order of finish: 3, 1, 2

Singles:
1. Jake Fearnley(TCU) d. Filippo Moroni(WAKE) 6-2, 6-3
2. Jack Pinnington Jones(TCU) d. DK Suresh(WAKE) 7-5, 6-2 
3. Pedro Vives(TCU) v Matthew Thomson(WAKE) 6-4, 5-4, unfinished
4. Sebastian Gorzny(TCU) d. Luciano Tacchi(WAKE) 6-1, 7-6(3) 
5. Lui Maxted(TCU) d. Holden Koons(WAKE) 6-1, 6-2 
6. Luca Pow(WAKE) d. Tomas Jirousek(TCU) 6-1, 6-2

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

Consolation matches

Arizona State[15] 4, Michigan[11] 2
Tennessee[5] 4, Harvard[9] 0
Texas[3] 4, South Carolina[7] 0
Alabama[16] 4, USC[12] 1
Columbia[8] 4, Duke[13] 0
Arizona[14] 4, Texas A&M[10] 1

====================

None of the three men's professional finals were played today in Florida, with rain washing out all three of the championship matches, singles and doubles at the ATP 250 Delray Beach Open, and singles at USTA Pro Circuit $15,000 tournament in Palm Coast.

The doubles final between top seeds Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico and Neal Skupski(LSU) of Great Britain and No. 3 seeds Julian Cash(Mississippi State/Oklahoma State) of Great Britain and Robert Galloway(Wofford) is set for 10:30 a.m. Monday, with Taylor Fritz and Tommy Paul scheduled to decide the singles championship beginning at 12:30 p.m.

In Palm Coast, No. 8 seed Andres Andrade(Florida) of Ecuador will be facing No. 2 seed Dmitry Popko of Kazakhstan in the final, scheduled for 10:00 a.m.  

The doubles final did get played Saturday in Palm Coast, with Andrade and Alex Rybakov(TCU), the top seeds, winning their second straight title. The Sunrise $15K champions defeated No. 3 seeds Finn Reynolds(Ole Miss) of New Zealand and Juan Sebastian Gomez of Colombia 6-1, 6-3 in the final.

In a notable result today in women's college tennis, No. 17 Southern California defeated No. 2 Michigan 4-2 in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines, finalists last Monday at the Women's Team Indoor in Seattle, dropped the doubles point to USC, with the Trojans winning at lines 5, 6 and 3,  although who was playing what position is unclear with the two schools providing different players in various positions in their recaps. Senior Jaedan Brown did not play singles or doubles for Michigan today.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

No Doubles Point, No Problem as Top Seeds Ohio State and TCU Advance to Men's Team Indoor Semifinals Against Virginia and Wake Forest; Fritz and Paul Meet for ATP Delray Beach Title

After twelve matches at the ITA Division I Men's Team Indoor Championships, we still have yet to get a 4-3, last-match-on nail-biter, but three of the top four seeds will play in the semifinals tomorrow, and there is no questioning their credentials. 


Top seed Ohio State will play No. 4 Virginia in a rematch of last year's NCAA team final, although the Buckeyes have already avenged that loss with a 7-0 victory earlier this month in Columbus. No. 2 seeds and two-time defending champions TCU face No. 6 seed Wake Forest in the nightcap after both picked up 4-2 victories today.

Virginia started the day with a 5-1 win over No. 5 seed Tennessee, introducing the day's theme of advancing despite loss of the doubles point. Tennessee won a tiebreaker at line 1 to get the doubles point after the sets at lines 2 and 3 were split, and had a path to a victory with three first sets in singles. But the Volunteers were unable to put up that second point, while Virginia quickly took two of the singles matches to take the lead, with freshman Dylan Dietrich taking line 2 over Shunsuke Mitsui and Inaki Montes beating Filip Pieczonka at line 3. Montes, who has been out with a shoulder injury most of the year, is back in the lineup, but he is unable to hit a normal serve. He is starting points with a what looks like a practice starter forehand, yet neither of his opponents the past two days has been able to take advantage of that and he is now 2-0.

Those were the only two matches that finished in straight sets, with the other four splitting, and Virginia got a victory from Alex Kiefer at line 6 to go up 3-1. Chris Rodesch won over Johannus Monday at line 1 to clinch it; At line 4, Jeffrey von der Schulenburg was playing a match point against Filip Apltauer at when Rodesch clinched, and he won it, making the final score 5-1.

