Saturday, May 18, 2019

Stanford Women, Wake Forest Men Return to NCAA D-I Finals; Qualifying in ITF Grade A in Milan Underway; Bernard, Pielet Win ITF Grade 4 Titles in Plantation

The defending champions were challenged Saturday in the NCAA Division I semifinals, but both the Stanford women and the Wake Forest men have earned a chance at another title Sunday at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona Florida.  No. 3 Stanford defeated No. 2 seed North Carolina 5-2, while No. 4 seed Wake Forest went to the last match on to beat No. 9 seed North Carolina 4-3.

The day started with an impressive win from second-seeded Texas men, who took the doubles point from No. 3 seed Florida and rode that momentum to a 4-2 victory. The Longhorns came out quickly and took four first sets in singles, and although Florida managed to force a third set at line 4, that still left them short, as Texas got wins from Rodrigo Banzer at line 6, Yuya Ito at line 2 and Leonardo Telles at line 3 to send the large contingent of Gator fans home unhappy.

Wake Forest spotted North Carolina the doubles point, which has not been unusual for the Demon Deacons this tournament, but when the two ACC rivals split first sets in singles, Wake knew they had to get one match to a third set. Wake won the first two singles matches, with Petros Chrysochos taking out Benjamin Sigouin at line 2 and Bar Botzer beating Joshua Peck at line 3. Brian Cernoch pulled North Carolina even minutes later with a win over Rrezart Cungu at line 5. Wake Forest took the lead again, with Sid Banthia winning at line 6, but North Carolina responded with Blaine Boyden taking line 4.

That left the only match that went to a third set: Will Blumberg of North Carolina and Borna Gojo of Wake Forest at line 1. Blumberg had taken the first set 6-4, Gojo took the second set 6-2 and although Blumberg broke to open the third set, he wasn't able to hold that advantage. Gojo saved three break points to hold for 3-2, then broke Blumberg when he double faulted at 30-40. Gojo held for 5-2, and Blumberg won a deciding point/match point with a forehand winner to make it 5-3. With Gojo serving for the match, he got his first serve in on the first six points, taking a 40-15 lead, but unable to convert his second and third match points. On the fourth match point/deciding point, Gojo missed his first serve, but Blumberg couldn't get Gojo's second serve back in play and Wake Forest had its third, and most important, victory over the Tar Heels this year.

Stanford's win over North Carolina started with the Cardinal taking the doubles point, which was unusual for Stanford this tournament, while only the second time North Carolina had lost a doubles point this year, the first time being in Friday's win over UCLA.

The teams split first sets in singles, meaning Stanford only had to hold on to those three matches and they could secure the win. It looked as if Caroline Lampl would deliver that fourth point, when she served for the match against Sara Daavettila at line 3, but Daavettila broke, held, broke and held to force a third set, and Stanford now had to win a third set to convert their 3-0 lead into a victory.  Stanford's Michaela Gordon did force a third set at line 1, as did Janice Shin at line 5, but North Carolina had gotten wins from Cameron Morra at line 4 and Daavettila to keep the pressure on. Shin was up 5-1 over Jessie Aney in the third set, but didn't close it out at her first opportunity, while Gordon was up 5-3 over Makenna Jones. Both held on, with Shin and Gordon awarded a simultaneous clinch to put the Cardinal in the final for the fourth consecutive year.

Stanford will face top seed Georgia in Sunday evening's final, after the Bulldogs overcame a stubborn Duke team 4-2 Saturday night. Despite their grueling 4-3 win over Vanderbilt last night, Georgia showed no sign of physical and mental fatigue, and when they won the doubles point and took three first sets in singles, they appeared to be on their way.

Georgia got a quick second point from Katarina Jokic at line 1, and Duke looked to be ready to respond when Meible Chi took a 6-1, 5-1 lead over Marta Gonzalez at line 2. But Gonzalez came all the way back, winning six straight games to take the second set, and Duke had to settle for its first point from Kelly Chen at line 3. Ellyse Hamlin survived a tough second set and tiebreaker to give the Blue Devils their second point at line 5, but Vivian Wolff defeated Kaitlyn McCarthy at line 4 to put Georgia back in the lead.

Duke's Margaryta Bilokin had forced a third set from Meg Kowalski at line 6, and was up 4-1 in the third set, while Chi had taken a 4-2 lead on Gonzalez in their third set. Bilokin fought back, but at 3-4 was broken, giving Kowalski the opportunity to serve for the match. She couldn't hold, losing a deciding/match point, but she was able to break Bilokin on a deciding point in the next game to put the Bulldogs in the final for the first time since 2000.

