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Monday, January 26, 2015

Kingsley Advances to Third Round of Australian Open Juniors, Keys Reaches Women's Quarterfinals; Fields Set for ITA Team Indoors; Ruud Wins Third Straight Grade 1 Title; Seven Americans into Second Round at Les Petits As

Raveena Kingsley advanced to the third round of the Australian Open Junior Championships Monday in Melbourne, but it was far from easy. The 16-year-old from Maryland served for the first set against Vera Lapko of Belarus at 5-4, but lost the next three games. She recovered to take the second set and then went to extra time before emerging with a 5-7, 6-2, 9-7 win.  Kingsley, who also reached the third round at the US Open juniors last September, will play unseeded Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia for a place in the quarterfinals. Kuzmova beat No. 7 seed Naiktha Bains of Australia 6-0, 3-6, 6-1. Kuzmova and Kingsley spoke to Stuart Fraser about their matches for the ITF junior website.

Jessica Ho and Olivia Hauger lost their second round matches, as did Will Blumberg, who lost to No. 10 seed Tim Van Rijthoven of the Netherlands 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.  Blumberg had lost to Van Rijthoven in the first round at the Grade 1 in Traralgon, also after winning the first set. Blumberg did advance to the second round in doubles, with partner Orlando Luz of Brazil.  Raquel Pedraza, playing with Wushuang Zheng of China, also reached the second round of doubles with a win on Monday.

No. 3 seed Taylor Fritz and Sameer Kumar will attempt to join Kingsley in the third round tonight(Tuesday in Australia).

No. 4 seed Yunseong Chung of Korea was the major upset victim Monday, losing to Alexander Bublik of Russia 7-6(2), 6-3.

Complete draws can be found at the tournament website.

Madison Keys defeated Madison Brengle 6-2, 6-4 to move into the women's quarterfinals against Venus Williams.  For more on Keys' victory, see this article at the tournament website.

The fields are set for the ITA Team Indoor Championships next month, and there were more than a couple of surprises over the weekend. Four No. 1 seeds hosting events lost on the men's side, and three No. 1 seeds hosting lost on the women's side.  The women's No. 1 seeds losing were Georgia Tech, Texas A&M and Northwestern.  The men's No. 1 seeds losing were Kentucky, Florida, Notre Dame and Texas A&M.  Three No. 4 seeds--TCU, Ole Miss and Penn State--advanced to Chicago on the men's side. On the women's side, No. 3 seeds TCU and Kentucky advanced, as did No. 2 seed Oklahoma State.  Results of the finals are below.  For complete coverage, see the ITA hub page.

#1 USC def. #57 Santa Clara, 4-0
#2 Oklahoma def. #28 Northwestern, 4-1
#3 Virginia def. #43 Louisville, 5-0
#4 UCLA def. #48 Texas Tech, 4-1
#5 Ohio State def. #41 Tulsa, 4-1
#6 Baylor def. #40 Drake, 4-0
#7 North Carolina def. #38 Virginia Tech, 4-1
#8 Georgia def. #60 Utah, 4-0
#9 Texas def. #34 Florida State, 4-3
#12 Duke def. #23 Memphis, 4-0
#15 Cal def. #21 Mississippi State, 4-2
#16 Columbia def. #14 Notre Dame, 4-2
#26 Penn State def. #20 South Florida, 4-1
#32 Ole Miss def. #29 South Carolina, 4-2
#37 TCU def. #45 LSU, 4-1

Top 10 team missing: Texas A&M, who lost to TCU in 1st rd

No. 11 Illinois (host)

#1 UCLA def. #64 Kansas State, 4-0
#2 Florida def. #68 Maryland, 4-0
#3 North Carolina def. #37 LSU, 4-0
#4 Duke def. #54 Memphis, 4-0
#6 California def. #45 Saint Mary's, 4-0
#7 Alabama def. #56 Virginia Tech, 4-0
#10 Georgia def. #28 Auburn, 4-0
#12 Vanderbilt def. #22 Texas, 5-0
#13 Miami (FL) def. #30 Florida State, 5-0
#14 Clemson def. #40 Purdue, 5-0
#15 USC def. #27 Pepperdine, 4-0
#16 Michigan def. #26 Tulsa, 4-2
#19 Oklahoma State def. #18 Georgia Tech, 4-3
#41 TCU def. #11 Texas A&M, 4-2
#44 Kentucky def. #32 Arizona State, 4-2

Top 10 teams missing: No. 5 Virginia(host); No. 8 Stanford and No. 9 Baylor not participating

Although the Florida State women fell short in their quest to qualify for the Team Indoor in Charlottesville, they do have a new recruit, who has joined the team despite being just 11 years old.

