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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Claremont ITF Grade 4 Semifinals Set; Fritz, Tiafoe and Stewart Reach Pro Circuit Quarterfinals; Teens Continue to Impress in Miami

The semifinalists have been determined at the ITF Grade 4 in Claremont, all from the US, but none of the top seeds are among them. Three unseeded boys have reached the final four, with 17-year-old Johnathan Small, seeded No. 13 the oldest remaining competitor. Small will face 15-year-old Alexandre Rotsaert, while the other semifinal will feature two Southern California rivals, wild card Jacob Brumm and 16s Kalamazoo finalist Connor Hance.

The girls semifinals features three 15-year-olds, with No. 10 seed Victoria Emma facing No. 15 seed Meible Chi, younger sister of 2014 NCAA finalist Lynn Chi of Cal.  Seventeen-year-old Hanna Chang, the No. 4 seed, will play unseeded Anette Goulak in the other semifinal.

For complete draws and Friday's order of play, see the USTA site.

Seven of the eight quarterfinalists at the $15,000 Calabasas Futures are from the US, including 17-year-olds Taylor Fritz and Francis Tiafoe. Fritz, a wild card, overwhelmed top seed Fabiano De Paula of Brazil, ranked 211, 6-2, 6-0 and will face No. 6 seed Jason Jung in the quarterfinals. Jung defeated Fritz  1-6, 7-6(7), 6-4 in the semifinals of the January Futures tournament in Los Angeles.

Tiafoe, last week's Bakersfield champion, received a special exemption into the main draw, and he continued his winning streak, beating Alexander Ward of Great Britain 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.  In last night's first round, Tiafoe beat No. 4 seed Darian King of Barbados 6-7(5), 7-5, 2-0 ret., with King's retirement apparently not for injury or illness, but simply frustration.  Steve Pratt had this account of the match's ending out in his daily release. Next for Tiafoe is No. 8 seed Mitchell Krueger, who beat Ernesto Escobedo 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-3.

Former UCLA teammates Mackenzie McDonald and Clay Thompson will play in another quarterfinal, with qualifier McDonald downing Mico Santiago, also a qualifer, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 and wild card Thompson beating Stefan Kozlov 6-3, 6-3.  A third Bruin in the bottom half is Dennis Novikov, the No. 2 seed, who beat South African Fritz Wolmarans 7-5, 6-2. The 2012 Kalamazoo champion will face the only international player remaining, 31-year-old Giovanni Lapentti of Ecuador, who beat qualifier Sekou Bangoura 6-2, 6-4.

At the $25,000 Women's Pro Circuit event in Palm Harbor, Florida, Katerina Stewart, Allie Kiick and Alexa Glatch have reached the quarterfinals.  Stewart, a qualifier, defeated former WTA No. 66 Mindy Minella of Luxembourg 6-1, 6-1 and will next face Glatch, who beat No. 7 seed Olivia Rogowska of Australia 3-6, 6-0, 6-4.  Allie Kiick posted a fine comeback win, defeating No. 3 seed Paula Ormaechea of Argentina 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-3. Kiick, who won the final six games of the match, will play Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil in the quarterfinals.

Americans did not fare well today at the Miami Open, with Venus Williams posting the only win of the six US players in singles action today.  But the surge of teenagers continued, with three boys picking up first round wins, and wild card Paula Badosa Gibert of Spain reaching the third round. The 17-year-old Badosa Gibert defeated lucky loser Saisai Zheng of China 6-1, 7-5 to set up a meeting with No. 14 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

Unlike Badosa Gibert, whose best showing in a junior slam was the quarterfinals of at the French and Wimbledon last year, the three boys who reached the second round are all junior slam champions. Qualifier 2013 Australian Open boys champion Alexander Zverev of Germany, still just 17, defeated Sam Groth of Australia 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-4; 2014 French Open boys champion Andrey Rublev of Russia, also 17, defeated Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 and 18-year-old Borna Coric of Croatia, the 2013 US Open boys champion, defeated Andreas Haider-Mauer of Austria 1-6, 6-3, 7-6(3).  They join Hyeon Chung of Korea in the second round, and according to the ATP, four teenagers in the second round of Miami is the most since 2007.

Tonight, another former junior slam champion, Daria Gavrilova, who was Russian when she won the US Open girls title in 2010, defeated No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova 7-6(4), 6-3. Gavrilova, the world junior champion in 2010, is living in Australia now and has applied for citizenship there.


BIG TIME said...

Auburn takes a page out of Alabama's Playbook…Defeats Jacksonville State TWICE today…HUGE!! Now there's a NCAA Quality Team:)

Insane College Rules said...

This .500 rule needs to change as some teams are playing the same teams multiple times on the same day. NO team should be allowed to play the same team twice on the same day or in same year, unless one of the times are at a tournament.

Alabama Men has played:
1. Jackson State 4 times
2. Jacksonville State 2 times
3. Alabama State 2 times

The CLINCH format in singles needs to change. Is tennis the only sport that stops a competition once a team format, where individual results are counted, is finished? Track? Swimming?

LET THE STUDENT-ATHLETES FINISH THEIR MATCHES!!! Are the coaches in that much of a hurry to leave and go home?

I see matches where they are stopped at 5-5 in the third set. That is embarrassing and terrible for the competitors. LET THEM FINISH! The fans can leave if team format is finished, stop the "live streaming" or "TV" which is nonexistent anyway. There is NO VALID REASON to stop a student-athlete from finishing their matches every time.