The men's final is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Sunday, with coverage on the Tennis Channel. The women's final will follow.  Live scoring is available at the tournament website.

NCAA Division I Team Championships Men’s Semifinals
May 18, 2019 at Orlando Florida
(USTA National Campus)

#2 Texas 4, #3 University of Florida 2
Singles competition
1. #9 Oliver Crawford (UF) def. #7 Christian Sigsgaard (UT) 6-4, 6-3
2. #12 Yuya Ito (UT) def. #54 Sam Riffice (UF) 6-2, 6-2
3. #80 Leonardo Telles (UT) def. #113 Johannes Ingildsen (UF) 6-4, 7-5
4. #55 Harrison Scott (UT) vs. Alfredo Perez (UF) 6-4, 3-6, 3-3, unfinished
5. #59 Andres Andrade (UF) def. Colin Markes (UT) 7-6(4), 6-4
6. Rodrigo Banzer (UT) def. McClain Kessler (UF) 6-2, 6-4

Doubles competition
1. #5 Christian Sigsgaard/Harrison Scott (UT) def. Johannes Ingildsen/McClain Kessler (UF) 6-3
2. Colin Markes/Leonardo Telles (UT) vs. Oliver Crawford/Alfredo Perez (UF) 5-6, unfinished
3. Chih Chi Huang/Yuya Ito (UT) def. Duarte Vale/Andres Andrade (UF) 7-6(1)

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

#4 Wake Forest 4, #9 North Carolina 3
Singles competition
1. #11 Borna Gojo (WF) def. #19 William Blumberg (UNC) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
2. #8 Petros Chrysochos (WF) def. #39 Benjamin Sigouin (UNC) 6-4, 6-2
3. #50 Bar Botzer (WF) def. #110 Josh Peck (UNC) 6-4, 6-1
4. #116 Brian Cernoch (UNC) def. Rrezart Cungu (WF) 6-3, 6-3
5. Blaine Boyden (UNC) def. Melios Efstathiou (WF) 6-2, 6-3
6. Siddhant Banthia (WF) def. Simon Soendergaard (UNC) 6-4, 6-3

Doubles competition
1. #63 Alan Gadjiev/Borna Gojo (WF) def. #13 William Blumberg/Blaine Boyden (UNC) 6-3
2. #90 Brian Cernoch/Benjamin Sigouin (UNC) def. #55 Petros Chrysochos/Bar Botzer (WF) 6-3
3. Simon Soendergaard/Mac Kiger (UNC) def. Siddhant Banthia/Melios Efstathiou (WF) 6-4

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

NCAA Division I Team Championships Women’s Semifinals
May 18, 2019 at Orlando Florida
(USTA National Campus)

#3 Stanford 5, #2 North Carolina 2
Singles competition
1. #24 Michaela Gordon (STAN) def. #5 Makenna Jones (NC) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
2. #29 Melissa Lord (STAN) def. #7 Alexa Graham (NC) 6-1, 6-3
3. #20 Sara Daavettila (NC) def. #66 Caroline Lampl (STAN) 1-6, 7-5, 6-2
4. #46 Cameron Morra (NC) def. #44 Emily Arbuthnott (STAN) 6-3, 6-4
5. #108 Janice Shin (STAN) def. Jessie Aney (NC) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
6. #119 Sara Choy (STAN) def. Alle Sanford (NC) 7-5, 6-1
Doubles competition
1. #19 Kimberly Yee/Caroline Lampl (STAN) def. #2 Alexa Graham/Jessie Aney (NC) 6-4
2. #12 Makenna Jones/Cameron Morra (NC) def. #29 Emily Arbuthnott/Michaela Gordon (STAN) 6-4
3. Melissa Lord/Janice Shin (STAN) def. Alle Sanford/Sara Daavettila (NC) 6-3

Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (2,6,4,3,5,1)
Singles courts one and five finished at the same time

#1 Georgia 4, #5 Duke 2
Singles competition
1. #2 Katarina Jokic (UGA) def. #11 Maria Mateas (DU) 6-0, 6-4
2. #19 Marta Gonzalez (UGA) vs. #33 Meible Chi (DU) 1-6, 7-6(5), 5-5, unfinished
3. #21 Kelly Chen (DU) def. #69 Lourdes Carle (UGA) 6-2, 7-5
4. #72 Vivian Wolff (UGA) def. Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) 6-3, 7-6(7)
5. Ellyse Hamlin (DU) def. Elena Christofi (UGA) 6-2, 7-6 (6)
6. #122 Meg Kowalski (UGA) def. Margaryta Bilokin (DU) 7-5, 5-7, 6-4

