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Monday, February 2, 2015

Rublev, Norrie and Tchoutakian Qualify for Dallas Challenger; Gibbs Top Seed in Midland $100K; US Juniors Advance at Inka Bowl

Qualifying is complete and the opening round is underway at the $100,000 RBC Tennis Championships in Dallas, with World No. 1 junior Andrey Rublev among those reaching the main draw with victories today.  In addition to the 17-year-old Russian, who beat Greg Ouellette, Evan King and Sekou Bangoura in the qualifying, TCU freshman Cameron Norrie and Baylor sophomore Max Tchoutakian also qualified.  Norrie, 19, beat No. 2 seed Darian King 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 and Tchoutakian, 21, beat teammate Julian Lenz 4-6, 7-6(12), 6-3. For more on Tchoutakian's win, see the Baylor website.  Rublev and Tchoutakian had never advanced into a Challenger main draw through qualifying before today, Norrie had done it once.  The fourth qualifier is former Texas All-Amerian Dimitar Kutrovsky, who defeated Misha Zverev 7-6(5), 7-6(5).

Denis Kudla(5), who beat Liam Broady of Great Britain 6-2, 6-3, and Rajeev Ram(7), who beat wild card Thai Kwiatkowski 6-4, 6-3, were among the first round winners today in Dallas.  Live streaming is available here.

I arrived in Midland this afternoon, and will be on site Tuesday at the Midland Community Tennis Center for the final round of qualifying and the beginning of the main draw of the $100,000 Dow Corning Tennis Classic.  Two-time NCAA champion Nicole Gibbs is the top seed, with Sorana Cirstea of Romania the No. 2 seed. They also will have live streaming beginning Tuesday.

The second round of qualifying took place today, with three former Pac-12 players earning victories: Jacqueline Cako(Arizona State), Kristie Ahn(Stanford) and Danielle Lao(Southern Cal).  Former WTA Top 10 player Nicole Vaidisova has also reached the final round of qualifying; she has been unsuccessful in her three attempts to qualify for the $25,000 tournaments in Florida last month.

Tuesday's order of play can be found at the ITF Pro Circuit website.

The ITF juniors South American swing moves to Peru for the Grade 2 Inka Bowl, with another large group of Americans competing there. Patrick Kypson and Trent Bryde won their first round matches, while
Mwendwa Mbithi (14), Sam Riffice(11) and Liam Caruana(8) had first round byes.  Last week's semifinalists Gianni Ross and Vasil Kirkov lost in the final round of qualifying and the first round, respectively.  The top seed in the boys draw is Franco Capalbo of Argentina, who won last week's Grade 1 in Ecuador over Manuel Pena Lopez of Argentina, who is the No. 4 seed this week.

The girls draw is just 32 players, with six of those Americans: Stephanie Hazell, Alexandra Sanford(4), Alexa Bortles, qualifier Luciana Rabines, Meghan Kelley and wild card Sofia Sewing. Only Bortles lost her opening match, with Rabines yet to play. The top girls seed is Julieta Estable of Argentina, who was runnerup in last week's Grade 1 to Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia.


Miss the wrap ups said...

Miss the coverage of college tennis Colette. You were a valuable asset in marketing college tennis, it's too bad it turned out this way. The college players just don't get their due in terms of coverage, and its not their fault. Without going to many individual school sites it is hard to know what goes on in a summary fashion without your coverage.

It's a shame that your decision (which I supported btw but am now rethinking) ends up hurting players as well. They players are getting disregarded from all sides and all they want to do is play tennis.

Just sayin'

Did you notice . . . said...

In UGA/SC, a match between two highly ranked singles players received a DNF. How is that good for either player & especially for accurate rankings?

#11 Smith for Georgia vs. #8 Wang USC DNF'd in the 3rd set.

This scenario will likely occur numerous times during the season. When highly ranked players face off and cannot finish, it seems like a lose-lose. Fans miss out on the conclusion of a quality match and rankings become skewed from a lack of results.

Another example is the LSU-TCU match. At #1 singles, the match was 7-5, 6-6 when suspended. TCU's #1, Norrie, is ranked #24 and LSU's #1, Daigle, is not ranked. Doesn't Norrie benefit from the confidence gained by closing out a tight match? On the other hand, Daigle was still in the match and still had a chance for a ranked win to greatly benefit his own ranking.

I completely understand stopping matches for lower level guys.

However, what good comes from stopping matches involving either highly ranked players or guys at the #1 slot? How is that anything but a negative for the players and the fans?

It's not a conspiracy said...

First, what? Don't stop matches for higher ranked but stop them for lower ones? That makes zero sense for too many obvious reasons to even mention.

And fyi, many times DNF are because of travel considerations of the visiting team. They are trying to get to the airport to not miss more days of classes when the next day is a school day. The day before (Saturday) at the PAC-12 showdown, the match referenced above, they finished matches.

Rankings are a joke said...

Everyone knows the individual college tennis rankings are skewed and unreliable at best, actually they are a mess. There are a ton of 4, 5, 6 players on the best teams that can kick the crap out of higher ranked players that get the ranking cause of the their position on a weaker team. Some of the best players don't have a ranking right now and some top players should be at least 50 ranking positions lower in terms of true ability relative to others. So enjoy the match and forget about the rankings, those players themselves really don't pay them any attention.

Read all about it said...

Since you are not covering college tennis, thought you may want to give another new blog devoted to college tennis a plug:


P.S. I am not the author, just a fan missing college tennis coverage.

Did you notice . . . said...

It's not a conspiracy, Yes, it is a ridiculous idea to stop matches for some players and not others.
Though since speed of a match seems to be such an issue...

I think my idea obscured my larger point. Many fans enjoy watching the top college guys play matches.

The new rules reduce the number of matches all players will complete over the course of the season.

We hear talk about trying to be more fan friendly. I think many fans enjoy watching guys who are on the way up, trying to make the next level. Typically, the largest crowds for a team match are near the #1 singles court. There's a reason the stands for courts 1-3 in Athens are much larger than ones for the Pit (courts 4-6). Personally (and maybe I'm in the minority), I really enjoy watching the top guys: Hanfmann, McDonald, Frank etc. play. I completely understand the clinch concept at tournaments like the Indoors or NCAAs. However, I think it's a disservice to fans to see top guys routinely play only part of a match during the regular season. Frank, with his pace of play, may only finish a couple of matches all year.

Regarding your comment about DNFs and travel. I certainly understand how that can happen, especially when you play the match at a 4 court facility.