Sponsored by IMG Academy

Friday, May 20, 2016

TCU Falls to Cal in Men's D-1 Sweet Sixteen Action, Ohio State, Georgia Survive; Blumberg Commits to North Carolina; Chirico, Vickery Qualify for French Open; Blanch Reaches Semis in Milan Grade A

More rain and drizzle this morning in Tulsa again delayed matches, this time for the men's round of 16, but like yesterday's women's matches, there was no shortage of drama, with three 4-3 decisions.  Unlike the women's opening day, when two matches were played outdoors before weather problems surfaced, the men started with wet courts, and the match between No. 4 seed TCU and No. 13 seed Cal was played entirely inside the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.

Whether that was an advantage for Cal can be debated, but the Bears beat the Horned Frogs 4-3, the second time this year they've topped the 2015 NCAA semifinalists.

TCU got some bad luck at line 5, when freshman Eduardo Nava fell in his match with Oskar Wikberg and although he played a few points, he was unable to continue retiring after losing the first set 7-6(4).  At 3-all, match would come down to No. 2 singles, with Alex Rybakov of TCU leading Andre Goransson 3-1 in the third set.  Rybakov was broken on a deciding point to make it 3-3, while Goransson, who was coming forward regularly, avoided getting to that do-or-die point on his serve. Rybakov won a deciding point to  make it 4-4 and saved a match point on the third consecutive deciding point on his serve when Goransson's backhand went long. A love hold for Cal junior put the pressure right back on the TCU freshman, and this time he fell short of the deciding point. Down 0-40, he saved two match points, but Goransson finished off the win, putting away the second of his two overheads in the point for a 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 win.

Although obviously an upset, given their respective seeds, Cal knew they could beat TCU, having done so in February after losing the doubles point, which they won today.

The other early morning match between No. 5 seed Ohio State and Texas, one of the four unseeded teams in the Sweet Sixteen, was even more dramatic, with that coming down to a tiebreaker in the third set at line 6.  The Buckeyes won the doubles point, but Texas, playing without their regular No. 4, got wins from Michael Riechmann, Harrison Scott and George Goldhoff, who handed Ohio State's No. 1 Mikael Torpegaard, his first dual match loss of the season.  Martin Joyce, who also was undefeated in dual matches this season dropped the opening set to John Mee at line 6, but came back to take the second set by the same 6-3 score. Joyce then took a 4-2 lead in the third set and had a match point with Mee serving to stay in the match at 3-5, on a deciding point. Mee missed his first serve, but hit an excellent second serve and Joyce missed the return.  Serving for the match, Joyce was broken at love and after breaking Mee again, on a deciding point, he had another chance to finish it at 6-5. Again he was broken at love, but Joyce picked up his play in the tiebreaker, playing much more aggressively to take 5-0 lead.  Mee closed the gap to 6-3, but a good first serve and Joyce had clinched the 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) win and a spot in the quarterfinals against Cal.

Top seed and defending champion Virginia also had its work cut out for it, with No. 16 seed Oklahoma State pressuring the Cavaliers before falling 4-2.  Thai Kwiatkowski saved match points to keep Oklahoma State's Lucas Gerch from making it 3-3, and in the meantime, Collin Altamirano clinched at line 2 for Virginia. Virginia has now made the quarterfinals for 12 consecutive years.

Virginia will play No. 9 seed Florida on Sunday, after the Gators posted the day's first straightforward victory, a 4-0 win over unseeded SMU.

No. 2 seed North Carolina joins the Gators as the only teams to not have dropped a point en route to the quarterfinals, as the Tar Heels defeated unseeded Mississippi State 4-0.

The excitement level ratcheted back up in the evening, with No. 7 seed Georgia defeating No. 10 seed Southern California 4-3, with Austin Smith saving a match point in the third set of his contest with Max de Vroome at line 1.

Southern Cal took the doubles point, and got singles points from Jack Jaede and Thibault Forget, while Georgia countered with wins from Wayne Montgomery, Nick Wood and Paul Oosterbaan to turn the attention to court 1.

Smith had taken the opening set in a tiebreaker, but de Vroome had won the second set 6-1. With Smith serving at 3-3 in the third, Smith missed a volley on a deciding point and de Vroome had the lead. De Vroome held for 5-3 and Smith held for 5-4. As the evening turned to night, de Vroome served for the match, but his first serve wasn't there and he fell behind 15-40 on a double fault. De Vroome hit a forehand winner and then a good first serve to get to the deciding point, which was a dual match point, but after a lengthy rally he netted a backhand, making it 5-5.  Smith went down 30-40 but won both points leaving de Vroome with the task of serving to get into a tiebreaker. He made two errors to open the game, hit a forehand winner for 15-30, then Smith came up with a backhand volley winner to give him three match points. Smith converted the first, putting the ball at the approaching de Vroome's feet and seeing de Vroome unable to dig it out, with the ball finding the net.

