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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].

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