Friday, November 13, 2020

Just One Seed Advances to Orlando $25K Quarterfinals; Cary Challenger Update; D-II Oklahoma Baptist Drops Tennis; Ivy League Postpones Spring Tennis; New Facility at UC-Santa Barbara

I was surprised to see that only one round of singles was played today at the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit tournament at the National Campus in Lake Nona Florida. With Tropical Storm Eta pushing back the completion of qualifying by a day, and interrupting the first round, I had thought they would try to catch up today, but doubles was given priority instead, with the quarterfinals and semifinals both on the schedule.

In the second round of singles, only one seed has advanced to the quarterfinals, No. 2 Katarzyna Kawa of Poland, who beat wild card Peyton Stearns, a University of Texas freshman, 7-5, 6-1. Hanna Chang defeated the only other seed to advance to the second round, posting a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over No. 3 seed Kristina Kucova of Slovakia. Chang is one of six Americans advancing to the quarterfinals, including qualifier Hurricane Tyra Black, 16-year-old Robin Montgomery, Jamie Loeb(UNC), Claire Liu and qualifier Alycia Parks.  Qualifier Katarina Jokic of Serbia, a junior at the University of Georgia, joins Kawa as the only international players in the quarterfinals. 

In addition to reaching the quarterfinals in singles, Parks has advanced to the finals in doubles. She and Rasheeda McAdoo(Georgia Tech) won two matches today, and will face No. 2 seeds Loeb and Erin Routliffe(Alabama) of New Zealand in the final. Loeb and Routliffe defeated the wild card junior team of Ellie Coleman and Kimmi Hance 6-4, 6-0 in the semifinals. 

At the ATP 80 Challenger in Cary North Carolina, which finally had weather allowing outdoor play, No. 2 seed Denis Kudla advanced to the semifinals, defeating No. 7 seed Dmitry Popko of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-1. Kudla will face No. 3 seed Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia, who beat Christopher Eubanks(Georgia Tech) 6-4, 6-4. 

Former Ohio State All-American Mikael Torpegaard of Denmark won a roller coaster match with Brandon Nakashima(Virginia) 6-2, 3-6, 7-5. Torpegaard lost his 5-2 lead in the third set, and Nakashima had three break points with Torpegaard serving at 5-all, but the 19-year-old Californian failed to convert any of them and Torpegaard broke for the win. He will face No. 4 seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India, who came from 5-1 down in the third set tiebreaker to beat qualifier Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(5).

The announcements of Division I tennis program cuts have slowed a bit recently, but a Division II school has revealed its intention to drop tennis, with Oklahoma Baptist announcing the cutting of men's and and women's tennis effective after this academic year

The Ivy League announced cancellation of winter sports for its members, and a delay for spring sports, which includes tennis. The delay for spring sports is through February, which probably means that their teams will not be eligible to compete in the ITA Kickoff Weekend and the National Team Indoor Championships in January and February. On the men's side, this affects Columbia, Harvard, Cornell, Princeton and Dartmouth. On the women's side, Princeton and Columbia have rankings high enough to have been included in the upcoming draft

In better news for college tennis, Division I UC-Santa Barbara has begun construction on a new, $5.25 million tennis center, thanks in part to a gift from John and Jody Arnhold. 

According to this Santa Barbara News-Press article

The tennis project will provide six new courts, two refurbished courts, seating for about 300, and an 1,860 square-foot team building which will include locker rooms, storage, and a team lounge.

“We can run tournaments from the team room and it’s a place where the kids can study before and after practice,” [head coach Marty] Davis said. “Hopefully it will become a community center for tennis."


Lisa Stone said...

So glad to see the UC Santa Barbara facility finally being built - they've been talking about it for several years, and that gorgeous campus deserves a top-notch spot for its tennis teams!