Casper Ruud of Norway won his third straight ITF Grade 1 title yesterday in Colombia, with the top seeds defeating No. 3 seed Ulises Blanch 6-4, 7-5.  Ruud, who three weeks ago was outside the ITF junior Top 100, is now ranked No. 13.  The girls title went to No. 3 seed Maria Fernanda Herazo Gonzalez, who delighted her home country's fans with a 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(6) win over Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia in the final.  Top seeds Zidansek and Evgeniya Levashova of Russia won the doubles title, beating  Juliana Valero of Colombia and Agostina Zamprogno of Argentina 6-1, 6-0 in the final.   The boys doubles title went to No. 2 seeds Marcelo Barrios Vera of Chile and Felipe Cunha Silva of Portugal, who beat unseeded Geoffrey Blancaneaux and Ugo Humbert of France 6-2, 6-4.

At last week's Grade 4 in the Czech Republic, Kayla Day, the No. 2 seed, reached the final, where she fell to top seed Evan Guerrero Alvarez of Spain 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. 

The Grade 1 this week in South America is in Ecuador, and there are quite a few Americans traveling there for the first time this week, if the qualifying draws are any indication.

The first round of singles at Les Petits As is complete, with seven of eight Americans claiming wins. Caty McNally(3), Amanada Anisimova(5), Whitney Osuigwe and Hurricane Tyra Black all advanced in the girls draw. Govind Nanda, Cannon Kingsley and Nathan Han(6) also won their first round matches; only Leighton Allen suffered a loss. 
Complete draws can be found at the Tennis Europe tournament page.


Ivy League Tennis Denizen said...

Is it safe to say that the performance by the Columbia men this weekend (beat Tennessee, 4-3, and Notre Dame, 4-2, in what had to be one of the tightest dual matches--two doubles tiebreakers, six extremely close third sets in singles--in a long, long time) finally quieted the naysayers?

And the other Ivy League power, Harvard, lost an extremely close match to Cal (4-2) before saving four team match points in its consolation victory over North Carolina St.

Phred said...

I will still be a naysayer. College tennis is an OUTDOOR sport. Granted, Columbia is an excellent indoor team since they spend 99.99% of their time under the roof. They will be competitive once the outdoor season starts, but they won't be as dominating in close matches.

Ivy League Tennis Denizen said...


Columbia did just fine OUTDOORS last May in Nashville against Vanderbilt in the second round of the NCAAs, winning 4-3 in a thrilling match that came down to Winston Lin's dramatic third-set victory (6-4 in third) over AJ Austin. A couple other facts about that match (which I witnessed): Columbia lost the doubles point, it was excruciatingly hot (temperature in low 90s, brilliant sun, high humidity) and the Vandy football offensive lineman (kind of entertaining, actually) didn't stop gabbing until Lin won the last point with a broken string. Oh, did I mention that the match was OUTDOORS?

Yes, Columbia spends most of its time indoors, but that is a byproduct of it not having its own outdoor courts. Instead of naysaying, shouldn't we be applauding a program that can overcome such recruiting disadvantages to scale the mountain of college tennis and to compete with--and defeat--the elite teams that are, for the most part, from the traditional collegiate football and basketball powerhouses?

One other question: If college tennis is an OUTDOOR sport, why does the ITA hold both individual and team INDOOR championships?

A bit overstated said...

That's a pretty loose use of the word "elite."

Phred said...

Ivy League...

You make me laugh by insinuating Vandy is an elite program in Men's tennis.

Miles apart said...

An elite team wouldn't lose a game to those teams, yet a match. This is just like juniors when people think their 4 star junior is close to a blue chip. Or thinking that a blue chip kid ranked 25 is close to a top 5 blue chipper. The gap is actually huge. Average tennis fan doesn't get the distances and differences at every step up the ladder.

Moderator said...

As to the indoor/outdoor comments - Besides Vanderbilt at home at NCAA's, Columbia beat TCU outdoors at TCU last year. Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Penn State - in the indoor vs outdoor world - would then be classified as only good indoor teams - they would not appreciate that label. College Tennis is not an indoor or outdoor sport - it is a college sport played wherever it is played by whomever is playing. Turf, grass, dome, tundra, sunshine- different elements for football games. The analogy is quite obvious. Denizen meant I presume that Columbia proved it was and is a top 15 college tennis team right now- and then added the naysayer bit. Just take out the word "elite" (defined as best of the best - which is what top 10 top 5? I guess that would be subjective) and read it again. There were naysayers. There have always been naysayers as to Ivy Tennis and still are apparently. No problem, everyone gets their civilized opinion. Respectfully please try to just accept they are a top 15 team right now and were last year. Maybe hold your comments and root against them in the spring and you can add your bit then if they fail.

Joe - SC said...

When they play the Grand Slams indoors, then let's have a conversation about how relevant it is to play tournaments indoors.