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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Six of Eight Men's Seeds Bow Out at ITA Indoor

©Colette Lewis 2007--
Columbus, OH--
Travis Helgeson, Robert Farah, Bryan Koniecko, Erling Tveit, Luke Shields, Andre Begemann: it isn't a list of players I would expect to see lose in the first round at any tournament. But by the time play ended around 9 p.m. on Thursday at the Racquet Club of Columbus, they were all upset victims; only No. 1 Somdev Devvarman of Virginia and No. 4 Greg Ouellette of Florida remained of the men's seeds.

I heard from several coaches and players that the courts were lightening fast, and that probably played a role in several of the results. Ryan Rowe of Illinois, who is well versed in the art of indoor tennis, defeated No. 3 Robert Farah, the Polo All-American finalist from USC, 6-4, 7-6 (6) and from what I saw of the match, it was Rowe's serve that was the difference, especially in the first set. I didn't see a single point of Denver's Adam Holmstrom's 6-3, 7-5 decision over Georgia's Helgeson, the No. 2 seed and All-American champion, but Holmstrom is also comfortable at the net and on fast surfaces.

I missed the Holmstrom upset because I was watching the very entertaining match between No. 6 seed Erling Tveit of Ole Miss and Pepperdine's Bassam Beidas. At 9-9 in the third set tiebreaker, it was obviously as tight as a match could be. On the next point Beidas called a ball out, but it was ruled that he called it out too late and the point was awarded to Tveit. Beidas argued the ruling for a few moments, and as he went back to the baseline to serve, the always vocal Wave sophomore could be heard saying "take my wallet, take my cell phone," to express his feeling that he'd been robbed. But on that match point, which I believe was Tveit's third, Beidas bombed an ace; he finally finished his 4-6, 7-6 7-6 (11) win on his fourth match point with a delicate forehand angle volley and celebrated with a fist to his heart.

Host school Ohio State didn't fare any better than the seeds in the first round, as three of their four representatives in the men's draw lost, including Koniecko, the fifth seed, who fell to Matthias Wellerman of Ole Miss 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Last year's ITA Indoor finalist Steven Moneke, an ITA wild card, was dispatched by Texas A&M's Conor Pollock 6-3, 6-3, while Drew Eberly, the OSU wild card, lost to Virginia Tech's Albert Larregola 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4. Justin Kronauge is the last Buckeye in the draw, as he overcame Small College Champion Mislav Hizak of Embry-Riddle 7-6 (5), 7-5.

The women's matches earlier in the afternoon produced only one upset, with No. 8 Georgia Rose of Northwestern falling to Aurelija Miseviciute of Arkansas 6-2, 2-6, 6-1. Top seed Megan Falcon cruised to a 6-3, 6-0 win over Cristina Visico of Cal, while No. 2 seed Susie Babos of Cal struggled against Elena Gantcheva of UNLV before seizing a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 victory.

The women's doubles results contained many more surprises than the singles as both No. 1 seeds Megan Moulton-Levy and Katarina Zorcic of William and Mary, the defending champions, and No. 2 seeds Caitlin Whoriskey and Zsofia Zubor of Tennessee lost. In the men's doubles, only the top seeded team of Devvarman and Treat Huey from Virginia avoided the upset bug, and they just barely escaped with a 9-8 (3) win over Daniel Vallverdu and Carl Sundberg of Miami. Huey, who broke a finger on his racquet hand a couple of weeks ago, was trying to play for the first time, and will continue in doubles, but he withdrew from singles, allowing Kellen Damico to enter the draw. Damico lost in straight sets to Vallverdu.

For complete results, see itatennis.com.


Anonymous said...


Do you have any idea how they arrived at the seedings for this event? Megan Moulton-Levy, who is ranked 7th in the nation, was unseeded yet Amanda McDowell and Ani Mijacika - who are ranked quite a lot lower (60th and 24th)- were the 7th and 4th seed respectively.

Anonymous said...

Steven Moneke has officially regressed, ie. Jerry Makowski style. The top half is so much stronger than the bottom half in the mens draw right now. Its like the difference between the AFC and NFC in football.

Colette Lewis said...

Andrew D:
The fall rankings don't include any results from fall play (they are basically the 2006-7 season final rankings with the seniors removed and a few highly regarded freshmen inserted at the bottom), so the seedings for the Indoor try to take into account the All-American results and the Regional results.