Falconi Wins PanAm Gold over Puig, Farah into Men's Final; Other News and Notes from Around College and Junior Tennis
With a 6-3, 6-2 victory over seventh seed Monica Puig of Puerto Rico, former Georgia Tech All-American Irina Falconi became the first US woman to win the singles gold medal at the Pan American Games since Pam Shriver in 1991. Falconi, the No. 2 seed, did not lose a set in her five victories in Guadalajara, Mexico this week. Top seed Christina McHale took home the bronze medal, beating Florencia Molinero of Argentina 6-1, 6-1. For an Associated Press story on Falconi and McHale, prior to their matches today, see usatoday.com.
The men's final will feature the other ITA Player of the Year in 2010, Rob Farah of the University of Southern California. The eighth seed, Farah defeated No. 7 seed Victor Estrella of the Dominican Republic 6-4, 6-4 in today's semifinal to earn his shot at a gold medal against No. 4 seed Rogerio Dutra of Brazil. Farah, who has already played five matches in the larger men's draw, also has yet to drop a set.
For results, see the Pan American Games website or the wikipedia page.
In other news, the University of North Florida has named former Wilson junior and college manager and Northwestern assistant Adam Schaechterle to the head coaching position there. Schaechterle joins former NCAA champion Audra Cohen, who was named the women's coach last June.
Taking over the men's head coaching position at Cornell is former University of Oklahoma assistant Silviu Tanasoiu. As Tony Bresky was before him, Tanasoiu will also be the Director of Intercollegiate Tennis at the Ithaca New York university.
Former University of Hawaii standout Dennis Lajola is embarking on his professional career after four years of collegiate tennis. Lajola is featured in this article, which was brought to my attention by a longtime reader.
The USTA's college spotlight shines on Division III All-American Gabrielle Clark of Emory. Clark talks about her decision to attend a Division III school, her goals for her sophomore year and how her hometown of Chicago compares to Atlanta.
In December, USTA Player Development is holding a Tennis Performance & Injury Prevention Conference. The two-day conference is December 10th and 11th in Tampa, Fla., with the cost $199. There will be a performance track and a injury/medicine track, and it is open to anyone. If I were not covering the finals of the Orange Bowl that weekend, I would consider attending myself. For more information, including a list of presenters, see the conference website.
And finally, I don't often run across articles critical of high school tennis fans, but there is one foreign exchange student in Mishawaka, Indiana who didn't enjoy his encounters with "rude" fans, according to this column in the South Bend Tribune.