Georgia Tech rising senior Chris Eubanks picked up his first career main draw win at the ATP-level and moved into the second round of the BB&T Atlanta Open with a straight set win over 19-year-old American Taylor Fritz. Both guys served well with each winning over 70% of the points on their serve but it was Eubanks who earned the lone break of the match and came away with the 7-6(5), 6-4 win. Eubanks was playing in the main draw of his hometown event for the third year in a row but this was the first time he was able to come away with the all-important win. Next up for Eubanks is the eighth seed Jared Donaldson.
Benitez Sweeps Morocco, Koepfer Wins in Champaign, Isner Wins Newport Again, Plenty of Doubles SuccessWritten by Bobby Knight
Baylor rising junior Juan Benitez won his first career pro titles over the weekend after sweeping singles and doubles at the Morocco F1 Futures in Tanger. In the doubles final, Benitez teamed with Raleigh Smith (Northwestern '14) to defeat Skander Mansouri (Wake Forest Rising Sr) and Nick Chappell (TCU '15) 6-4, 7-6(3). Benitez and Smith were actually fortunate to make it out of the opening round because they trailed 9-4 in the third set supertiebreak and then after erasing those five match points they fought off one more before winning 13-11. As fate would have it Benitez and Smith would face each other in the singles final with Benitez getting the win 6-2, 7-6(2). Benitez only dropped one set on the week while Smith won only had one match finish in straight sets prior to the final.
Several players with college ties have roared into the quarterfinals at the USA F24 Futures in Champaign, Illinois. Recent Valparaiso graduate Jeffrey Schorsch picked up his first ATP point on Tuesday in a two-minute 1-0 retirement win over former Illinois No. 1 Farris Gosea. Schorsch added two more ATP points on Wednesday after he defeated another former Illinois No. 1 with a 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 win over Dennis Nevolo. Schorsch's next opponent will be the No. 3 seed Dominik Koepfer after the Tulane graduate defeated UCLA rising senior Martin Redlicki in the first round and American Alexios Halebian in the second round.
Harrison Adams started off the week in the qualifying draw but now the former Aggie has found himself in his third-career quarterfinal after defeating former Buckeye Hunter Callahan and the top seed Australia's Luke Saville. On Wednesday afternoon against Saville, Adams trailed 6-3, 4-2 but he rattled off five of the next six games to take the set 7-5. In the third set Adams trailed 5-3 but he won 16 of the final 21 points to close it out 3-6, 7-5, 7-5. Adams quarterfinal opponent will be ATP #935 Ricardo Rodriguez-Pace.
There were no ITF pro circuit events in the United States this week but players with college ties still had plenty of success across the globe. University of Miami (FL) rising senior Sinead Lohan won her second career singles title after defeating Alicia Barnett (Northwestern '16) in the final of the ITF $15K in Cantanhede, Portugal. Lohan jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first set and took it 6-2 but Barnett came back in the second and after going up 3-0 she took the set 6-4. Lohan bounced back in the third set and opened up a 5-0 lead. Barnett broke Lohan from 15/40 to get on the board but Lohan broke back in a one-deuce game to close it out 6-2, 4-6, 6-1. Lohan's other pro singles title came Cantanhede last June.
Hayley Carter New Assistant Coach at Oklahoma State, Other Coaching News, Newport Wildcards Named, USTA National Clay Court Championship InfoWritten by Bobby Knight
Hayley Carter accomplished just about everything there was to accomplish in her four years at North Carolina but instead of continuing her playing career on the pro tour she has decided to start her coaching career. Oklahoma State women's head coach Chris Young announced on Thursday that Carter will become the Cowgirls new women's assistant coach replacing Matt Manasse who left to take the same position at Duke. Below are some quotes from OSU's release:
"I am excited to welcome Hayley to the Cowgirl tennis family," Young said. "I have known Hayley for a while and I value the characteristics she will bring to our program which include her worth ethic, energy, and overall competitive spirit. Hayley will be a great mentor to our current players as well as future recruits. What she has accomplished as a player is remarkable, and she will be a valuable asset for any player who has the opportunity to work with her."
"I have known Chris for six years now and am so thankful to him for the amazing opportunity he has given me to begin my college coaching career here at Oklahoma State," Carter said. "The program has proven to be one of the best in college tennis, and I am looking forward to working alongside Chris to help the girls continue to reach all of their goals. What stood out to me was not just the campus and overall academic and athletic support, but all of the people that immediately welcomed me like family. Stillwater already feels like home and I cannot wait to get started."
Rolando Vargas Headed to Radford, Assistant Coach Hires, Matija Pecotic Hangs It Up, Wimbledon UpdateWritten by Bobby Knight
Radford Director of Athletics Robert Lineburg announced the hiring of Ricardo Vargas as the new men's head coach. Vargas comes to Radford after spending the last seven seasons as the men's and women's head coach at Auburn University at Montgomery which recently moved up from NAIA to D2. Both of his teams won a lot with the women winning four national titles while the men were runner-ups once. Vargas replaces Mike Anderson who recently retired after 21 years. Below are some quotes from Radford's release:
"We are very excited to have Rolando Vargas as our new men's tennis head coach. Rolando has had tremendous success at Auburn Montgomery and we are confident that he will help lead Radford tennis back to a championship level," Lineburg said. "He has tremendous energy and passion for the game. His track record shows that he gets the most out of his student-athletes."
"I would like to thank Robert Lineburg, Stephanie Ballein, Cory Durand and everyone on the committee for giving me this opportunity. I would also like to thank Steve Crotz, Jessie Rosa and everyone at Auburn Montgomery for their support," Vargas noted. "My family has been extremely encouraging and they are excited about the upcoming move to the area. I am thrilled to be joining the Radford family and to be a Highlander."