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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Nishikori Beats Blake; Virginia and Ohio State Meet Monday for ITA Team Indoor Title

Eighteen-year-old qualifier Kei Nishikori of Japan, who has trained at IMG/Bollettieri for the past four years, defeated top seed James Blake in today's ATP tournament in Delray Beach. Except for last March's Luxilon Cup, which he won, Nishikori didn't play any junior events, and had worked his way up to 244 on the ATP computers prior to this win. After saving four match points in his win against Sam Querrey Saturday, Nishikori wasn't likely to panic after losing the first set to Blake, and he recovered to quickly take the second set. An early break in the third was all he needed, and he had no difficulty serving out his first ATP title. Richard Evans of Tennis Week was in Delray Beach all week, and has written several atories about Nishikori's game. He's a fan, no doubt about it.

In the Men's Team Indoor semifinals Sunday in Seattle, No. 1 Virginia escaped with a 4-2 win over No. 5 Ole Miss, after dropping the first set in five of the six singles matches. The Cavaliers will meet No. 3 Ohio State, who stopped Georgia's win streak at 38 by handling the Bulldogs 4-1. For complete results of the day's action, visit the University of Washington website.


scott said...

That UVA-Ole Miss match was tight. Tveit served for the match at 5-3 in the 2nd set but couldn't close it out. Then he had a 4-2 lead in the breaker and lost 5 of the next 6 points, even after Devvarman was overruled on a line shot to give Tveit a 4-2 lead. It seemed to affect Tveit, even though he won the point. He was done after that. UVA fans let him know it, as well, as they kept chanting "he's done" late in the breaker and into the 3rd set. Good match.

OSU won a tight doubles point and then showed great strength in singles. Saw the Helgeson-Kronauge match, which seemed to be one sided, with Helgeson up a set and 5-2, before Kronauge stormed back to force a 3rd. Too bad that one didn't finish, it was a great display.

UVA-OSU is a toss up. I give OSU the edge in doubles, and I think it'll be hard for UVA to take 4 singles matches off them, but if anyone can do it, they can.

gsm said...

Maybe I'm the only one who sees this, but I disagree with Scott who says it will be hard for UVa to take 4 singles.

I think it's the other way around

#1 Devvarman is a clear favorite

And going by results this spring you would have to say Singh is also at #4.

IMO, the others are all toss-ups.

Ohio St. basically has to win all of the other 4 to have a chance.
That's a tall order.
I could easily see the singles splitting 3-3
But to me, OSU has the more difficult task in winning 4 singles

scott said...

My statement was under the assumption that OSU would win the doubles point. But UVA won the doubles point. What I should've said was, whoever wins doubles will win the match, cause I don't see either team winning 4 singles matches. I figured the teams would split singles. Looks like it's heading that way for a UVA win.

gsm said...

Gotcha. I see what you mean. I overlooked the doubles part.

Though I would also (or would have before the start) disagree with giving OSU the edge. With the #1 doubles team, UVa again was the clear favorite here at the top spot. They just needed 1 of 2 matches at #2 and #3, while OSU couldn't afford a slip up at either one of those spots. Certainly the doubles could have gone either way. Just saying UVa could afford for a doubles team to have an "off day" or just make some mistakes. OSU had to be at the top of their game at 2/3.

I guess I also meant that going into the singles, I didn't think it was that big of a stretch for UVa to win 4 singles, regardless of the doubles outcome.

UVa basically had two wins going in. Somdev of course and against Uzawa who seems like he is playing a bit too high, while Singh maybe too low.

Though not easy, they basically just had to win 2 out of the other 4 singles to get to 4 singles wins.
Reasonable odds.

Ohio State, on the other hand, had no margin for error to reach 4. Their possible wins were only going to come from slots
2,3,5 and 6. It was possible, (but IMO) odds were lower.

Just my two cents (and not worth any more).

It's just fun to watch some competitive college tennis.

Looking forward to the next few months