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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My Conversation with Tracy Austin; More Rain in Athens; Williams and Emory Claim D-III Championships; Eight US Juniors Advance at Milan Grade A; Opelka, Fratangelo and Kudla Reach Final Round Qualifying at French Open

While I was at Ojai late last month, I had an opportunity to sit down with two-time US Open champion Tracy Austin to talk about her roles as tennis parent and television commentator, resulting in this article for the Tennis Recruiting Network. She spoke of the different commitment levels her three sons had to the sport, with middle son Brandon Holt, who is now a freshman at USC, electing to devote most of his free time mastering it.  Austin, who didn't turn pro until after she had made the US Open women's quarterfinals twice, has some interesting thoughts on the decision of going pro or going to college.

Holt lost his first round match today in the NCAA individual tournament in Athens, with the rain that has plagued the the event since Saturday continuing to cause disruptions today.  With matches delayed and moving inside and no apparent updates of scores except on twitter, it's been a challenge to keep track of what's going on.

The big news tonight (matches are still in progress) was the losses of women's top two seeds Francesca Di Lorenzo of Ohio State and Hayley Carter of North Carolina.  Di Lorenzo was beaten by Mayar Sherif Ahmed of Pepperdine 6-4, 6-2 and Carter lost to Florida's Anna Danilina 6-2, 6-3.

Di Lorenzo, a sophomore, had won the previous two collegiate majors last fall and was going for the major title triple crown, which has never been done in the same academic school year. Carter, a senior, was the 2016 NCAA singles finalist.

Vanderbilt's Astra Sharma, the women's No. 3 seed, withdrew.

The top 3 men's seeds--Mikael Torpegaard of Ohio State, Nuno Borges of Mississippi State and Petros Chrysochos of Wake Forest--advanced in straight sets, but No. 4 seed Arthur Rinderknech of Texas A&M lost to Borna Gojo of Wake Forest 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.

The All-Tournament teams have been announced, with almost all positions filled from those teams in the finals. Usually the team that wins the championship produces the Most Outstanding Player, but this year the men's MOP was North Carolina freshman Will Blumberg, whose team lost to Virginia 4-2.  Belinda Woolcock of Florida took the honor for the women.

Women:
No. 1 doubles: Anna Danilina & Ingrid Neel, Florida
No. 2 doubles: Brooke Austin & Kourtney Keegan, Florida
No. 3 doubles: Josei Kuhlman & Belinda Woolcock, Florida

No. 1 singles: Belinda Woolcock, Florida
No. 2 singles: Melissa Lord, Stanford
No. 3 singles: Taylor Davidson, Stanford
No. 4 singles: Anna Danilina, Florida
No. 5 singles: Emily Arbuthnott, Stanford
No. 6 singles: Kourtney Keegan, Florida

Most Outstanding Player:
Belinda Woolcock, Florida

Men:
No. 1 doubles: William Blumberg & Robert Kelly, North Carolina
No. 2 doubles: Thai Kwiatkowski & Alexander Ritschard, Virginia
No. 3 doubles: Collin Altamirano & JC Aragone, Virginia

No. 1 singles: Mikael Torpegaard, Ohio State
No. 2 singles: William Blumberg, North Carolina
No. 3 singles: Robert Kelly, North Carolina
No. 4 singles: Collin Altamirano, Virginia
No. 5 singles: JC Aragone, Virginia
No. 6 singles: Blaine Boyden, North Carolina

Most Outstanding Player:
William Blumberg, North Carolina


The Division III team championships were decided today in another rainy national finals site, Chattanooga Tennessee.  The women once again brought the drama, with Williams defeating Emory 5-4, with the match coming down to a third set at line 1.  Juli Raventos of Williams got an early break in the final set against Emory's Bridget Harding, held on to that one then earned another and served out the match for a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 win and the Ephs' tenth team title. Williams and Emory had met in the finals the past three years, with Williams winning 5-4 in 2015 and Emory taking the title by a 5-4 score last year.

An excellent recap of Williams' victory can be found at their athletic website.

Unlike the Division I finals, with the men playing indoors and the women outdoors, both Division III championship matches were played inside.  Emory won all three doubles matches from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps but probably knew better than to think they would coast to victory as CMS had won five singles matches against Middlebury in the semifinals to earn a 5-4 victory. The Eagles took a 4-1 lead but the Stags fought back, with four singles matches going to a third set, but the CMS effort fell short when Adrien Bouchet closed out Daniel Morkovine at line 3 5-7, 6-2, 7-5. That gave Emory a 5-2 win and its fourth National title, with the last one coming in 2012.
All results can be found at the tournament website.

Eight US juniors have advanced to the third round of the Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglioi in Milan Italy, including five boys who won second round matches today.  Trent Bryde[4], Oliver Crawford[13], Patrick Kypson, Sebastian Korda and qualifier Sangeet Sridhar will play for a place in the quarterfinals Thursday, with Crawford and Sridhar going head-to-head.  The only two US girls playing second round matches today were Elysia Bolton and No. 4 seed Taylor Johnson and both lost, leaving Whitney Osuigwe,[6] Natasha Subhash and Ann Li, who won on Tuesday, as the last American girls remaining.

Live scoring for the tournament is available at Tennis Ticker.

Day three of the French Open qualifying is complete, with three US men into the final round of qualifying: Bjorn Fratangelo[32], Denis Kudla and Reilly Opelka.  Fratangelo defeated Bradley Klahn 6-4, 7-6(6), Kudla beat Ricardo Ojeda Lara of Spain 6-4, 6-3 and Opelka outlasted Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 5-7, 7-6(7), 6-3.  Opelka is the only one of the three scheduled to play Thursday.

Three US women advanced to the second round of qualifying with wins today: Kristie Ahn, Sonya Kenin and Bethanie Mattek-Sands.  They join Tuesday winners Nicole Gibbs[20] and Kayla Day in Thursday's second round.

2 comments:

College Fan said...

Colette, great interview and insight from Tracy. Thanks

David said...

It is time to move the NCAA tennis tournament to a site with a very high probability of no rain, e.g., Indian Wells, Tempe, Tucson, Los Angeles, San Diego, etc.