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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Navarro, Noel Advance to ITF Grade 1 Semifinal Meeting in Belgium, Four Americans Reach Final Round of Junior Qualifying at Roland Garros, Isner, Johnson, Williams Reach French Open Third Round; Sharma, Redlicki Top Final ITA Division I Rankings

Top seed Alexa Noel and unseeded Emma Navarro advanced to the semifinals of this week's ITF Grade 1 in Belgium and they will meet Friday for a place in the final.  Noel defeated No. 7 seed Stefania Rogozinska Dzik of Poland 6-3, 6-2 and Navarro took out No. 3 seed Yuki Naito of Japan by the same score.  The other girls semifinal will feature Vanderbilt recruit Georgia Drummy of Ireland, the No. 8 seed, against No. 6 seed Viktorija Dema of Ukraine.  No. 9 seed Brandon Nakashima, the only US boys in the quarterfinals lost today to unseeded Anton Matusevich of Great Britain 6-2, 6-2. Live streaming is available at the tournament's YouTube Channel.

Top seeds Noel and Naho Sato of Japan have reached the doubles final after beating No. 4 seed Kacie Harvey and Slovakia's Lenka Stara 6-7(3), 7-5, 10-7.

Four Americans advanced to Friday's final round of qualifying for the French Open Junior Championships.  Peyton Stearns[5] is the only US girl to advance; William Woodall, Govind Nanda[10] and Tyler Zink[1] are the US boys playing for a main draw spot.  Live scoring is available at Tennis Ticker.

Serena Williams, John Isner [9] and Steve Johnson advanced to the third round today at Roland Garros, with No. 10 Sloane Stephens and No. 13 seed Madison Keys playing their third round matches on Friday. Stephens plays Camila Giorgi of Italy, while Keys takes on No. 21 seed Naomi Osaka of Japan.


The ITA released the season's final singles and doubles rankings yesterday, with the final team rankings published last week.  I've expanded from my usual Top 10 to Top 20 for singles and from Top 5 to Top 10 for doubles, because any player appearing in those groups have earned All-American status. The official All-American teams will be published later, but Top 20 or Top 10 in the final rankings is one of the criteria. The headings are links to the complete ITA rankings.

And before we get too far removed from the team event, I wanted to add the Division I  All-Tournament teams, which I had some trouble locating.

D-I All-Tournament Women's Team
No. 1 Singles - Astra Sharma, Vanderbilt
No. 2 Singles - Melissa Lord, Stanford
No. 3 Singles - Caroline Lampl, Stanford
No. 4 Singles - Ida Jarlskog, Georgia Tech
No. 5 Singles - Janice Shin, Stanford
No. 6 Singles - Emma Higuchi, Stanford

No. 1 Doubles - Astra Sharma and Fernanda Contreras, Vanderbilt
No. 2 Doubles - Emma Kurtz and Emily Smith, Vanderbilt
No. 3 Doubles - Meible Chi and Hannah Zhao, Duke

Most Outstanding Player - Astra Sharma, Vanderbilt

D-I All-Tournament Men's Team
No. 1 Singles - Mikael Torpegaard, Ohio State
No. 2 Singles - Petros Chrysochos, Wake Forest
No. 3 Singles - Jordi Arconada, Texas A&M
No. 4 Singles - Kyle Seelig, Ohio State
No. 5 Singles - Juan Carlos Aguilar, Texas A&M
No. 6 Singles - Martin Joyce, Ohio State

No. 1 Doubles - Borna Gojo and Skander Mansouri, Wake Forest
No. 2 Doubles - Bar Botzer and Chrysochos, Wake Forest
No. 3 Doubles - Matt Mendez and Hunter Tubert, Ohio State

Most Outstanding Player - Bar Botzer, Wake Forest

Final Division I ITA Rankings 2017-18 season:

Women’s Team:
1. Stanford (15)
2. Vanderbilt (2)
3. North Carolina (1)
4. Duke (3)
5. Georgia Tech (4)
6. Texas (5)
7. Georgia (7)
8. Ole Miss (6)
9. Texas Tech(11)
10. UCLA (14)

Women’s Singles:
1. Astra Sharma, Vanderbilt (11)
2. Arianne Hartono, Ole Miss (7)
3. Bianca Turati, Texas (1)
4. Makenna Jones, North Carolina (2)
5. Estela Perez-Somarriba, Miami (3)
6. Ashley Lahey, Pepperdine (17)
7. Samantha Harris, Duke (6)
8. Gabriela Knutson, Syracuse (5)
9. Anastasia Rychagova, Kansas (8)
10. Fernanda Contreras, Vanderbilt (10)
11. Mayar Sherif Ahmed, Pepperdine (22)
12. Paige Hourigan, Georgia Tech (14)
13. Ena Shibahara, UCLA (9)
14. Andrea Lazaro, Florida International (13)
15. Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov, Florida Atlantic (4)
16. Anna Danilina, Florida (18)
17. Katarina Jokic, Georgia (12)
18. Gabriela Talaba, Texas Tech (21)
19. Luisa Stefani, Pepperdine (27)
20. Stacey Fung, Washington (16)

Women’s Doubles:
1. Paige Hourigan and Kenya Jones, Georgia Tech (1)
2. Ellyse Hamlin and Kaitlyn McCarthy, Duke (9)
3. Jessie Aney and Alexa Graham, North Carolina (2)
4. Fernanda Contreras and Astra Sharma, Vanderbilt (11)
5. Vladica Babic and Sofia Blanco, Oklahoma State (14)
6. Emily Arbuthnott and Michaela Gordon, Stanford (3)
7. Arianne Hartono and Alexa Bortles, Ole Miss (5)
8. Gabriela Knutson and Miranda Ramirez, Syracuse (8)
9. Erin Larner and Maddie Lipp, Northwestern (4)
10. Samantha Harris and Kelly Chen, Duke (6)

Men’s Team:
1. Wake Forest (1)
2. Ohio State (3)
3. UCLA (2)
4. Texas A&M (5)
5. Mississippi State (7)
6. North Carolina (6)
7. Stanford (4)
8. Illinois (9)
9. TCU (8)
10. Florida (13)

Men’s Singles:
1. Martin Redlicki, UCLA (1)
2. William Blumberg, North Carolina (3)
3. Petros Chrysochos, Wake Forest (4)
4. Nuno Borges, Mississippi State (2)
5. Mikael Torpegaard, Ohio State (6)
6. Borna Gojo, Wake Forest (7)
7. Patrick Kypson, Texas A&M (5)
8. Mazen Osama, Alabama (10)
9. Aleks Vukic, Illinois (13)
10. Ryotaro Matsumura, Kentucky (8)
11. Arthur Rinderknech, Texas A&M (12)
12. Brandon Holt, USC (11)
13. Tom Fawcett, Stanford (9)
14. Alfredo Perez, Florida (14)
15. Giovanni Oradini, Mississippi State (23)
16. Timo Stodder, Tennessee (16)
17. Constantin Schmitz, Tulane (15)
18. Jose Salazar, Arkansas (18)
19. Alex Knight, Michigan (17)
20. Cameron Klinger, Vanderbilt (26)

Men’s Doubles:
1. Nuno Borges and Strahinja Rakic, Mississippi State (1)
2. Johannes Ingildsen and Alfredo Perez, Florida (5)
3. William Blumberg and Robert Kelly, North Carolina (2)
4. Juan Carlos Aguilar and Jordi Arconada, Texas A&M (3)
5. Martin Redlicki and Evan Zhu, UCLA (29)
6. Austin Rapp and Keegan Smith, UCLA (16)
7. Korey Lovett and Eero Vasa, UCF (8)
8. Guillermo Nuñez and Alex Rybakov, TCU (6)
9. Brandon Holt and Riley Smith, USC (10)
10. Jack Jaede and Laurens Verboven, USC (9)

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Seven Americans in Thursday's Roland Garros Junior Qualifying; Nakashima, Noel and Navarro Reach Belgium Grade 1 Quarterfinals; Li, Baptiste Advance to Naples $25K Quarterfinals; Roland Garros Update

photo credit Aaina Sharma, unsplash
Qualifying begins Thursday for the Junior Championships at Roland Garros, with five US boys and two US girls aiming for the two wins that will put them in the main draw.

Tyler Zink, who is the subject of today's Tennis Recruiting Network feature on his commitment to Georgia, is the top seed in the boys qualifying draw, with Emilio Nava[4] and Govind Nanda[10] also seeded. Keenan Mayo and William Woodall were on the the alternate list for qualifying, but they both got in, with Woodall, the ninth alternate, the last player to move into the qualifying. Unfortunately Cannon Kingsley, who won the Grade 1 a couple of weeks ago in Italy, did not get into qualifying, but with his current ranking of 32, he will get into the main draw at Wimbledon, with the cutoff next Monday's ranking.

The American girls in the French junior qualifying draw are Chloe Beck[14] and Peyton Stearns[5].  Emma Navarro, who has reached the quarterfinals of the ITF Grade 1 in Belgium did not get into qualifying, although alternates as low as 28 on the list did move into qualifying.

Kacie Harvey, who was on the qualifying list, is still in doubles in Belgium, but with two other players who are ranked above her also still alive in Belgium, she may not receive one of the two special exemptions in the Roland Garros juniors main draw.

Brandon Nakashima was No. 2 in qualifying, and should be receiving a special exemption, although the top three boys in the qualifying are all still playing in Belgium. With only two spots for special exemptions, one may not get to play in Paris, although I guess a wild card would be a remote possibility.

Nakashima, the No. 9 seed, defeated No. 8 seed Rinky Hijikata of Australia 6-3, 6-1 and will face unseeded Anton Matusevich of Great Britain in the quarterfinals.  Top seed Alexa Noel defeated No. 16 seed Daria Frayman of Russia 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 and the unseeded Navarro took out No. 12 seed Daria Snigur of Ukraine 6-2, 7-5. 

Nakashima and Trey Hilderbrand have advanced to the doubles semifinals, as have Noel (with Naho Sato of Japan) and Harvey (with Lenka Stara of Slovakia).

Live scoring is available at Tennis Ticker.

At the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Naples Florida, the quarterfinals are set, a day earlier than usual. With the rain making a mess of the previous week's tournament in Osprey, I'm sure organizers wanted to avoid another week like that, so all first round matches were played Tuesday and all second round matches today. Sixteen-year-old Hailey Baptiste, who received a special exemption into the main draw this week, advanced to the quarterfinals with a nearly three-hour 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over qualifier Ksenia Laskutova of Russia, a recent Tulsa graduate. Ann Li, who beat No. 4 seed Katerina Stewart in the first round, defeated recent Florida graduate Anna Danilina of Kazakhstan 6-2, 6-3.  Top seed Nicole Gibbs, No. 3 seed Ashley Kratzer, No. 7 seed Robin Anderson and No. 4 seed Allie Kiick  are the other American quarterfinalist.  Osprey champion Deniz Khazaniuk of Israel, the No. 2 seed, and qualifier Paula Goncalves of Brazil are the only international player in the quarterfinals.

