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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Stanford's Whitlinger Resigns, Silverio Hired at Oregon; French Open Junior Qualifying Underway; Fritz, Steffensen Reach Semifinals in Belgium Grade 1

Stanford University announced this afternoon that John Whitlinger, who succeeded Dick Gould as men's head coach in 2005, has retired from his position.

Whitlinger was associate head coach under Gould from 1987-2004, and while he had an excellent record, Whitlinger was not able to continue the Stanford dynasty that Gould presided over, and the team's last Sweet 16 appearance was in 2012.

This vacated position will add even more to the intrigue created when the Michigan men's head coaching job opened earlier this month, and all sorts of dominoes could fall, unless Stanford hires from outside the current Division I coaching community.

The release from Stanford on Whitlinger's retirement makes no reference to a search for his successor.

One of the women's Pac-12 positions that opened earlier this month has been filled, with Georgia Tech assistant Alison Silverio taking over the Oregon women's head coaching position.  Silverio, who played at Georgia Tech and clinched their 2007 NCAA team championship, served as women's assistant at North Carolina State (the head coaching position there is now open, with Hans Olsen stepping down on May 2) from 2008-2010.

The qualifying is underway for the French Open junior championships, which begin Sunday at Roland Garros.  Noah Rubin, who received entry into the junior qualifying based on his ATP ranking (now 580) and hasn't played a junior event all year, won his first round match today, as did Dennis Uspensky, the No. 3 seed, but Dan Kerznerman, seeded No. 15, did not. Rubin defeated No. 2 seed Tim Van Rijthoven of the Netherlands 6-0, 6-2.

Jessica Ho(16), Michaela Gordon(15) and Raveena Kingsley(7) won their first round qualifying matches and will make the main draw with a win on Friday, while Kaitlyn McCarthy(3), Olivia Hauger(13) and Raquel Pedraza lost their opening round matches.

Taylor Fritz was in the qualifying, but because he has reached the semifinals at the ITF Grade 1 Astrid Bowl in Belgium, he may have received a special exemption into the main draw at Roland Garros. Fritz defeated top seed Orlando Luz of Brazil 6-3, 6-3 in today's quarterfinals. Katrine Steffensen, who was already in the main draw in the French junior championships, also has reached the semifinals in Belgium. Steffensen, seeded No. 15, defeated No. 10 seed Akvile Parazinskaite of Lithuania 7-6(7), 6-3 in the quarterfinals today.

In the men's and women's draws at the French Open, Jack Sock defeated Steve Johnson 7-5, 6-4 6-2 to advance to the third round, joining Donald Young, who beat No. 26 seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-3, 7-6(1), 6-3 today. John Isner is also in the third round.  Only two US women are in the third round: Sloane Stephens, the No. 15 seed, and wild card Taylor Townsend.  Complete draws and Friday's schedule is available at the tournament website.