Chuck Merzbacher retired from coaching at the end of April but after two months off he decided to jump back in and last Friday he was named the new men's head coach at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Merzbacher coached the women's team at his alma mater, Minnesota, for the last five years and prior to that he served as the women's head coach at Ohio State for 15 years. Merzbacher replaces Carlos Garcia who stepped down after going 154-208 (.425) over the last 16 season. Below are some quotes from UTC's release:
"We are very excited to welcome Coach Merzbacher to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga," stated Chattanooga Interim Athletic Director Scott Altizer. "We are very fortunate to have Chuck and his wife Cherie join the Mocs and we look forward to the impact they will have on our men's tennis student-athletes."
"Chattanooga felt like the right fit for me as a coach," said Merzbacher. "The University and the tennis community seemed like such a great place for me to continue coaching. All of the pieces fell into place, and I am ready to get to work on improving the program.
"I would like to thank Senior Associate Athletics Director Laura Herron for her work in leading the search process for our newest head coach," added Altizer. "To land someone with this level of experience and past success says a lot about our program, our community and the potential for success at UTC."
Tristan Meraut had never won a pro title of any kind before this week but the Oklahoma State rising senior managed to win eight matches over the last week to win the singles title at the Germany F6 Futures in Saarlouis. Meraut only dropped nine games in his three qualifying matches then during the main draw he won all five matches in straight sets with no opponent winning more than seven games. In Sunday's final, Meraut won 75% of the points on his serve and broke his opponent Alexis Gautier three times in a 6-3, 6-4 win.
Meraut came into the week with only three career main draw wins and he had never advanced past the second round but the draw broke his way and he was able to capitalize. The ranking of his opponents from the first round through the finals was 1678, 901, 1097, 691, and 1509. Meraut split time between No. 5 and No. 6 in the singles lineup last season going 13-3.
All summer long we've seen players with college ties make their mark on the doubles side and this week has been no exception. Seven former college players and two current players won doubles title this week at the Futures-level while another nine with college ties finished as runner-up. Texas A&M rising sophomore Hady Habib won his first professional title when he and Ankit Chopra won the doubles title at the Sri Lanka F3 Futures in Colombo. Habib and Chopra came back from a set down to defeat Chandril and Lakshit Sood 2-6, 7-5, 10-8. Habib joins Arthur Rinderknech, Austin Krajicek, Jackson Withrow, and Junior Ore as Aggies that have won pro doubles titles in the last two weeks.
Thursday was a mixed bag for players with college ties at Wimbledon. John Isner fired 45 aces and hit 100 winners but he couldn't close out Israel's Dudi Sela and fell in five sets. Isner had seven break points in the fifth set but he wasn't able to convert any and ended up falling 6-3. Former collegians had more success on the doubles side with 14 guys advancing to the doubles second round. The doubles team of Johan Brunstrom (SMU '03) and Andreas Siljestrom (Middle Tenn St '07) won the second longest match of the day by winning 12-10 in the fifth set in a match that lasted 3 hours and 54 minutes. French Open doubles champions Michael Venus (LSU '09) and Ryan Harrison won their opener 9-7 in the fifth and now they'll meet Brunstrom and Siljestrom in the second round.
There are no more former collegiate ladies remaining after the last three were defeated in the women's doubles draw. Full results from all of today's matches are listed down below.
Steve Johnson and Kevin Anderson moved into the third round at Wimbledon on Wednesday while the opening round of doubles got underway. Johnson hit 41 winners (28 unforced errors) and broke Radu Albot four times in a 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win. Johnson's career-best result at Wimbledon was a fourth round appearance a year ago but to get back he'll need to knock out ATP #6 Marin Cilic on Friday.
Anderson only needed 1 hour and 40 minutes to get past Andreas Seppi 6-3, 7-6, 6-3. Anderson had a tremendous day serving with the South African hitting 16 aces while also winning 85% of the points on his serve. Anderson didn't face a break point all day while he broke Seppi twice. Anderson's career-best result at Wimbledon is the fourth-round, which he achieved in 2014 and 2015, and he'll be a strong favorite to get back there this year with ATP #124 Ruben Bemelmans up next.
The French Open doubles champions, Michael Venus (LSU '09) and Ryan Harrison, held on to win 9-7 in the fifth over Andre Begemann (Pepperdine '08) and Jan-Lennard Struff. Venus and Harrison broke for 4-3 in the fifth but they were broken back in the next game. It stayed on serve until Venus and Harrison broke for 8-7 and then they fought off two breaks points to close it out.
Full results from all of today's matches are listed down below. John Isner will be back in action on Thursday along with the other first round matches in doubles.
Wimbledon Underway, ITA Summer Circuit Week 2, Maciej Bogusz New Women's Coach at Northern Arizona, Ben Johnson Steps Down at RichmondWritten by Bobby Knight
The opening round of singles at Wimbledon went about as good as expected with players with college ties going 4-2. John Isner, Steve Johnson, and Jennifer Brady won in straight sets while Kevin Anderson came back from a set down to knock out the No. 31 seed Fernando Verdasco in four sets. Cameron Norrie made his Grand Slam debut but the No. 12 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga knocked him out in just 1 hour and 23 minutes. Irina Falconi was the only former collegian to come through qualies but she lost in straight sets to the top seed Angelique Kerber though it was a respectable 6-4, 6-4 scoreline.
The doubles draw gets started on Wednesday plus Anderson, Johnson, and Brady will be back in action in the singles draw.