In Day Four action at Roland Garros, Alison Riske fell in a first round match to top seed Simona Halep 2-6, 6-1, 6-1. Jared Donaldson went toe to toe with No. 4 seed Grigor Dimitrov for more than four hours, but ended up on the wrong side of the 6-7(2), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 10-8 score.  Sam Querrey[12] lost to Gilles Simon 1-6, 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-1, leaving John Isner[9] and Steve Johnson as the only American men left in the draw. Isner and Johnson play their second round matches on Thursday.

Madison Keys[13] defeated qualifier Caroline Dolehide 6-4, 6-1 and Sloane Stephens[10] beat qualifier Magdalena Frech of Poland 6-2, 6-2 for the two second round victories for American women today.  Jennifer Brady lost to Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-3, leaving a total of seven US women still in the draw.  The five taking the court Thursday for second round matches are Serena Williams, Taylor Townsend, CoCo Vandeweghe[15], Bernarda Pera and Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Cameron Norrie, the recent TCU star, did not finish his second round match with No. 15 seed Lucas Pouille of France, with Norrie taking the third set when the match was called for darkness. Pouille won the first and second sets.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Florida Tops Men's 2018 Recruiting Class Rankings; Zamarripa Takes Grade 5 Title in ITF Junior Circuit Debut; Top Seed Skatov Out at ITF Grade 1 in Belgium; French Open First Round Needs Fourth Day

The second and last men's recruiting class rankings for 2018 were announced yesterday at the Tennis Recruiting Network, with the University of Florida taking the top spot.  Florida has signed Sam Riffice and Lucas Greif, two blue chips, and twins Harry and Grey Cacciatore, two five stars, with voters (I am one) giving them the nod over No. 2 Georgia. The rest of the men's top 10 are Texas A&M, Stanford, Michigan, Miami, South Carolina, Central Florida, Oklahoma State and Princeton. With the new layout of the rankings, it's easy to compare the UTRs of the players, with four of the incoming class exceeding the 14.00 threshold: Florida's Riffice, Miami's Francisco Bastias, Oklahoma State's Matej Vocel and North Carolina's Brian Cernoch.  The complete list can be found here. The women's rankings will be revealed on Monday June 4th.


With all the NCAA action this weekend, I wasn't able to cover the ITF Junior Circuit results at the lower levels, but it's a rare week that goes by without US juniors winning titles, and last week was no exception. Fifteen-year-old Allura Zamarripa swept the titles at the ITF Grade 5 in British Columbia, the first ITF Junior Circuit tournament she has entered. The unseeded Californian defeated top seed Sophia Qi Ho of Canada 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 in the final. Zamarripa partnered twin sister Maribella for the doubles title, with the Easter Bowl and Carson 16s champions taking out top seeds Madison Kim and Elizabeth Stevens 6-1, 6-3 in the final.

Jackson Ross won the doubles title at the Grade 5 in Bolivia, with partner German Suarez Gutierrez of Colombia. The No. 1 seeds defeated Brazilians Bryan Aguiar Kuntz and Nicolas Zanellato 6-0, 2-6, 10-6 in the final.

At the Grade 4 in Costa Rica, John Bernard won the boys doubles title with Great Britain's Blu Baker. The top seeds received a walkover in the final from No. 2 seeds Alfredo Casso of Mexico and Alexandre Leblanc of Canada.

Kailey Evans and Kylie Collins won the girls doubles title in Costa Rica, with the top seeds defeating No. 2 seeds Zoe Hitt and Canada's Alisia Manolescu 6-3, 6-3 in the final.  Collins reached the singles final, with the top seed falling to No. 4 seed Lauren Anzalotta of Puerto Rico 6-2. 6-4.

This week's Grade 1 in Belgium ends on Saturday due to the start of the French Open Junior Championships on Sunday, so they are already through two rounds of play, after the seeds received byes. Three US girls and one US boy are still in singles: Alexa Noel[1], who took a wild card after a poor showing at last week's Grade A in Milan; Emma Navarro and Elli Mandlik.  No. 15 seed Kacie Harvey, Nikki Redelijk and Chloe Beck lost in the second round today.  Brandon Nakashima, seeded ninth, won his first round match today, but No. 7 seed Trey Hilderbrand has already lost, as has Axel Nefve, Ronan Jachuck, qualifier Mark Mandlik and Eliot Spizzirri. 

Top seed Timofey Skatov, a former ITF Junior No. 1, lost his opening match to Sebastian Rodriguez of Peru. Skatov has recently changed the flag he competes under from Russia to Kazakhstan.

Live scoring for the tournament is available here.

The French Open again was not able to finish all the matches it had scheduled for the day due to rain, with four still yet to finish. American Alison Riske didn't even start her first round match with top seed seed Simona Halep. Americans who did finish on Tuesday are Serena Williams, who got her first win at a major since having a baby last year, Bethanie Mattek-Sands who posted her first main draw singles win since her serious knee injury last summer, and wild card Taylor Townsend, who won her Roland Garros first round match for the third consecutive year.  Varvara Lepchenko, whose first round match with No. 16 seed Elise Mertens was held over from Monday, lost 6-7(9), 7-6(4), 6-0.

The results were much worse for US men, as No. 14 seed Jack Sock, Tennys Sandgren and Ryan Harrison all lost to lower ranked players. Steve Johnson defeated No. 25 seed Adrian Mannarino of France 7-6(1), 6-2, 6-2 and John Isner[9] completed his win over wild card Noah Rubin 6-3, 7-6(7), 7-6(7).

Americans on the schedule for Wednesday aside from Riske are Jennifer Brady, Madison Keys[13] and Caroline Dolehide, who play each other, Sloane Stephens[10], Jared Donaldson and Sam Querrey[12].  Former TCU star Cameron Norrie of Great Britain, just a year into his pro career, will face No. 15 seed Lucas Pouille of France in a second round match on Chatrier.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Hartono of Ole Miss, Chrysochos of Wake Forest Claim NCAA D-I Singles Titles; LSU, UCLA Teams Win Doubles Crowns; Five More Americans Advance to Second Round at Roland Garros

Even before the finals of the NCAA Division I singles finals today at Wake Forest, we knew history would be made; the question was not if, but who. Unfortunately, rainy weather in Winston Salem North Carolina forced all four finals inside prior to the start of play, bookending the tournament's 12 days, which began with team matches also played indoors.

In the women's final, it was Arianne Hartono of Ole Miss who came away with the first NCAA title in her program's history, with the 22-year-old senior from the Netherlands defeating Ashley Lahey, Pepperdine's first NCAA singles finalist, 6-4, 6-2.

Hartono, the No. 6 seed, trailed 4-2 in the first set, but won four straight games from Lahey, a 9-16 seed, to take control. At 4-4, Hartono won a deciding point on her serve, with a forehand on the baseline that handcuffed Lahey and she broke in the next game.

Hartono won every deciding point (five by my count), taking a 3-1 lead in the second set with forehand winner to break Lahey at deuce. She saved two break points at 3-1, 30-40, with her first serve coming up big, then broke Lahey to go up 5-1.  In her first opportunity to serve it out, Hartono was broken at love, but she didn't need another. Her forehand, a reliable point generator all match, continued to pressure Lahey and she earned her first championship point with a forehand winner to make it 30-40. She missed a forehand long on the first match point, but a great forehand return of a second serve finished it.

Hartono, who saved three match points in her 2-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(2) semifinal win over Pepperdine's Mayar Sherif Ahmed, is the first international NCAA champion since Cal's Jana Jurikova won the title in 2011.

The men's final between Wake Forest teammates Petros Chrysochos and Borna Gojo was also short on drama, with Chrysochos taking a 6-3, 6-3 decision.  Chrysochos, the No. 4 seed, broke Gojo, the No. 7 seed, in the first and last game of the opening set. Gojo got his first break of serve to take a 2-1 lead in the second set, but wasn't able to consolidate, and Chrysochos broke and held to take a 5-2 lead. Down match point in the deuce point serving at 2-5, Gojo slammed an ace to take the game, but unlike in his semifinal win against Mississippi State's Nuno Borges, where he hit two aces on two consecutive match points, today's ace didn't prove pivotal. Serving for the title Chrysochos fell behind 15-30, but he recovered to take the next three points, with Gojo sending a backhand return off a second serve long to give Chrysochos his 30th consecutive win.

Chrysochos, a junior from Cyprus, is the first NCAA men's champion at Wake Forest. Gojo, a sophomore from Croatia, is the third finalist in program history, joining Noah Rubin.

For the first time since 2006, when Cal's Suzi Babos and UCLA's Benjamin Kohlloffel won titles, both champions are international players. The US Open wild cards traditionally given to American players are not extended to international winners.

For more on Hartono's win, see this article from the Ole Miss website. For more on Chrysochos's title, see this article from the Wake Forest website.

Eden Richardson and Jessica Golovin, LSU; Martin Redlicki and Evan Zhu, UCLA
Another program first was recorded by the team of Jessica Golovin and Eden Richardson who claimed LSU's first NCAA women's title with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Vladica Babic and Sofia Blanco of Oklahoma State.  Golovin, a junior, and Richardson, a freshman, won two match tiebreakers as they advanced to the final, but were never in trouble in the final, building leads of 4-1 in both sets and keeping their advantage throughout.  For more on LSU's title, see this article from their website.

The one school adding to its substantial legacy Monday was UCLA, with the doubles team of Martin Redlicki and Evan Zhu winning the day's most exciting match.  Redlicki and Zhu saved a match point in the final set match tiebreaker to defeat Ohio State's Martin Joyce and Mikael Torpegaard 6-7(8), 7-6(4), 11-9.

With a score like that, margins were obviously small and the drama started in the first set tiebreaker, with UCLA trailing 5-0 before winning the next five points. After a Zhu let cord winner saved a set point against UCLA, Ohio State faced a set point, but Torpegaard hit a huge serve to save. Ohio State lost the next point, giving Redlicki a set point on his serve, but he failed to get a first serve in in the next two points and Joyce held his to take the set.

UCLA got the first break of the match and took a 4-2 lead, but Zhu dropped his serve to make it 4-4 and another tiebreaker would determine whether a third would be necessary.

UCLA managed to keep its lead in that tiebreaker, with Zhu and Redlicki earning a third match tiebreaker in the five matches they contested this week. Joyce and Torpegaard, whose only match tiebreaker came in the semifinals against UCLA's Austin Rapp and Keegan Smith, fell behind 4-2 and 7-5. After the second change of ends, Zhu held for 8-5, but the Buckeyes won four straight points, with Zhu letting a return go that landed in to give Ohio State a match point. Zhu redeemed himself on the next point with a forehand winner that landed on the sideline. Torpegaard, who was in control at the net but couldn't get the ball by Zhu, argued the call, but it stood, and another UCLA winner later and good first serve by Zhu and the Bruins had the title, the 13th for the program.

Redlicki, a senior, now has two NCAA doubles title, having won his first in 2016 with Mackenzie McDonald. Zhu, a sophomore, will now hope he gets the chance that Redlicki was given to play as a wild card in the US Open.