TCU and No. 10 seed Texas A&M were next up, and the Horned Frogs were soundly beaten by the Aggies in doubles, winning at 2 and 3 in half an hour. But TCU won five of six first sets in singles, and didn't let Texas A&M back into four of those matches, taking lines 1, 2, 4 and 6 in straight sets for a 4-2 victory.

For the third match in a row, Ohio State dropped the doubles point, this time to No. 9 Harvard, with the Buckeyes trying yet another combination and still unable to find a way to take more than one doubles set. Harvard drew a big crowd to the Milstein Family Tennis Center at Columbia, and they enjoyed the Crimson's lead, but the Buckeyes quickly silenced them, taking all six first sets in singles and rolling to 4-1 victory in less than two hours. Cannon Kingsley at 1, JJ Tracy at 3, Robert Cash at 5 and Alex Bernard at 6 delivered the points for Ohio State, who lost in the quarterfinals as the No. 1 seed last year.


The doubles point in Wake Forest's 4-2 win over No. 14 seed Arizona took as long as most of the Ohio State singles matches, with both Arizona and Wake Forest having match points in the tiebreaker at No. 1 doubles. But it was Wake who took that tiebreaker, and a second tiebreaker at line 2 for the point, and Arizona was not able to overcome that deficit, as Virginia, TCU and Ohio State had done.

Wake took four first sets in singles, and although Arizona tied the match with Herman Hoeyeraal, the hero of the Wildcats' win over No. 3 Texas Friday, getting a win at line 4. Nick Lagaev, who played at line 4 Friday, was out of the lineup tonight, and Hoeyeraal's replacement at line 5, Inaki Cabrera-Bello lost to Holden Koons 6-2, 6-2 to put Wake Forest back in front. Matthew Thomson made it 3-1 with a routine win over Gustaf Strom at line 3, but Arizona stayed alive when DK Suresh was unable to convert his two match points in the second set tiebreaker in his match with Jay Friend at line 2, and Arizona's Colton Smith closed out Filippo Moroni at line 1 to make it 3-2.

That was as close as Arizona would get, with Wake freshman Luca Pow holding a 3-1 lead in the second set against Casper Christensen as Suresh and Friend entered a third set. Pow went up 4-1, two breaks, so the suspense was muted, but he was unable to serve it out on his first attempt at 5-2. He recovered to break Christensen in the next game however to put Wake Forest, who went 0-3 last year at the Team Indoor Championships, into the semifinals.

The Ohio State - Virginia semifinal is scheduled at noon, with the TCU - Wake Forest semifinal set to start at 3:30 p.m. Both matches will be at Columbia Sunday, with Cracked Racquets providing coverage at their YouTube Channel.

Men's D-I Team Indoor quarterfinals
February 17, 2024
New York, NY


Doubles:
1. Angel Diaz and Johannus Monday(TENN) d. Chris Rodesch and Jeffrey von der Schulenburg(UVA) 7-6(5)
2. Shunsuke Mitsui and Filip Pieczonka(TENN) d. Edoardo Graziani and James Hopper(UVA) 6-1
3. Alexander Kiefer and Dylan Dietrich(UVA) d. Filip Apltauer and Younes Lalami(TENN) 6-1

Order of finish: 2, 3, 1

Singles:
1. Chris Rodesch(UVA) d. Johannus Monday(TENN) 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4
2. Dylan Dietrich(UVA) d. Shunsuke Mitsui(TENN) 6-3, 6-2
3. Inaki Montes(UVA) d. Filip Pieczonka(TENN) 6-3, 6-3
4. Jeffrey von der Schulenburg(UVA) d. Filip Apltauer(TENN) 6-7(4), 6-3, 7-5
5. Christopher Li(TENN) v Edoardo Graziani(UVA) 6-7(4) 6-0, 5-5, unfinished
6. Alexander Kiefer(UVA) d. Angel Diaz(TENN) 4-6, 7-5, 6-2

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


Doubles:
1. Giulio Perego and Togan Tokac(TAMU) v Sebastian Gorzny and Pedro Vives(TCU) 4-3, unfinished
2. Luke Casper and JC Roddick(TAMU) d. Jake Fearnley and Jack Pinnington Jones(TCU) 6-1
3. Raphael Perot and Tiago Pires(TAMU) d. Duncan Chan and Lui Maxted(TCU) 6-4

Order of finish: 3, 2

Singles:
1. Jake Fearnley(TCU) d. Raphael Perot(TAMU) 6-3, 6-2
2. Jack Pinnington Jones(TCU) d. JC Roddick(TAMU) 6-2, 6-4
3. Togan Tokac(TAMU) d. Pedro Vives(TCU) 6-3, 7-6(2)
4. Sebastian Gorzny(TCU) d. Giulio Perego(TAMU) 6-4, 7-6(6)
5. Lui Maxted(TCU) v Tiago Pires(TAMU) 6-1, 2-6, 4-4, unfinished
6. Tomas Jirousek(TCU) d. Luke Casper(TAMU) 6-4, 6-4

