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Monday, May 22, 2017

Defending Champions Stanford Women and Virginia Men Return to D-I Finals; D-III Semifinals Set; Seven US Men Win First Round Qualifying Matches at Roland Garros; Bolton Beats Top Seed Pervushina in Milan

No. 2 seed Virginia will play for its third straight men's team title on Tuesday afternoon after defeating No. 3 seed Ohio State 4-2, but it won't be against its usual rivals USC, UCLA or Oklahoma.  Instead the Cavaliers will take on another ACC team, No. 9 seed North Carolina, who advanced to the final with a dramatic 4-3 win over Georgia.

Both men's semifinal matches finished indoors after a four-hour rain delay.  Virginia's Henrik Wiersholm had failed to convert two match points against Kyle Seelig at line 6 outdoors, but had two more chances once play resumed, with Virginia leading 3-1. At line 1, Ohio State's Mikael Torpegaard also had match points, leading Alexander Ritschard 6-3 in the tiebreaker. Wiersholm and Seelig started their point, but it was a long one, and while they rallied, Torpegaard converted his match point. That sequence could have unnerved Wiersholm, but he retained his focus and won the point, to put Virginia in its third straight final.

North Carolina's Bo Boyden clinches 4-3 win over Georgia
North Carolina was in unchartered territory today, having never gotten past the quarterfinals until this year. The Tar Heels took the doubles point from No. 13 seed Georgia, but Georgia had overcome that loss in both the round of 16 and the quarterfinals. Up 3-1, North Carolina looked ready for a relatively easy win with Simon Soendergaard serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set over Jan Zielinski at line 4. Soendergaard couldn't close it out then and in the subsequent tiebreaker he failed to win a point after taking a 4-0 lead putting that match in a third set. Georgia got another point from Nate Ponwith at line 1 before the rain delay, but even that four-hour break couldn't halt Zielinski. With Bo Boyden down an early third-set break to Robert Loeb at line 6, it wasn't looking good for the visitors, with the indoor courts reverberating with all the cheering of the Bulldog fans. But Boyden got the break back, then held on a deciding point for 3-2.  In the eighth game, with Loeb serving, Boyden was up 15-40, but line call controversies ratcheted up the players, coaches and crowds. At 30-40 Boyden was docked a point for being overruled a third time, but Boyden had one more chance to get the break, winning the deuce point when Loeb's forehand went long.

Serving out the match, Boyden kept his second serves to a minimum, yet Loeb kept up, hitting a forehand winner for 30-30. Loeb missed a forehand wide to give Boyden a match point and he again got a first serve in and played aggressively. The Carolina fans erupted after his first overhead, but Loeb got it back, forcing Boyden to hit a second overhead, but the sophomore from Raleigh blasted it with no hesitation setting off a wild celebration in front of the disappointed Bulldog fans.

Florida's Brooke Austin clinches 4-2 win over Vanderbilt
Due to the rain, the women's semifinals were both played indoors from start to finish, with top seed Florida and No. 4 seed Vanderbilt staying in Athens and No. 3 Ohio State and No. 7 Stanford sent to Georgia Tech's six indoor courts in Atlanta. Florida, who had twice dropped 4-3 decisions to Vanderbilt in the past five weeks, turned the tables on the Commodores, winning the doubles point and getting the clinching win from Brooke Austin at line 5. Because there are just four indoor courts in Athens, Austin didn't go on until one of the top 4 matches finished, but she had no difficulty taking out Georgina Sellyn 6-2, 6-3 to put the Gators in the final for the first time since they won the title in 2012.

Defending champion Stanford needed every last ounce of energy they had to beat the Buckeyes, with last year's title clincher Taylor Davidson again playing the role of hero as midnight approached Monday night. Ohio State's Miho Kowase at line 4 and Gabriella De Santis at line 3 both were serving for their matches against Caroline Lampl and Davidson at 5-4 in the third set, with Ohio State trailing 3-2.  Neither could close, although Kowase broke again and held on her second opportunity to make it 3-3.  De Santis broke a second time too, but she was unable to serve it out on her second chance, and a tiebreaker would decide Florida's opponent in Tuesday's final.  Davidson took a 6-3 lead, but De Santis fought off two match points, before a cramping Davidson took the third after a long rally that featured moonballs, normal rally shots, drives, and everything in between.

