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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Illinois Men Beat Virginia, Lose to TCU; Zhao's Return Boosts Stanford Women to Win over Florida; Pomona-Pitzer Wins D-III Women's Team Indoor; Rubin, King Fall in Pro Circuit Finals

Most conference seasons have yet to begin, but that doesn't mean any dearth of important matches as February comes to a close.

Last night in Champaign-Urbana, No. 11 Illinois upset No. 2 seed and defending NCAA champion Virginia, playing without its No. 1 Ryan Shane, 4-3. Today, Illinois hosted No. 8 TCU and was beaten 5-2, adding more intrigue to the Division I season. Meanwhile, in Norman, Oklahoma today, No. 51 Arkansas defeated No. 10 Oklahoma 5-2, leaving the NCAA finalists with an 0-2 record over the weekend.  No. 5 Wake Forest rebounded from its loss to Texas Saturday by blanking No. 6 Texas Tech.  It may not quite resemble the Division I basketball parity, but aside from undefeated North Carolina, who was idle this weekend, a favorite for the NCAA title has yet to emerge.

Bobby Knight of College Tennis Today was in Champaign and has extensive coverage of the Fighting Illini's win over Virginia.

In women's action, No. 9 Duke, at home, defeated No. 13 Miami 4-3 in an ACC conference match, and in an important non-conference match, No. 16 Stanford defeated No. 7 Florida 4-3.  Florida won the doubles point, just as they had done against Cal on Friday, but with Carol Zhao back in the lineup for the Cardinal, Stanford came back to win four singles matches, with Krista Hardebeck defeating Josie Kuhlman 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 to clinch the win. Kuhlman went down 0-40 serving at 4-5 in the third, but won four straight points to keep Florida's hopes alive. But after Hardebeck held by winning a deciding point, Kuhlman went down 15-40 on serve, and could only save one of those three matches points, setting off an excited celebration on the Taube Center courts.

Zhao, who had not played a singles match for Stanford since the NCAAs last May, defeated Brooke Austin 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 at No. 1 in one of the five matches that went three sets.  Every player who won the first set won the third however, and that, plus Taylor Davidson's straight-set win over Belinda Woolcock at No. 2, was enough to give Stanford the match.

Pomona-Pitzer Wins First Team Indoor Title, photo courtesy ITA

At the ITA Division III Women's Team Indoor Championships, No. 2 seed Pomona-Pitzer swept top seed Carnegie Mellon 5-0, claiming its first Team Indoor title.  For more on the match, see the ITA release.

DePauw Indoor Tennis and Track Center
2/28/2016 at Greencastle, Ind.
No. 2 seed Pomona-Pitzer 5, No. 1 seed Carnegie Mellon University 0
1. Brooke Tsu (CMUW) vs. Joy Kim (PPW) 3-6, 1-4, unfinished
2. Caroline Casper (PPW) def. Nicholle Torres (CMUW) 6-2, 6-4
3. Maryann Zhao (PPW) def. Cori Sidell (CMUW) 6-1, 6-2
4. Jamie Vizelman (CMUW) vs. Shivani Doraiswami (PPW) unfinished
5. Minami Makino (CMUW) vs. Mae Coyiuto (PPW) unfinished
6. Katie Lai (CMUW) vs. Arianna Chen (PPW) unfinished
1. Maryann Zhao/Emily Chen (PPW) def. Cori Sidell/Minami Makino (CMUW) 8-5
2. Lea Lynn Yen/Caroline Casper (PPW) def. Jamie Vizelman/Brooke Tsu (CMUW) 8-5
3. Joy Kim/Arianna Chen (PPW) def. Nicholle Torres/Abbey Hamstra (CMUW) 9-8 (7-2)
Match Notes:
Pomona-Pitzer 3-1; National ranking #7
Carnegie Mellon University 8-2; National ranking #6
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,3)

Neither USTA Pro Circuit event this week ended with an American champion, with Noah Rubin falling in the $10,000 Plantation Futures final and Vania King losing in the $25,000 Rancho Santa Fe final.

Rubin, the No. 2 seed, lost to unseeded Andrea Collarini of Argentina 6-3, 7-6(3).  Rubin was broken in the fourth game of the first set and Collarini made that stand up. The 24-year-old left-hander didn't face a break point until the fourth game, and Rubin did take advantage of that rare opportunity, but he was immediately broken back, and was broken in his next service game as well. Rubin got that break back immediately, but in the tiebreaker, the 20-year-old New Yorker did not get a point on his serve until he trailed 6-2.  Collarini made 87 percent of his first serves for the day to help secure his 10th Futures singles title, all of them on clay.

King, unseeded, lost to top seed and WTA No. 67 Shuai Zhang of China 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 in California.


Virginia said...

Hi Colette, may I ask you how did you manage to insert those IMG and JOHN MCENROE ACADEMY banners to your blog?Thank you very much iin advance.

Colette Lewis said...

Through the image gadget in the Blogger layout.

Lucky said...

Rubin is yet another example how an anointed player can be pushed high into the rankings by getting lots of Wild Cards and then taking advantage of extremely lucky draws. He then plays a Futures event and gets beat by a player ranked in the very low 400's. It's all about the draws baby!!!!

Lucky Loser said...

I bet he was pretty lucky when he beat Benoit Paire down in Australia or the big serving Australian Sam Groth in Del Ray....one top 20 win and another Top 100. I would say that luck played into those draws....

Awais said...

Rubin arguably deserved his early wild cards based on being the Wimbledon junior champ and college running-up as a freshman. Lots of US juniors have gotten wild cards and had less junior and college success than him.

Regardless his most points came from the Charlottesville Challenger he won by going through qualifying and winning 8 straight matches. He also earned his Australian Open wild card by having the most points in the fall USTA challengers.

I'm not sure what is lucky about beating a top 20 player at the Aus Open and a top 100 at Delray Beach. He is still under-ranked based on his results since he has no points to defend until June.

His futures loss was in the finals of his first clay court tournament in a couple years, to a recently top 200 player. Nothing to be ashamed of for making the finals of any tournament.

Just saying said...

He was also really lucky to win a Challenger thanks to that WC.... Oh wait, Rubin went through qualifying, winning 8 matches in 9 days. Credit to Rubin for playing a Futures on a surface he hasn't been on in a long time.

It's not like Rubin has received lots of WCs. Still, he wins rounds at almost every tournament he receives a WC. Not many guys can say that. He beats a seed in Oz and clearly deserved one for Maui. In Champaign, is the USTA going to keep out the guy who is leading the Aussie WC challenge? Losing 1st round to the #1 seed is not exactly a bad loss. At the US Open Qualies, he won a round and lost a tight match to Pella, who just beat Isner and reached the finals in Rio.

Why shouldn't he get a WC into the IW Qualies with the upward track he is on? Success isn't a straight line.

Same ol' problem said...

Lucky has a point though, WC distribution has been a long time problem. Sock received over 20 one year. Harrison brothers have had a zillion. Would they have gotten their high rankings without all the push? I doubt it. A few players get many of them, giving them a jump start over and over. Eventually they will beat a big gun and then they ride that legend win for more WCs. Which gives them more exposure to bigger games, better training options, etc. If all the players trying to break into the big leagues were given "starter WCs" like the chosen ones, many of them would break through as well because of that ranking/point boost a big win brings.