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


Doubles
1. Cooper Williams and Daniel Milavsky(HAR) d. Andrew Lutschaunig and Justin Boulais(OSU) 6-3 
2. Cannon Kingsley and JJ Tracy(OSU) d. Ronan Jachuck and Masato Peerera(HAR) 6-1
3. Henry von der Schulenburg and David Lins(HAR) d. Robert Cash and Alexander Bernard(OSU) 6-4

Order of finish: 2, 1, 3

Singles
1. Cannon Kingsley(OSU) d. Cooper Williams(HAR) 6-1, 6-2 
2. Justin Boulais(OSU) v Henry von der Schulenburg(HAR) 7-6(4), 2-1, unfinished
3. JJ Tracy(OSU) d. Daniel Milavsky(HAR) 6-1, 6-1 
4. Jack Anthrop(OSU) v. Ronan Jachuck(HAR) 6-4, 3-2, unfinished
5. Robert Cash(OSU) d. Melchior Delloye(HAR) 6-3, 6-1 
6. Alexander Bernard(OSU) d. Valdemar Pape(HAR) 6-2, 6-0 

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


Doubles:
1.  Holden Koons and DK Suresh(WAKE) d. Colton Smith and Jay Friend(AZ) 7-6(9)
2. Filippo Moroni and Matthew Thomson(WAKE) d. Herman Hoeyeraal and Eric Padgham(AZ) 7-6(5) 
3. Alexander Rozin and Gustaf Strom(AZ) d. Luca Pow and Luciano Tacchi(WAKE) 6-1

Order of finish: 3, 2, 1

Singles:
1. Colton Smith(AZ) d. Filippo Moroni(WAKE) 6-1, 7-6(5)
2. DK Suresh(WAKE) v Jay Friend(AZ) 6-3, 6-7(6), 3-2, unfinished 
3. Matthew Thomson(WAKE) d. Gustaf Strom(AZ) 6-3, 6-1
4. Herman Hoeyeraal(AZ) d. Luciano Tacchi(WAKE) 6-3, 6-2
5. Holden Koons(WAKE) d. Inaki Cabrera-Bello(AZ) 6-2, 6-2 
6. Luca Pow(WAKE) d. Casper Christensen(AZ) 7-6(4), 6-3

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

Consolation matches:

South Carolina[7] 4, Arizona State[15] 2
Duke[13] 4, USC[[12] 1
Texas[3] 4, Michigan[11] 0
Columbia[8] 4, Alabama[16] 0

===================

Sunday's final at the ATP 250 in Delray Beach is set for Sunday, with No. 1 seed Taylor Fritz, the defending champion, facing No. 3 seed Tommy Paul, who won the title last week at the ATP 250 in Dallas.  Paul rolled past No. 2 seed Frances Tiafoe 6-2, 6-2 in this afternoon's semifinal; Fritz defeated unseeded Marcos Giron(UCLA), 7-6(8), 6-2 in tonight's semifinal. Fritz and Paul split their two meetings on the ITF Junior Circuit back in 2015, with Paul winning the Roland Garros final over Fritz and Fritz winning the US Open final over Paul. 

In professional play, Paul owns a 4-3 edge in matches that date back to a Futures in 2015; Paul won their only meeting last year, in the semifinals of ATP 500 in Acapulco. The final in Delray Beach is scheduled not before 3 p.m. Sunday, after the doubles final between top seeds Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico and Neal Skupski(LSU) of Great Britain and No. 3 seeds Julian Cash(Mississippi State/Oklahoma State) of Great Britain and Robert Galloway(Wofford).

Friday, February 16, 2024

My Coverage of the USTA Level 2 Boys 14s Final; Arizona Shocks No. 3 Seed Texas on Opening Day at ITA Men's Team Indoor, Texas A&M Beats No. 7 Seed South Carolina; All US Semifinals at ATP Delray Beach

The past three years I've been covering February's USTA Boys 14s Level 2 in Grand Rapids, which gives me the opportunity to see some of the players that will be competing in Kalamazoo in a year or two. Two years ago 2023 Eddie Herr 16s champion Jack Secord, now 132 in the ITF Junior rankings, won the tournament; last year it was Colin McPeek, currently No. 5 in the Tennis Recruiting Network's Class of 2028.

