Pro Circuit Recap - Norrie Nearing Top 100; Bayerlova Takes Charge in Charleston; Schneider Sweeps Fountain Valley; Lesniak Bags Another TitleWritten by Bobby Knight
Cameron Norrie officially started his pro career in June, after three stellar years at TCU, and since then he's won a match at an ATP 250, qualified for the US Open, and made three Challenger finals, two of which he won. The second of those Challenger titles came last week in Tiburon, California, when Norrie dropped just five games in the finals in a straight set win over former Tennessee Volunteer Tennys Sandgren. Norrie was ranked 243 when he turned pro and with these 90 points he now has a new career high ranking of 136. Norrie talked to Mike Cation after the match about his week in Tiburon with those comments available at this link.
Long Upset-Filled Day in Tulsa Ends With 16 Qualifiers; Women's Qualifying Gets Started in CaliforniaWritten by Bobby Knight
Tuesday was an extremely long day in Tulsa with singles play beginning at 8 a.m. central and finally finishing up at 9:18 p.m after Oklahoma's Ferran Calvo closed out Texas's Leo Telles in a third set tiebreak. The opening three plus hours of action was played outside in overcast and windy conditions but then the rain came in and moved everything inside for the rest of the day. The aforementioned Calvo was the only pre-qualifier to advance to the main draw after he ran his fall record to 15-0 with a straight set win over Arizona State's Benjamin Hannestad and a lengthy three set win over Telles. In that final match against Telles, Calvo came back from a 4-1 deficit in the third set tiebreak, and fought off a pair of match points after falling behind 6-4, to win 8-6.
The biggest upset in terms of UTR came when Tulsa freshman Joshua Goodger defeated Ohio State freshman John McNally 6-3, 7-6(6). Goodger's UTR is 1.39 lower than McNally's but that didn't stop him from defeating the ITA's No. 2 ranked national newcomer. McNally led the second set tiebreak 5-3 and had a set point at 6-5 but Goodger took the last three points to close it out.
The upstart Arizona State program put two players into the main draw after Michael Geerts and Tim Ruehl pulled out a pair of wins. Geerts, who is the ITA's No. 4 ranked national newcomer, won both of his matches in straight sets while Ruehl cruised through his opener and then came from behind to defeat Illinois sophomore Aleks Kovacevic in three sets.
Ohio State was the other team to have two qualify with Kyle Seelig and Martin Joyce advancing to the main draw. Seelig started off the day by defeating the No. 5 seed Kentucky's Trey Yates in straight sets and then later on he came back from a set down to defeat Duke's Nick Stachowiak in three sets. Joyce opened up the day with a come from behind three set win over Texas A&M freshman Juan Carlos Aguilar and then to close the day out he defeated North Carolina's Bo Boyden in straight sets.
The opening day of the men's qualifying draw saw seeded players go 19-13 with the top seed Purdue's Gergely Madarasz falling to Florida freshman Duarte Vale in three sets. Vale, who was ranked as high as No. 14 in the ITF junior rankings, made his collegiate debut two weeks winning one of the top singles flights and with this win over Madarasz he is now 5-0 on the year. The biggest upset in terms of Universal Tennis Rating was Mississippi State's Trevor Foshey (12.93) defeating Illinois's Zeke Clark (14.19) 6-2, 6-3. Foshey dropped the opening two games of the match and then won 11 straight to go up 6-2, 5-0 before a late rally by Clark made it a little closer.
There were 9 pre-qualifiers that won on Monday with Virginia's Matthew Lord, Texas A&M's Juan Carlos Aguilar, and Oklahoma's Ferran Calvo taking out the No. 9, No. 10, and No. 11 seeds respectively. Calvo, who transferred to Oklahoma after two dominating years at Tyler Junior College, is now 12-0 this fall with singles titles at the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational and the Alabama Four-In-The-Fall Championship.
Other pre-qualifiers to advance were Oklahoma State's Mathieu Scaglia, Illinois's Noe Khlif, Miami's Christian Langmo, Indiana's Keivon Tabrizi, Wisconsin's Chema Carranza, and Tulane's Tyer Schick. Langmo was down 6-3 in the third set tiebreak before rallying to defeat Wake Forest's Bar Botzer 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(7).
