Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Men's and Women's D-I Singles Championships Underway in Athens

©Colette Lewis 2010--
Athens, GA--

After all the drama and excitement of Tuesday's team finals, the first day of the individual tournament takes some getting used to. The crowds are smaller and there are many more school logos in evidence, with some players competing on the Dan Magill Tennis Center Complex courts for the first time.

The weather hasn't changed however. Seasonable temperatures in the mid 80s with a pleasant breeze and partly cloudy skies made standing in the shade on the upper McWhorter courts downright comfortable.

Top seeds Irina Falconi of Georgia Tech and Henrique Cunha of Duke had no trouble in their opening matches, with Falconi downing Vanderbilt's Jackie Wu 6-4, 6-1, and Cunha eliminating Cal's Pedro Zerbini 6-3, 6-1.

No. 5 seed Austin Krajicek of Texas A & M was the highest seed to fall in the matches completed by 6 p.m. Krajicek couldn't get anything going in his match with Marcel Thiemann of Ole Miss, losing 6-1, 6-4. No. 2 seed Steve Johnson of USC and No. 3 seed JP Smith of Tennessee were scheduled for the evening matches after competing in the team final, and I was unable to stay due to a commitment to attend the ITA Hall of Fame Induction ceremony.

No. 4 seed Guillermo Gomez of Georgia Tech needed two and a half hours to subdue Mortiz Baumann of Wisconsin 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, but he wasn't surprised by the effort required, even though he had beaten Baumann twice this season, both outdoors and indoors.

"I think of myself as more of an outdoor player and he as more of an indoor player, but the results are otherwise," Gomez said. "It's funny, but that's tennis. The first one was the All-Americans, outdoors, and that was a tough three-setter too. Indoors (at Yale), the result was a little bit easier."

Gomez, a finalist at the National Indoor this year, didn't feel he had any difficulty with the mid-afternoon heat, saying he was actually pleased to be tested early in the tournament.

"I'd rather go through the first round with a tough three-setter than with an easy match," he said. "I think this is going to help me to do well in this tournament."

An interesting second round match on Thursday will be a replay of last year's Kalamazoo Boys 18s championship, with No. 7 seed Chase Buchanan of Ohio State facing Vanderbilt's Ryan Lipman. Buchanan defeated Jean Yves-Aubone of Florida State 6-4, 6-2, while Lipman beat Thibaut Charron of Virginia Commonwealth 4-6, 6-4, 3-0, ret.

In the women's tournament, No. 6 seed Yasmin Schnack of UCLA was defeated by Baylor's Nina Secerbegovic 6-4, 6-3, and Washington's Denise Dy, a 9-16 seed, was upset by Pachittra Thongdach of Boise State 2-6, 6-1, 6-1. Another 9-16 seed, Anastasia Petukhova of Fresno State, fell to Micaela Hein of Arizona State 7-5, 6-0.

Results for matches played on the McWhorter courts stay on the live stats page. Results from those that are played on the main six courts can be found on the brackets themselves.


tennis guy2894 said...

Colette, I would like to hear your comments on how the NCAA sets up these draws for the singles and doubles. I think it is a huge shame the way it's done. What is the purpose of having a high ranking when they throw you in playing someone in the first round that is ranked one spot ahead of you like in the women's No. 16 playing No. 17 player. Why should some of the lower seeds get a break with whom they play the first rounds? It is not fair to the players that have worked so hard to build up their ranking to have them play someone at the same level as they are.
I am also looking at the doubles draw and see a No. 57 ranked team playing a No. 40 ranked team in the first round. These two teams should be playing top five seeded teams, shouldn't they? This is one of my biggest pet-peeves in College Tennis!