For more on the UCLA title, see this article from their website.

The second day of first round play at Roland Garros was again cut short, this time by rain and darkness, but five Americans, four women and one man, did get through the second round.  Madison Keys[13] defeated Sachia Vickery 6-3, 6-3, CoCo Vandeweghe defeated Laura Siegemund of Germany 6-4, 6-4, Bernada Pera downed Elena Vesnina of Russia 6-3, 6-1 and qualifier Caroline Dolehide defeated Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland 6-4, 6-4.  It's the first slam main draw win for the 19-year-old Dolehide. Sam Querrey[12], the only US man to win Monday, defeated Frances Tiafoe 6-1, 6-2, 7-6(6).

Grace Min, Danielle Collins, Vania King, Sonya Kenin and Christina McHale lost their first round matches.

John Isner[9] was leading Noah Rubin two sets to none when play was suspended, and Varvara Lepchenko was down 3-0 in the third to Elise Mertens of Belgium.

In addition to the rescheduled matches, the remaining Americans will play on Tuesday: Serena Williams, Alison Riske, Steve Johnson, Jack Sock[14], Taylor Townsend, Ryan Harrison, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Tennys Sandgren.

Tuesday's schedule is available here.

At the rain-plagued $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Osprey Florida, top seed Deniz Khazaniuk of Israel defeated No. 7 seed Sophie
Chang 6-4, 4-6, 10-6 in the final. If the doubles tournament was completed, I don't see any evidence of it on the ITF Pro Circuit website.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Hartono Saves Match Points En Route to Women's D-I Singles Final vs Lahey; Gojo Saves Match Points to Advance to Men's Final vs Teammate Chrysochos; Molinero and Andreev Win ITF Grade A Titles in Milan; Three Americans Advance on Roland Garros Opening Day

The finals are set for Monday at the NCAA Division I Individual Championships, after a long and exciting semifinal day at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex in Winston Salem North Carolina.

Three of the singles semifinals went three sets, with Arianne Hartono of Ole Miss and Borna Gojo of Wake Forest saving match points in their victories.


While Pepperdine's Ashley Lahey, a 9-16 seed, was closing out her 6-3, 6-3 victory over No. 8 seed Fernanda Contreras, her teammate, Mayar Sherif Ahmed had worked her way to match points against No. 6 seed Hartono. After taking the first set 6-2 and breaking Hartono for a 5-4 lead in the second set, Sherif Ahmed went up 40-15, giving herself three match points. Hartono saved the first with a winner, and Sherif Ahmed netted a forehand volley on the second. On the deciding point, Hartono hit a forehand return winner, getting it to 5-all, but she lost her serve in the next game to give Sherif Ahmed another chance to serve it out. She couldn't take that second chance either, with Hartono breaking at love. At 5-5 in the tiebreaker, Sherif Ahmed netted a slice to give Hartono her first set point, and she converted it when Sherif Ahmed's return went wide.

Sherif Ahmed was up 3-0 in the third set, but Hartono recovered by winning three of four deciding points to make it 5-all.  Sherif Ahmed saved a couple of break points to take a 6-5 lead, and Hartono held for the deciding tiebreaker.  Sherif Ahmed had won her semifinal match with Astra Sharma of Vanderbilt in a third set tiebreaker, but her luck didn't hold. With Hartono leading 4-2 and serving, she ran down every aggressive shot and got several overheads back, and the effort paid off, with Sherif Ahmed eventually missing a putaway. Hartono got a fortunate netcord to go up 6-2 and earned her place in the final on the next point, clocking a backhand winner down the line for an emphatic end to the nearly three hour match.

Hartono, a 22-year-old senior from the Netherlands, is the first woman from Ole Miss to reach an NCAA final and Lahey, an 18-year-old sophomore from Southern California, is the first Pepperdine woman to make an NCAA final, so one of the schools will have their first NCAA women's champion Monday.


Six days after earning its first NCAA team title, Wake Forest is certain to claim its first NCAA singles champion on Monday with Petros Chrysochos and Borna Gojo facing off for the title.  No. 4 seed Chrysochos defeated top seed Martin Redlicki of UCLA 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, while No. 7 seed Gojo beat No. 3 seed Nuno Borges of Mississippi State 2-6, 7-5, 6-2.

Serving at 4-5 in the second set, Gojo, a sophomore from Croatia, fell behind 30-40 but hit two consecutive aces to hold. He then broke Borges and held to force a third set. Borges was broken on a deciding point serving at 2-3, and Gojo, showing no sign of the fatigue that he (and Chrysochos) must be feeling after playing nine singles matches in 10 days, held, broke, and held to set up the first all-teammate singles final since Stanford's Bob Bryan defeated Paul Goldstein in 1998.

Chrysochos and Gojo are only the fourth pair of teammates to meet for the singles title since 1977 (records before that show only the winner, not the finalist). The other two instances were in the 1980s: in 1985, Georgia's Mikael Pernfors defeated George Bezecny; in 1981, Stanford's Tim Mayotte defeated Jim Gurfein.

With no American in the NCAA men's final for the first time since 2008, the US Open wild card traditionally given to an American winner is not in play.

The doubles finals are set for Monday, with both championship teams guaranteed to be unseeded.

The women's doubles final will feature Jessica Golovin and Eden Richardson of LSU against Oklahoma State's Vladica Babic and Sofia Blanco. Golovin and Richardson defeated North Carolina's Sara Daavettila and Alle Sanford 3-6, 6-4, 10-6, while Babic and Blanco eliminated the only seeded team still in action in either draw, No. 5-8 seeds Ellyse Hamlin and Kaitlyn McCarthy of Duke, 6-1, 7-5.

Although Redlicki's hopes for a singles title were dashed today, the Bruin senior will play for his second NCAA doubles title Monday, with Evan Zhu.  Redlicki, who won the 2016 title with Mackenzie McDonald, and Zhu defeated Memphis's Ryan Peniston and Andrew Watson 6-3, 7-6(6) tonight and will face Ohio State's Martin Joyce and Mikael Torpegaard in the final.  Joyce and Torpegaard prevented another all-teammate final by beating UCLA's Austin Rapp and Keegan Smith 6-7(5), 7-6(2), 10-8.

The NCAA will be broadcasting the finals Monday at noon through a link at ncaa.com.

The ITF Trofeo Bonfiglio in Milan wrapped up today with Adrian Andreev of Bulgaria and Eleonora Molinero of Luxembourg capturing their first Grade A titles.  The 17-year-old Andreev, the No. 16 seed, downed top seed Sebastian Baez of Argentina 6-3, 6-3 and No. 13 seed Molinero, also 17, defeated No. 9 seed Yuki Naito of Japan 4-6, 6-4, 6-0.

For more on the girls final, see Tommy Hemp's coverage at Tennis Underworld.

Naito did capture a title today, in doubles, with partner Naho Sato, also of Japan. The No. 2 seeds beat unseeded Caty McNally and Switzerland's Leonie Kung 7-6(5), 6-4 in today's final.

Today marked the start of 2018's second major, with Jared Donaldson, Sloane Stephens and Jennifer Brady collecting first round victories at Roland Garros. Venus Williams[9], Madison Brengle, Denis Kudla and Taylor Fritz lost their opening matches. Christina McHale had dropped her second set when play was called because of darkness. Defending champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia was beaten by Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine 7-5, 6-3.

Fourteen Americans are on the schedule for Monday: Danielle Collins, CoCo Vandeweghe[15], Madison Keys[13] v Sachia Vickery, John Isner[9] v Noah Rubin, Frances Tiafoe v Sam Querrey[12], Sonya Kenin, Varvara Lepchenko, Caroline Dolehide, Grace Min, Bernarda Pera and Vania King.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Wesleyan's Chong Wins Fourth Consecutive Division III Singles Title, Urken Claims Men's Title; Pepperdine Women, Wake Forest Men Earn D-I Semifinal Berths; Nanda and Zink Capture Grade A Doubles Title in Milan


For all the excitement of the Division I singles and doubles quarterfinals, and there was plenty, the top story of the day comes from the Division III Championships, which concluded today in Claremont California.  Eudice Chong of Wesleyan won her fourth consecutive women's singles title, the first player ever to accomplish that in the history of the NCAA.  Chong defeated teammate Victoria Yu 7-6(3), 6-2, and although she was never really in trouble once she took the first set, closing out a career undefeated in NCAA competition wasn't going to be easy. She served for the match at 5-1 in the second set, but didn't get to match point, with her unforced error followed by a double fault giving Yu the game. Yu had a game point to force Chong to serve out the match, but Chong saved it, and four points later had closed out her singles career.

The teammates exchanged a long hug at the net, but had little time to reflect on the singles final with their doubles semifinal coming up.  The top seeds won that match to reach the final for the second consecutive year, but the 2017 champions couldn't repeat, with No. 2 seeds Julie Raventos and Julila Cancio of Williams coming from behind to take the title 6-3, 4-6, 7-5. Chong and Yu served for the match at 5-3, but after over three hours, Raventos and Cancio prevailed. Raventos has had a fine career herself, with this her third NCAA Division III women's doubles title.

The men's singles title went to unseeded Bowdoin junior Grant Urken, who defeated unseeded Claremont-Mudd-Scripps freshman Jack Katzman 6-3, 6-2.  Lubomir Cuba of Middlebury repeated as doubles champion, with a different teammate as his partner, Kyle Schlanger. Cuba and Schlanger, the top seeds, defeated unseeded Scott Rubinstein and James Spaulding of Emory 6-0, 6-2 in the final.

Host Wake Forest will have two men in the Division I semifinals on Sunday, after No. 7 seed Borna Gojo and No. 4 seed Petros Chrysochos won their quarterfinals matches today.  Rain in the morning set the matches back by two hours, and another brief delay for rain, followed by a third for lightning, had officials deciding to quickly move the remaining matches indoors.

Gojo had completed his 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over No. 2 seed and 2017 finalist William Blumberg of North Carolina before the first delay, but Chrysochos was down 5-2 in the third set to No. 6 seed Mikail Torpegaard of Ohio State, with the Buckeye senior serving for the match. Chrysochos saved a match point on a deciding point at 5-2, then went down 15-40 in the next game.  He saved all three of those match points, buoyed by the vocal home crowd, beginning a run of 11 consecutive points that gave him a 6-5 lead. Torpegaard managed to hold to force the deciding tiebreaker, which hadn't begun when a shower stopped play.  When it resumed about 15 minutes later, Chrysochos took a 5-2 lead in the tiebreaker, only to have lightning stop play.  They quickly moved indoors, with Chrysochos winning the final two points before the live streaming and scoring were available.

Chrysochos will face the last American in the men's draw, top seed Martin Redlicki of UCLA, who beat Mazen Osama of Alabama, a 9-16 seed, 6-4, 7-5. Redlicki was up a break in the second set, lost it, but got another to take a 6-5 lead, closing out the match with an ace.