The most dominating performance of the day came from Duke's Catalin Mateas who defeated Tulsa's Jarod Hing 6-0, 6-0. The UTR difference (1.45) between the two was the third largest of all the first round matches.
The final two rounds will be played on Tuesday with start times available on the ITA's event page.
Freshmen Roll Through Women's PQs in California; Men's PQs Wrap Up in Tulsa With Qualies Starting On MondayWritten by Bobby Knight
The pre-qualifying rounds came to a close on Sunday with 8 women moving on to the qualifying draw in Pacific Palisades while 18 men moved on in Tulsa. In Tulsa, there were actually 16 men that came through the pre-qualifying rounds however two more earned spots as lucky losers after a couple of late withdrawals.
Six of the eight women's pre-qualifiers were freshmen and in fact that they were the only seeded players to advance. Ole Miss's Sabina Machalova and Georgia's Katarina Jokic were the only pre-qualifiers to drop a set though they only dropped one a piece. Monday is an off day for the women so we won't know where the pre-qualifiers are slotted until the qualifying draw is announced later in the day.
On the men's side there were just seven seeded players, out of 21 total, that survived the four-round gauntlet. Texas A&M's Juan Carlos Aguilar, Oklahoma State's Mathieu Scaglia, Virginia's Matthew Lord, Texas's John Mee, Illinois's Noe Khlif, Florida State's Rana-Roop Singh Bhullar, and Nebraska's Linus Erhart were the only pre-qualifiers that won four matches with all the others, except Miami's Christian Langmo, winning three after getting a first-round bye. Langmo had the easiest path after getting a first-round bye plus a walkover win in the third round.
Indiana's Keivon Tabrizi, South Florida's Grayson Goldin, Miami's Christian Langmo, UAB's Tim Dollman, Oklahoma's Ferran Calvo, and Florida State's Rana-Roop Singh Bhullar were the only ones to win all their matches in straight sets. Singh Bhullar played eight sets in his four matches, Langmo played just the four sets, while the others played six sets.
Virginia's Matthew Lord and Texas A&M's Juan Carlos Aguilar were the only freshmen to advance while several others fell in the final round. Monmouth's Nicola Pipoli and Florida's Stephen Madonia were the lucky losers due to South Florida's Peter Bertran getting bumped up to the main draw, after UCF's Korey Lovett pulled out, and Kentucky's Enzo Wallart pulling out with an injury.
The opening day of the pre-qualifying draw in Pacific Palisades saw 9 of the 16 women's seeds fall in the opening rounds which included all but 1 of the top 8 seeds. Virginia Tech's Elena Cerezo-Codina knocked out the top seed Oklahoma State's Sofia Blanco 7-6, 6-4 while Texas Tech's Sabrina Federici (Texas Tech) ousted the second seed UNLV's Aiwen Zhu 6-4, 6-2. The final round of the pre-qualifying draw will be played on Sunday and out of the seven remaining seeded players all but one (Miki Kobayashi) are freshmen.
The 256-player men's pre-qualifying draw saw 12 of 21 seeded players make it through the first two rounds although each of the top five seeds bowed out in the second round. There will be two more rounds played on Sunday in Tulsa and by the end of the day we'll have our 16 players that will be moving on to the 128-player qualifying draw.
A busy week of tennis will get underway tomorrow morning in Tulsa and Pacific Palisades as the pre-qualifying rounds get started at the men's and women's All-American Championships. The men's pre-qualifying draw is a massive 256-player draw, although 69 get a first-round bye, while the women's pre-qualifying draw is a 64-player draw with no byes. There will 16 men and 8 women that will advance to the qualifying rounds with the men's qualifying draw a 128-player draw while the women's will be a 64-player draw. The pre-qualifying draws with match times are available on the ITA's event page with the men here and the women here. There will be live streaming for the men's draw but I don't believe they'll be live scoring until the later rounds. There will not be any live streaming for the women.
The men's top 10 freshmen/newcomers were guaranteed spots in the qualifying draw while the women's top 10 freshmen/newcomers were guaranteed spots in the pre-qualifying draw so that's why you see Kelly Chen and Alexandra Sanford in the pre-qualifying draw.