Sponsored by IMG Academy

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Virginia Men, Georgia Women Upset; Interview with Georgia's Manny Diaz

There were a couple of surprises today in the collegiate ranks, with the 14th-ranked Kentucky men defeating No. 2 Virginia 4-3 in Lexington, and the 15th-ranked Clemson women taking a 4-3 decision from Georgia in Athens.

For the second week in a row, it was junior Alberto Gonzalez who delivered the fourth point for the Wildcats. In the Kick-off weekend final against Wake Forest, Gonzalez clinched the Team Indoor berth at No. 5 singles; today against Virgina, he did it at the No. 6 spot. The most shocking result to me was in the doubles, where Kentucky posted three wins by the scores of 8-5, 8-5, 8-4. I believe it is the first regular season loss for the Cavaliers they dropped back-to-back matches to Baylor and Texas in March of 2007. For a complete review of the match, see the Kentucky athletic site.

In Athens, Georgia had a 3-1 lead, but Clemson fought back to collect their second important 4-3 win in a week. The Tigers had also dropped the doubles point to Ole Miss in the Kick-off weekend final at home against Ole Miss last week, but went on to win the last point at No. 6 singles to earn their Team Indoor invitation. Today, on the road, it was Laurianne Henry at No. 5 singles who did the honors. For more, see the Clemson athletic site.

In another battle between Madison-bound teams, No. 5 Baylor edged No. 6 Miami 4-3 in Coral Gables, Fla. The Hurricanes lost the doubles point, but took five first sets in the singles matches, only to see the Bears roar back. Baylor's senior Lenka Broosova set the school record for singles wins in her 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Laura Vallverdu at No. 1, making it 3-3, and Nina Secerbegovic completed the comeback with victory at No. 3. See the Baylor athletic site for details.

There was controversy in Friday's match between the Syracuse and Eastern Michigan women, won by Syracuse 4-3. Eastern coach Ryan Ray lodged a protest over Syracuse coach Luke Jensen's lineup. In this story on the Eastern athletic website, Ray said:

"You’re supposed to place your players according to skill level with one being your highest ranked and six being your lowest ranked,” Ray explained. “They had their best player in the five position. This player had beaten two ranked opponents in the fall and established a national ranking for herself. She was not their fifth-best player."

Syracuse played at No. 16 Michigan today, and using the same lineup, lost 7-0.

Many other matches were postponed or canceled due to bad weather in California and on the East coast.

With the discussion lately about what coaches I should interview, it was great to see this Inside Tennis question and answer with Georgia's Manny Diaz. It was conducted at the U.S. Open, but Diaz prediction of Isner's rise in the rankings has been spot on. Are these the types of questions I should be asking? Do you have others you would like to me to pose?


fight on said...

What happened to Virginia? And many of you predicted them to win indoor?


collegetennis said...

For coaches to interview would suggest longtime ole ms coach Billy Chadwick who did an incredible job fine tuning Brittons game and believe he got coach of the year in 09. ALso the other teams who seems to be developing pro playors: FL, GA, IL and Baylor and of course Ohio State.

Great Idea said...

Questions for college coaches:

1-what needs to happen to make more college players into successful pro players?
2-what can the usta do differently to help make this happen?
3-does there need to be more college coaches education to produce professional players from college?
4-is it the college coaches role to produce professtional players or make them stay 4 years and earn a degree?
5-Is the usta working with the college coaches to help produce professional players?
6-Why has there been a lack of Grand Slam champions on the men's side?
7-What do these schools do differently: UVA, UGA, Illinois, Baylor, etc that have produced Top 100 players, that other schools do not do?

Ole Miss Tennis said...

Due to heirarchy Coach Chadwick got the credit for Devin Britton BUT the assistant coach, Toby did the incredible job. He deserves most of the credit!

I just wish Devin stayed in school for another year. He was not even the best player on his own team. But to his credit he won the biggest college tournament as a freshman. He picked a great time to get hot.

tennis guy said...

kentuckys indoor courts are lightning fast and they have an advantage over anyone in the country on those courts. They slap winners from anywhere and are not nearly as good outside

Tennis guy said...

The reason for the Kentucky upset is because of there huge advantage on there indoor courts. They are lightning fast and the kentucky guys slap winners from everywhere. They play on them everyday and they are used to the speed. They are not nearly as good outside.

a man said...

great victory for the kentucky mens team.. tennis guy, that is what home court advantage is.. of course they are more used to it than other teams.. same as virginia should have the advantage during indoors.. but great job to kentucky, they can have a great year..

Austin said...


What are you talking about? What pros has Ohio State developed? I cant think of any Buckeyes that did well on tour. Same with Florida. Im not giving them credit for Levine or Sweeting since they each spent one semester on the team. Jeff Morrison is probably the only successful pro they have had in the past decade.

I noticed the conference that spits out the most pros, Pac10, seems to be completely absent from your list.

NCAA Tennis said...

Well, let's face it, like US tennis in general, there aren't really any college factories out there churning out top 100 or 200 pros. The schools being named in this post have a grand total of 1 or 2 players each in the top 100 to their credit in the last decade. Which is to be applauded, but not sure how much of a pedastal they should be placed on. Current coaches Whitlinger (as an asst. at Stanford) and Martin (UCLA) can probably lend their names to the most top 100-150 pros (in singles) over the last 15-20 years.

That all being said, I'd say college coaches on the men's side has been more productive than USTA player development over the last 10-15 years in developing top 200 pros in singles, top 50 pros in doubles.

observation said...

NCAA Tennis

The usta was NOT in the business of producing players over the past 15-20 years. They were supplemental until 2 years ago when they added primary coaching in Boca.

Outside of Georgia and Virginia, which college coach as produced any successful pro players in the past 5-8 years?

The college coaches are NOT doing a great job. In fact a terrible job.

College Tennis said...

I do not know but I am guessing that ever since Coach Gould left Stanford they have not produced any players like they did before so I am assuming correctly that it was Gould who produced these players and not Witlinger? Stanford has struggled to maintain their high standards as soon as coach Gould left.

The last crop of pros to leave a mens college team was Craig Tiley at Illinois. Now he did an amazing job. Illinois hasn't been the same.

Andy Brandi on the women's side was the last powerhouse to produce women college players into pros.

Has college coaching gotten weaker or they want their players not to develop so they stay in school?

Because of this trend are more players not going to school because the players appear to get worse in college?

collegeadvocate said...

There are only two four-year college players in the ATP Top 100.... #25 Isner (Georgia) and #72 Luczak (Fresno). There are three others in the Top 100 who played some college. Its not easy to get to the top 100 no matter the route. Remember that the college guys were usually not "sure-fire" ppro prospects to begin with. Clearly Jimmy Connors/ John McEnroe were greater talents than Rajeev Ram (#56) and Peter Luczak. Ripping college as a path to the pros is extremely unenlightened.

Stephen said...

Illinois has produced three top-100 players in the last several years: Amer Delic (reached 65; 846,000 in career earnings; now injured), Rajeev Ram (currently #79, won ATP title last year; 871,00 career earnings) and Kevin Anderson (reached 95; made ATP final in 2008; now 133). Others like Ryler DeHeart (197) and Brian Wilson (232) have done pretty well and had their moments, too.

cts said...

Benjamin Becker played four years at Baylor. He was 2007 ATP Newcomer of the Year and is still ranked inside the top 50. Benedikt Dorsch got to 127 and Lars Poerschke is hovering around 300.

curious said...

With Poerschke hovering near 300, how did he get a main draw WC to the SAP?