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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Korda, Auger-Aliassime Fall in ATP Debuts; Surprise $25K Qualifying Complete; Texas A&M's Kypson Apologizes for Conduct at Ohio State

Sebastian Korda made his ATP debut last night at the New York Open, the indoor tournament that moved to Long Island this year from Memphis. The 17-year-old Australian boys champion took the first set from from Frances Tiafoe, but couldn't manage another one, falling 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Noah Rubin, who like Korda, received a wild card into the New York Open, lost to top seed Kei Nishikori tonight 7-5, 6-3.

Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, also 17, made his ATP debut today at the ATP event in Rotterdam, and he came even closer to a victory, but fell to Filip Krajinovic of Serbia 6-2, 3-6, 7-5. Auger-Aliassime, who has already won two Challenger titles and is currently ranked 168, was injured early this year and unable to play the Australian Open qualifying. He did take the doubles title at the Budapest Challenger last week with fellow 17-year-old Nicola Kuhn of Spain.

There is no men's event on the USTA Pro Circuit this week, but the women are back at a $25,000 tournament in Surprise Arizona.  Qualifying was completed today, with Sabrina Santamaria, Maria Mateas, Robin Anderson and Salma Ewing the Americans advancing to the main draw.  Mateas will play Claire Liu in the first round on Wednesday. Wild cards went to Ann Li, Ashley Kratzer, Lauren Marker and Francesca Di Lorenzo. Di Lorenzo and Kratzer, the USTA 18s champion, have drawn each other in the first round.  Evgeniya Rodina of Russia is the top seed.

Last Friday night in Columbus, the Ohio State men's tennis team defeated Texas A&M 4-3. A tight match between two of the best teams in the country normally would be talked about for a day or two, but on Saturday, the discussion centered on the behavior of freshman Patrick Kypson, who spit in his hand before shaking hands with opponent JJ Wolf after the match.  (Since I have been in Florida, several comments have been posted here by those who heard about Kypson actions). Kypson did not play against Texas Tech, but until today, the reason for that was conjecture.  Tonight, Texas A&M released the following statements from head coach Steve Denton and Kypson:

College Station, Texas –Texas A&M freshman Patrick Kypson was suspended for Sunday’s match against Texas Tech for his actions at the conclusion of Friday’s match against Ohio State. The Texas A&M coaching staff reached out to the Ohio State staff following the match and Kypson issued apologies to JJ Wolf and the Ohio State team.

Statement from Patrick Kypson, Texas A&M freshman:
“I want to apologize for my actions in my recent match against Ohio State Friday night. What I did was completely unacceptable. I would like to apologize to JJ, the entire Ohio State faculty and staff, my teammates at A&M, the entire A&M program as a whole, and my family. Again, my actions were inexcusable and I will learn from this mistake to become a better player and a better person.

Statement from Steve Denton, Texas A&M men's tennis head coach:

“Sportsmanship and respect are pillars of the sport of tennis and Texas A&M, and Patrick Kypson’s actions at the conclusion of his match at Ohio State were counter to that. He has been appropriately disciplined for his behavior. Patrick’s not only remorseful for what he did, but is acting on that to show that he learned a valuable lesson. We will support him in that effort. We have addressed his actions with him and with our friends at Ohio State.”