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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Top Seed Collins Upset in First Round at National Indoors; Tiafoe, Donaldson, Anderson, Crawford Reach Quarterfinals at $50K Events; SI Podcast with Steve Johnson

The big upset came early today at the USTA/ITA Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, with women's top seed Danielle Collins of Virginia ousted by Katarina Adamovic of Oklahoma State 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.  Collins, a senior who won the Oracle Masters title in September and the ITA/Riviera All-American title in October, looked to have finally shaken the junior from Serbia when she took a 2-0 lead in the third set, but Adamovic won the final six games of the match to seal the victory.  No. 2 seed Maegan Manasse of Cal had a difficult time against Colorado's Nuria Ormeno Ruiz but did survive, 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-3.

Collins, the 2014 NCAA champion, was the only seed in the women's singles draw to fall in the first round, while two seeded men went out. Mikael Torpegaard of Ohio State defeated No. 6 seed Roberto Cid of South Florida 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4 and Chris Eubanks of Georgia Tech beat No. 7 seed Nicolas Alvarez of Duke 6-4, 6-2.  Top seed Thai Kwiatkowski of Virginia advanced to Friday's second round with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Benjamin Lock of Florida State.  Second seed Cameron Norrie of TCU rolled past Alex Ghilea of Oklahoma 6-0, 6-3 and will face the dangerous Tom Fawcett of Stanford, who was overlooked for a seed despite reaching the semifinals of the All-American championships last month.  Fawcett defeated NCAA semifinalist Quentin Monaghan of Notre Dame 6-2, 6-4.

The top seeds in men's doubles, Virginia's Kwiatkowski and Styslinger, were beaten by 2015 NCAA finalists Hugo Dojas and Felipe Soares of Texas Tech 7-6(4), 6-4.

Two rounds of singles will be played Friday, with the second round and the quarterfinals both on the schedule.  The quarterfinals of doubles are also scheduled for Friday.

After many years of labor-intensive and occasionally inaccurate live scoring, the tournament now has point-by-point scoring via the chair umpires and results are also available immediately on a separate page. Tennis Ticker, the supplier of the live scoring system, also has an app available for mobile devices.

Complete results, along with links to the live blog and radiotennis.com coverage, are available at the ITA's tournament page.

At the Knoxville Challenger, American teenagers Frances Tiafoe and Jared Donaldson advanced to the quarterfinals with wins today. Donaldson defeated No. 3 seed Tim Smyczek 7-5, 7-6(6) and Tiafoe overcame a late second set speed bump to beat Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.  Dennis Novikov defeated Stefan Kozlov 6-3, 7-6(4) and Bjorn Fratangelo took out former Tennessee All-American JP Smith, the No. 6 seed, 7-6(4), 6-4. Tennys Sandgren, another former Tennessee All-American back in his collegiate surroundings this week, could make it five Americans in the quarterfinals with a win tonight over No. 8 seed Blaz Rola of Slovenia.

Three US women have advanced to the quarterfinals of the $50,000 Scottsdale tournament, including Robin Anderson, last season's ITA Player of the Year while at UCLA.  Anderson defeated No. 4 seed Nicole Gibbs 7-5, 5-7, 6-3, keeping alive her slim hopes of winning the USTA's Australian Open Wild Card Challenge.  Anderson, as well as Vania King and Samantha Crawford, must win the title to surpass Anna Tatishvili and Gibbs in this final tournament.  King came back from 5-1 down in the third set to beat No. 3 seed Naomi Broady of Great Britain 3-6, 6-3, 7-5; Crawford, who won a US Open wild card last summer in a similar competition, beat unseeded Elitsa Kostova of Bulgaria 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

Two-time NCAA singles champion Steve Johnson, currently No. 32 in the ATP rankings, is Jon Wertheim's guest this week on his Sports Illustrated podcast Beyond the Baseline. Johnson discusses his transition from college to pro tennis and what the timeline to pro success might be for the American teenagers coming up now.  Johnson also has a new website, steviejohnsontennis.com.