Gojo will face No. 3 seed Nuno Borges of Mississippi State, who reached his second straight NCAA semifinal with a 7-6(4), 6-4 win over Timo Stodder[9-16] of Tennessee.

As with the Wake Forest men, the Pepperdine women came through in tough matches, although they did lose one of their three quarterfinalists, with Luisa Stefani falling to No. 6 seed Arianne Hartono of Ole Miss 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.  Hartono prevented an all Pepperdine semifinal, because Mayar Sherif Ahmed went on to finish her 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(5) victory over Vanderbilt's Astra Sharma[9-16] indoors. Behind 6-3 in the tiebreaker after Sherif Ahmed hit a great first serve, Sharma saved two match points with aggressive play on her two serves, but she netted a backhand crosscourt pass to end it.

The other Pepperdine semifinalist is Ashley Lahey, who defeated fellow 9-16 seed Andrea Lazaro of Florida International 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 in a match that also was completed indoors.  Lahey had a 5-2 lead in the second set, but Lazaro reeled off five straight games, a scenario that replicated itself in the third set. Up 5-2 in the third set, indoors, Lahey saw Lazaro hold for 5-3, but Lahey ended the drama serving for it at 30-all. Lazaro netted a forehand to give Lahey two match points and she converted the first with a good first serve, which had missing in action in that game until then.

Lahey will face the other American in the draw, No. 8 seed Fernanda Contreras of Vanderbilt. Contreras had the only straight-sets win of the day in the women's quarterfinals, beating Anna Danilina[9-16] of Florida 7-5, 6-1.

Both top seeds in doubles went out today in match tiebreakers.  The No. 1 men's team of Borges and Strahinja of Mississippi State lost to Redlicki and Evan Zhu 4-6, 6-3, 10-7 and the No. 1 women's team of Paige Hourigan and Kenya Jones fell to Sara Daavettila and Alle Sanford of North Carolina 6-4, 1-6, 10-7.  Daavettila and Sanford were the last team in the draw, and were given a chance to play only when No. 4 seeds Samantha Harris and Kelly Chen of Duke withdrew.

Daavettila and Sanford will face another unseeded team, LSU's Jessica Golovin and Eden Richardson in the semifinals. The other women's semifinal features the only seeded team left in either doubles draw, No. 5-8 seeds Ellyse Hamlin and Kaitlyn McCarthy, and Vladica Babic and Sofia Blanco of Oklahoma State.

The third championship that will boast two semifinalists from one school is the men's doubles, with Redlicki and Zhu joined by UCLA teammates Austin Rapp and Keegan Smith. Rapp and Smith defeated No. 2 seeds Blumberg and Robert Kelly of North Carolina 7-5, 4-6, 10-4.  Standing in the way of an all-Bruin doubles final are Ryan Peniston and Andrew Watson of Memphis, who play Redlicki and Zhu, and Torpegaard and Martin Joyce, who face Rapp and Smith.

The semifinals begin tomorrow at noon, with the two women's singles matches.  Draws and links to streaming and scoring are available at the Wake Forest tournament page.

The singles finals are set for the ITF Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglio in Milan Sunday, with the boys doubles final decided today.  In the  championship match between unseeded American teams, Govind Nanda and Tyler Zink defeated Emilio Nava and Cannon Kingsley 6-4, 7-5.  Caty McNally will play for the girls doubles title on Sunday, with she and partner Leonie Kung of Switzerland taking on No. 2 seeds Yuki Naito and Naho Sato of Japan. McNally and Kung defeated Manon Leonard of France and Lenka Stara of Slovakia 7-5, 6-0 today.

In the boys singles final, top seed Sebastian Baez of Argentina will take on No. 16 seed Adrian Andreev of Bulgaris. Baez beat No. 13 seed Naoki Tajima of Japan 6-2, 6-2 and Andreev defeated No. 14 seed Facundo Diaz Acosta of Argentina 7-6(5), 6-4.

No. 9 seed Naito defeated No. 5 seed Clara Tauson of Denmark 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-3 to reach the girls final, where she will face No. 13 seed Eleonara Molinaro of Luxembourg. Molinaro defeated No. 7 seed Elisabetta Cocciaretto of Italy 7-6(3), 2-6, 7-6(4).

Tommy Hemp has details and observations on the Molinaro - Cocciaretto match at the Tennis Underworld website.

The $25,000 Women's USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Osprey Florida has had rain for most of two days(not to mention short scoring in the first round early in the week), so only one quarterfinal match has been completed. Ashley Kratzer[2], the reigning USTA Girls 18s champion, has reached the semifinals with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win over No. 6 seed Allie Kiick but Usue Arconada[5] and Katarina Stewart are still in their second set, with Hailey Baptiste (vs top seed Deniz Kahzanuik of Israel) and Salma Ewing (vs Sophie Chang[7]) yet to start their quarterfinals.

Friday, May 25, 2018

My USTA Level 2 Girls 18s and 16s Coverage; Pepperdine, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest Place 7 in NCAA D-I Singles Quarterfinals; Chong Goes for Fourth Straight Women's D-3 Title; Dolehide, Min Qualify at Roland Garros; ITF Grade A Update

Although the weather certainly didn't cooperate, I covered the final two days of the USTA National Level 2 for Girls 18s and 16s on Monday and Tuesday, with rain sending play indoors on both days.  Even though I would have preferred being outdoors, I enjoyed seeing live tennis again, which I hadn't experienced since the Easter Bowl, over a month ago.  Top seed Amber O'Dell won the 18s title, and No. 3 seed Daniela Benabraham won the 16s title, with my coverage of the tournament available today at the Tennis Recruiting Network.

The quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I singles and doubles tournaments are set for Saturday, with host Wake Forest having two players advancing in men's singles and Pepperdine claiming three of the women's quarterfinalists.

The men's quarterfinals, so often diminished by withdrawals and post-team championships letdown, are stellar this year, with the top six of the top eight seeds, including all of the top four.  After two straight come-from-behind victories, top seed Martin Redlicki of UCLA earned a routine 6-4, 6-1 win over Giovanni Oradini of Mississippi State and No. 2 seed William Blumberg of North Carolina also advanced in straight sets, beating Cameron Klinger of Vanderbilt 6-4, 6-1. In fact, all eight winners on the men's side today advanced in straight sets. All credit to No. 4 seed Petros Chrysochos and No. 7 seed Borna Gojo of Wake Forest, who haven't missed a beat after winning the team championship on Tuesday.

Saturday's men's quarterfinals:

Martin Redlicki[1], UCLA vs Mazen Osama[9-16], Alabama
Petros Chrysochos[4], Wake Forest vs Mikael Torpegaard[6], Ohio St
Timo Stodder[9-16], Tennessee vs Nuno Borges[3], Mississippi St
Borna Gojo[7], Wake Forest vs William Blumberg[2], North Carolina


The women's quarterfinals will feature three Pepperdine Waves, with only one of them seeded, and two Vanderbilt Commodores.  Luisa Stefani of Pepperdine took out top seed Bianca Turati of Texas in the first round and hasn't let up.  Teammate Mayar Sherif Ahmed, also unseeded, today defeated No. 5 seed Gabriela Knutson of Syracuse 6-4, 7-5, and Ashley Lahey, a 9-16 seed, made it three Waves in the last eight with a 7-5, 6-3 win over No. 7 seed Ena Shibahara. Despite the tough loss in the last match on in the NCAA team championship match, Fernanda Contreras[8] of Vanderbilt has rebounded to reach the quarterfinals, joining teammate Astra Sharma[9-16], who has lost only 8 games in her three wins.

Saturday's women's quarterfinals:

Luisa Stefani, Pepperdine vs Arianne Hartono[6], Ole Miss
Astra Sharma[9-16], Vanderbilt vs Mayar Sherif Ahmed, Pepperdine
Ashley Lahey[9-16], Pepperdine vs Andrea Lazaro[9-16], Florida Intl
Fernanda Contreras[8], Vanderbilt vs Anna Danilina[9-16], Florida

All eight matches are scheduled to begin at noon, with live scoring and streaming available through the Wake Forest tournament page. Doubles will follow, with the last matches, those that include singles quarterfinalists, scheduled for 3 p.m.

The singles finals are set at the NCAA Division III championships in Claremont, California, with top seed Eudice Chong of Wesleyan going for her fourth consecutive women's title against unseeded teammate Victoria Yu.  Chong, who has lost only 11 games in her four wins, beat 2016 finalist Julie Raventos of Williams 6-1, 6-1 in the semifinals.  The men's tournament lost its No. 1 seed today in the semifinals, with unseeded Grant Urken of Bowdoin defeating Nikolai Parodi of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.  Urken will face unseeded Jack Katzman of CMS in the final. The finals are scheduled for 10 a.m. PDT on Saturday, with doubles semifinals and finals to follow. See the CMS tournament page for links to streams and scoring.

The number of US women in the Roland Garros draw went from 17 to 19 today, with Caroline Dolehide and Grace Min winning their final qualifying matches today.  Dolehide, the No. 17 seed, defeated Irina Bara of Romania 6-4, 6-3, while Min outlasted Martina Trevisan of Italy 1-6, 6-4, 6-3, winning the last six games of the match after falling behind two breaks at 3-0.  Min will play Camila Giorgi of Italy and Dolehide has drawn fellow qualifier Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland in the the first round.

The semifinals are set at the ITF Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglio in Milan Italy, with top seed Sebastian Baez of Argentina against No. 13 seed Naoki Tajima of Japan and No. 16 seed Adrian Andreev of Bulgaria against No. 14 seed Facundo Diaz Acosta of Argentina in the boys draw. The girls semifinals will feature No. 5 seed Clara Tauson of Denmark against No. 9 seed Yuki Naito of Japan and No. 7 seed Elisabetta Cocciaretto of Italy against Eleonora Molinaro of Luxembourg.

It will be an all-American boys final Saturday between two unseeded teams in doubles, with Cannon Kingsley and Emilio Nava taking on Govind Nanda and Tyler Zink. The girls played just one round of doubles today, with Caty McNally and her partner Leonie Kung of Switzerland advancing to Saturday's semifinals.

For more on today's action in Milan, see Tommy Hemp's reporting for Tennis Underworld.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Boland Leaves USTA for Baylor; Ponwith Dismissed from Team at Georgia; CMS Wins Women's D-III Title, Individual Tournament Underway; Chen Ousts No. 2 Seed Jones in Second Round of NCAA D-I Singles; Kudla Qualifies for Roland Garros; Ewing, Baptiste Advance at Osprey $25K

Brian Boland, left, with USTA's Ola Malmqvist and Martin Blackman at 2017 US Open
Brian Boland, who left the University of Virginia one year ago to become head of men's tennis at the USTA, is leaving to become Director of Tennis and men's head coach at Baylor University.

After winning three consecutive NCAA titles, Boland moved to Lake Nona to take over from Jay Berger, who had been head of men's tennis at the USTA for nine years. The reason for Boland's short tenure at the USTA was not addressed in the release from the USTA, which is below.

