Friday, February 21, 2020

My Conversation with Former Texas Tech Star, Current WTA 230 Gabriela Talaba; Top Seeds Advance at Men's D-III Team Indoor; Opelka Reaches Semifinals in Delray Beach

I'm at a wedding on the west coast this weekend, so posts will be shorter and later than usual, as I won't have time to follow much of what's going on in the tennis world.

Earlier this month at the Dow Tennis Classic in Midland, I had an opportunity to talk with Gabriela Talaba, the former Texas Tech star who has been moving up the WTA rankings since her graduation in 2018. Talaba explained to me why college tennis was so attractive to her and so many other international players who don't have the means to fund their careers on their own or the financial backing of a wealthy federation. Talaba still faced a difficult decision after college, but thanks to connections she made while at Texas Tech, she obtained sponsorship from three families that gave her the funds to start building her ranking, which has gone from 755 when she graduated to 230 now.  Talaba told me why she decided to go to college, how she improved there and what her plans are for the next several years in this article for the Tennis Recruiting Network.

At the ITA Division III Men's Team Indoor Championships in Minnesota, the top four seeds advanced to Saturday's semifinals.

Chicago[3] d. Kenyon[6], 5-4
CMS[2] d. Case Western[7] 6-3
Brandeis[4] d. Washington-St. Louis[5] 7-2
Emory[1] d. Gustavus Aldophus[8] 7-2

Saturday's schedule:
Chicago[3] v. CMS[2], 8:30 a.m.
Brandeis[4] v. Emory[1] noon

Box scores are available at host Gustavus Aldophus' tournament page.

Three of the four Americans in action today at the ATP Delray Beach tournament lost today, with No. 4 seed Reilly Opelka the only one to advance to Saturday's semifinal.  Opelka defeated Soonwoo Kwon 6-3, 6-4. He will face No. 2 seed Milos Raonic of Canada, who beat Steve Johnson tonight 7-6(6), 6-3.  Frances Tiafoe lost to Ugo Humbert of France 6-1, 6-2 and Brandon Nakashima's impressive run came to an end at the hands of Yoshihito Nishioki of Japan 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4.  For more on Nishioki's win, see this article from the ATP website.

Former UCLA star Jennifer Brady lost to top seed Simona Halep 6-2, 6-0 at the WTA tournament in Dubai.