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Monday, March 9, 2009

Furman's Scarpa Sets D-I Win Record; Tomic Suspended; UCLA Team Wins Pacific Coast Doubles; Indian Wells Qualifying; Gilbert Joins Bollettieri's

As I mentioned when he wrote a story about Melanie Oudin a couple of weeks ago, ESPN's Greg Garber is back on the tennis beat, and in an article posted today, he examines the career of Furman's Paul Scarpa, who became the leader in NCAA Division I men's tennis wins when his team defeated Yale 6-1 on Friday. Now with 821 victories (Furman beat Army on Sunday), Scarpa surpassed Jim Schwitters of Hawaii, and according to Garber, his retirement, at least any time soon, is unlikely. Until recently, I wasn't aware that Scarpa developed the 3-6 system, with three doubles matches for one point, played first, and six singles following, that is now employed in NCAA Division I tennis.

The ITF has made its decision regarding the case of Bernard Tomic, and he will not be able to play in ITF events until after April 6, as punishment for walking off the court in a Futures tournament match back in December. He was also fined $1560, according to this story from the Sydney Daily Telegraph. Given that Tomic has recently won an ATP Challenger title, and his participation in that level of tournaments is not affected by this ruling, it probably will have very little impact on his schedule in the next four weeks. He is now 382 in the ATP rankings.

The 120th annual Pacific Coast Doubles tournament (that number's not a typo) was contested at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, with UCLA's Haythem Abid and Nick Meister winning the title. Due to some questionable seeding, Abid and Meister were one of the No. 9 seeds, and fell in the same 1/16 as co-No. 1 seeds Robert Farah and Steve Johnson of USC, but the Bruins won that 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 (isn't it refreshing to see real doubles scores again?) and went on to beat Rice's team of Christoph Muller and Tobias Scheil, one of the No. 8 seeds, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the final. Marc Lucero was there covering the tournament for his blog, Luch by Marc Lucero. For the complete draws, see the TennisLink site.

The women's qualifying began today at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Julia Boserup lost to Spain's Virginia Ruano Pascual 6-2, 6-2, while Angela Hayes, also a wild card, defeated Olga Savchuk of Ukraine 6-1, 6-3. Gail Brodsky, who won the other qualifying wild card when she saved match points against former UCLA star Riza Zalameda, according to this story in the Desert Sun, couldn't pull off another three set triumph a day later. In a match that took nearly two and a half hours, Brodsky lost to France's Aravane Rezai 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-4. Sixteen-year-old Michelle Larcher de Brito won her match in three sets; CoCo Vandeweghe and Asia Muhammad have not finished their matches as I write this.

For complete results, see the BNP Paribas website.

Nick Bollettieri has announced on his website that Brad Gilbert will be joining his staff as a "guest coach" beginning in April.

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