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Friday, March 12, 2010

Georgia Men, Duke Women Get Big Wins; Harrison's Victory Over Dent; DeSimone, Styslinger Win in Costa Rica

It's been a long day of travel, but we've arrived in Mobile, and the weather forecast for Saturday's registration and Sunday's first round of the USTA 18 Spring Nationals is excellent, with temperatures in the 60s and little chance of rain. The draws will be posted Saturday, although match times are already available on the TennisLink site.

In college tennis today, the ninth-ranked Georgia men defeated No. 6 Kentucky 4-3 in a match played indoors in Athens due to rain. Georgia trailed 3-0, with the Wildcats winning the doubles point and at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, but the Bulldogs came back with Jamie Hunt leading the way with a come-from-behind win at No. 3, and Bo Seal winning 7-5 in the third at No. 4. With only four indoor courts, Georgia's Drake Bernstein at No. 5 and Christian Vitulli at No. 6 took the courts knowing they both had to win, and they did, with Bernstein clinching at No. 5. For more on the match, see the Georgia athletics site.

The women's Top 10 battle saw No. 7 Duke down No. 3 Notre Dame 5-2 in a match played in Puerto Rico. After being shut out by Florida, Duke bounced back against the Fighting Irish, taking five of the six singles matches. This result confirms that there are multiple contenders for the 2010 NCAA title, and the defending champions are certainly one of them. For more on the match, see the Duke athletics site.

Because Ryan Harrison's win over Taylor Dent took place so late last night, I wasn't able to follow it, but there have been many stories written about it. Here is one by Richard Evans for Foxsports.com. The company that Harrison is keeping as far as 17-year-olds winning an Indian Wells match is impressive: Nadal, Sampras, Agassi and Chang. Harrison plays No. 20 seed Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia on Saturday. Sloane Stephens plays No. 9 seed Vera Zvonareva, the defending champion, on Stadium court. Another interesting matchup Saturday is John Isner against his college contemporary Kevin Anderson. For complete order of play, see the tournament website.

The finals of the Grade 3 Costa Rica Bowl saw Mac Styslinger defeat fellow American Morgan Mays 6-3, 6-1 for the boys championship. Qualifier Gabrielle DeSimone of the U.S. won the girls title over Gaia Sanesi of Italy, the No. 2 seed, 6-4, 6-2. Michael Zhu of the U.S. won the doubles title with Canadian Andrew Ochotta. For complete results, see the ITF junior website.

At the Grade 1 Banana Bowl, Maryland's Beatrice Capra and Florida's Monica Puig will meet for a place in the final. Capra, the eighth seed, defeated No. 16 seed Paula Ormaechea of Argentina 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, while Puig, the No. 2 seed, beat No. 6 seed Katarena Paliivets of Canada 6-1, 6-2.