In the night matches, No. 3 seed UCLA defeated unseeded Stanford 4-2 and Oklahoma, the No. 11 seed, beat No. 6 seed Wake Forest 4-0.

See the Tulsa tournament page for results, quotes and recaps.

NCAA Division I Men’s Round of 16

#13 California(20-6) def. #4 TCU(26-4) 4-3
Head Coaches: David Roditi (TCU) and Peter Wright (California)
1. #9 Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat (California) def. #65 Hudson Blake/Reese Stalder (TCU), 7-5
2. Andre Goransson/Oskar Wikberg (California) def. Trevor Johnson/Guillermo Nuñez (TCU), 7-6(4)
3. Cameron Norrie/Alex Rybakov (TCU) def. Mads Engsted/J.T. Nishimura (California), 6-4
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1

1. #5 Cameron Norrie (TCU) def. #30 Florian Lakat (California), 6-4, 6-1
2. #31 Andre Goransson (California) def. #24 Alex Rybakov (TCU), 6-4, 3-6, 7-5
3. #86 Guillermo Nuñez (TCU) def. #85 Billy Griffth (California), 6-4, 6-4
4. #119 Filip Bergevi (California) def. Jerry Lopez (TCU), 6-2, 6-3
5. #124 Oskar Wikberg (California) def. Eduardo Nava (TCU), 7-6(4), ret. inj.
6. Trevor Johnson (TCU) def. J.T. Nishimura (California), 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
Order of Finish: 1, 5, 4, 3, 6, 2
#5 Ohio State(33-2) def. #17-32 Texas(19-12) 4-3
Head Coaches: Ty Tucker (Ohio State) and Michael Center (Texas)
1. Herkko Pollanen/Mikael Torpegaard (Ohio State) def. George Goldhoff/Michael Riechmann (Texas), 6-4
2. Martin Joyce/Ralf Steinbach (Ohio State) def. Adrian Ortiz/Julian Zlobinsky (Texas), 7-6(5)
3. John Mee/Harrison Scott (Texas) vs. Hugo Di Feo/Matt Mendez (Ohio State), 6-5 DNF
Order of Finish: 1, 2

1. #68 George Goldhoff (Texas) def. #1 Mikael Torpegaard (Ohio State), 7-6(4), 6-0
2. #88 Chris Diaz (Ohio State) def. Adrian Ortiz (Texas), 7-6(2), 6-0
3. Harrison Scott (Texas) def. #45 Hugo Di Feo (Ohio State), 2-6, 6-2, 6-4
4. Michael Riechmann (Texas) def. Ralf Steinbach (Ohio State), 6-4, 6-4
5. #103 Herkko Pollanen (Ohio State) def. Julian Zlobinsky (Texas), 6-2, 6-0
6. Martin Joyce (Ohio State) def. John Mee (Texas), 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(3)
Order of Finish: 5, 4, 1, 2, 3, 6
#1 Virginia(27-4) def. #16 Oklahoma State(20-8) 4-2 
Head Coaches: Brian Boland (Virginia) and Jay Udwadia (Oklahoma State
1. #4 Luca Corinteli/Ryan Shane (Virginia) def. #10 Julian Cash/Arjun Kadhe (Oklahoma State), 6-2
2. #16 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Mac Styslinger (Virginia) def. Lucas Gerch/Jurence Mendoza (Oklahoma State), 6-1
3. Lukas Finzelberg/Tristan Meraut (Oklahoma State) def. Collin Altamirano/J.C. Aragone (Virginia), 4-3 DNF Order of Finish: 2, 1

1. #56 Julian Cash (Oklahoma State) def. #8 Ryan Shane (Virginia), 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
2. #33 Collin Altamirano (Virginia) def. Arjun Kadhe (Oklahoma State), 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-2
3. #9 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (Virginia) vs. Lucas Gerch (Oklahoma State), 7-6(3), 4-6, 5-5 DNF
4. #78 Alexander Ritschard (Virginia) def. Tristan Meraut (Oklahoma State), 7-6(1), 6-1
5. Lukas Finzelberg (Oklahoma State) def. #110 J.C. Aragone (Virginia), 3-6, 6-2, 6-2
6. Henrik Wiersholm (Virginia) def. Jurence Mendoza (Oklahoma State), 6-4, 6-3
Order of Finish: 6, 5, 1, 2
#9 Florida(21-6) def. #17-32 SMU(22-9), 4-0
Head Coaches: Bryan Shelton (Florida) and Carl Neufeld (SMU)
1. #1 Diego Hidalgo/Gordon Watson (Florida) def. #31 Hunter Johnson/Yates Johnson (SMU), 7-5
2. #54 Nate Lammons/Markus Kerner (SMU) def. #80 Maxx Lipman/Elliott Orkin (Florida), 6-0
3. Alfredo Perez/Chase Perez-Blanco (Florida) def. Samm Butler/Ronald Slobodchikov (SMU), 7-6(2)
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3