As the top two programs in Division I women's tennis, Stanford and Florida have played often in the finals, but this will be their first meeting with a title on the line since Florida's memorable 4-3 win in Palo Alto in 2011.

#9 NORTH CAROLINA (29-4) 4, #12 GEORGIA (22-8) 3

1. #12 William Blumberg/Robert Kelly (NORTH CAROLINA) def. #1 Jan Zielinski/Robert Loeb (GEORGIA), 6-3
2. #82 Jack Murray/Simon Soendergaard (NORTH CAROLINA) def. #67 Emil Reinberg/ Nathan Ponwith (GEORGIA), 7-5
3. Wayne Montgomery/ Walker Duncan (GEORGIA) def. Anu Kodali/ Ronnie Schneider (NORTH CAROLINA), 6-2

1. #56 Nathan Ponwith (GEORGIA) def. #22 Ronnie Schneider (NORTH CAROLINA), 7-6(4), 6-2
2. #16 William Blumberg (NORTH CAROLINA) def. #33 Wayne Montgomery (GEORGIA), 6-3, 6-2
3. #116 Robert Kelly (NORTH CAROLINA) def. #59 Emil Reinberg (GEORGIA), 6-3, 6-4
4. Jan Zielinski (GEORGIA) def. Simon Soendergaard (NORTH CAROLINA), 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3
5. Walker Duncan (GEORGIA) def. Jack Murray (NORTH CAROLINA), 6-1, 7-5
6. Bo Boyden (NORTH CAROLINA) def. Robert Loeb (GEORGIA), 7-6(0), 4-6, 6-3
Doubles (3,1,2) Singles (2,5,3,1,5,6)

#2 VIRGINIA (33-1) 4, #3 OHIO STATE (32-3) 2

1. Mikael Torpegaard/Herkko Pollanen (OHIO STATE) def. #17 Luca Corinteli/Carl Söderlund (VIRGINIA), 7-6(3)
2. Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Alexander Ritschard (VIRGINIA) def. #30 Hugo Di Feo/Martin Joyce (OHIO STATE), 6-4
3. Hunter Tubert/JJ Wolf (OHIO STATE) def. Collin Altamirano/J.C. Aragone (VIRGINIA), 6-4

1. #2 Mikael Torpegaard (OHIO STATE) def. #91 Alexander Ritschard (VIRGINIA), 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(3)
2. #14 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VIRGINIA) def. #46 JJ Wolf (OHIO STATE), 6-2, 6-2
3. #9 Hugo Di Feo (OHIO STATE) vs. Carl Söderlund (VIRGINIA), 5-7, 6-4, 2-1, DNF
4. #40 Collin Altamirano (VIRGINIA) def. Martin Joyce (OHIO STATE), 6-0, 6-3
5. #109 J.C. Aragone (VIRGINIA) def. Herkko Pollanen (OHIO STATE), 6-3, 6-3
6. #102 Henrik Wiersholm (VIRGINIA) def. Kyle Seelig (OHIO STATE), 7-5, 7-5
Doubles (3,2,1) Singles (2,4,5,1,6)

#1 FLORIDA (28-3) 4, #3 VANDERBILT (24-6) 2

1. #11 Anna Danilina/Ingrid Neel (FLORIDA) def. #1 Astra Sharma/Emily Smith (VANDERBILT), 6-1
2. #20 Brooke Austin/Kourtney Keegan (FLORIDA) def. Sydney Campbell/Emma Kurtz (VANDERBILT), 6-4
3. #45 Josie Kuhlman/Belinda Woolcock (FLORIDA) vs. Christina Rosca/Fernanda Contreras (VANDERBILT), 5-5, DNF

1. #6 Belinda Woolcock (FLORIDA) def. #4 Astra Sharma (VANDERBILT), 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-0
2. #15 Sydney Campbell (VANDERBILT) def. #23 Josie Kuhlman (FLORIDA), 6-4, 6-1
3. #102 Christina Rosca (VANDERBILT) def. #31 Ingrid Neel (FLORIDA), 7-5, 6-4
4. #44 Anna Danilina (FLORIDA) def. Emma Kurtz (VANDERBILT), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
5. Brooke Austin (FLORIDA) def. Georgina Sellyn (VANDERBILT), 6-2, 6-3
6. #59 Kourtney Keegan (FLORIDA) vs. Fernanda Contreras (VANDERBILT), 6-0, 1-3, DNF
Doubles (1,2) Singles (2,3,4,1,5)
#7 Stanford 4, #3 Ohio State 3

