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Monday, May 22, 2023

Drummy Upsets No. 2 Seed Stoiana as First Round D-I Singles Matches Go Indoors Monday; Zhou Claims D-III Women's Singles Title; Eleven Americans Advance to Second Round at ITF J500 Trofeo Bonfiglio in Milan

The first day of the NCAA Division I singles championship is always a long one, with 64 matches at the highest level of collegiate tennis on 12 courts, the last group will always be contested under the lights. 

Today things went seriously awry when lightning and rain sent play to the indoor courts, which, at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, number just six.

Matches were pushed back two or three hours or more, with matches not yet on court at 10 p.m.

One of the best matches of the day came early, long before the weather delay, with No. 2 seed Ethan Quinn of Georgia defeating Luc Fomba of TCU 6-7(7), 6-2, 7-5, saving a match point on a deciding point serving at 4-5 in the third. There were no breaks in the first set, and Quinn trailed 4-2 in the third before finally getting the break and managing to hold from 15-40 down in the final game, finishing it with an ace. Quinn won the last three games of the match on deciding points. He will face Ryan Seggerman of North Carolina in the second round Tuesday.

As of this writing, two of the top eight seeds in the men's draw are out, with a half dozen yet to take the court at 10 p.m. No. 5 seed Johannes Monday of Tennessee lost to Ryan Fishback of Virginia Tech 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 and No. 6 seed Andres Martin of Georgia Tech was beaten by Micah Braswell of Texas 6-2, 6-3.  Toby Samuel of South Carolina, a 9-16 seed, withdrew, with Gavin Young of Michigan taking his place. Garrett Johns of Duke, a 9-16 seed, lost indoors to Siem Woldeab of Texas 6-4, 6-4.

Woldeab's teammate, top seed Eliot Spizzirri, did his part in moving the schedule along, beating Tyler Stice of Auburn 6-2, 6-1 indoors this evening.

In the women's draw, the big news to start the day was Stanford's Connie Ma and No. 7 seed Diana Shnaider of NC State's both withdrawing before their first round match. Alternates Page Freeman of Notre Dame and Anna Arkadianou of Florida State played instead, with Freeman getting a difficult 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-3 victory.

Three of the seeds who played in the women's final Saturday night went out: Shnaider, No. 8 seed Reese Brantmeier of North Carolina, and Alana Smith of NC State, a 9-16 seed. Mell Reasco of Georgia beat Brantmeier 6-2, 2-6, 7-6(4) and Tatsiana Sasnouskaya of Ole Dominion defeated Smith 6-3, 6-4, with both those matches completed outside. The fourth seed out of the women's draw is Anastasiya Komar of LSU, who lost indoors to Angelica Blake of Stanford 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.

The big news to finish the day, was Duke's Georgia Drummy coming from a set and a break down to defeat No. 2 seed Mary Stoiana of Texas A&M 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-4. Drummy, who had been injured off and on throughout the season and often was at line 4 for the Blue Devils, was one of the last players to received entry with her ITA ranking of 62. But her lefty game can cause anyone trouble and Stoiana would probably have preferred to play outdoors, as Texas A&M does not have an indoor facility.

Top seed Fiona Crawley of North Carolina defeated Sara Dahlstrom of Florida 6-4, 6-1 outdoors, and while No. 3 seed Lea Ma and No. 4 seed Dasha Vidmanova of Georgia escaped with three set victories, with Ma completing her win over Jessica Alsola of Cal indoors.

Cracked Racquets has been covering all the action since 9 a.m. and will continue to do so all week at their YouTube Channel. Individual courts can be viewed here, via Playsight, which is free with registration. The results from the day's matches and the live scoring can be found here.

The women's Division III individual tournament concluded today, with 2022 finalist Angie Zhou of Pomona-Pitzer going one step further this year with a 6-2, 6-2 win over top seed Olivia Soffer of Babson. Zhou, the No. 2 seed, is the fourth Pomona-Pitzer woman to win the title and the first since 2008. Unseeded Brooke Despriet and Katherine Petty of Sewanee, University of the South, took the doubles title, beating Soffer and partner Matia Cristiani, also unseeded, 6-2, 6-2. It's the first individual NCAA title for the Sewanee program.

I hope to get to all the ITF Junior Circuit results from last week tomorrow, as there were no fewer than seven singles titles for Americans, not including Tyra Grant's win at the J300 in Italy. 

This week, the top players are in Milan at the J500, with first round matches beginning today. Qualifying was delayed due to weekend rain, but is now complete, so the remainder of the first round matches will take place Tuesday.

Only one of the eight US boys in the draw is seeded: No. 12 Cooper Williams, who won his first round match today. Four other Americans won their matches: Roy Horovitz, Kaylan Bigun, Darwin Blanch and Alexander Frusina; Alexander Razeghi lost, while Cooper Woestendick and qualifier Max Exsted play Tuesday.

Bigun defeated No. 9 seed Federico Bondioli of Italy, last month's J500 finalist in Offenbach Germany, 6-3, 7-6(6) and Frusina beat No. 15 seed Kevin Edengren of Sweden 6-4, 7-5.

Two US girls are seeded, No. 2 Clervie Ngounoue and No. 8 Kaitlin Quevedo, and both won their first round matches today. Other US girls earning victories today are Valeria Ray, Mia Slama, Theadora Rabman and Alanis Hamilton. Slama defeated No. 7 seed Ella McDonald 7-6(2), 0-6, 7-6(3). Alexia Harmon and Tatum Evans lost their first round matches. Anya Murthy, Grant and Ariana Pursoo, a wild card qualifier, play Tuesday.

Live scoring is available at Tennis Ticker