USTA Player Development to Seek New Head of Men’s Tennis

Orlando, Fla., May 24, 2018 -- The USTA today announced effective June 1, Brian Boland will leave his position as Head of Men’s Tennis for USTA Player Development.

According to USTA Player Development General Manager Martin Blackman, the USTA will begin a search for Boland’s replacement immediately.

"We thank Brian for his service to American tennis, and I couldn't be more optimistic about the momentum that we have on the men's side here in the U.S.,” said Blackman. “We look forward to building on that momentum to leverage our staff and resources to serve and support our juniors, collegians and professional players." 

The announcement from Baylor is here, and it includes comments on his hiring from Dick Gould, John Isner, UVA basketball coach Tony Bennett and Boland's proteges Andres Pedroso and Tony Bresky.  Boland doesn't give any reason for his departure from the USTA, although his comments about his time there are positive.  In my interview with Boland last year at the US Open, he seemed excited about the opportunity to work with the best American men. I don't know what intervened to make that prospect less attractive in the past eight months, but he is back in college coaching now, replacing Matt Knoll, who was at Baylor for 22 years.

Earlier this week, the Athens Banner Herald broke the news that sophomore Nathan Ponwith had been dismissed from the team at the University of Georgia after drug charges. I tweeted this when I saw it, but forgot to post it here with all the other on-court news from the NCAAs.

The NCAA Division III Women's National Championship finished late last night in Claremont California, and just as with the Men's D-I title, the home team earned their first title in program history.  Claremont-Mudd-Scripps took out top seed and perennial champion Emory 5-4 to win the title and break the stranglehold Emory and Williams have had on the title over the years. CMS had defeated Williams, the defending champion, in the semifinals.  For more on the Athenas first NCAA team title, see Rhiannon Potkey's article at the Tennis Recruiting Network.

The individual tournament is underway, with two rounds of singles today at CMS.  Three-time defending women's champion and top seed Eudice Chong of Wesleyan won her first round match, but No. 2 seed Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico of Emory lost to Katherine Hughes of Middlebury 6-2, 6-3.  Top seed Nikolai Parodi of CMS has advanced to the quarterfinals but defending champion and No. 2 seed Lubomir Cuba of Middlebury lost in the first round to Emory's Jonathan Jemison.

The women's singles draw is here; the men's singles draw is here.  Scores are updated at the CMS tournament page.

Today was "All-American Day" for those in the NCAA Division I singles tournament.  Any player who was not already an All-American by virtue of being seeded at the NCAAs can earn that honor by reaching the round of 16.  Six men and six women reached that coveted status with wins today: Vanderbilt's Cameron Klinger, Memphis's Ryan Peniston, Michigan's Runhao Hua, Arkansas's Jose Salazar, Texas A&M's Valentin Vacherot and Giovanni Oradini of Mississippi State for the men, Stanford's Emily Arbuthnott, Pepperdine's Luisa Stefani and Mayar Sherif Ahmed, Loyola Marymount's Veronica Miroshnichenko, Texas Tech's Gabriela Talaba and Duke's Kelly Chen.

Chen, a freshman who played at line 4 for Duke, defeated No. 2 seed Makenna Jones of North Carolina 6-3, 6-4.  Vacherot, another No. 4, was not even an alternate when selections were first announced and was the last player receiving entry when he replaced teammate Arthur Rinderknech, who pulled out at the last minute.

In addition to Jones, other seeds falling today were Stacy Fung[9-16] of Washington, who lost to Miroshnichenko, Michaela Gordon[9-16] of Stanford, who lost to Talaba, Patrick Kypson[5] of Texas A&M, who lost to Hua and Constantin Schmitz of Tulane, who lost to Peniston.

Doubles play began today, with men's top seeds Nuno Borges and Strahinja Rakic of Mississippi State surviving the Louisville team of Christopher Morin-Kougoucheff and Parker Wynn 3-6, 7-5, 10-8. The women's top seeds, Paige Hourigan and Kenya Jones of Georgia Tech, also were forced to a match tiebreaker, beating Bianca Mok and Julia O'Loughlin of Denver 6-3 ,3-6, 10-7.  No. 2 seeds Jessie Aney and Alexa Graham of North Carolina lost their opening match to Fernanda Contreras and Astra Sharma of Vanderbilt 6-2, 6-4.

Complete draws can be found at the Wake Forest tournament page.

The draws were posted for Roland Garros, which begins Sunday in Paris.  Four American men have draw each other, with John Isner[9] playing wild card Noah Rubin and Frances Tiafoe playing Sam Querrey[12].  Other US men in the draw are Jack Sock[14], Ryan Harrison, Taylor Fritz, Jared Donaldson, Tennys Sandgren, Steve Johnson and Denis Kudla, who qualified today. The complete draw is here.

Despite the larger number of US women, 17, only one all-American first rounder is on tap, with Madison Keys[13] facing Sachia Vickery. The other American women in the draw: Serena Williams, Venus Williams[9], Sloane Stephens[10], CoCo Vandeweghe[15], Taylor Townsend, Danielle Collins, Varvara Lepchenko, Madison Brengle, Jennifer Brady, Sonya Kenin, Christina McHale, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Bernarda Pera, Alison Riske and Vania King.  Riske drew top seed Simona Halep and Collins drew No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki. The complete draw is here.

Two other US women can join the main draw with qualifying victories on Friday: Caroline Dolehide and Grace Min. Min will face Martina Trevisan of Italy, while Dolehide, the No. 17 seed, plays Irina Bara of Romania.

Both US boys lost in the third round of the ITF Grade A in Milan. Keenan Mayo fell to No. 13 seed Naoki Tajima of Japan 6-2, 7-6(5) and Tyler Zink was beaten by No. 16 seed Adrian Andreev of Bulgaria 6-3, 6-1. Zink and Govind Nanda have reached the doubles quarterfinals, as have the team of Cannon Kingsley and Emilio Nava. Drew Baird has also advanced to the quarterfinals with partner Nicolas Mejia of Colombia.  Caty McNally, with Leonie Kung of Switzerland, defeated top seeds Xinyu Wang of China and Lulu Sun of Switzerland today to reach the quarterfinals. Lea Ma, playing with Maria Osorio Serrano of Colombia, is also into the quarterfinals in doubles. Live scoring is available here.

At the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Osprey Florida, qualifier Hailey Baptiste, 16,  and wild card Salma Ewing, 17, have advanced to the quarterfinals, along with five other Americans:  No. 4 seed Katerina Stewart, who beat Coco Gauff 7-6(3), 6-3 today; Usue Arconada[5], Sophie Chang[7], Allie Kiick[6] and Ashley Kratzer[2].

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Pepperdine's Stefani Beats Top Seed Turati in First Round of NCAA Singles; Middlebury Captures D-III Men's Title; Two US Boys Reach Third Round at Milan Grade A; Roland Garros Qualifying Update; Gauff Earns First Pro Win


The day after the team finals can be deflating for those who put their energy into the team event, but for many players, it's a chance to show off their games without the pressure that accompanies playing for others.  Upsets are not rare in these conditions, and today's first round produced a big one, with Pepperdine's Luisa Stefani beating No. 1 seed Bianca Turati of Texas 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-3.  Stefani was up 4-2 in the second set, but then proceeded to lose four straight games and the set. Stefani got back on track in the third set, broke at 3-all and held for 5-3, completing the upset with a break in the next game. Turati had been the nation's top ranked player since March; Stefani, who played No. 1 for Pepperdine, is ranked 27th.

Men's top seed Martin Redlicki of UCLA received a scare from Tim Sandkaulen of Ole Miss but came away with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory. With Redlicki holding for 5-4 in the second set, Sandkaulen went up 40-30, but Redlicki won the deciding point with a winner, and Sandkaulen never recovered. North Carolina's Makenna Jones, the No. 2 seed in the women's draw, was pushed to the limit by Gabby Smith of USC but managed to post a 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(2) victory.

Other than Turati, two seeded women are out, with No. 4 seed Samantha Harris of Duke withdrawing before her match and Katarina Jokic of Georgia, a 9-16 seed, losing to Mayar Sherif Ahmed of Pepperdine 7-5, 1-6, 6-4.

Men's seeds to fall in the first round were Michigan's Alex Knight, who lost to Cameron Klinger of Vanderbilt 6-4, 6-0; Ryotaro Matsumura of Kentucky, who lost to Billy Griffith of Cal 6-4, 6-3 and Tom Fawcett of Stanford, who lost to Mississippi State's Giovanni Oradini 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

The members of teams that were in yesterday's finals had mixed results. Stanford's Michaela Gordon[9-16] and Emily Arbuthnott advanced, but title clincher Melissa Lord lost to Andrea Lazaro, a 9-16 seed from Florida International, 6-4, 6-1.  Vanderbilt's Astra Sharma[9-16], and Fernanda Contreras[8] advanced, while Christina Rosca lost to Ena Shibahara[7] of UCLA.

Ohio State's Mikael Torpegaard[6] won his first round match, but JJ Wolf was beaten by Alfredo Perez of Florida, a 9-16 seed, 6-4, 6-4. Champion Wake Forest went 3-0 in singles Wednesday, with Skander Mansouri advancing after Johannes Schretter of Baylor retired trailing 7-5. No. 7 seed Borna Gojo beat Guanarteme Nuez of Texas-Arlington 6-3, 6-4 and No. 4 seed Petros Chrysochos closed out play for the night with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 win over Michail Pervolarakis of Portland.

The updated men's draw is here; the women's draw is here.

At the Division III Men's Team Championships in Claremont California, Middlebury and Bowdoin met for the title for the second time in three years, with Middlebury avenging their 5-0 loss in 2016 by taking out the Polar Bears 5-3. For more on the men's final, see Rhiannon Potkey's article at the Tennis Recruiting Network.  The women's final between Emory and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is still in progress.  See the CMS tournament page for updates.

At the ITF Grade A in Milan, just two Americans are left in the singles draw, both unseeded.  Tyler Zink beat Flavio Cobolli of Italy 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, and Keenan Mayo defeated Yannik Steinegger of Switzerland 7-6(4), 6-1, with both now advancing to the third round. Live scoring is available at Tennis Ticker.

At Roland Garros, Denis Kudla advanced to the final round of qualifying, while Reilly Opelka will play his second round on Thursday. In women's first round qualifying action, Claire Liu, Jamie Loeb and Francesca Di Lorenzo won, with Liu beating No. 9 seed seed Danka Kovinic of Montenegro 6-2, 6-1. Liu, Loeb and Di Lorenzo will play their second round matches on Thursday, as will Nicole Gibbs[8], Caroline Dolehide[17] and Grace Min.

