Part Two of My Conversation with Michael Joyce; Tulsa Shocks Top-ranked Southern Cal; Ponwith Takes Grade 2 Title in Argentina; Bellis and Sanchez Reach $25K Final
Part Two of my conversation with coach Michael Joyce is available now at the Tennis Recruiting Network. Joyce discusses his view of the USTA's role in player development, explains how his father taught him to think like a coach, and how he grew to appreciate David Foster Wallace's famous magazine article about him.
A huge upset in college tennis today, with the top-ranked Southern California men falling to No. 51 Tulsa 4-3 in Los Angeles. The Trojans won the doubles point, but playing without Eric Johnson and Nick Crystal, they could only muster two singles wins. Jonny Wang, playing at line 3, won over Tulsa's Juan Matias Gonzalez, but at No. 1 Yannick Hanfmann lost to Or Ram-Harel and at No. 2 Roberto Quiroz lost to Alejandro Espejo, both in straight sets. Rob Bellamy and Connor Farren, playing No. 5 and No. 6 for USC, both lost in third set tiebreakers to Carlos Bautista and Mitchell Pritchard respectively, which secured the Tulsa upset. Max de Vroome won his match at No. 4 to give USC its third point after the match was clinched. College Tennis Today has the singles scores posted. (there is some question about who was playing whom, but CTT has clarified that in his recap).
At the ITF Grade 2 in Argentina, No. 6 seed Nathan Ponwith added a singles title to his doubles championship, defeating top seed Ulises Blanch 6-3, 6-4 in an all-American final. Ponwith, whose other two ITF junior titles were at the Grade 4 level, didn't lose a set in the tournament. Girls top seed Julieta Estable of Argentina took the girls singles title, beating No. 4 seed Bianca Andreescu of Canada 6-3, 6-1.
Next week is a big one on the ITF Junior Circuit, with three Grade 1s-- in Russia, Paraguay and Thailand. The US juniors have all opted for the Paraguay Grade 1.
At the Grade 4 in El Salvador, Canadians swept the singles titles. Fourteen-year-old Nicaise Muamba, the No. 14 seed, beat No. 4 seed Salvador Mijares of Venezuela 6-3, 6-4 in the boys final. The girls title went to 14-year-old Brindtha Ramasamy, who beat No. 2 seed Alexia Coutino Castillo of Mexico 6-2, 6-3.
Ally Miller-Krasilnikov won the doubles title with Camila Ramazzini of Guatemala. The top seeds beat No. 4 seeds Ramasamy and Tiffany Lagarde 6-4, 7-5 in the final. Muamba won the doubles title with compatriot Dan Martin.
In the Norway Grade 4, qualifier Roscoe Bellamy suffered his first loss in eight matches in the final, falling to unseeded Maxence Broville of France 7-6(5), 6-2.
At the $25,000 women's Pro Circuit tournament in Rancho Santa Fe California, two Americans will meet for the title on Sunday. Unseeded 15-year-old CiCi Bellis defeated 18-year-old Ipek Soylu of Turkey 6-2, 6-4 to advanced to her third $25,000 level final, but first this year. No. 4 seed Maria Sanchez, ten years older than Bellis, reached a $50,000 final and a $25,000 last year, but hasn't won a singles title since 2012, her first full year on tour after graduating from Southern Cal. Today she defeated Sanaz Marand 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the final. Bellis has won the title in each of her two previous appearances in a final.