Coric, Garin Named to Compete in Singles in Davis Cup; College Players Bolster World Group and Group I and II Teams
In Wednesday's post, I linked to a BBC article speculating on the possibility that 16-year-old US Open boys champion Borna Coric would be playing Davis Cup for Croatia in their home World Group Playoff tie with Great Britain beginning Friday. It was less than five years ago that Coric was playing the Junior Orange Bowl 12s, in the photo below.
I thought the possibility of Coric actually playing a slim one, but this morning he was indeed selected, and he will play, as Croatia's No. 2 in singles, the British No. 1 Andy Murray. With the absence of Ivo Karlovic and Marin Cilic, Croatia didn't have many options, but it does seem a reach, although a great opportunity for Coric. Coric did play two competitive sets with ATP No. 50 Horatio Zeballos of Argentina in an ATP 250 event in Umag, the same city where the Davis Cup tie is being played, before losing 6-0 in the third, and he recently won two Futures titles in Turkey, but Andy Murray is certainly several levels above the competition he faced there.
For more on Coric's selection, see this BBC article.
French Open boys champion Christian Garin of Chile will also be competing for his country this weekend, with Chile facing the Dominican Republic in the Americas Group 1 relegation match. Garin, 17, is Chile's No. 2 player, and he is scheduled to play the fifth and possibly deciding rubber against former North Carolina All-American Jose Hernandez. Roberto Cid, who is on the University of South Florida roster, has been selected to play doubles for the Dominican Republic.
In another World Group Playoff tie, Ecuador plays in Switzerland, with three of Ecuador's team with collegiate experience, half of them at USC. Former Trojan Emilio Gomez will play No. 2 singles for Ecuador, opening against Switzerland's No. 1 Stanislas Wawrinka, and his cousin Roberto Quiroz, who is on the USC roster for this year, is scheduled to play doubles with former Texas Tech star Gonzalo Escobar, an NCAA doubles finalist in 2012.
Three other former collegians are playing doubles for their countries in the World Group Playoffs: UCLA's Jean-Julien Rojer for the Netherlands against Austria, Marcin Matkowski (also a former Bruin who incidentally teamed with Rojer to win the All-American doubles title in 2001), for Poland against Australia, and 2008 NCAA doubles champion Robert Farah of USC, for Colombia against Japan.
Several collegians are involved in the Group I Africa/Europe tie between South Africa and Slovenia. 2013 NCAA champion Blaz Rola is playing No. 2 singles for Slovenia, and former Illinois player Ruan Roelofse is South Africa's No. 2. Current Ole Miss player Nik Scholtz is on the South African roster, but is not expected to see action. The other Group I Africa/Europe tie between Sweden and Slovakia features 2001 NCAA doubles finalist Johan Brunstrom from SMU, and Robert Lindstedt from Pepperdine as the Swedish doubles pairing.
In Group II Africa/Europe play, ITA preseason No. 1 Mikelis Libietis of Tennessee will play No. 2 singles for Latvia against Finland, and in the Asia/Oceania Group II, former Virginia All-American Treat Huey will play doubles for the Philippines against New Zealand with current Pepperdine Wave Francis Alcantara, with former Illinois player Ruben Gonzales at No. 2 singles. New Zealand features former LSU All-American Michael Venus at No. 2 singles and in doubles. In Group II Americas play, former Tulsa player Marcelo Arevalo will play No. 1 for El Salvador against Venezuela, which features former Baylor Bear Roberto Maytin in doubles. Roman Borvanov, who played at the University of Portland, is playing doubles for Moldova in their Africa/Europe Group II tie with Portugal.
For more on this weekend's ties, see this post from Foot Soldiers of Tennis.
If I am missing any other college players, please let me know in the comments below.
There are no former college players in the Davis Cup semifinals, which feature Canada against Serbia and Argentina against the Czech Republic.