The USTA Pro Circuit is back with a $25,000 Women's tournament in Osprey Florida.  Playing in her first pro tournament, 14-year-old Coco Gauff qualified today (rain pushed qualifying into today) and then won her first round match over 26-year-old Alexandra Perper of Moldova, a Mississippi State alum, 6-2, 6-3.  Sixteen-year-old Hailey Baptiste also qualified and won her first round match, and 17-year-olds Salma Ewing(USC recruit) and Ann Li(LSU recruit) also advanced to the second round.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Stanford Wins Another, Wake Forest Claims First NCAA Team Championship; D-I Singles Championships Begin Wednesday; Defending Champions Fall in D-III Semifinals; Few American Left in Milan Grade A; Roland Garros Qualifying Continues


One of the two NCAA Division I team champions crowned today was a No. 15 seed and one was a top seed, but determining which was most unexpected winner isn't an easy task.

On the one hand, Wake Forest, who beat No. 3 seed Ohio State 4-2 for the men's title, was the top seed, the ITA National Indoor champion and playing at home, but until this week they had never reached the NCAA semifinals, let alone played in the title match. On the other hand, Stanford, who beat top seed Vanderbilt 4-3, had lost to the Commodores 7-0 earlier this year, didn't play the ITA National Indoor and kept losing the doubles point, but they were playing in their third straight final, and have a long history of coming through at the end of the season.

The Cardinal again lost the doubles point, for the third time in their four matches at the Wake Forest finals site, with Vanderbilt winning at lines 1 and 2 to counter Vanderbilt's win at line 3.

But it didn't take long for Stanford to assert itself in singles, winning five first sets, while Vanderbilt's Astra Sharma got their only first set at line 1 against Michaela Gordon.

Emma Higuchi tied the match with a 6-3, 6-2 win at line 6, with Higuchi winning her 17th straight match.  Caroline Lampl closed out Vanderbilt's Christina Rosca 6-4, 6-2 to give Stanford a 2-1 lead, but it didn't last long, with Sharma, who was cramping at the end, managing a 7-6(2), 6-3 win over Gordon to make it 2-2.

Stanford's road got a little rockier when Vanderbilt's Fernanda Contreras earned a split over Melissa Lord at line 2 and Amanda Meyer took the second set from Stanford's Emily Arbuthnott at line 4.

Janice Shin gave the Cardinal a little breathing room by beating Emma Kurtz 6-3, 6-3 at line 5, so Vanderbilt needed the last two matches.  Meyer delivered one, beating Arbuthnott 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, but Lord had already had a championship point come and go in her match with Contreras, serving for the match at 5-3 in the third after winning three straight deciding points for that lead. Down 15-40 serving for the title, Lord hit two big first serves to get to yet another deciding point, but this one she lost, with Contreras putting away a forehand winner to deny Lord the championship point.

In the rare game that didn't go to a deciding point, Contreras held for 5-5, but returning to the theme of the match, Lord held for 6-5 on yet another deciding point (I don't know how, as the stream went out right at that juncture). That meant Contreras had to hold serve to force a tiebreaker, but she fell behind 15-40. Contreras saved the first of those three match points with a backhand into the open court, but at 30-40, her forehand clipped the tape and fell back on her side to give Stanford its 19th NCAA team title and second in the past three years.

No. 15 Stanford 4, No. 2 Vanderbilt 3
 
DOUBLES
1) No. 11 Contreras/Sharma (VANDY) d. No. 3 Arbuthnott/Gordon (STAN) 6-3
2) No. 69 Kurtz/Smith (VANDY) d. No. 84 Lampl/Kimberly Yee (STAN) 6-4
3) Lord/Shin (STAN) d. Meyer/Rosca (VANDY) 6-4
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2

SINGLES
1) No. 11 Astra Sharma (VANDY) d. No. 15 Michaela Gordon (STAN) 7-6 (3), 6-3
2) No. 40 Melissa Lord (STAN) d. No. 10 Fernanda Contreras (VANDY) 6-4, 2-6, 7-5
3) No. 93 Caroline Lampl (STAN) d. No. 44 Chris Rosca (VANDY) 6-4, 6-2
4) Amanda Meyer (VANDY) d. No. 43 Emily Arbuthnott (STAN) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
5) No. 96 Janice Shin (STAN) d. Emma Kurtz (VANDY) 6-3, 6-3
6) No. 102 Emma Higuchi (STAN) d. Summer Dvorak (VANDY) 6-3, 6-2

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


The crowds were large for the home team, and fortunately, after a frustratingly wet weekend and a late night on Monday due to rain and lightning delays, the weather cooperated. With fans supporting them from all over the Tennis Complex, Wake Forest took the doubles point, with wins at 1 and 2, with line 3 in a tiebreaker when Wake clinched.

The teams split first sets, meaning Ohio State had to force a third set in order to win, but the Buckeyes were unable to do that. Wake Forest couldn't accomplish that either, with all five completed matches ending in straight sets.  

Ohio State got on the board quickly with Kyle Seelig's 6-2, 6-2 win over Alan Gadjiev at line 5, followed closely by Wake's Petros Chrysochos's 6-1, 6-3 victory over JJ Wolf at line 2. Martin Joyce made it 2-2 with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Christian Seraphim at line 6, but Skander Mansouri put Wake back on top 3-2 with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over John McNally at line 3.  

Ohio State looked to be heading to that third set they had to have when Tim Seibert went up 5-2 on Bar Botzer in the second set, after Botzer had taken the first set 6-4.  Seibert, who hadn't played in the previous three matches at the finals site, couldn't serve out the set at 5-3, with Botzer's passes just too precise for the net-charging freshman. Botzer held for 5-all, then broke Seibert, who missed an easy putaway volley well wide to give Botzer a chance to serve it out.  He did, triggering a celebration befitting a home team's win, the first since the Georgia men won in Athens in 2007.  Botzer was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.


Doubles
1. #21 Borna Gojo/Skander Mansouri (WF) def. JJ Wolf/Martin Joyce (OSU) 7-5
2. #35 Petros Chrysochos/Bar Botzer (WF) def. #61 Mikael Torpegaard/John McNally (OSU) 7-5
3. #48 Ian Dempster/Christian Seraphim (WF) vs. Matt Mendez/Hunter Tubert (OSU) 6-6, unfinished

Singles 
1. #7 Borna Gojo (WF) vs. #6 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU) 4-6, 6-6, unfinished
2. #4 Petros Chrysochos (WF) def. #41 JJ Wolf (OSU) 6-1, 6-3
3. #38 Skander Mansouri (WF) def. #92 John McNally (OSU) 6-2, 6-2
4. Bar Botzer (WF) def. Tim Seibert (OSU) 6-4, 7-5
5. #96 Kyle Seelig (OSU) def. Alan Gadjiev (WF) 6-2, 6-2
6. Martin Joyce (OSU) def. Christian Seraphim (WF) 6-1, 6-3

Match Notes:
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (5,2,3,6,4)

The NCAA singles championships begin tomorrow morning at 8 a.m.  Bianca Turati of Texas is the top seed in the women's event.  The men's event has seen a large number of withdrawals, with the alternate list now exhausted.  Martin Redlicki of UCLA is the No. 1 seed. Live scores and streaming is available at the Wake Forest tournament page.

The Division III Team Championship finals will be held on Wednesday in Claremont California.  In the men's final, the top seed Bowdoin will square off against No. 2 seed Middlebury.  Bowdoin beat No. 5 seed Chicago 5-0 and Middlebury took out defending champion and No. 6 seed Emory 5-3, after Emory had taken two of three doubles points.

The women's D-III final, will, like the men's D-I final, feature the home team, with No.  2 seed Claremont-Mudd-Scripps facing top seed Emory.  CMS defeated defending champion Williams 5-3, while Emory squeezed past No. 5 seed Middlebury 5-4.  See the CMS tournament page for links to video and scoring for the finals, which begin with the men's championship at 11 a.m. Pacific on Wednesday. 

At the Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglio in Milan, only one US girl remains: unseeded Peyton Stearns.  Caty McNally, Katie Volynets and Gabby Price lost first round matches today, while Kacie Harvey lost in the second round.  Three US boys have advanced to the second round: Keenan Mayo won yesterday and he is joined by Govind Nanda and Tyler Zink.  Drew Baird[9] and qualifier Siem Woldeab lost first round matches today, while Cannon Kingsley and Tristan Boyer[6] lost in the second round.  

Live scoring for the tournament is at Tennis Ticker.  Tommy Hemp has more coverage from today's matches in Milan at Tennis Underworld.

Rain cut short qualifying today at Roland Garros, with some women's first round matches being postponed. The men completed their first round, but only one American was able to advance to the second round, Reilly Opelka. Kevin King, Bradley Klahn and Stefan Kozlov lost their opening matches, with Denis Kudla[7], who won yesterday, the only other American to advance. He plays again on Wednesday.

Caroline Dolehide[17], Nicole Gibbs[8] and Grace Min are through to the second round, with Jamie Loeb up a set in her first round match when play was cancelled for the day.  Irina Falconi, who lost to Dolehide, and Kayla Day are out, with Danielle Lao, Claire Liu, Francesca DiLorenzo and Kristie Ahn on the schedule for Wednesday.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Vanderbilt and Stanford Meet for Women's D-I Team Title, Ohio State and Host Wake Forest Face Off for Men's Championship Tuesday; D-III Team Championships Underway; US Women Begin French Open Qualifying Tuesday, US Men Have Dismal First Day; Noel Falls in First Round at Milan Grade A, Mayo Tops No. 4 Seed

All four of the NCAA Division I team semifinals were tense affairs, with the Vanderbilt and Stanford women and the Wake Forest and Ohio State men claiming victories Monday at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.

The women started the day, with top seed Vanderbilt getting by No. 4 seed Georgia Tech, taking the doubles point and a quick 2-0 lead when Astra Sharma breezed past Paige Hourigan 6-0, 6-3 at line 1. Nami Otsuka got the Yellow Jackets on the board with a win at line 5, but Fernanda Contreras put up another point for the Commodores at line 2. At 3-1, Vanderbilt was in a good position, but Georgia Tech got a second point from Ida Jarlskog at line 4 and had the first set in hand at line 3 and an essential split at line 6.  But Christina Rosca won a tiebreaker to earn a split at 3 over Johnnise Renaud, and Summer Dvorak took control of her third set at 6, leaving most of the suspense for which player would get the fourth point. It turned out to be Rosca, who took the match 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-1.

No. 15 seed Stanford lost the doubles point to No. 3 seed Duke, but that has not been an issue for them; they also dropped the doubles point in their round of 16 win over No. 2 seed North Carolina, only to roar back in singles.  The Cardinal got two quick wins from Emma Higuchi and Janice Shin at lines 6 and 5, and made it 3-1 with yet another victory for Melissa Lord at line 2.  Lord is now an amazing 14-0 in NCAA team matches in her three years at Stanford. After Duke's Samantha Harris defeated Michaela Gordon at line 1, it was 3-2 and the final two matches were in third sets, but it was Stanford who got the comeback win, with Caroline Lampl defeating Kaitlyn McCarthy 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 to clinch another trip to the finals, their third straight.

For more on the women's semifinals, see this Tennis Recruiting Network article from Rhiannon Potkey.