1. #10 Diego Hidalgo (Florida) vs. #73 Hunter Johnson (SMU), 6-2, 3-4 DNF
2. #112 Nate Lammons (SMU) vs. #53 Alfredo Perez (Florida), 6-2, 4-4 DNF
3. Samm Butler (SMU) vs. #37 Elliott Orkin (Florida), 7-5, 1-4 DNF
4. #120 Chase Perez-Blanco (Florida) def. Ronald Slobodchikov (SMU), 6-4, 6-2
5. Gordon Watson (Florida) def. Yates Johnson (SMU), 6-2, 6-2
6. McClain Kessler (Florida) def. Tony Russell (SMU), 6-3, 6-0
Order of Finish: 5, 6, 4
#2 North Carolina(27-4) def. #17-32 Mississippi State(18-8) 4-0
Head Coaches: Sam Paul (North Carolina) and Matt Roberts (Mississippi State)
1. #27 Jack Murray/Brayden Schnur (North Carolina) def. #47 Mate Cutura/Vaughn Hunter (Mississippi State), 7-6(5)
2. Anu Kodali/Ronnie Schneider (North Carolina) def. Trevor Foshey/Luka Sucevic (Mississippi State), 6-2
3. Rishab Agarwal/Niclas Braun (Mississippi State) def. Brett Clark/Andrew Gores (North Carolina), 6-3
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1

1. #26 Brayden Schnur (North Carolina) def. #34 Mate Cutura (Mississippi State), 6-3, 6-4
2. #54 Rishab Agarwal (Mississippi State) vs. #28 Ronnie Schneider (North Carolina), 7-5, 3-4 DNF
3. #46 Brett Clark (North Carolina) def. #70 Nuno Borges (Mississippi State), 6-4, 6-4
4. Jack Murray (North Carolina) def. Niclas Braun (Mississippi State), 6-4, 6-3
5. Strahinja Rakic (Mississippi State) vs. Anu Kodali (North Carolina), 6-4, 6-5 DNF
6. Blaine Boyden (North Carolina) vs. Luka Sucevic (Mississippi State), 6-3, 5-5 DNF
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 4
#7 Georgia(23-4) def. #10 Southern California(17-7) 4-3
Head Coaches: Manuel Diaz (Georgia) and Peter Smith (Southern California)
1. #46 Nick Crystal/Laurens Verboven (Southern California) def. #11 Austin Smith/Ben Wagland (Georgia), 6-1
2. Paul Oosterbaan/Jan Zielinski (Georgia) vs. Max de Vroome/Thibault Forget (Southern California), 5-4 DNF
3. Jack Jaede/Tanner Smith (Southern California) def. Wayne Montgomery/Emil Reinberg (Georgia), 6-4 Order of Finish: 1, 3

1. #17 Austin Smith (Georgia) def. #23 Max de Vroome (Southern California), 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-5
2. #32 Wayne Montgomery (Georgia) def. #41 Nick Crystal (Southern California), 6-1, 6-4
3. #64 Paul Oosterbaan (Georgia) def. #69 Logan Smith (Southern California), 6-4, 7-6(7)
4. #121 Thibault Forget (Southern California) def. #123 Walker Duncan (Georgia), 6-2, 7-6(6) 5. Jack Jaede (Southern California) def. Jan Zielinski (Georgia), 6-3, 6-4
6. Nick Wood (Georgia) def. Rob Bellamy (Southern California), 4-6, 6-2, 6-1
Order of Finish: 2, 5, 4, 3, 6, 1

#3 UCLA(25-2) def. #17-32 Stanford(15-11) 4-2 
Head Coaches: Billy Martin (UCLA) and Paul Goldstein (Stanford)
1. #23 Tom Fawcett/Maciek Romanowicz (Stanford) def. #2 Mackie McDonald/Martin Redlicki (UCLA), 7-5
2. Joseph Di Giulio/Karue Sell (UCLA) def. Nolan Paige/David Wilczynski (Stanford), 6-4
3. Yale Goldberg/Sameer Kumar (Stanford) def. Maxime Cressy/Austin Rapp (UCLA), 6-1
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1

