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Friday, November 9, 2018

Chinese Coaches Add to Knowledge at Arizona State; McNally Through to Lawrence $25K Final; Semifinals Set at ITA Fall Championships; DeMinaur and Tsitsipas Face Off in ATP Next Gen Final

Much of what I've written for the Tennis Recruiting Network this fall has been tournament recaps and college commitment announcements, but today's article is definitely a change of pace. When chatting with Arizona State's women's head coach Sheila McInerney this year at the US Open Junior Championships, the conversation turned to the rise of the Chinese juniors the past few years, and she mentioned that ASU would be hosting 25 Chinese tennis coaches during the fall semester. When I started doing interviews for the article, I began to understand why both the Chinese version of the NCAA and Arizona State and the Pac-12 would want to participate in this type of program, and what the commitment to improvement in coaching might mean for Chinese tennis.  Please take a few moments to read how Arizona State is spreading its expertise in tennis coaching to those outside its normal comfort zone.

Sixteen-year-old qualifier Caty McNally has advanced to the final of the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit tournament in Lawrence Kansas, defeating unseeded Romy Koelzer(Clemson) of Germany 6-3, 6-3. Lucky loser Catherine Harrison, the former UCLA star, came from two breaks down in the final set to defeat current UCLA star Ena Shibahara 0-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) in the other semifinal. Harrison, 24, reached a $10,000 Pro Circuit final way back in 2010, and McNally is in her first Pro Circuit singles final, so the winner of tomorrow's championship match will earn her first Pro Circuit singles title.

Shibahara finished her tournament with a doubles title, with former Oklahoma State star Vladica Babic of Montenegro.  Although I don't believe they had played together prior to this week, their success is not a surprise, with Shibahara the 2016 US Open girls doubles champion and Babic a finalist at this year's NCAA championships.  Shibahara and Babic defeated Anna Danilina(Florida) of Kazakhstan and Ksenia Laskutova(Tulsa) of Russia 6-4, 6-2 in the final. Neither team was seeded.

Today was a busy day at the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships in Surprise Arizona, with the round of 16 and quarterfinals played in both the men's and women's singles draws.  The men's draw has four single-digit seeds advancing to Saturday's semifinals, including top seed Petros Chrysochos of Wake Forest, but the highest seed remaining in the women's semifinals is No. 9 Katarina Jokic of Georgia.

Jokic beat No. 6 seed Ashley Lahey of Pepperdine 6-1, 7-6(1) in the third round and advanced to the semifinals when top seed Fernanda Contreras of Vanderbilt retired down 6-0, 2-1 in the second match of the day.  Jokic will face unseeded Christina Rosca of Vanderbilt, who beat No. 12 seed Andie Daniell of Alabama 6-2, 6-2  and unseeded Eden Richardson of LSU 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.  No. 11 seed Kate Fahey of Michigan will face No. 10 seed Makenna Jones of North Carolina in the other semifinal after Fahey beat No. 3 seed Evgeniya Levashova of Pepperdine 7-5, 6-4 and Jones downed No. 13 seed Elysia Bolton of UCLA 6-2, 6-3. Bolton had beaten No. 2 seed Estela Perez-Somarriba of Miami in the third round.

Chrysochos, the reigning NCAA singles champion, earned straight-sets wins over unseeded David Volfson of Cornell and Jason Kros of Virginia Tech to advance to the semifinals, where he'll meet No. 5 seed Thomas Laurent of Oregon. The other semifinal will feature No. 6 seed Daniel Cukierman of USC against No. 8 seed Nicolas Moreno de Alboran of UC-Santa Barbara.  Cukierman beat No. 3 seed Paul Jubb of South Carolina 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 in the quarterfinals, while Moreno de Alboran eliminated No. 2 seed Christian Sigsgaard of Texas 6-3, 6-4.

Links to live streaming and live scoring can be found at the ITA tournament page.

The championship match of the ATP's Next Gen Finals is Saturday, with Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece facing Alex De Minaur of Australia. The 20-year-old Tsitsipas has the highest ATP ranking among the tournament eight participants at 15; De Minaur, age 19, has the second highest ranking at 31, and neither has lost a match this week. US participants Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz did not advance out of their respective round robin groups. For more on today's semifinals, see this article from the ATP. 


fan said...

Not ONE NFC women quarterfinals match was streamed, be it singles or doubles. What a shame.