Doubles competition
1. #28 Lourdes Carle/Katarina Jokic (UGA) def. #47 Kelly Chen/Ellyse Hamlin (DU) 6-2
2. Vivian Wolff/Elena Christofi (UGA) def. #24 Meible Chi/Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) 6-4
3. Meg Kowalski/Marta Gonzalez (UGA) vs. Margaryta Bilokin/Maria Mateas (DU) 5-3, unfinished

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

Qualifying for the ITF Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglio began today in rainy Milan Italy, with first round matches played on indoor hard courts at various clubs around the city.  All six of the US boys in qualifying: William Grant[1], Andres Martin[3],  Ronan Jachuck[4], Blaise Bicknell[6], Mark Mandlik[8] and Murphy Cassone, won their opening round matches, but unlike the junior slams, where two wins suffice, it takes three wins to make the main draw this week.  The girls qualifying draw has byes for the top 8 seeds, meaning that Jenna De Falco[3] and Ellie Coleman[5] did not have to play today's first round. The other three US girls in qualifying won their first round matches: Hibah Shaikh[12] Katrina Scott[13] and Isabella Barrera Aguirre.

The main draw has been released, with Emilio Nava the top boys seed. The other Americans in the draw are Cannon Kingsley[7], Martin Damm[15], Eliot Spizzirri, Toby Kodat, Tyler Zink and Dali Blanch. The US girls in the main draw are Hurricane Tyra Black[2], Emma Navarro[3], Alexa Noel[6], Elli Mandlik[9], Robin Montgomery, Chloe Beck, Charlotte Chavatipon and Charlotte Owensby.

World No. 1 junior Clara Tauson of Denmark, the Australian Open champion, received a wild card, after mistakenly withdrawing from the event after initially entering.

I learned that and the saga of the day of indoor tennis, from Tommy Hemp, an Italian tennis fan, who wrote a preview and a recap of today's qualifying at the Tennisunderworld website.

At the ITF Grade 1 in Santa Croce Italy, Tyler Zink and Eliot Spizzirri won the doubles title, with the No. 2 seeds defeating top seeds Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan and Holger Rune of Denmark 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 10-7 in the final.  Rune, the No. 2 seed, won the boys singles title, beating No. 11 seed Alejo Lingua Lavallen of Argentina  6-2, 6-1. Unseeded Diana Shnaider of Russia won the girls title, beating unseeded Mell Reasco Gonzalez of Ecuador 7-6(5), 6-2.

At the ITF Grade 2 in Austria, Katrina Scott made the singles semifinals and won the doubles title with Gabby Price. The unseeded American pair defeated unseeded Aleksandra Jelen of Poland and Mavie Osterreicher of Austria 6-1, 1-6, 10-8 in the final.

The third and final ITF Grade 4 on the Florida clay this month wrapped up in Plantation, with Gianna Pielet and Alex Bernard winning the singles titles. No. 3 seed Pielet, who also won the first of the Grade 4s, in Delray Beach, avenged her loss in the first round of last week's event in Coral Gables, beating Lan Mi of China 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.  Pielet, 16, beat unseeded Ava Hrastar in two tiebreakers in the semifinals, and in today's final, Pielet downed qualifier Abigail Rencheli of Moldova 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. Bernard, 15, won his first ITF Junior Circuit singles title, with the No. 3 seed beating unseeded Matthis Ross of Great Britain 6-4, 6-3 in the final.

The doubles titles also went to Americans.  No. 6 seeds Jameson Corsillo and Hunter Heck beat Jake Krug and Bruno Kuzuhara 6-4 7-6(7) in the boys final, and unseeded Ayshe Can and Karly Friedland defeated the top-seeded Canadian team of Erica Di Battista and Sarah-Maude Fortin 6-4, 6-7(4), 10-4.


Alex Ho said...

I think the coverage was good on tennis channel. So brutal that UGA women have 5/6 foreign players and Wake Forrest has 6/6. How can a mens team with 4.5 scholarships have so many foreign players?

TEXAS! said...

Go Big 12 Rules! Texas beats Wake 4-1 to Take the NCAA Title! Hook Em Horns!

fan said...

Alex, it's not like Texas is any different than WF!