Women’s Division semifinals, May 21, 2018

#15 [15] STANFORD (23-3) def. #3 [3] DUKE (27-4), 4-2 
Wake Forest Tennis Complex
Head Coaches: Jamie Ashworth (DUKE) and Lele Forood (STANFORD)

Doubles
1. #9 Kaitlyn McCarthy/Ellyse Hamlin (DUKE) def. #3 Emily Arbuthnott/Michaela Gordon (STANFORD) 6-3
2. #84 Caroline Lampl/Kimberly Yee (STANFORD) def. #6 Kelly Chen/Samantha Harris (DUKE) 6-4
3. Meible Chi/Hannah Zhao (DUKE) def. Melissa Lord/Janice Shin (STANFORD) 7-5

Singles
1. #6 Samantha Harris (DUKE) def. #15 Michaela Gordon (STANFORD) 6-2, 7-6(3)
2. #40 Melissa Lord (STANFORD) d. #55 Meible Chi (DUKE) 6-2, 7-6(0)
3. #93 Caroline Lampl (STANFORD) def. #116 Kaitlyn McCarthy (DUKE) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
4. #28 Kelly Chen (DUKE) vs. #43 Emily Arbuthnott (STANFORD) 6-4, 3-6, 3-4, unf.
5. #96 Janice Shin (STANFORD) d. #84 Ellyse Hamlin (DUKE) 6-1, 6-1
6. #102 Emma Higuchi (STANFORD) d. Hannah Zhao (DUKE) 6-4, 6-0

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (1,2,3) Singles (6,5,2,1,3)



#2 [1] VANDERBILT (27-3) def. #4 [4] GEORGIA TECH (25-6), 4-2
Wake Forest Tennis Complex
Head Coaches: Geoff Macdonald (VANDERBILT) and Rodney Harmon (GEORGIA TECH)

Doubles
1. #11 Astra Sharma/Fernanda Contreras (VANDERBILT) vs. #1 Paige Hourigan/Kenya Jones (GEORGIA TECH) 5-5, unf.
2. #69 Emma Kurtz/Emily Smith (VANDERBILT) def. #48 Ida Jarlskog/Victoria Flores (GEORGIA TECH) 6-4
3. Christina Rosca/Amanda Meyer (VANDERBILT) def. Johnnise Renaud/Nami Otsuka (GEORGIA TECH) 6-4

Singles
1. #11 Astra Sharma (VANDERBILT) def. #14 Paige Hourigan (GEORGIA TECH) 6-0, 6-3
2. #10 Fernanda Contreras (VANDERBILT) def. #60 Kenya Jones (GEORGIA TECH) 6-4, 6-4
3. #44 Christina Rosca (VANDERBILT) def. Johnnise Renaud (GEORGIA TECH) 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-1
4 #125 Ida Jarlskog (GEORGIA TECH) def. Amanda Meyer (VANDERBILT) 6-2, 6-4
5. Nami Otsuka (GEORGIA TECH) def. Emma Kurtz (VANDERBILT) 6-1, 6-3
6. Summer Dvorak (VANDERBILT) vs. Victoria Flores (GEORGIA TECH) 6-2, 7-5, 5-2, unf.

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (2,3) Singles (1,5,2,4,3)
======================
The men's semifinals were even more exciting, but also frustrating, with a three-hour rain delay early in the singles and another lightning delay less than an hour later.  But when the matches finally finished it was host and top seed Wake Forest and No. 3 seed Ohio State who had survived the seven hour ordeal, with Wake defeating No. 5 seed Texas A&M 4-3 and Ohio State beating No. 2 seed UCLA 4-1.

Wake Forest won the doubles point and quickly took lines 1 and 2 in singles, with Borna Gojo and Petros Chrysochos making it 3-0. It looked like it might be another routine win for the Demon Deacons, but Texas A&M hung around, got a win at No. 4 from Valentin Vacherot to make it 3-1, and that was the score for a very long time, as the Aggies forced three sets in two matches and Juan Carlos Aguilar won his very long two-set match at line 5.  Jordi Arconada pulled the Aggies even with a comeback at line 3, but Christian Seraphim was already up 3-0 against Barnaby Smith at line 6 and he went on to close out the match, no doubt to the great relief of all the Wake Forest fans who left after the second rain delay.

Ohio State won an exceedingly close doubles point from UCLA, winning at lines 2 and 3 in tiebreakers, while the Bruins took line 1 by a 7-5 score. In singles, each team took three first sets, but the only player able to close out his match in two sets was UCLA's Connor Hance at line 6, leaving the score at 1-1. The third point was posted until much later, with Mikael Torpegaard defeating Martin Redlicki 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 at line 1 to give Ohio State a 2-1 lead. Kyle Seelig made it 3-1 Ohio State with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win at line 4, and minutes later, Buckeye Martin Joyce broke Maxime Cressy at line 5 to earn a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 victory and put Ohio State in the title match for only the second time in school history.  Whoever wins on Tuesday will bring home the school's first NCAA team tennis title, with Wake Forest reaching the final for the first time.

#3 [3] OHIO STATE (34-2) def. #2 [2] UCLA (30-3), 4-1
Wake Forest Tennis Complex
Head Coaches: Billy Martin (UCLA) and Ty Tucker (Ohio State)

Doubles       
1. #29 Martin Redlicki/Evan Zhu (UCLA) def. Martin Joyce/JJ Wolf (OHIO STATE) 7-5
2.#61 Mikael Torpegaard/John McNally (OHIO STATE) def. #16 Austin Rapp/Keegan Smith (UCLA) 7-6(4)
3.Matt Mendez/Hunter Tubert (OHIO STATE) def. Maxime Cressy/Bryce Pereira (UCLA) 7-6(3)

Singles
1. #6 Mikael Torpegaard (OHIO STATE) def. #1 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
2. #41 JJ Wolf (OHIO STATE) vs. #81 Evan Zhu (UCLA) 7-5, 6-4, 1-4, unf.
3. #92 John McNally (OHIO STATE) vs. #56 Keegan Smith (UCLA) 6-7(5), 6-4, 2-0, unf.
4. #96 Kyle Seelig (OHIO STATE) def. #103 Logan Staggs (UCLA) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
5. #112 Martin Joyce (OHIO STATE) def. Maxime Cressy (UCLA) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
6. Connor Hance (UCLA) vs. Hunter Tubert (OHIO STATE) 7-5, 6-3

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (1,2,3) Singles (6,1,4,5)
===========================

#1 [1] WAKE FOREST (30-2) def. #5 [5] TEXAS A&M (26-6), 4-3 
Wake Forest Tennis Complex
Head Coaches: Tony Bresky (Wake Forest) and Steve Denton (Texas A&M)

Doubles
1. #21 Borna Gojo/Skander Mansouri (WAKE FOREST) def. #3 Juan Carlos Aguilar/Jordi Arconada (TEXAS A&M) 6-0
2. #35 Petros Chrysochos/Bar Botzer (WAKE FOREST) def. AJ Catanzariti/Arthur Rinderknech (TEXAS A&M) 6-3
3. #46 Christian Seraphim/Ian Dempster (WAKE FOREST) vs. Patrick Kypson/Valentin Vacherot
(TEXAS A&M) 5-4, unf.

Singles
1. #7 Borna Gojo (WAKE FOREST) def. #5 Patrick Kypson (TEXAS A&M) 6-2, 6-1
2. #4 Petros Chrysochos (WAKE FOREST) def. #12 Arhtur Rinderknech (TEXAS A&M) 6-2, 6-1
3. #48 Jordi Arconada (TEXAS A&M) def. #38 Skander Mansouri (WAKE FOREST) 4-6, 6-2, 7-5
4. #72 Valentin Vacherot (TEXAS A&M) def. Bar Botzer (WAKE FOREST) 6-3, 6-2
5. Juan Carlos Aguilar (TEXAS A&M) def. Alan Gadjiev (WAKE FOREST) 7-6(6), 6-3
6. Christian Seraphim (WAKE FOREST) vs. Barnaby Smith (TEXAS A&M) 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-0

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (1,2) Singles (1,2,4,3,5,6)

The women's championship match is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the men's championship match is scheduled for 5 p.m. I believe both matches will be streamed, with commentary, at ncaa.com.

For more information, see the Wake Forest tournament site.

The Division III quarterfinals began today at the finals site in Claremont California, but three of the women's matches are not yet complete. Women's top seed Emory has advanced to the semifinals with a 5-1 win over No. 8 seed Chicago.

Today's men's results:
Bowdoin[1] d. Washington-St. Louis[8] 5-0
Chicago[5] d. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps[4] 5-2
Middlebury[2] d. Whitman 5-1
Emory[6] d. Williams[3] 5-0

Ten US women are entered in the French Open qualifying, with eight of them in action on Tuesday: Francesca Di Lorenzo, Irina Falconi, Caroline Dolehide[17], Kayla Day, Nicole Gibbs[8], Claire Liu, Jamie Loeb and Grace Min.  Danielle Lao and Kristie Ahn[19] will play their first round matches on Wednesday. Falconi and Dolehide will square off in the first round. The women's qualifying draw is here.

The US men went 1-6 today, with No. 7 seed Denis Kudla the only winner. Donald Young[19], Tim Smyczek[11], Evan King, Ernesto Escobedo, Dennis Novikov and Christopher Eubanks all lost their first round matches.  Kevin King, Stefan Kozlov, Bradley Klahn and Reilly Opelka play their opening matches on Tuesday.


At the ITF Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglio in Milan Italy, No. 3 seed Alexa Noel was beaten in the first round by Marta Custic of Spain 6-4, 6-1. Lea Ma and Natasha Subhash also went out in the first round, with Kacie Harvey posting the only win among the US girls who were in action today.

In the boys draw, No. 15 seed Andrew Fenty lost to Otto Virtanen of Finland 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 and Emilio Nava also was eliminated from singles today, but No. 6 seed Tristan Boyer and Santa Croce Grade 1 champion Cannon Kingsley advanced, as did Keenan Mayo, who beat No. 4 seed Nicolas Mejia of Colombia 6-3, 6-1.  Live scores for the tournament can be found at Tennis Ticker.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

11 US Men in Roland Garros Men's Qualifying; Opelka Wins Challenger in France; Nine US Boys, Eight US Girls Begin Play Monday in ITF Grade A in Milan; Three of Four D-I Men's Quarterfinals Go the Distance in NCAA Team Championships

The qualifying for the 2018 French Open begins Monday in Paris, with 11 US men vying for a place in the main draw.  Three of them are seeded: Donald Young[19], Denis Kudla[7] and Tim Smyczek[11].  The other eight are: Evan King, Kevin King, Ernesto Escobedo, Stefan Kozlov, Bradley Klahn, Dennis Novikov, Reilly Opelka and Christopher Eubanks.

The draw is here, and the order of play for Monday, which includes Young, Escobedo, Novikov, Smyczek, Evan King, Eubanks and Kudla, is here.


Opelka has the day off Monday, after he won the second ATP Challenger title of his career at the  106,000+H tournament in Bordeaux France. The 20-year-old came back to defeat the unseeded Gregoire Barrere of France 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-5 for his first pro title on clay. Klahn also will be starting his quest for a main draw berth in Paris with a title, as he and Peter Polansky won the doubles title in Bordeaux, beating the Argentinian team of Guillermo Duran and Maximo Gonzalez 6-3, 3-6, 10-7.