Both are from the Midwest section, as is this year's champion Luca Sevim, who won four match tiebreakers in his five victories to claim his first Level 2 title. Indoor tennis is obviously the norm in the section, and the tournament is more convenient and less expensive for those who can drive to it, but I'm not sure that explains the (admittedly small sample size) streak of Midwest champions.

My article on Monday's finals for Tennis Recruiting Network can be found here.

Last week in Seattle, the first round of the D-I Women's Team Indoor Championships produced two upsets, with the No. 5 Pepperdine and No. 7 Georgia going out. Today in New York, the Men's Team Indoor Championships  opened with losses by three of the top eight seeds, with No. 3 Texas dropping a 4-2 decision to No. 14 Arizona, No. 7 South Carolina falling to No. 10 Texas A&M 4-1 and No. 8 seed Columbia losing to No. 9 Harvard 4-2.

The women did produce a 4-3 result--Ohio State's win over Georgia--while the men did not, but there was still plenty of drama, mostly from unexpected places.

Texas lost the doubles point, which seemed a necessity for Arizona with the strength of the Longhorns singles lineup, but then Arizona went out and took five first sets in singles, giving them all sorts of paths to the upset. Ironically the one match where Arizona didn't win the first set clinched it for the Wildcats, with Herman Hoeyeraal defeating Cleeve Harper 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(5) for the fourth point. Texas forced third sets in four matches and won two of them, at lines 1 and 2, but the hole was just too deep, and Arizona came away with the 4-2 decision. Texas, the 2023 Team Indoor finalists, did not have Siem Woldeab in their lineup. Arizona will face No. 6 seed Wake Forest in the quarterfinals, with the Demon Deacons defeating No. 11 Michigan 4-1. That match is at 6:30 p.m.

Top seed Ohio State also had an unexpected battle with No. 16 seed Alabama, although the Buckeyes did manage to secure a 4-2 win. After losing the doubles point and first sets at lines 1 and 2, Ohio State had to rely on their depth, but they got wins from the 3, 4, 5 and 6 spots to advanced to the quarterfinals. Their quarterfinal opponent will be Harvard, who closed out the evening with a tight 4-2 win over host Columbia. Harvard and Ohio State will play at 3:30 p.m Saturday.

The 9 a.m. quarterfinal will feature No. 5 seed Tennessee against No. 4 Virginia and the noon quarterfinal will see No. 2 seed TCU, face No. 10 Texas A&M.

Texas A&M lost the doubles point to South Carolina, but rallied to take five first sets in singles. Unlike Texas, the Gamecocks couldn't force any third sets and the Aggies collected a 4-1 victory. TCU looked like the two-time defending Indoor champions they are, blanking No. 15 seed Arizona State.

Tennessee defeated No. 12 Southern California 4-0 and Virginia took out No. 13 Duke 4-1.

Cracked Racquets is providing its CrossCourt Cast for all four quarterfinals Saturday at their YouTube Channel, with commentary by Alex Gruskin and Mike Cation.

First Round D-I Men's Team Indoor Championships
New York NY
February 16, 2024

TCU[2] 4 Arizona State[15] 0

Doubles:
1. Bor Artnak and Max McKennon(ASU) v Sebastian Gorzny and Pedro Vives(TCU) 4-3, unfinished
2. Jake Fearnley and Jack Pinnington Jones(TCU) v Martin Vergara Del Puerto and Murphy Cassone(ASU) 6-1
3. Duncan Chan and Lui Maxted(TCU) d. Constantinos Koshis and Jacob Bullard(ASU) 6-3

Order of finish: 2, 3

Singles:
1. Jake Fearnley(TCU) v Murphy Cassone(ASU) 7-6(3), 6-5 unfinished
2. Bor Artnak(ASU) v Jack Pinnington Jones(TCU) 3-6, 7-5, 1-0, unfinished
3. Max McKennon(ASU) v Pedro Vives(TCU) 2-6, 7-6(5), unfinished
4. Sebastian Gorzny(TCU) d. Martin Vergara Del Puerto(ASU) 6-0, 6-2
5. Lui Maxted(TCU) d. Jacob Bullard(ASU) 6-3, 7-6(5)
6. Tomas Jirousek(TCU) d. Roi Ginat(ASU) 7-5, 6-3

