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Saturday, February 17, 2018

UCLA, Stanford, Wake Forest and Texas A&M Advance to Men's Team Indoor Semifinals; Shaikh Wins Second Straight ITF Junior Title

The first round of the ITA Men's Division I Team Indoor Championships went according to form, with the top 8 seeds advancing to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2004, according to Bobby Knight at College Tennis Today.  It was surprising that this year, which is considered to feature plenty of parity, would be so predictable, but that lasted only one day, with No. 2 seed Ohio State, No. 3 seed North Carolina and No. 4 seed Georgia all falling in today's quarterfinals.

Ohio State, the runner-up to Virginia last year, lost the doubles point for the first team this season to No. 7 seed UCLA, and the Bruins didn't let up, getting impressive wins from freshman Connor Hance, Evan Zhu and Logan Staggs, who clinched the 4-1 upset.

No. 5 seed Stanford took the doubles point from Georgia without much fuss, but the next three points were harder to come by.  William Genesen and freshman Axel Geller provided two straight-set wins, with Tom Fawcett clinching the 4-2 victory for the Cardinal with a three-set win at line 1.

Top seed Wake Forest lost the doubles point to No. 8 seed USC, but came out strong in singles, getting straight-sets wins from the top 4 in their lineup to close out the 4-1 victory.

The first match to go the distance was No. 6 Texas A&M's 4-3 win over North Carolina.  The Aggies dropped the doubles point, but took five first sets in singles, and they held on to four of those points, but not without plenty of drama.  The match was decided at No. 2, between freshman Benjamin Sigouin of North Carolina and Texas A&M's Arthur Rinderknech.  Rinderknech took the first set 6-4, lost the second 7-5, and early in the third set, they were the only match still going.  Serving at 3-4, Rinderknech saved a break point on a deciding point. Sigouin then fell behind 15-40, saved two break points, but not a third, giving Rinderknech the opportunity to serve for the match. He closed it out at 40-30, a result that had to be particularly satisfying as Rinderknech lost the deciding match in last weekend's 4-3 loss to Ohio State in Columbus.

Texas A&M will face UCLA at 3 p.m. Eastern Sunday, with Stanford and Wake Forest following at 6:30 p.m. I believe both matches will be live streamed here.

ITA Men’s Division I Team Indoor Championships
Quarterfinals, February 17, Seattle WA

No. 5 Stanford 4, No. 4 Georgia 2

1. Sameer Kumar/Michael Genender(Stanford) vs Robert Loeb and Jan Zielinski(Georgia) 3-4, unfinished
2. Tom Fawcett/Axel Geller(Stanford) def. Wayne Montgomery/Walker Duncan(Georgia), 6-3
3. David Wilczynski/Timothy Sah(Stanford) def. Alex Diaz/Paul Oosterbaan(Georgia), 6-3

Order of finish: 2, 3

1. Tom Fawcett(Stanford) def. Wayne Montgomery(Georgia), 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3
2. Axel Geller(Stanford) def. Emil Reinberg(Georgia), 7-5, 6-3
3. Sameer Kumar(Stanford) vs Nathan Ponwith(Georgia), 6-3, 4-6, 6-6, unfinished
4. Jan Zielinski(Georgia) def. Eric Fomba(Stanford), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
5. Walker Duncan(Georgia) def. David Wilczynski(Stanford), 6-3, 6-3
6. William Genesen(Stanford) def. Paul Oosterbaan(Georgia), 7-5, 6-3

Order of finish: 5, 6, 2, 1

No. 7 UCLA 4, No. 2 Ohio State 1 

1. Mikael Torpegaard/Martin Joyce(Ohio State) vs Martin Redlicki/Evan Zhu(UCLA) 6-5, unfinished
2. Austin Rapp/Keegan Smith(UCLA) def. John McNally/JJ Wolf(Ohio State), 6-4
3. Maxime Cressy/Bryce Pereira(UCLA) def. Hunter Tubert/Matthew Mendez(Ohio State), 6-4