Also of note, 17-year-old Rudolf Molleker of Germany won the €85,000+H Heilbronn ATP Challenger in his home country as an unseeded wild card. Molleker, who is among the Roland Garros junior entries, defeated No. 2 seed Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the final.

At the ATP Masters event in Rome, former USC Trojan Rob Farah of Colombia and his partner Juan Sebastian Cabal won their first Masters title, beating Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain and Joao Sousa of Portugal 3-6, 6-4, 10-4. Farah and Cabal are the first Colombia team to win a Masters event, and are now No. 3 in the ATP's doubles Race to London.

At the $15,000 Futures tournament in Mexico City, former TCU star Gerardo Lopez Villasenor of Mexico defeated former Texas A&M star Harrison Adams 6-4, 6-2 to claim his first pro singles title. Lopez is in his first year on the Pro Circuit, while Adams' last season as an Aggie was 2015-16.

The qualifying for the ITF Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglio in Milan is complete, with Siem Woldeab winning two matches today to advance to the main draw.  Woldeab joins eight US boys in the main draw: Tristan Boyer[6], Drew Baird[9], Andrew Fenty[15], Emilio Nava, Tyler Zink, Govind Nanda, Keenan Mayo and Cannon Kingsley.  Kingsley, who won the Grade 1 in Santa Croce yesterday, received entry via a special exemption.  The US girls in the main draw include just one seed, No. 3 Alexa Noel.  The other seven American girls in the draw are Caty McNally, Katie Volynets, Lea Ma, Gabby Price, Natasha Subhash, Peyton Stearns and Kacie Harvey.  Top seeds are Sebastian Baez of Argentina in the boys draw and Xinyu Wang of China in the girls draw.

Tommy Hemp has more coverage from today's two rounds of qualifying in Milan at Tennis Underworld.

The ITF Grade 4 in Plantation, scheduled to be completed on Saturday, was plagued by rain throughout the week and has been using short scoring from very early in the tournament. The singles were completed today after numerous walkovers, etc. with unseeded Briana Crowley winning the girls title, with a 4-1, 4-2 decision over No. 6 seed Ariana Arseneault of Canada and unseeded Hunter Heck winning the boys title with a 4-1, 4-0 decision over No. 2 seed Blu Baker of Great Britain.


It was an exciting day of men's quarterfinals at the NCAA Division I Men's Team Championships, with three of the four matches coming down to a final match with the teams tied at 3. All four matches were completed outside, without an interruption due to rain, the first time that has happened in this tournament.

No. 2 seed UCLA earned its fourth win of the season over crosstown rival USC, the No. 10 seed, with Martin Redlicki defeating Brandon Holt 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 at line 1 to clinch the victory for the Bruins. UCLA won the doubles point and four first sets in singles, but they needed that cushion, with the Trojans pressuring them on every court.

No. 3 seed Ohio State dropped the doubles point to No. 6 seed Mississippi State, but came back to win four of the six singles, with the match again coming down to line 1.  Mikael Torpegaard defeated Nuno Borges 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 to put the Buckeyes into the semifinals.

In the afternoon matches, host and top seed Wake Forest defeated No. 8 seed Illinois 4-0 to reach its first NCAA semifinal.  The Demon Deacons will face No. 5 seed Texas A&M, who also advanced to their first NCAA semifinal.  The Aggies led 3-1 for a long time, but the 13th-seeded Florida Gators were in good position, with first sets in the two remaining matches at lines 1 and 2 and having forced a third set in the third at line 4. Two of those matches went to Florida, with Oliver Crawford winning the battle of freshmen over Patrick Kypson 6-4, 7-6(2) at line 1 and freshman Andy Andrade coming back for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Valentin Vacherot at line 4. But at line 2, Aggie senior Arthur Rinderknech fought back against Johanes Ingildsen, winning deciding point after deciding point in the final set to claim a 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 win and the 4-3 decision for the Aggies.

The weather forecast for Monday has again caused a schedule change, with the women's semifinals moved up to 10 a.m. and the men's semifinals scheduled for 2 p.m.

Women's Division I semifinals:
Vanderbilt[1] vs Georgia Tech[4]
Duke[3] vs Stanford[15]

Men's Division I semifinals:
Wake Forest[1] vs Texas A&M[5]
Ohio State[3] vs UCLA[2]

Live scoring and live streaming is available at the Wake Forest tournament page.

Bobby Knight has a men's quarterfinal recap and will have previews, I'm sure, at College Tennis Today, and Slam Tennis has their odds updated.  Below are the complete results from the men's quarterfinals, with recaps from the school's athletic sites available by clicking on the scores.

Men’s Division I Quarterfinals, May 20, 2018

#2 [2] UCLA (30-2) def. #10 [10] SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (20-9), 4-3 
Wake Forest Tennis Complex
Head Coaches: Billy Martin (UCLA) and Peter Smith (USC)

Doubles
1. #29 Martin Redlicki/Evan Zhu (UCLA) def. #10 Brandon Holt/Riley Smith (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) 6-3
2. #16 Conor Rapp/Keegan Smith (UCLA) def. #9 Jack Jaede/Laurens Verboven (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) 6-3
3. Maxime Cressy/Bryce Pereira (UCLA) vs. Daniel Cukierman/Tanner Smith (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) 4-4, unf.

Singles
1. #1 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) def. #11 Brandon Holt (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
2. #74 Daniel Cukierman (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. #81 Evan Zhu (UCLA) 6-3, 6-4
3. #56 Keegan Smith (UCLA) def. Jack Jaede (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) 7-5, 6-3
4. #103 Logan Staggs (UCLA) def. Laurens Verboven (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) 3-6, 6-1, 6-0
5. Maxime Cressy (UCLA) def. Thibault Forget (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) 6-3, 7-6(2)
6. Riley Smith (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) def. Connor Hance (UCLA) 6-2, 7-5

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (1,2) Singles: (3,2,6,4,5,1)
==========================================
#3 [3] OHIO STATE (33-2) d. #7 [6] MISSISSIPPI STATE (23-2), 4-3 
Wake Forest Tennis Complex
Head Coaches: Ty Tucker (Ohio State) and Matt Roberts (Mississippi State)

Doubles
1. #1 Nuno Borges/Strahinja Rakic (MISSISSIPPI STATE) def. Martin Joyce/JJ Wolf (OHIO STATE) 6-4
2. #38 Niclas Braun/Giovanni Oradini (MISSISSIPPI STATE) def. #61 Mikael Torpegaard/John McNally (OHIO STATE) 6-3
3. Matt Mendez/Hunter Tubert (OHIO STATE) def. Florian Broska/Trevor Foshey (MISSISSIPPI STATE) 6-4

Singles
1. #6 Mikael Torpegaard (OHIO STATE) def. #2 Nuno Borges (MISSISSIPPI STATE) 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
2. #23 Giovanni Ordini (MISSISSIPPI STATE) def. #41 JJ Wolf (OHIO STATE) 6-4, 6-3
3. #92 John McNally (OHIO STATE) def. #84 Strahinja Rakic (MISSISSIPPI STATE) 6-4, 6-3
4 #96 Kyle Seelig (OHIO STATE) def. Niclas Braun (MISSISSIPPI STATE) 6-1, 7-6
5. #112 Martin Joyce (OHIO STATE) def. Florian Broska (MISSISSIPPI STATE) 7-5, 6-1
6. Trevor Foshey (MISSISSIPPI STATE) def. Hunter Tubert (OHIO STATE) 6-2, 6-3

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (3,2,1) Singles: (6,5,3,2,4,1)
===========================================

#1 [1] WAKE FOREST (29-2) def. #9 [8] ILLINOIS (24-8), 4-0 
Head Coaches: Tony Bresky (Wake Forest) and Brad Dancer (Illinois)
Wake Forest Tennis Complex

Doubles
1. #21 Borna Gojo/Skander Mansouri (WAKE FOREST) def. Alex Brown/Caleb Chakravarthi (ILLINOIS) 6-3
2. #35 Petros Chrysochos/Bar Botzer (WAKE FOREST) vs. Aron Hiltzik/Aleks Kovacevic (ILLINOIS) 4-3, unf.
3. #46 Christian Seraphim/Ian Dempster (WAKE FOREST) def. Aleks Vukic/Vuk Budic (ILLINOIS) 6-3

Singles
1. #7 Borna Gojo (WAKE FOREST) vs. #13 Aleks Vukic (ILLINOIS) 2-6, 6-4, 3-1, unf.
2. #4 Petros Chrysochos (WAKE FOREST) vs. #87 Alex Brown (ILLINOIS) 2-6, 6-2, 5-4, unf.
3. #38 Skander Mansouri (WAKE FOREST) def. Aron Hiltzik (ILLINOIS) 6-4, 6-3
4. Bar Botzer (WAKE FOREST) def. Aleks Kovacevic (ILLINOIS) 6-4, 7-5
5. Alan Gadjiev (WAKE FOREST) vs. Zeke Clark (ILLINOIS) 6-7(4), 4-3, unf.
6. Christian Seraphim (WAKE FOREST) def. Caleb Chakravarthi (ILLINOIS) 6-4, 7-5

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (3,1) Singles: (3,4,6)

===========================================
#5 [5] TEXAS A&M (26-5) def. #13 [13] FLORIDA (19-10), 4-3 

Head Coaches: Steve Denton (Texas A&M) and Bryan Shelton (Florida)
Wake Forest Tennis Complex

Doubles
1. #3 Juan Carlos Aguilar/Jordi Arconada (TEXAS A&M) def. #5 Alfredo Perez/Johanes Ingildsen (FLORIDA) 7-5
2. #42 Chase Perez-Blanco/Oliver Crawford (FLORIDA) def. AJ Catanzariti/Arthur Rinderknech (TEXAS A&M) 6-3
3. Patrick Kypson/Valentin Vacherot (TEXAS A&M) def. #36 Duarte Vale/McClain Kessler
(FLORIDA) 6-2

Singles
1. #49 Oliver Crawford (FLORIDA) def. #5 Patrick Kypson (TEXAS A&M) 6-4, 7-6(2)
2. #12 Arthur Rinderknech (TEXAS A&M) def. #28 Johanes Ingildsen (FLORIDA) 5-7, 7-5, 6-2
3. #48 Jordi Arconada (TEXAS A&M) def. #14 Alfredo Perez (FLORIDA) 6-3, 6-4
4. Andy Andrade (FLORIDA) def. #72 Valentin Vacherot (TEXAS A&M) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
5. Juan Carlos Aguilar (TEXAS A&M) def. Chase Perez-Blanco (FLORIDA) 6-2, 6-3
6. McClain Kessler (FLORIDA) def. AJ Catanzariti (TEXAS A&M) 7-5, 6-2

Order of Finish:
Doubles: (3,2,1) Singles: (5,3,6,1,4,2)