All matches should be Clinch/Clinch.

Just saying said...

How is Hanfmann v McDonald being stopped at 1-2 in the 3rd set a good thing? How is that good for fans or competitors. You have two of the best players in the country playing (in the UCLA/SC team match) and they can't finish a tight match.

How do the pros outweigh the cons in this scenario?

Valid reasons said...

It is not about fans, more important is both the player team perspectives, and stopping can be better for both. It is only good for the losing team to continue as it gives them more experience figuring out the winning team. The winning team is done, move on. On an individual basis, why risk injury or strain on any player? They are there to win matches and championships, the players don't care about those unreliable individual rankings (especially given no ad) anything like outsiders or the helicopter parent's do. They have been a joke for years so clinching for ranking means nothing to the players. Different views depending on where a person sits. Oh and if people think of it as entertainment, then pay these guys more scholarship and let them earn money.

Junk Video Systems for College Tennis said...

Can someone please explain why 90% of all the video streaming equipment on college tennis sites does not work at all or it runs extremely poorly?!!

It's a total disgrace and it's unforgivable. For example, USC has a match today but the video doesn't work and they don't even have live scoring working!! Meanwhile, USC had it working for a recent futures tournament but they can't get it working for a conference dual match?!

This problem is WIDESPREAD across almost all college tennis programs.

The person at each school in charge of purchasing these junk video systems should be fired. The manufacturer and the vendor of the video systems should be sued for breach of contract, breach of warranty and fraud. And, the person in charge of maintenance of the system at every school should be fired. There is just no other way to think about it.

Meanwhile, there are great systems available which you can see that the USTA uses for their Challenger Tournaments. You can even see the freaking ball! What a concept!

You know you are incompetent when even the USTA is eating your lunch in terms of competence.

This is simply infuriating how stupid this predicament is.

And, what's really hilarious is that a lot of these college coaches claim that they are willing to destroy the game of tennis by changing the scoring just to get more exposure on TV, but meanwhile they can't even fix their own EXISTING video and live scoring systems.

Any tennis coaches that cannot get their video systems or live scoring systems working deserve to be fired and have their programs cancelled immediately. I won't shed one tear for them and will support such decision wholeheartedy.

Finishing a match is now a "strain " on the player per Valid Reasons said...

What's next? Finishing a match is bad because you might break your strings?
Speak to the players, instead of being a mouth piece for the ITA. The players WANT TO FINISH THEIR MATCHES. It is beyond pathetic that everyone is speaking for them, and they have no voice out of fear for losing their scholarship money.

Brian said...

There are a bunch of valid reasons for players to go pro now versus playing college tennis. Not getting to finish your match and this clown tennis of scoring are good reasons enough.

Tony said...

Wile I agree not getting to finish matches is disappointing, please stop with this players should just go ahead and turn pro because of the scoring system in college. That's right, go ahead and make a hasty decision and turn pro before you are physically and mentally ready just because you are so against playing no-ad tennis. Give it a go as a professional and get your butt handed it to you while you grind it out on the futures circuit for a couple of years before you hang up the racquets at 22 because you can't handle the grind anymore. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but VERY FEW PLAYERS MAKE A LIVING AS A PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER. On top of this, a players "prime" years are now 26-32. These are facts. But lets just go ahead an ignore the cold hard facts because we cants handle playing no-ad tennis. Give me a break.

Allen Wolters said...

In the haste to make matches shorter, the clinch rule ended up being one of the tools. But of all of them, it is probably the dumbest. If a fan just cares about the team winning, they can stay until one team wins and leave before every singles match is finished. These kids match loads are so little as it is. Let them finish every match.

And as a tool to become a pro tennis player, college tennis is becoming less and less relevant every season. It used to be so much about developing players. Now it is all about justifying existence with AD's.

Discussing good, going emo bad said...

Wow angry people. The strain comment wasn't universal, was just an example when it may be a valid reason referring to times when players are operating under injuries that aren't known to those watching and in those cases the coaches are doing the right thing ending the matches at clinch. Coaches decide what is best for their players/teams and it should be their decision.

142 said...


142. The number of times this line has been in zoo tennis posts in last two years. (Let me clarify that is an estimation before people get mad about that.)

Pro-Finish said...

Valid Reasons

On an individual basis, why risk injury or strain on any player? RISK INJURY PLAYING A 2 OUT OF 3 SET MATCH, A COUPLE TIMES A WEEK? Wow, that's an embarrassing excuse. Talk about making players soft. Never heard that excuse before. Are you afraid they might get sore playing tennis?

They are there to win matches and championships, the players don't care about those unreliable individual rankings (especially given no ad) anything like outsiders or the helicopter parent's do. ACTUALLY MOST PLAYERS DO CARE, MOST PLAYERS WANT TO FINSIH THEIR MATCHES, THAT'S WHY THEY PLAY THE SPORT AND TRAIN.


Your Financial Advisor said...

Top 100...... That's the Ranking a player needs to make a living on the ATP Tour....

Chill out said...

There are obviously a lot of arm chair fans posting on here lately that have neither been a college player or raised a college player. I don't think any poster claimed to be a mouthpiece for players or ITA or anyone There's no conspiracy, just thoughts, but it seems the reasonable posters trying to discuss opinions in a decent exchanging manner have left the building. btw, posting in caps makes an opinion even more incredulous, silly in fact.

Interesting age for a college tennis player, foreigner, of course! said...

Florin Bragusi, a sophomore at Oklahoma,
turns 22 this June.