Saturday, September 26, 2015

Haggerty Elected ITF President; Mateas Wins Grade 2 in Canada; Shields Takes Over at Fresno State

This is an early post today, to catch up on some of the news from Friday. I'll have all the results of the Pro Circuit events Sunday, but prior to today's semifinals, Americans are still in the running in four North American tournaments.  At the $15,000 Futures in Canada, Noah Rubin and Jared Hiltzik are in the semifinals. At the $10,000 Futures in California, Deiton Baughman, Ernesto Escobedo and Ryan Shane are in the semifinals and at the $75,000 women's tournament in New Mexico, Julia Boserup has reached the final four. At the $50,000 men's Challenger in Columbus, all four semifinalists are from the US: Tim Smyczek, Ryan Harrison, Alex Kuznetsov and Dennis Novikov.

The big international tennis news yesterday was the election of a new ITF president, the first such change of leadership at the ITF since Italy's Francesco Ricci Bitti took over in 1999 and served for 16 years. The immediate past president of the USTA, David Haggerty, was elected to a four-year term in a close vote, edging Anil Khanna of India 200 to 192 on the second ballot.

I got to know Haggerty better than most of the USTA presidents in the past 12 years, primarily, I think, because he was at so many junior tournaments. I would often see him watching junior matches at the slams or see him at the Orange Bowl, before he took over as president and even during his tenure.  This year, I talked to him at both Wimbledon and the US Open, and he remarked that his ITF candidacy was cutting into his junior match watching time, but he managed to squeeze some in.

As you can see from the photo, Haggerty presented the women's American Collegiate Invitational trophy, and while his introduction of that event is not one of the accomplishments that makes it into Chris Clarey's New York Times article on Haggerty's contributions as USTA president, it signifies the importance Haggerty attaches to supporting college tennis.  A former No. 1 player at George Washington University, Haggerty spoke to me several times about the necessity of keeping the collegiate path viable and although he will obviously now be focusing on other issues at the ITF, I think his perspective from following the junior and college game will be valuable going forward.

In ITF junior news, Maria Mateas won her first title at the Grade 2 level, with the top seed defeating unseeded Jessica Livianu 6-4, 6-3 in Montreal.  In the boys final, the top seed lost to an unseeded compatriot, with Canada's Alexis Galarneau beating No. 1 seed Jack Mingjie Lin 7-5, 6-3.

During the past two months, there have been several notable college coaching changes, and I'm not sure I've provided links to them in a post.

In the most recent, former Boise State All-American Luke Shields has been named head coach of the men's team at Fresno State, taking over for Ryan Stotland, the women's head coach, who was the men's interim coach during the search.  Shields had been serving as associate head coach at his alma mater after two years as the women's assistant coach at the University of Washington.

Ricardo Rubio, the longtime Texas men's associate head coach, is now head coach at Denver.  Former Michigan men's coach Bruce Berque, who was a volunteer assistant at Texas, was named assistant coach, replacing Rubio.

Michelle Dasso's contract as head coach of the Illinois women was not renewed for this season after nine years, with Evan Clark serving as the interim coach.

Brett Masi took over as men's head coach at Texas Tech, with former Princeton assistant Ryan Keckley returning to San Diego, where he was an assistant to Masi prior to leaving for Princeton in 2012.

If you know of others I've missed, please add in the comments section.