Sponsored by IMG Academy

Friday, January 31, 2014

Arconada Reaches Grade I Final in Ecuador; Tiafoe into Futures Quarterfinal; Oklahoma State Upsets Tennessee; Great Britain Leads US 2-0 in Davis Cup

Usue Arconada reached her first Grade 1 final today in Guayaquil Ecuador, defeating top seed Sonya Kenin, also of the US, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Arconada, the No. 9 seed, has played four matches this week, with three of them going the distance.  She meets fellow 15-year-old Olga Fridman of Ukraine in Saturday's final, after the No. 4 seed defeated No. 2 seed Greetje Minnen of Belgium 6-2, 7-6(7).  Fridman is one of the hottest players on the ITF junior circuit now, having won the last two Grade 1s in Venezuela and Colombia, giving her a 15-match winning streak.  Fridman was out for six months in 2013, returning to competition in November, and she has gone 26-2 in ITF junior tournaments since her return.

The boys final will feature the top two seeds, each of whom won a Grade 1 title earlier this month. No. 1 Nicolas Alvarez of Peru beat No. 4 seed Orlando Luz of Brazil 6-2, 6-4 to set up a final against No. 2 seed Matias Zukas of Argentina. Zukas ended American Alex Rybakov's run 6-1, 6-2 in the semifinals.

At the Pro Circuit $10,000 Futures in Palm Coast, Florida, matches resumed after two consecutive washouts, with some of the first round matches still needing to be played.  Qualifier Alfredo Perez won his match against Nathan Ponwith 6-4, 6-4 to earn his first ATP point, joining Taylor Fritz and Francis Tiafoe as teens making that breakthrough this week. Perez and Fritz both lost their second round matches this afternoon, but Tiafoe returned after his 6-4, 6-3 first round victory over Pavel Krainik of Canada to take on No. 4 seed Markus Eriksson of Sweden, and the Orange Bowl champion won that as well, 6-4, 6-4.  Tiafoe, who won four matches in qualifying, plays No. 5 seed Pedro Sakamoto of Brazil in the quarterfinals, and if he should win that, would play a semifinal match later in the day.

A big surprise in college tennis today, with the No. 6 Tennessee men falling to No. 50 Oklahoma State 4-2 in Stillwater.  The recap from the Tennessee website is here, and the results are below.

No. 50 Oklahoma State 4, No. 6 Tennessee 2

January 31, 2014 | Stillwater, Okla. | Greenwood Tennis Center

1. #1 Libietis/Reese (TENN) def. Sude/Sachs (OSU) 6-5 (4)
2. Kadhe/Bohrnstedt (OSU) def. #28 Fickey/Chaplin (TENN) 6-3
3. Kerner/Dromsky (TENN) def. Gerch/Campbell (OSU) 6-4

Order of finish: (2, 3, 1)

1. Jakob Sude (OSU) def. #16 Mikelis Libietis (TENN) 6-5(2), 6-5(4)
2. #34 Hunter Reese (TENN) def. Sebastian Sachs (OSU) 6-0, 6-4
3. Arjun Kadhe (OSU) def. Jarrod Chaplin (TENN) 6-5(1), 4-6, 6-3
4. Lucas Gerch (OSU) def. Bartosz Sawicki (TENN) 6-3, 6-5(3)
5. Brady Bohrnstedt (OSU) def. Andrew Dromski (TENN) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
6. Chris Haworth (OSU) vs. Markus Kerner (TENN) 6-4, 4-6, 1-3 uf.

Order of finish: (2, 4, 5, 1, 2)

At the USA versus Great Britain first round world group tie in San Diego, the American team started badly and ended worse, with Donald Young losing, not unexpectedly, to Andy Murray 6-1, 6-2, 6-3. The day's second singles match was presumed to be a formality for the US, with Sam Querrey taking on James Ward, whose ATP ranking is 175. It looked that way at the beginning, with Ward not getting a break point until the fourth set, when Querrey was already up 2 sets to 1 and a break. Then the roof caved in, if such a thing can be said to have happened in an outdoor baseball park, with Querrey losing 10 of the next 11 games to go down 1-6, 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Even if the Bryans win the doubles point on Saturday, it seems unlikely that Querrey will beat Murray in the fourth match on Sunday, relegating the US to a playoff to stay in the World Group this fall.


Jeff said...

Why don't they have a real coach like Manny Diaz or Peter Smith coaching Davis Cup instead of a former
player. USA basketball has been most successful under Duke's Coach K!

USTA Exclude Dept said...

Good comment Jeff. Also why wouldn't the personal coaches of these players be invited to come to help? I think David Nainkin would be a better help to Querrey yesterday than Courier and Berger.

Must be that USTA PD mentality of they only think their way is the best way when it has never been the successful way. USTA PD Leadership does not trust anyone else, any other coaches which is why they set up their own academy in Boca.

I believe it is great to have a Davis Cup Captain but invite the personal coaches, even the college coaches of those players in to help.

Danny said...

How about blaming the loss on Querrey instead of Courier? Terrible idea to play this on clay! Whose genius idea was that? US mens tennis is ad a sad state right now and this won't change unless the usta starts pouring money into lower ranked pros. Not wasting a million dollars to lay down a clay court

usa tennis said...

The loss does fall on Querrey's shoulders but other factors contributed to it.

When has Querrey signed up for a Clay Court event instead of a Hard Court event, except during clay court season? Never.

All our American Pros do better during the American Summer Hard Court season. Why? Because its on Hard Court.

Courier and berger trained Querrey all week and they are very hands on. They could have helped emotionally and mentally with Sam during the match as Sam got worse and worse.

Jose Higueras wants to turn all of our pro circuit tournaments on clay!

We are getting away from true American tennis. We play on Hard court NOT Clay.

USTA does need to pour tons of money into juniors and rookie pros.

Stop building unnecessary tennis stadiums. It's nice to look at but its more productive to have that money used wisely.

No one talks about how much money is spent on all the "suits" in attendance. Wasted Money.

USTA needs a Change. Can we wait any longer?