My Article on King and van Overbeek's Role in Overturning NCAA Changes; Mmoh Reaches Grade A Quarterfinals in Japan; Juniors Dominate Quarterfinals in Birmingham Futures
While in Tulsa, I spoke to Michigan's Evan King and Florida's Bob van Overbeek about their role leading the opposition to the changes proposed to the NCAA Division I tennis format. Both were modest about what they had done in creating a social media outcry against the changes, but were certain they had the backing of the vast majority of their fellow student-athletes. With that confidence, they provided a rallying point, which ended up attracting not just college tennis players, but coaches, fans and members of the tennis industry.
For the complete story of what triggered their Facebook and Twitter campaign against the proposals, see my article at the Tennis Recruiting Network.
Today in Japan, 14-year-old Michael Mmoh, the only American in the field, reached the quarterfinals of the ITF Grade A Osaka Mayor's Cup. Few Americans make the trip to Japan (often it isn't possible to play both it and the Pan American; this year it was), but the IMG Bollettieri Academy sometimes travels there with its students, and Mmoh has demonstrated he is competitive at the top ITF level. He qualified at the US Open and won a round there, won two rounds in Tulsa and now has reached the quarterfinals in his second Grade A. After Mmoh's 6-3, 6-4 win today over unseeded Omar Jasika of Australia, he will next face No. 2 seed and US Open semifinalist Kaichi Uchida of Japan. Mmoh has also reached the doubles semifinals, with he and Tommy Mylnikov of Canada, who are unseeded, beating top seeds Evan Hoyt of Great Britain and Nikola Milojevic of Serbia 6-1, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. For more on today's quarterfinal matches, see the ITF junior website.
At the $10,000 men's Futures in Birmingham, Ala., five of the eight quarterfinalists are age 18 or under. Three 17-year-olds: Kyle Edmund and Luke Bambridge of Great Britain and US Open semifinalist Yoshito Nishioka of Japan are in the bottom half, along with 18-year-old Mitchell Krueger. All are unseeded. In the top half, there is one teenager, 18-year-old Lucas Pouille of France, who is the No. 5 seed and will play No. 3 seed Chase Buchanan in Friday's quarterfinal. Unseeded Dennis Nevolo, the former Illinois All-American, advanced with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Daniel Nguyen in one of the two former-collegian matchups, while Buchanan, who trailed recent UNC grad Joey Burkhardt 3-6, 1-3 with points to go down 1-4, won the final 11 games of the match for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory. Nevolo will play top seed Daniel Garza of Mexico in the quarterfinals. The doubles final will feature top seeds Buchanan and Vahid Mirzadeh against unseeded Krueger and Bjorn Fratangelo.
At the $50,000 ITF Women's Circuit event in Canada, an intriguing second round match between Wimbledon girls champion Eugenie Bouchard and US Open girls champion Samantha Crawford turned out to be more one-sided than expected with Bouchard, the No. 6 seed, winning in 6-2, 6-2.