Paul, Fritz, McDonald Advance at Sacramento Challenger; Tennis.com's Top 20 D-I College Facilities; Sports Illustrated on Universal Tennis Rating
100,000 Sacramento Challenger provided Fritz with a wild card, while Paul was in qualifying. Paul won three matches to make the main draw, and today he beat wild card Alex Kuznetsov 7-6(5), 6-3 to advance to the second round, where he'll play top seed Denis Kudla. Paul has yet to lose a first round match in a Challenger, going 4 for 4 this year.
Fritz made his Challenger debut this summer, losing to Germany's Mischa Zverev in the first round at Aptos right after Kalamazoo. His second attempt resulted in win, with Fritz beating Connor Smith 6-4, 6-0. He will play the winner of the match between Dustin Brown of Germany and Grega Zemlja of Slovenia still in progress.
UCLA junior Mackenzie McDonald continued to impress, beating Peter Polansky of Canada 6-3, 6-1 in less than an hour. McDonald is playing with great confidence right now after a Futures final and a semifinal appearance in Tiburon last week. Take a look at this unbelievable shot from McDonald in his semifinal against Denis Kudla last weekend in Tiburon. McDonald will play Tiburon champion Tim Smyczek in the second round, after Smyczek outlasted Frances Tiafoe 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(7). As he had done against Kudla in the Tiburon final, Smyczek saved match points, with Tiafoe having one at 5-6 in the tiebreaker and another at 7-6, but Smyczek escaped both times and a tired-looking Tiafoe lost the last three points of the match.
Jared Donaldson(7), Tennys Sandgren and qualifiers Nick Meister and Marcos Giron are the other Americans advancing to the second round today.
Tennis Tuesday, a weekly digital tennis magazine, has put together a list of what it considers the top 20 Division I college tennis facilities. You may have other nominees, or quibble with the order, but here's their 1-20. I would like to have seen the quality and availability of live streaming as a factor in their rankings.
3. Wake Forest
4. Oklahoma State
5. Texas A&M
6. Georgia(can't resist pointing out a spelling error; it's Feild, not Field)
11. Georgia Tech
Speaking of rankings, yesterday the Tennis Recruiting Network published a comprehensive look at the various ratings and rankings of tennis players. One of those systems, Universal Tennis ratings, is the subject of this Sports Illustrated article. A recent tournament in Boston provides a backdrop for the explanation of how these ratings, already so important in college recruiting, can provide lower cost match play that isn't arbitrarily segregated by age and gender.