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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

NCAA Division I Team Championships Begin Thursday with Men's Round of 16; Blanch Reaches Quarterfinals in Italy Grade 1; Tiafoe's Coaching Change

©Colette Lewis 2015--
Waco, TX--

After a long day of travel made longer by a weather-related flight cancellation, I'm in Waco, ready for Thursday's Round of 16 in the men's Division I team tournament.

It is currently not raining, but should the showers begin again, the six courts at SMU, in Dallas, will serve as the alternate site, much as Georgia Tech did last year when rain marred the women's first day of play in Athens.

Tomorrow's schedule, for now, is as follows:

Men’s Round of 16 matches and times Thursday (Central):
Oklahoma(1) vs UCLA(16) 9 am
Texas(9) vs Georgia(8) 9 am
TCU(5) vs Wake Forest(12) noon
North Carolina(13) vs Illinois(4) noon
Virginia(3) vs Columbia 4 pm
Ohio State(11) vs Texas A&M(6) 4 pm
Southern Cal(7) vs Duke(10) 7 pm
South Florida vs Baylor(2) 7 pm

Live scoring and video is available from the links at the Baylor website's Tournament Central.

Bobby Knight at College Tennis Today has previews of all eight matches and predictions for how each singles match will go.

The Division III tennis quarterfinals begin this weekend, with the Tennis Recruiting Network today publishing previews of those 16 matches (eight men's and eight women's).

At the ITF Grade 1 in Santa Croce Italy, Ulises Blanch is the sole American junior still alive, with the No. 6 seed reaching the quarterfinals. Blanch meets No. 3 seed and Orange Bowl finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece Thursday.  Live scoring can be found here.

In Plantation, the quarterfinals are set for the Grade 4, with six US boys and eight US girls advancing.  Junior Orange 12s and Easter Bowl 14s champion Whitney Osuigwe, who just became eligible to compete in ITF junior competition last month at age 13, defeated No. 2 seed Victoria Emma 6-2, 7-6(4) and is now 6-1 in her first two ITF tournaments. Lucky loser Brian Shi, seeded 15th,  defeated top seed William Tutecky of Canada 6-3, 6-4 in today's third round.

Frances Tiafoe's recent coaching change, detailed in this New York Times article by Ben Rothenberg, has been a hot topic of conversation in the past few days. Misha Kouznetsov, who had, in tandem with Frank Salazar, coached Tiafoe at the Junior Tennis Champions Center, was initially hired by Tiafoe after he turned pro. But Kouznetsov is now out, with the USTA providing Tiafoe's coaching.  Nicolas Todero, formerly Stefan Kozlov's coach at the USTA, is traveling with Tiafoe now, with Jose Higueras overseeing Tiafoe's development and providing coaching additional coaching.

Susan Zaro recently interviewed Higueras about his background, coaching philosophy, the American tennis culture, shielding players from media hype, among many other topics.


Austin said...

per Mapquest they can get to SMU in 1hr15min, TCU in 1hr30min, Austin in 1hr45min.

They know the forecast, they may as we'll go ahead and call these NCAA's the Indoors Part 2 and not sit around hoping it clears. Today is the one day the forecast doesn't look completely awful.