1. #6 Mackie McDonald (UCLA) def. #15 Tom Fawcett (Stanford), 6-1, 6-2
2. #38 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) def. Michael Genender (Stanford), 7-5, 6-2
3. #58 Gage Brymer (UCLA) def. #87 David Wilczynski (Stanford), 7-5, 6-3
4. #101 Karue Sell (UCLA) def. Nolan Paige (Stanford), 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-0
5. Logan Staggs (UCLA) vs. Sameer Kumar (Stanford), 6-3, 5-7, 5-3 DNF
6. Maciek Romanowicz (Stanford) def. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA), 6-3, 7-6(4)
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3, 6, 4
#11 Oklahoma(18-10) def. #6 Wake Forest(31-6) 4-0
Head Coaches: Tony Bresky (Wake Forest) and John Roddick (Oklahoma)
1. #24 Axel Alvarez/Andrew Harris (Oklahoma) def. #13 Skander Mansouri/Christian Seraphim (Wake Forest), 6-2
2. Alex Ghilea/Spencer Papa (Oklahoma) def. #79 Petros Chrysochos/Jon Ho (Wake Forest), 6-4
3. Romain Bogaerts/Dennis Uspensky (Wake Forest) def. Andre Biro/Max Mora (Oklahoma), 6-0
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2

1. #97 Andrew Harris (Oklahoma) def. #13 Skander Mansouri (Wake Forest), 6-4, 6-4
2. #27 Petros Chrysochos (Wake Forest) vs. #25 Axel Alvarez (Oklahoma), 6-3, 5-4 DNF
3. #82 Spencer Papa (Oklahoma) def. Jon Ho (Wake Forest), 6-3, 6-3
4. #61 Alex Ghilea (Oklahoma) def. Romain Bogaerts (Wake Forest), 6-1, 6-0
5. Florin Bragusi (Oklahoma) vs. Christian Seraphim (Wake Forest), 6-4, 4-4 DNF
6. Andre Biro (Oklahoma) vs. Dennis Uspensky (Wake Forest), 6-4, 5-1 DNF
Order of Finish: 4, 3, 1

In other college news, William Blumberg, the Tennis Recruiting Network's No. 1 recruit for the class of 2017, announced today that he has verbally committed to the University of North Carolina.  Blumberg, who has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open juniors, is not yet certain of his schedule for this summer. He has been ranked as high as No. 4 in the ITF world junior rankings and is now at 31.

It was also announced that Clancy Shields has been hired as men's head coach at the University of Arizona, replacing Tad Berkowitz. Shields, who played and later coached at Boise State under Greg Patton, has been coaching Utah State for the past three years.

At the French Open's final round of qualifying, Louisa Chirico and Sachia Vickery earned places in the main draw with straight-set wins. Chirico, the top seed, defeated No. 24 seed Irina Khromacheva of Russia 6-3, 6-1 and Vickery breezed past French wild card Fiona Ferro 6-0, 6-1. Grace Min lost a heartbreaker to Lucia Hradecka of the Czech Republic 6-7(4), 6-1, 11-9.  Min had four match points in the third set, but was unable to convert.  Jennifer Brady lost to Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 7-6(2), 6-4 and No. 29 seed Jared Donaldson, the only US man still in the qualifying, fell to No. 14 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. Donaldson also lost to Basilashvili in three sets in the final round of qualifying last year.

The men's and women's draws were released today, with ten US men and 18 US women competing.  The US men:  Brian Baker, Taylor Fritz,
Steve Johnson, Rajeev Ram, Jack Sock(23), Denis Kudla, Sam Querrey, Bjorn Fratangelo (who plays Querrey in first round), John Isner(15) and Donald Young.

The US women, in addition to Chirico and Vickery: Serena Williams(1), Samantha Crawford, Taylor Townsend, Madison Keys(15), Venus Williams(9), Lauren Davis(plays Chirico), Irina Falconi, CoCo Vandeweghe, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Shelby Rogers, Madison Brengle, Nicole Gibbs, Varvara Lepchenko, Christina McHale, Alison Riske, Sloane Stephens(19).

Play begins in Paris on Sunday, with the order of play released on Saturday.

At the Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglio in Milan, both the third round and quarterfinals in singles and the semifinals in doubles were played today.  Top seed Amanda Anisimova was defeated by Katarina Zavatska of Ukraine 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, and Natasha Subhash lost to Panna Udvardy of Hungary 6-1, 6-0, both in the third round.  Three of the girls semifinalists are Russian: No. 6 seed Anastasia Potapova, No. 5 seed Olesya Pervushina, and unseeded Amina Anshba, with qualifier Kaja Juvan of Slovenia the fourth semifinalist.

No. 5 seed Ulises Blanch is the sole US player remaining in either singles or doubles.  Blanch defeated Nicola Kuhn of Spain 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-3 and in the quarterfinals, Evan Furness of France, 6-1, 6-4. Sam Riffice and No. 12 seed John McNally reached the quarterfinals, but fell in their second matches of the day, with Riffice going out to No. 10 seed Jurij Rodionov of Austria 6-2, 6-4 and McNally losing a tough one to No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece  6-2, 5-7, 7-6(4).

Blanch will play Rodionov in the semifinals, with Tsitsipas taking on unseeded Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain.