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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Frank, Puig Reach Pro Circuit Finals; Ojai Update; Conference Finals Set in Big East, Big 12 and Big Ten

Tomorrow I'll be heading to Ann Arbor to cover the final of the Women's Big Ten tournament, which will feature, as expected, Michigan and Northwestern. This is the seventh year those two teams have met in the conference tournament final, with the Wildcats winning the previous six, including last year, when Michigan had claimed the regular season title. My article on the match will appear on Tennis Recruiting Network Monday. For complete results, see the tournament homepage.

While one longstanding final pairing continues, another one ended, last week actually, when the Illinois men were given the fourth seed in the Big Ten tournament and found themselves in the top half of the draw (I don't know if the 1 seed is always put with the 4 seed in these draws or not) with Ohio State. This meant the streak of Illinois and Ohio State meeting in the tournament championship match would end at seven, and this year, after cruising to a 4-0 win over Illinois in today's semifinals, the Buckeyes will face Minnesota instead. The third-seeded Golden Gophers beat No. 2 Indiana 4-0 in today's other semifinal at the University of Wisconsin. For complete results, see the tournament homepage.

In Waco, Texas A & M will face Oklahoma for the Big 12 men's tournament title, after A&M beat No. 3 seed Texas 4-0 today and No. 5 seed Oklahoma surprised top seed Baylor 4-3.

The women's tournament final, also in Waco, will feature No. 2 Texas against No. 1 Baylor, after Texas defeated Oklahoma and Baylor downed Texas A&M. The Big 12 championship page is here.

In South Bend, the top two seeds in the men's and women's draw have advanced to the Big East final, with the No. 1 Notre Dame women meeting No. 2 South Florida, and the No. 1 Louisville men facing No. 2 Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish women lost to South Florida 5-2 back in March. The Big East tournament page is here.

The Pac-10 individual championships are set for Sunday in Ojai, with No. 1 seed Steve Johnson of USC against No. 2 seed Bradley Klahn of Stanford, a rematch of the 2009 Pac-10 final, won by Klahn. It would be interesting to know just how many times these two have played over the years in juniors and in college.

The women's final will feature top seed Maria Sanchez of USC against No. 7 seed Kristie Ahn of Stanford. Ahn beat teammate Nicole Gibbs, the fourth seed, in today's semifinal 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, while Sanchez prevented an all-Stanford final by defeating Stacey Tan 6-2, 6-1. Sanchez was the subject of this article in the Ventura County Star by Rhiannon Potkey.

The draws for the Pac-10 are available at the TennisLink site. Ken Thomas will be webcasting the finals at radiotennis.com.

The women's Open event is an all-Weil Academy final, with unseeded Ashley Dai and Monica Turewicz meeting to decide the champion. In men's Open final, future UCLA Bruin Marcos Giron, who saved five match points in his second round win over Robert Yim, will face former UCLA Bruin Aaron Yovan. Giron has now won 22 consecutive matches during the past five weeks.

For complete Open draws, see the TennisLink site.

Two juniors have reached finals of professional events, with 17-year-old Monica Puig advancing to the championship of the $25,000 ITF Women's Circuit event in Switzerland, and 18-year-old Mitchell Frank through to the final at the $10,000 Vero Beach Futures. The unseeded Puig beat 125th-ranked Pauline Parmentier of France in the first round, and in the quarterfinals, she defeated second seed Patricia Mayr-Achleitner of Austria, ranked 97th. In the final, she will face top seed and world No. 94 Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic.

Frank, who won four qualifying matches with ease, has had three tough matches in a row, but he again came out on top, this time over unseeded qualifier Gabriel Moraru of Romania 1-6, 6-4, 6-1. He will play No. 4 seed Daniel Garza of Mexico in the final. Garza has yet to drop a set in his four wins.

Complete results are at the Pro Circuit page at usta.com.

And finally, I just received an email letting me know that several US 12-and-under players are competing this week at the Azores Open in Portugal. Alex Del Corral, who just won the USTA 12s Spring Championship, is in the final, as is Claire Liu. The draws are available here, the tournament website is here.


Austin said...

Yes, all conference tournaments are done the way it is SUPPOSED to be done. #1 always meets #4 or 5 seed in semifinals.