Order of finish: 4, 5, 6
=================
Virginia[4] 4,  Duke[13] 1

Doubles:
1. Chris Rodesch and Jeffrey von der Schulenburg(UVA) d. Michael Heller and Andrew Zhang(DUKE) 6-3
2. Edoardo Graziani and James Hopper(UVA) v Pedro Rodenas and Garret Johns(DUKE) 5-3, unfinished
3. Dylan Dietrich and Alexander Kiefer(UVA) d. Connor Krug and Faris Khan(DUKE) 6-3

Order of finish:
3, 1

Singles:
1. Chris Rodesch(UVA) d. Pedro Rodenas(DUKE) 6-4, 6-4
2. Dylan Dietrich(UVA) d. Garrett Johns(DUKE) 6-2, 6-4 
3. Inaki Montes(UVA) v Andrew Zhang(DUKE) 3-6, 6-2, 2-1, unfinished
4. Jeffrey von der Schulenburg(UVA) d. Coonor Krug(DUKE) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
5. Jake Krug(DUKE v Alexander Kiefer(UVA) 7-5, 5-5, unfinished
6. Alexander Visser(DUKE) d. Mans Dahlberg(UVA) 6-2, 6-4

Order of finish:  1, 2, 6, 4
==================
Tennessee[5] 4, Southern California[12] 0

Doubles:
1. Johannus Monday and Angel Diaz(TENN) d. Peter Makk and Lodewijk Weststrate(SoCal) 6-1
2. Filip Pieczonka and Shunsuke Mitsui(TENN) v Karl Lee and Oscar Weightman(SoCal) 6-5, unfinished
3. Filip Apltauer and Younes Lalami(TENN) d. Volodymyr Iakubenko and Samuel Rubell(SoCal)

Order of finish: 1, 3

Singles:
1. Johannus Monday(TENN) d. Peter Makk(SoCal) 6-1, 6-2
2. Shunsuke Mitsui(TENN) d. Lodewijk Weststrate(SoCal) 6-4, 6-1
3. Oscar Weightman(SoCal) v Filip Pieczonka(TENN) 6-4, 5-3, unfinished
4. Volodymyr Iakubenko(SoCal) v Filip Apltauer(TENN) 6-3, 4-3, unfinished
5. Karl Lee (SoCal) v Younes Lalami(TENN) 6-3, 5-4, unfinished
6. Angel Diaz(TENN) d. Samuel Rubell(So Cal) 6-4, 6-2

Order of finish: 1, 2, 6
=================
Texas A&M[10] 4, South Carolina[7] 1

Doubles:
1. Casey Hoole and Toby Samuel(SC) d. Giulio Perego and Togan Tokac(TAMU) 6-2
2. Luke Casper and JC Roddick(TAMU) d. James Story and Lucas Andrade Da Silva(SC) 6-4
3. Jelani Sarr and Sean Daryabeigi(SC) d. Raphael Perot and Tiago Pires(TAMU) 7-5

Order of finish: 1, 2, 3

Singles:
1. Raphael Perot(TAMU) d. Toby Samuel(SC) 6-4, 7-6(8)
2. JC Roddick(TAMU) d. Casey Hoole(SC) 6-3, 6-1
3. Togan Tokac(TAMU) d. James Story(SC) 6-3, 7-6(5)
4. Giulio Perego(TAMU) d. Jelani Sarr(SC) 6-3, 7-5
5. Lucas Andrade Da Silva(SC) v Tiago Pires(TAMU) 6-3, 5-7, 2-0, unfinished
6. Luke Casper(TAMU) v Sean Daryabeigi(SC) 7-5, 5-5, unfinished

Order of finish: 2, 4, 3, 1
=================
Ohio State[1] 4, Alabama[16] 2

Doubles:
1. Enzo Aguiard and Zach Foster(BAMA) d. Andrew Lutschaunig and Justin Boulais(OSU) 6-4
2. Filip Planinsek and Andri Zimnokh(BANA) d. Robert Cash and Bryce Nakashima(OSU) 7-5 
3. Cannon Kingsley and JJ Tracy(OSU) d. Roan Jones and Matic Dimic(BANA) 6-2

Order of finish: 3, 1, 2

Singles:
1. Filip Planinsek(BAMA) d. Cannon Kinglsey(OSU) 7-6(2), 7-6(5)
2. Justin Boulais(OSU) v Enzo Aguiard(BAMA) 4-6, 7-6(4), unfinished
3. JJ Tracy(OSU) d. Matias Ponce De Leon(BAMA) 6-3, 6-1
4. Jack Anthrop(OSU) d. Andri Zimnokh(BAMA) 7-5, 6-3
5. Robert Cash(OSU) d. Roan Jones(BAMA) 7-5, 7-6(3)
6. Alexander Bernard d. Zach Foster(BAMA) 6-2, 6-0

