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Friday, March 7, 2014

Oklahoma Hands No. 1 Ohio State First Defeat; UCLA Women Down USC; Renaud Claims Grade 2 in South Africa; Three Junior Qualifiers Reach Gainesville $10K Semis

Oklahoma handed the top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes their first loss of the season tonight in Norman, with the No. 4 Sooners claiming a 4-1 victory.

Oklahoma won the doubles point, with Oklahoma's Guillermo Alcorta and Axel Alvarez posting an 8-4 win over Herkko Pollanen and Hunter Callahan at line 2. The other two doubles matches went to tiebreakers, with Peter Kobelt and Kevin Metka of Ohio State winning at 1 over Dane Webb and Andrew Harris 8-7(2), but Oklahoma's Nick Papac and Peerakit Siributwong secured the point with an 8-7(3) victory over Ralf Steinbach and Chris Diaz at 3.

Oklahoma kept the momentum at the beginning of singles play, taking five first sets from the Buckeyes. Harris made it 2-0 Sooners with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Diaz at 3, but Steinbach closed the gap with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Siributwong at line 5.  Austin Siegel dealt the Buckeyes a real blow when he handed Callahan his first dual match loss of the season at line 6 by a 6-2, 7-5 score, with Callahan 15-0 coming into the match.  Up 3-1, the Sooners needed just one more point, but it wasn't going to come at No. 1, where Kobelt had earned a third set with Alvarez, or at No. 2, where Pollanen had taked the second from Alcorta.  The only chance for a quick end to the match resided with Webb, who had led 6-4, 4-2 over Metka at line 4.  When the other two matches split, Webb and Metka were at 5-5 in the second set, and Webb took the last two games of the match for a 6-4, 7-5 win. For more on the match, see the Ohio State website and Oklahoma website.

In another upset today in men's tennis, unranked Ole Miss beat No. 13 Tennessee 4-1 in Knoxville, after losing the doubles point to the Volunteers.

On the women's side, No. 3 UCLA quickly dispatched No. 6 Southern Cal, playing without injured Sabrina Santamaria, 4-0, with the doubles point and wins from Catherine Harrison, Jennifer Brady and Kyle McPhillips. The match was played out, with the final score 5-2, but the Bruins proved too much for USC on this day.

In ITF Junior action, Floridian Johnnise Renaud, who recently committed to Georgia Tech, won a Grade 2 in South Africa.  Renaud, the No. 1 seed, defeated unseeded Hana Mraz of Slovenia 7-6(6), 7-6(0) in the final.  Unseeded qualifier Thomas Brechemier of France won the boys title.  Renaud had reached the final of this tournament in 2013, and then went on to win the Grade 2 the following week. She is scheduled to defend her title there next week.

At the $10,000 women's Pro Circuit event in Gainesville, Florida, three junior qualifiers have joined the No. 1 seed in the semifinals.  Because rain washed out play on Thursday, both second round and quarterfinal matches were played today.  Mexico's Renata Zarazua, 16, Czech Republic's Marie Bouzkova, 15, and American Katerina Stewart, 16, are joined in the semifinals by 25-year-old top seed Katerina Kramperova of the Czech Republic.  The young Minnesota pair of Jessie Aney and Ingrid Neel have reached the doubles semifinal.  Complete draws can be found here.

At the $25,000 ITF Women's Circuit in Mexico, Connie Hsu(Penn) has reached the singles semifinals and Denise Muresan(Michigan) is in the doubles final.

At the $10,000 Futures in India, top seeds Sanam Singh(Virginia) and Saketh Myneni(Alabama) won the doubles title, and will play for the singles title on Saturday.  The pair have already claimed two Challenger doubles titles this year in their home country of India.