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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.


College Fan said...

Colette, have you heard why the NCAA prevented individual court streaming for the finals? With the recent efforts to make the sport more “fan friendly” how would you classify that decision. Final question, do you know if recent changes to the game: shortening doubles, no ad, etc, have improved the fan experience and made the sport more palatable to TV?

Colette Lewis said...

The NCAA has the rights to the finals so they can decide to limit coverage to just their stream.
As for your second question, I think having the College Match Days on Tennis Channel has been a plus, but with the NCAA team finals not on TV, you'd have to say there's much more work to do.

Update from Roland Garros said...

Denis Kudla defeats Zopp, 2,1 to advance to the maindraw of the French Open. Denis is the only USA Male to advance thru Quallies to the Maindraw. Good Luck to Denis!