Order of finish: 6, 3, 4, 1, 5
=================
Arizona[14] 4, Texas[3] 2 

Doubles:

1. Eliot Spizzirri and Cleeve Harper(TEX) d. Jay Friend and Colton Smith 6-3
2. Eric Padgham and Herman Hoeyeraal(AZ) d. Pierre-Yves Bailly and Eshan Talluri(TEX) 6-4
3. Sasha Rozin and Gustaf Strom(AZ) d. Micah Braswell and Jonah Braswell(TEX) 6-3

Order of finish: 1, 2, 3, 

Singles:
1. Eliot Spizzirri(TEX) d. Colton Smith(AZ) 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
2. Micah Braswell(TEX) d. Jay Friend(AZ) 5-7, 6-3, 6-1
3. Gustaf Strom(AZ) d. Gilles-Arnaud Bailly(TEX) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
4. Nick Lagaev(AZ) d. Pierre-Yves Bailly(TEX) 6-3, 6-4
5. Herman Hoeyeraal(AZ) d. Cleeve Harper(TEX) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(5)
6. Casper Christensen(AZ) v Lucas Brown(TEX) v  6-2, 6-7(5), 3-2, unfinished

Order of finish:
4, 2, 1, 3
===========
Harvard[9] 4, Columbia[8] 2 

Doubles:
1. Theo Winegar and Michael Zheng(COL) d. Cooper Williams and Daniel Milavsky(HAR) 6-4 
2. Ronan Jachuck and Masato Perera(HAR) d. Nicolas Kotzen and Max Westphal(COL) 7-5
3. Henry von der Schulenburg and David Lins(HAR) d. Alex Kotzen and Sachin Palta(COL) 6-2

Order of finish: 3, 1, 2

Singles:
1. Cooper Williams(HAR) d. Michael Zheng(COL) 6-3, 7-5
2. Henry von der Schulenburg(HAR) v Alex Kotzen(COL)
3. Daniel Milavsky(HAR) d. Nicolas Kotzen(COL) 6-1, 7-5
4. Max Westphal(COL) d. Ronan Jachuck(HAR) 6-2 6-4
5. Hugo Hashimoto(COL) d. Melchior Delloye(HAR) 6-1, 6-4 
6. Valdemar Pape(HAR) d. Sachin Palta(COL) 6-3, 7-6(4)

Order of finish: 5, 3, 4, 1, 6
=================
Wake Forest[6] 4, Michigan[11] 1

Doubles:
1. Jacob Bickersteth and Gavin Young(MICH) v Holden Koons and DK Suresh(WAKE) 6-6 (5-4) unfinished
2. Filippo Moroni and Matthew Thomson(WAKE) d. Patorn Hanchaikul and Will Cooksey(MICH) 6-2
3. Luca Pow and Luciano Tacchi(WAKE) d. Alex Cairo and Nicholas Steiglehner(MICH) 7-6(7)

Order of finish: 2, 3

Singles:
1. Filippo Moroni(WAKE) v Gavin Young(MICH)  7-6(2), 2-1, unfinished
2. DK Suresh(WAKE) d. Jacob Bickersteth(MICH) 6-2, 7-6(9)
3. Patorn Hanchaikul(MICH) d. Matthew Thomson(WAKE) 6-3, 6-3
4. Luciano Tacchi(WAKE) d. Bjorn Swenson(MICH) 6-4, 6-4
5. Will Cooksey(MICH) v Holden Koons(WAKE) 6-3, 5-3, unfinished
6. Luca Pow(WAKE) d. Nicholas Steiglehner(MICH) 6-4, 6-3

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

The semifinals of the ATP 250 Delray Beach Open feature four Americans, the top three seeds and Marcos Giron(UCLA). Top seed and defending champion Taylor Fritz beat former UNC All-American Rinky Hijikata 6-3, 6-3; No. 2 seed Frances Tiafoe defeated lucky loser Flavio Cobolli of Italy 6-4, 6-2; No. 3 seed Tommy Paul beat Jordan Thompson of Australia 6-2, 6-3, and Giron ended the run of wild card Patrick Kypson(Texas A&M) 6-4, 6-4. Fritz will face Giron and Paul will play Tiafoe in Saturday's semifinals, with Paul and Tiafoe scheduled for 3 p.m. and Giron and Fritz set to take the court at 8 p.m.

