Ohio State Sets New NCAA Record for Home Wins; Georgia, Oklahoma Men Fall in Texas; Duncan, Liu Win Claremont Titles; Kozlov Hits with Nadal
Last night in Columbus, the Ohio State men's team set an NCAA record for all Division I sports with its 185th consecutive home victory. The second-ranked Buckeyes defeated No. 28 Northwestern 4-3, with senior Peter Kobelt clinching the victory for Ohio State. Next up for the Buckeyes is Illinois, who will attempt to end the streak that extends back over a decade Sunday at noon. For more on last night's milestone, see this recap from the Ohio State website.
In other Top 10 action last night, No. 11 Texas defeated No. 3 Oklahoma 4-3, in front of a home crowd of over 1,000 that apparently included both Andy Roddick and John Isner, although Roddick was certainly supporting his brother John, the Sooners head coach, and not the Longhorns. In nearby College Station, No. 12 Texas A&M defeated No. 7 Georgia 4-1 in a College Match Day contest delayed several hours by rain.
When the Aggies and Bulldogs split first sets, the prospect of the first doubles point of the College Match Day format experiment (at least of those that were streamed by ESPN3) looked good, but Texas A&M secured all three matches that they led, with Harrison Adams, Shane Vinsant and Jeremy Efferding winning at 1, 2 and 3. Georgia's Hernus Pieters closed on Jordan Szabo at 6 for Georgia's point, but Jackson Withrow clinched for the Aggies, taking out Nick Wood 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 at line 5.
With only one more ESPN3 streamed College Match Day scheduled, with the unranked Missouri women facing No. 9 Georgia in Athens Sunday, it's unlikely that any doubles points will be played at all. I don't know how that can possibly be spun as a positive, and I hope after tomorrow's match that format will just go away. Georgia had an important SEC victory last night, defeating No. 7 Texas A&M 4-0 in a match played indoors in Athens.
The 13-year-old Liu now has her first ITF title too, with the No. 16 seed beating No. 3 seed Emma Higuchi of the US 6-4, 6-2 in the final. Liu didn't lose more than 4 games in any set during the week.
The boys doubles title went to top seeds Kentaro Misushima of Japan and Harrison Scott of Canada, who beat No. 2 seeds Duncan and Emil Reinberg of the US 7-6(2), 6-2. Ena Shibahara and Savannah Slaysman won the girls doubles title, defeating Liu and Annette Goulak 7-5, 7-5 in a battle of unseeded American teams.
Complete draws for the Claremont ITF can be found here.
Qualifying for the Grade 1 in Carson is underway, and I will be traveling to California Sunday, so check this website for updates and Monday's order of play, although I hope to provide a quick post late Sunday with links.
Dasha Ivanova was the last US player still in action at the Grade A Campeonato Internacional in Brazil, but she lost in the semifinals today to Jil Teichmann of Switzerland 6-2, 6-0. The No. 13 seed Teichmann will play No. 14 seed Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov of Spain in Sunday's final. Bolsova Zadoinov defeated Teichmann in the semifinals of the Grade 1 Banana Bowl last week, which Bolsova Zadoinov went on to win.
Orlando Luz of Brazil will be playing for his third consecutive South American title Sunday, when the No. 6 seed plays No. 9 seed Clement Geens of Belgium.
And finally, ITF World No. 2 junior Stefan Kozlov has been busy this week serving as a hitting partner for ATP No. 1 Rafael Nadal, who takes on Novak Djokovic in the final of the Sony Open on Sunday. This article by Sandy Harwitt for the Miami Herald explains the challenges that come with that honor, both off and on the court.