Sponsored by IMG Academy

Friday, June 24, 2016

Zhu Chooses UCLA; Qualifiers Boserup, Novikov, Fratangelo Join 26 Other Americans in Wimbledon Main Draw; Steinberg Returns to Michigan

I don't write many college commitment articles this time of year, but after watching Evan Zhu play this past February at the Plantation Futures and hearing of his subsequent commitment to UCLA a few months later, I was interested to hear how he made his decision. Because he signed this spring and is starting this fall, I also had the option of talking to his soon-to-be coach, Billy Martin, another rarity in my articles of this kind.  Zhu, who earned his first ATP point last week after spending most of 2016 in Futures qualifying, told me why he preferred that path rather than junior tournaments as he prepares for Pac-12 tennis in this Tennis Recruiting Network article.

Qualifying was completed today at Wimbledon, after the draws were revealed this morning.  Three US players earned their Wimbledon main draw debuts: No. 6 seed Bjorn Fratangelo, No. 28 seed Dennis Novikov and unseeded Julia Boserup. Fratangelo defeated No. 22 seed Austin Krajicek in a match that was started on Thursday, 6-3, 6-1, 5-7, 6-3. For more from Fratangelo, who will play Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov in the first round, see the Wimbledon website article (small correction: Fratangelo made the Australian Open main draw this year as a lucky loser). Novikov, who defeated Hiroki Moriya of Japan 2-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2, will be playing in a slam main draw for the second time; the first was back in 2012 at the US Open, when he received a wild card for winning Kalamazoo.  Novikov has drawn fellow qualifier Luke Saville of Australia, who won the Wimbledon boys title in 2011.  Boserup had failed to qualify for a slam 10 times before this week, but she was impressive in her 11th attempt, losing only 11 games total in her three wins. She defeated Austrian Barbara Haas 6-0, 6-4 in 52 minutes today, with the first set only 19 minutes long.  She will play another qualifier, Tatjana Maria of Germany, in the first round.

In addition to those three, 26 other US players--17 women and 9 men--are in the main draw. Remarkably, none open against another American.  The men: Fratangelo, Novikov, Sam Querrey(28), Denis Kudla, Jack Sock(27), Steve Johnson(who reached the final of the ATP in Nottingham with two wins today), Brian Baker, Donald Young, Taylor Fritz, John Isner(18) and Rajeev Ram.

The US women are: Boserup, Serena Williams(1), Christina McHale, Sloane Stephens(18), Anna Tatishvili, CoCo Vandeweghe(27), Alison Riske, Nicole Gibbs, Madison Keys(9), Louisa Chirico, Madison Brengle, Varvara Lepchenko, Venus Williams(8), Vicky Duval, Irina Falconi, Shelby Rogers, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Samantha Crawford.

For all the draws--qualifying, singles and doubles--see the Wimbledon website.

Late this afternoon, Michigan announced that Adam Steinberg, who left Ann Arbor for the Arizona State men's coaching position nine days ago, would be returning to Michigan.  The article on the Michigan website doesn't give much in the way of detail.  The article from the Arizona Republic has a short statement from Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson.

In other college coaching news, Danny Bryan, the LSU men's assistant coach, will be heading to Wichita State as head coach.  The Michigan State women have a new head coach, with Kim Bruno of Northern Arizona taking over for the Spartans.

The semifinals are set in the three USTA Pro Circuit events.

At the $10,000 tournament in Rochester, Juan Benitez Chavarriaga of Colombia will face No. 7 seed Mikael Torpegaard of Denmark, the 2016 NCAA finalist for Ohio State, and wild card Thai Kwiatkowski, a rising senior at Virginia, will meet No. 2 seed Kaichi Uchida of Japan.

At the $25,000 tournament in Tulsa, TCU's Cameron Norrie, who beat top seed Mitchell Krueger today, will face No. 3 seed Tennys Sandgren (Tennessee). In the other semifinal, qualifier Paul Oosterbaan of Georgia will meet Ryan Haviland,(Stanford) who eliminated No. 4 seed Michael Mmoh.  The doubles final was played today, with Dane Webb(Oklahoma) and Nathaniel Lammons(SMU) taking the title over Clay Thompson(UCLA) and South Africa's Rikus De Villiers(Fresno State) 7-5, 4-6, 12-10.

The women's $25,000 tournament in Baton Rouge has Raveena Kingsley, who defeated No. 4 seed Jamie Loeb today, in one semifinal against Jennifer Elie, and in the other semifinal, top seed Riko Sawayanagi of Japan against Valeria Solovyeva of Russia.

Former USC Trojan Raymond Sarmiento is the lone American in the semifinals of the $25,000 Futures in British Columbia, where he will play No. 5 seed Peter Polansky.