 

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Johnston Reaches Semifinals at ITF J300 Inka Bowl; ITF J300 Pan Am Closed Returns to Houston This Fall; ITA D-I Men's Team Indoor Begins Friday Morning; Peacock Series on Tennis Family Begins Next Month

The ITF J300 Inka Bowl in Lima Peru is at the semifinal stage in singles and the final stage in doubles, with two 16-year-old American boys still competing for the titles. No. 8 seed Noah Johnston won his first match at a J300 last month in Barranquilla Colombia (he had won a match at the J500 Orange Bowl in December), so this is the first deep run for the left-hander from South Carolina at that level. He defeated unseeded Calin Stirbu of Romania in today's quarterfinals 6-3, 6-1.

Johnston will face No. 6 seed William Rejchtman Vinciguerra of Sweden in Friday's semifinal; Vinciguerra took out top seed Timofei Derepasko of Russia 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.  Johnston, who has already won two J300 doubles titles this year in Costa Rica and Colombia, did not play doubles this week, but Maximus Dussault is through to the final, with partner Joaquin Guilleme of Nicaragua. The No. 4 seeds will face top seeds Vinciguerra and Derepasko for the title Friday. 

No. 7 seed Maya Dutta reached the quarterfinals, but lost 6-2, 6-0 today to top seed Mayu Crossley of Japan. 

Four all-USA finals are set for Friday at the ITF J30 in Medford New Jersey, with top seed Mark Krupkin taking on No. 5 seed Sebastian Bielen for the boys singles title and unseeded Rachel Smith facing No. 6 seed Isabelle DeLuccia for the girls singles title. Smith and DeLuccia will play in the doubles final after singles, with the No. 3 seeds taking on the unseeded team of Anabelle Janczyk and Lauren Zhang.

Krupkin will play for the boys doubles title with partner Nicolas Iantosca. The top seeds will face the unseeded team of Gavin Goode and Mason Taube in the final.

The latest version of the 2024 USTA National Junior Tennis Calendar confirms what I had heard in December: the ITF J300 Pan American Closed will return to the Giammalva Racquet Club in Houston this fall. The tournament was held there for the first time last year, and although it was a late substitute for the Leftwich Tennis Center in Memphis, which had initially been announced as the site but was not completed in time, reviews were positive. Tournament director Victor Pinones was eager to bid for 2024, and with the event back to its usual place on the calendar in October, the heat may not be quite as bad as it was last September. The tournament does not yet appear on the ITF Junior Circuit calendar, but the dates and venue are listed here.

The men's ITA Division I Men's Team Indoor Championships begin Friday in New York, with eight matches on the schedule at two sites. Cracked Racquets will be providing coverage via their YouTube Channel. Links to live scoring and live streams can be found here.

Friday's schedule:
9:00 a.m.
Virginia[4] v Duke[13] at Milstein
TCU[2] v Arizona State[15] at BJKNTC

Noon
Tennessee[5] v Southern Cal[12] at Milstein
South Carolina[7] v Texas A&M[10] at BJKNTC

3:30 pm
Ohio State[1] v Alabama[16] at Milstein
Texas[3] v Arizona[14] at BJKNTC

6:30 pm
Columbia[8] v Harvard[9] at Milstein
Wake Forest[6] v Michigan[11] at BJKNTC

I'm not aware of many television series based around sporting families, but there is one coming next month on Peacock that focuses on a tennis family, with Sam Neill and Annette Bening starring as former coaches and academy owners with four adult children who also played. This article features comments from the actors on training for the tennis scenes, and closes with this quote:
Tennis, which showrunner Melanie Marnich described as a "dynamic, sexy, wonderful sport," is key to understanding the Delaneys' family dynamic — and how it may have fueled resentment between them. "When you're in a family of deeply competitive people, raised by deeply competitive people, it's in the blood, it's in the DNA," Marnich told the TCA. At what point are the Delaneys competing for the love of the game, and at what point are they competing for the love of their parents?

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Team Indoor Champion Oklahoma State Takes Over Top Ranking; Few Americans Enter ITF J500 Banana Bowl; Forbes Earns First ATP Point; Hui Awarded WTA 500 Qualifying Wild Card; Kypson Reaches ATP Delray Beach Quarterfinals

The Oklahoma State women's program continues to make history, earning the No. 1 ranking for the first time after winning their first national title Monday in the ITA Women's Team Indoor Championships in Seattle.

These are the last rankings that are done by a poll of the 13 regional ranking chairs, with the computer algorithm taking over, but with their impressive record against top teams this year, the Cowgirls are likely to stay on top no matter what method is used. 