1. #18 Kowase/Di Lorenzo (OSU) vs. #39 Arbuthnott/Davidson (STAN), 4-4, unf.
2. Sanford/Niehaus (OSU) def. #46 Lord/Doyle (STAN), 6-2
3. De Santis/Angeles Paz (OSU) def. Higuchi/Lampl (STAN), 6-1

1. #1 Francesca Di Lorenzo (OSU) def. #38 Caroline Doyle (STAN), 6-1, 6-0
2. #28 Melissa Lord (STAN) def. #67 Anna Sanford (OSU), 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
3. #54 Taylor Davidson (STAN) def. #95 Gabriella De Santis (OSU), 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(5)
4. #91 Miho Kowase (OSU) def. #90 Caroline Lampl (STAN), 3-6, 7-6(0), 7-5
5. Emily Arbuthnott (STAN) def. #112 Sandy Niehaus (OSU), 6-4, 6-3
6. #71 Emma Higuchi (STAN) def. Ferny Angeles Paz (OSU), 6-3, 7-5
Order of Finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (1,5,2,6,4,3)

The semifinals are set at the NCAA Division III Team Championships in Chattanooga, with rain also causing problems there, with a two-hour delay.  Three of the four semifinalists in both the men's and women's draws have returned, with only Claremont-Mudd-Scripps preventing a repeat in each draw. Defending women's champion Emory and defending men's champion Bowdoin remain in the hunt for another title.

Today's results:
CMS def. Washington-St Louis 5-1
Emory def. Bowdoin 5-1
Williams def. Chicago 5-3
Middlebury def. Johns Hopkins 5-1

Emory def. Williams 5-3
Bowdoin def. Washington-St Louis
CMS def. Wesleyan 5-0
Middlebury def. Gustavus Adolphus 5-1

Nine US men were in action Monday in the first round of the French Open qualifying and seven advanced: Reilly Opelka, Tim Smyczek, Mackenzie McDonald, Stefan Kozlov, Bradley Klahn, Denis Kudla and Bjorn Fratangelo[32].  Michael Mmoh and Mitchell Krueger were the only two Americans in action who failed to advance. Rajeev Ram and Dennis Novikov play their first round matches on Tuesday.

The women's qualifying begins on Tuesday, with six of the 11 Americans in the draw playing their first round matches, including 2016 USTA 18s and US Open girls champion Kayla Day. In addition to Day, Jamie Loeb, Nicole Gibbs[20], Grace Min, Irina Falconi and Alexa Glatch are on Tuesday's schedule. Sonya Kenin, Kristie Ahn, Asia Muhammad, Bethanie Mattek-Sands[12] and Sachia Vickery[24] will play their first round matches Wednesday. Ahn and Muhammad is the only all-US first round match in either draw.

Both number 1 seeds were ousted in first round action today at the Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglio in Milan. Elysia Bolton beat defending champion and former ITF junior No. 1 Olesya Pervushina of Russia 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 for the best win of her career.  Boys top seed Yibing Wu of China was beaten by Chun Hsin Tseng of Taiwan 6-1, 6-1.  In addition to Bolton, other US girls advancing to the second round are Whitney Osuigwe[6], Natasha Subhash, Taylor Johnson[4] and Ann Li.  Caty McNally, Sofia Sewing[9] and Ellie Douglas[12] lost their first round matches.  Qualifier Elli Mandlik plays on Tuesday.

The US boys had a rough day, going 1-4, with only No. 4 seed Trent Bryde advancing.  Gianni Ross, Vasil Kirkov, Danny Thomas and wild card Mark Mandlik lost.  Seven US boys are scheduled to play their first round matches on Tuesday.  Live scoring is available at TennisTicker.


Texas tennis mom said...

Colette, Do you have an update on Taylor Fritz? He hasn't played since Miami (ie didn't play the US challengers when all the other young Americans did, no participation in the clay court season). His ranking has plummeted of course as he didn't defend last spring's points. He was so full of promise last year although of course it's always challenging for young players to back a sparkly run and he has had a lot of domestic complications for such a young person.

fan said...

What's the difference between Illinois and now Georgia NCAA and NTI: NONE. Time to put NCAA at sunny California. Why not put it permanently at IWTG :) Sure it's hot but Florida is even muggier, and it's better than RAINING ALL DAY AND EVERY DAY!