Embree Wins French Wild Card; Ojai Recap, More on NCAA Committee's Decision to Ship Ole Miss and Baylor Out
For those of you who missed my tweet earlier today, Lauren Embree will be going to Roland Garros a couple weeks earlier than she had planned. The 18-year-old from Marco Island, Fla., defeated Nicole Gibbs 6-3, 7-6(2) in today's final at Boca West Country Club. Embree, who won the 18s Clay Courts in Memphis last year, had planned on playing the junior championships in Paris, but she'll need to be there at least a week early to take her spot in the main draw. It will be her debut in a WTA tournament.
For those who have waited patiently for a recap of the tournament last weekend in Ojai, it's finally here. (The Big Ten tournament disrupted my normal schedule of following tournaments this year). Every year at the Easter Bowl, I hear from officials who are going to work there what a great event it is, and how I should stay to cover it. Three weeks in California is a bit more than I can handle financially right now, but Ojai has a prominent place on my tennis "bucket list," believe me.
Top seed Lester Cook won the men's Open, defeating No. 2 seed Cecil Mamitt in the final. No. 4 seed Pamela Montez, who will be starting at UCLA in the fall, won the women's Open, over former USC player Maureen Diaz, the No. 2 seed. The Ventura County Star had this story about those matches.
In the Pac-10 individual championships, Stanford freshman Bradley Klahn was the big winner, taking the singles and doubles titles. Klahn beat USC's Steve Johnson in the final, having upset USC's Robert Farah in the semifinals, while Johnson upset Klahn's teammate Alex Clayton in their semifinal encounter. Klahn and Ryan Thacher defeated UCLA's Eugen Bradzil and Michael Look in the doubles final. USC senior Amanda Fink also swept both titles, defeating Arizona freshman Natasha Marks in the singles, then teaming with Gabriela Niculescu to post a victory over Arizona State sisters Laila and Nadia Abdala for the doubles crown. The Ventura County Star had this story about the Pac-10 finals.
Please visit the TennisLink site for all the Open and Pac-10 results.
In the juniors, Marco Giron won the Southern California CIF, beating Clay Thompson in the final. The girls 18s winner was Monica Turewicz, the boys 16s winner was Billy Pecor, and the girls 16s winner was Ashley Dai, all No. 1 seeds. The 14s boys title went to Brendan McClain and the girls 14s champion was Sivan Krems. For complete draws, visit the TennisLink site.
For the Small College results, go to this TennisLink site.
The NCAA no doubt wishes this seed=hosting controversy would just go away, but I've been assured by several coaches that it won't, and discussions will continue in College Station.
Lest the tennis committees think that all the complaints are coming from interested parties, there are these two examples. The Idaho Statesman recognizes that this decision is a blow to the whole sport, and understandably speculates that Boise State will never host a regional given the current NCAA thinking.
And even LSU men's coach Jeff Brown, the beneficiary of the decision to send No. 2 seed Ole Miss to his school, questions the fairness of the committee's move.
Obviously, this is unfair to Ole Miss. I can empathize with them. It's unbelievable what they've achieved in our league. I can only imagine how I would feel if we had done everything they've done and then have this happen.For the complete story, entitled "Common Sense Took a Vacation," see the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.