Team Indoor finalists Michigan moved to No. 2, which is also a program high, and North Carolina, a prohibitive favorite before this year began, is now at No. 5. There is a long way to go before the next opportunity for a national team title at the NCAAs in May, but with their two losses over the weekend, North Carolina has opened the door to challengers in the coming months.

As this is the last ranking done by poll, I'm displaying all 25 teams, and all who received votes. When the first computer rankings come out next week, the rankings will extend to the Top 75.  There are no men's rankings this week in advance of the ITA Division I Men's Team Indoor Championships, which begin Friday in New York.

Division I Women's Top 25, February 14, 2024
(first place votes in brackets, previous ranking in parentheses)

1. Oklahoma State[13] (3)
2. Michigan (5)
3. Stanford (2)
4. NC State (4)
5. North Carolina (1)
6. Texas (10)
7. Virginia (11)
8. Georgia (4)
9. Ohio State (12)
10. Pepperdine(6)
11. Texas A&M(9)
12. Auburn (14)
13. Florida (8)
14. Cal (15)
15. Duke (17)
16. San Diego (20)
17. Southern California (16)
18. UCLA (13)
19. Oklahoma (18)
20. Tennessee (19)
21. Vanderbilt (22)
22. Washington (21)
23. Miami
24. South Carolina
25. Arizona State (24)

Receiving votes: Baylor, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Wisconsin

The acceptances for the J500 Banana Bowl in Brazil were released yesterday, with just five US boys and six US girls in the 64-player draws.

One of the reasons for the lack of Americans is undoubtedly the March 4-10 dates, which is the week before the ITF J300 at Indian Wells. Going from clay to hard and from Brazil to Southern California will be a challenge, and with the ITF J300 North American Closed the following week in San Diego, many of the top Americans will be focusing on those two weeks, rather than the two clay events in Brazil the two weeks prior. The chance to be at the BNP Paribas Open during the second week is bound to be an attractive option, and now that the tournament, in its second year, is open to all international players, the fields may end up being stronger there than at the J500 in Brazil.

As of now, these are the American boys entered: Maxwell Exsted, Jagger Leach, Noah Johnston, Maximus Dussault and Jordan Reznik. Calvin Baierl is just two spots out of the main draw.

The American girls entered are: Katie Rolls, Mia Slama, Kate Fakih, Olivia Center, Maya Dutta and Trinetra Vijayakumar.

The fields are not strong for a 500, especially for the girls, with the cutoff for main draw 180 and the qualifying 337.  The boys cutoffs are 112 and 190 respectively. There are no current Top 10 players in either field, with No. 11 Alena Kovackova of the Czech Republic the highest ranked girl and No. 16 Amir Omarkhanov of Kazakhstan the highest ranked boy.


Seventeen-year-old Matthew Forbes, who has signed with North Carolina for this fall, earned his first ATP point today at the $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Palm Coast
 Florida. Forbes, who received a wild card into qualifying, defeated fellow qualifier Ryan Dickerson(Duke, Baylor) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Last week's $15K in Sunrise was Forbes' first USTA Pro Circuit event, which he entered via the ITF's Top 100 Junior Reserved program, and he drew top seed Toby Kodat in his first attempt at collecting an ATP point. Forbes, the brother of UNC's Abbey Forbes, will play No. 6 seed Alex Rybakov(TCU), who was a finalist last week in Sunrise, Thursday.

University of Virginia recruit Roy Horovitz, who received his main draw entry this week via a Junior Reserved slot, defeated qualifier Evan Bynoe(Cornell) 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 to earn his second ATP point; the 17-year-old had earned his first point last spring at a $15K in Vero Beach. He will face top seed Kodat in the second round. 

Nineteen-year-old wild card Aidan Kim, a freshman at the University of Florida, defeated No. 7 seed Marlon Vankan of Germany 6-3, 6-3 to reach the second round.

US Open girls champion Katherine Hui has been awarded a qualifying wild card for the WTA 500 Cymbiotika Open in San Diego later the month. Hui, a freshman at Stanford playing at line 5 singles and line 3 doubles, is from San Diego and reached the final of the USTA National 18s Championships at the Barnes Tennis Center, site of the WTA tournament, last year. The full release on Hui's wild card can be found here.

Two days after winning his first ATP level match, 24-year-old wild card Patrick Kypson has added another, defeating Constant Lestienne of France 6-4, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals at the ATP 250 in Delray Beach Florida. The former Texas A&M All-American now moves up to 143 in the ATP Live rankings with the victory. Former North Carolina All-American Rinky Hijikata is also through to the quarterfinals, beating No. 6 seed Matteo Arnaldi of Italy 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 earlier today.