Order of finish: 3, 2

1. Mikael Torpegaard(Ohio State) def. Martin Redlicki(UCLA), 6-4, 6-4
2. Evan Zhu(UCLA) def. JJ Wolf(Ohio State), 6-3, 7-6(5)
3. John McNally(Ohio State) vs Keegan Smith(UCLA), 6-4, 2-6, 3-1, unfinished
4. Logan Staggs(UCLA) def. Tim Seibert(Ohio State), 7-5, 6-3
5. Maxime Cressy(UCLA) vs Kyle Seelig(Ohio State), 7-6(3), 5-6, unfinished
6. Connor Hance(UCLA) def. Martin Joyce(Ohio State), 6-3, 6-4

Order of finish: 6, 1, 2, 4

No. 1 Wake Forest 4, No. 8 USC 1

1. Brandon Holt/Riley Smith(USC) def. Christian Seraphim/Ian Dempster(Wake), 6-4
2. Borna Gojo/Skander Mansouri(Wake) def. Jack Jaede/Laurens Verboven(USC), 6-1
3. Tanner Smith/Daniel Cukierman(USC)def. Petros Chrysochos/Bar Botzer(Wake), 6-3

Order of finish: 2, 3, 1

1. Borna Gojo(Wake) def. Brandon Holt(USC), 6-3, 6-3
2. Petros Chrysochos(Wake) def. Daniel Cukierman(USC), 6-4, 6-3
3. Skander Mansouri(Wake) def. Logan Smith(USC), 6-1, 6-1
4. Bar Botzer(Wake) def. Jack Jaede(USC), 7-5, 6-2
5. Christian Seraphim(Wake) vs Laurens Verboven(USC), 6-3, 5-6, unfinished
6. Jake Devine(USC) vs Julian Zlobinsky(Wake) 7-6(5), 2-5, unfinished

Order of finish: 3, 1, 2, 4

No. 6 Texas A&M 4, No. 3 North Carolina 3

1. William Blumberg/Robert Kelly(UNC) def. Patrick Kypson/Arthur Rinderknech(TexasA&M), 6-2
2. Benjamin Sigouin/Anu Kodali(UNC) vs Jordi Arconada/Juan Carlos Aguilar(TexasA&M), 3-5 unfinished
3. Mac Kiger/Simon Soendergaard(UNC) def. Barnaby Smith/Valentin Vacherot(TexasA&M), 6-4

Order of finish: 1, 3

1. William Blumberg(UNC) def. Patrick Kypson(TexasA&M), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
2. Arthur Rinderknech(TexasA&M) def. Benjamin Sigouin(UNC), 6-4, 5-7, 6-4
3. Jordi Arconada(TexasA&M) def. Robert Kelly(UNC), 7-6(6), 6-1
4. Valentin Vacherot(TexasA&M) def. Simon Soendergaard(UNC), 6-0, 4-6, 6-4
5. Juan Carlos Aguilar(TexasA&M) def. Josh Peck(UNC), 6-2, 6-4
6. Bo Boyden(UNC) def. Barnaby Smith(TexasA&M), 6-3, 7-6(3)

Order of finish: 3, 5, 6, 1, 4, 2


In ITF junior circuit news, 15-year-old Hibah Shaikh won her second consecutive ITF tournament in her second ITF tournament played. Last year, Shaikh won a Grade 5 in Antigua and Barbuda in her ITF junior debut. Today, she claimed the title at the Grade 4 Jalisco Junior Cup in Mexico. Shaikh, who was unseeded, defeated No. 12 seed Jada Bui of Canada 7-6(3), 7-5 in the final, collecting her 10th straight singles win on the ITF Junior Circuit.   Unseeded Kailey Evans and Savannah Broadus reached the doubles final, losing to No. 3 seeds Romary Cardenas Rifka of Mexico and Jessica Plazas of Colombia 7-5, 6-3.

The top-seeded Colombians swept the singles titles at the ITF Grade 1 in Paraguay.  Maria Osorio Serrano defeated unseeded Ana Geller of Argentina 6-3, 6-1 and Nicolas Mejia downed No. 5 seed Filip Jianu of Romania 7-6(6), 7-5.