Friday, April 9, 2021

Easter Bowl 12s and 14s Recap; Fritz, Alcaraz Reach ATP Semifinals; Gauff Bows Out at Volvo Car Open; No. 2 UNC Men Lose to Wake Forest; Thriller in Tallahassee; UCLA Women Extend Stanford's Skid

Easter Bowl girls 14s doubles champions and finalists

Covering the Easter Bowl is a challenge, with four age divisions and important matches, including finals, being played at the same time across the site. It was especially difficult this year, with the way the schedule had to be adjusted due to the unavailability of auxiliary sites, but I'm accustomed to these concurrent finals from all my years covering the Eddie Herr. My Easter Bowl recaps for Tennis Recruiting Network are again split, with the 12s and 14s recap up today, and the 16s and 18s recap posted on Monday. If you couldn't follow along throughout the tournament, these recaps are a good way to catch up on what you missed in the first junior "major" in the United States since the Orange Bowl.

Taylor Fritz, who took over from John Isner as the top-ranked American after the Miami Open results, is through to the semifinals of the ATP 250 Sardegna Open in Italy. Fritz, the No. 2 seed, defeated Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 6-3, 6-4, to set up a meeting with No. 3 seed Lorenzo Sonego of Italy Saturday. For more on today's action in Italy, see this article from the ATP website.

The semifinalists at the ATP 250 in Marbella are all from Spain, the first time the same country has had four semifinalists in an ATP tournament since Spain did it 17 years ago. One of the four is 17-year-old Carlos Alcaraz, who advanced to his first ATP semifinal with a 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 3 seed Casper Rudd of Norway. He will play clay court specialist Jaume Munar, who is unseeded, for a place in the final. Alcaraz, who turns 18 next month, is the youngest ATP semifinalist since Alexander Zverev in 2014. For more on the Rudd-Alcaraz match today, see this article from the ATP website.

Coco Gauff lost in the quarterfinals of the Volvo Car Open today, with the No. 14 seed, dropping her first match in three meetings with No. 12 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia 6-3, 6-3. The big news of the day however, was the loss of WTA No. 1 and Miami Open champion Ashleigh Barty of Australia to Paula Badosa, by a 6-4, 6-3 score. Badosa will play the winner of tonight's match between Sloane Stephens and Viktoria Kudermetova of Russia; Jabeur will face unseeded Danka Kovinic of Montenegro in the other semifinal.

Gauff and McNally will play their doubles quarterfinal match later tonight. 

Today is a big day in college tennis, with significant matches everywhere as the final weeks of the season have top teams vying for the wins that will impress those making the NCAA selections.

The top-ranked Florida men squeezed by South Carolina 4-3, with Blaise Bicknell clinching for the Gators at line 4. Florida ends the SEC regular season undefeated in the conference and is now off until the SEC tournament April 19.

The North Carolina men, ranked No. 2 now after a 6-1 loss at Virginia, lost at home today to Wake Forest 5-2. Playing without Rinky Hijikata, who retired early in his match at Virginia, the Tar Heels lost the doubles point, with their two points coming at lines 4 and 5. 

In other notable men's matches, Georgia defeated Texas A&M 4-2 and Stanford came from 3-0 down to beat UCLA.

In women's matches, No. 4 Florida State defeated Miami 4-3, after Miami's Florencia Urrutia led 5-2 in the final set of the last match on. Florida State's Petra Hule saved seven match points, according to Miami's twitter updates, to secure the win in a third-set tiebreaker. 

The Stanford women were shut out today in Los Angeles by UCLA 7-0, their third straight loss after dropping 4-3 decisions to Pepperdine (at home) and Oregon (on the road) last week. It's the first time since 1981 that Stanford has lost three consecutive matches.