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Thursday, January 31, 2019

McNally Reaches Midland $100K Quarterfinals; Cressy Advances at Cleveland Challenger; Collins, Kenin, Keys Named to US Fed Cup Team

Friday's quarterfinals of the $100,000 Dow Tennis Classic in Midland Michigan will feature a wild card, a qualifier, the defending champion and the top seed after Thursday's second round.

The wild card is 17-year-old Caty McNally, who dominated Rebecca Marino of Canada in less than an hour, claiming a 6-4, 6-1 victory. McNally, who beat No. 7 seed Nicole Gibbs on Wednesday, faced only one break point in the match, while converting on four of the eight break points Marino gave her.  McNally will face her WTA Top 100 opponent on Friday, No. 88 Madison Brengle, the Dow Tennis Classic defending champion, who is seeded No. 3 this week. Brengle defeated Jamie Loeb in a rematch of last year's final 6-1, 6-4.

Coco Gauff had an opportunity to face her first WTA Top 100 player today in the second round, and after holding her own in the first few games against top seed Rebecca Peterson of Sweden, Gauff lost nine games in a row in Peterson's 6-2, 6-1 victory. Peterson's quarterfinal opponent is unseeded Kristie Ahn, who took out No. 5 seed Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2.

The last qualifier remaining is Robin Anderson, who beat Olga Govortsova 6-2, 6-3. Anderson, the former UCLA star, has had success before at the Dow Tennis Classic, reaching the final in 2016. She will face No. 6 seed Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium, who beat qualifier Ann Li 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, in the only three setter of the day. In the other bottom half quarterfinal, No. 4 seed Jessica Pegula will face unseeded Christina McHale. McHale beat Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay 6-4, 6-4, while Pegula took out Francesca Di Lorenzo(Ohio State) 6-1, 6-4.

Seven of the eight quarterfinalists at the ATP 90 Challenger in Cleveland played college tennis in the US, with two of them currently on Division I teams.  Borna Gojo of Croatia, a junior at Wake Forest, defeated No. 13 seed Flilip Peliwo of Canada 6-1, 6-3 and will face UCLA senior Maxime Cressy, who beat No. 6 seed Tim Smyczek 6-4, 6-3.  Gojo, the 2018 NCAA singles finalist, has reached a Challenger semifinal and another Challenger quarterfinal prior to this one, while it is the first Challenger quarterfinal for Cressy, who has recently switched from representing France to the US.

The other quarterfinal in the top half features No. 15 seed Marcos Giron(UCLA) against Jared Hiltzik(Illinois). Giron took out Ohio State junior JJ Wolf 6-4, 6-7(3), 7-5 and Hiltzik beat No. 7 seed Roberto Quiroz of Ecuador 6-4, 6-2.

Recent Ohio State graduate Mikael Torpegaard of Denmark came from 6-1 down in the third set tiebreaker to beat No. 2 seed Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia 7-6(1), 4-6, 7-6(7). He will play former North Carolina star Brayden Schnur of Canada, the No. 8 seed, who defeated Dustin Brown of Germany 7-5, 6-4.

Former Wake Forest star Noah Rubin, the No. 3 seed, will play No. 5 seed Darian King of Barbados, the only player who didn't play college tennis. Rubin advanced when Ulises Blanch retired trailing 6-3, 4-6, 4-2, and King also advanced via retirement, with Baylor sophomore Roy Smith down 6-4, 3-0 when he retired.

The third pro tennis event in the United States this week is a men's $25K in Weston Florida. No. 7 seed Patrick Kypson(Texas A&M) is the only American to advance to the quarterfinals.

The US Fed Cup team is back in action next month at home against Australia, with the team for the first round of play in the 2019 World Group announced yesterday.  Madison Keys, Sonya Kenin and Danielle Collins, along with doubles specialist Nicole Melichar, will take the courts in Asheville North Carolina on February 9th. Kathy Rinaldi is the US Fed Cup captain. The Australian team, captained by Alicia Molik, consists of Ashleigh Barty, Daria Gavrilova, Priscilla Hon, Kimberley Birrell and recent Vanderbilt star Astra Sharma.


Mike S said...

Cressy was so raw his first year at UCLA he was seeded 7th or 8th and hardly played any singles. It is a tribute to him that he is doing so well and is now UCLA's number 1 seed. One does not see such amazing development very often especially on the college level.

5.0 Player said...

It's true that such improvement is uncommon, but it's a lot more common and understandable when the player is extremely tall (Cressy is at least 6 ft. 7 in) and needs time to get used to and grow into his body. Isner and Anderson also improved dramatically in college partly due to this phenomenon and not many expected that they would some day reach the top 10 of the ATP Tour.

Clark said...

Christopher Eubanks of Georgia Tech is another example of a tall player who was not an elite recruit but just needed a couple of years to mature physically. Was a 3-star recruit in 9th grade, 4-star in 10th grade, then became a high 5-star/low blue chip level recruit, and is now way ahead of that level.