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Thursday, October 7, 2010

D'Novo ITA All-American Opens with Impressive Play by ACC Conference

©Colette Lewis 2010--
Tulsa, OK--

Eleven hours after they began, the two rounds of singles played on the first day of D'Novo/ITA All-American ended with four of the top eight seeds on the sidelines. There was Tulsa's Marcelo Arevalo's upset of No. 1 seed JP Smith of Tennessee (see story below), that started things off, followed by Duke's Reid Carleton's 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-2 win over No. 5 seed and 2009 Indoor champion Steve Johnson of USC.

No. 6 seed Michael Shabaz of Virginia went out in the second round to qualifier Matteo Fago of Tennessee 3-6, 6-4, 2-2, retiring with what head coach Brian Boland called a "full body cramp." He did received treatment and was able to compete in doubles this evening. No. 5 seed Chase Buchanan of Ohio State, who had saved a match point in his first round win over Texas A&M's Jeff Dadamo, was beaten by Rhyne Williams of Tennessee 6-1, 7-6(6). Williams served extremely well in the opening set, with Buchanan unable to make much of an impression on the sophomore from Knoxville, but the second set was a battle all the way. In the tiebreaker, Buchanan led 6-3, leading Williams to indulge in some profanity that was audible to many spectators but not to the roving umpire watching the court. After failing to convert any of those three set points, it was Buchanan's turn to express his frustration, which he did with a angry toss of his racquet. It could have cost him a point, but the umpire did not see the toss, only the result of it, so Buchanan escaped that penalty, but Williams won the next two points anyway to advance to the third round.

Virginia freshman Alex Domijan, a wild card into the tournament as the country's top-ranked freshman, looked outstanding in his two wins Thursday. Domijan defeated No. 13 seed Javier Garrapiz of Georgia 6-2, 6-1 and looked even sharper against USC's Daniel Nguyen, taking that decision 6-2, 6-1. Domijan, who looks, if not taller, then stronger than in his junior days, faces No. 2 seed Henrique Cunha of Duke in the round of 16 on Friday. Cunha, last year's freshman phenom, defeated Texas's Ed Corrie and qualifier Sebastian Fanselow of Pepperdine in straight sets for his two victories. Cunha probably gives up 10 inches to the 6-foot-7 Domijan, but it will be a great test for the freshman, who has yet to lose a match since starting school this fall.

Domijan is joined in the round of 16 by teammates Sanam Singh, the No. 12 seed, and Drew Courtney. In addition to the five Duke and Virginia players in the last 16, the ACC also claimed two other spots, with No. 4 seed Guillermo Gomez of Georgia Tech and Jose Hernandez of North Carolina also advancing. Hernandez beat Arevalo, Smith's conqueror, 6-4, 7-6(1), and will play Singh on Friday, with Gomez taking on Courtney in another all-ACC battle. Carleton is the only ACC player not facing another one Friday; he plays qualifier Ryan Thacher of Stanford, who defeated Vanderbilt's Ryan Lipman and No. 16 seed Pedro Zerbini of Cal for his fourth and fifth victories of the week. Fago, the other qualifier still in the draw, plays NCAA finalist Austen Childs of Louisville in Friday's third round.

NCAA champion Bradley Klahn, the No. 3 seed, faced a strong challenge from Tulsa's Ashley Watling in the first round, escaping with a 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-4 victory. Klahn, who has not played competitively since the U.S. Open, where he took a set from Sam Querrey, looked more comfortable in his 6-3, 6-3 second round win over qualifier Benedikt Lindheim of Nebraska. Klahn will play No. 14 seed Marcel Thiemann of Ole Miss, in a rematch of their quarterfinal meeting this May at the NCAAs.

Williams will play No. 9 seed Alex Lacroix of Florida in an all-SEC battle, and No. 8 seed Eric Quigley of Kentucky will play Baylor's John Peers. Peers, a relentless serve and volleyer who transferred from Middle Tennessee State to Baylor for his senior year, barely escaped pre-qualifier Chris Kearney of UC-Irvine in the second round, taking it 7-5, 6-7(3), 7-6(3). In spite of all the tennis he's played since last Saturday, Kearney didn't looked tired, but a missed putaway at the net down 3-5 in the final tiebreaker may have been the result of too much tennis over too few days. Or maybe it was just a missed shot. Whatever the case, Peers kept the pressure on by coming in, making the first volley, and often a second or third. It's not a style you see much in college tennis (or any other level) these days, so make a point to watch the Australian play sometime this year.

For complete results, including the first round of doubles, see the ITA tournament website.

At the ITA/Riviera All-American in California, the first round is nearly complete after days of disruptions due to rain. Top seed Jana Juricova of Cal and No. 2 seed Hilary Barte of Stanford advanced to the second round with straight set victories. See the ITA tournament website for complete results.


ACC Tennis said...

With 3 of the final 8 in singles and a strong performance in doubles (defending ncaa champs already in the final 4; 1 more team playing right now to advance), this should establish Virginia as the early favorites for the team championship. Shabaz probably would've made the final 8 as well if not for a full body cramp.

Austin said...

UVA can never be considered the favorite in NCAA tennis, they prove that every May.

John said...

And history always repeats itself........

So who is your early favorite, if not the Cavaliers??