While John Isner was keeping Team World alive in the Laver Cup there were several other players with college ties that were leaving their mark on pro events across the globe. Ryan Shane, who won the 2015 NCAA singles championship during his junior season at Virginia, swept both the singles and doubles titles at the $15K Laguna Niguel (CA) USA 31 Futures. Shane teamed up with former ACC rival Ronnie Schneider to win the doubles title with a 7-5, 6-2 win over TCU senior Trevor Johnson and BYU graduate Patrick Kawka. Two days later Shane won his third career singles title with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Denver graduate Henry Craig. Shane only dropped one set on the week and won his last four matches going away. Shane picked up 18 ATP points with the win and when they are added in next week he'll have a new career high ranking of around 480. 

UCLA sophomore Ena Shibahara was attempting to win a second consecutive Oracle ITA Masters but despite serving for the match she'd come up short with North Carolina freshman Alle Sanford winning a title in her second collegiate event. 

Shibahara served for the first set up 5-3 (40/0) but Sanford managed to come back and break on the no-ad point and then hold for 5-5. Shibahara held on the no-ad point for 6-5, after leading 40/15, and then she broke from 15/40 to finally close out the set 7-5. 

Sanford broke Shibahara on the no-ad point to start the second set, after Shibahara was up 40/30, and then after three consecutive holds Sanford broke again to go up 4-1. Shibahara broke back and held for 3-4 but Sanford would hold and break from 15/40 to take the second set 6-3. 

Shibahara had three break points on Sanford's opening game of the third set but the UNC freshman held on the no-ad point for 1-0. Sanford broke Shibahara from 15/40 for 2-0 and held from 40/15 for 3-0. Shibahara got on the board after coming back from 15/40 down to hold for 1-3 and then she broke Sanford on the no-ad point for 2-3. Shibahara held at love for 3-3 and then she broke on the no-ad point for 4-3 after Sanford sent a forehand long. Shibahara made it five straight games with a hold from 40/15 but Sanford would stop the bleeding with a love hold for 4-5. Sanford broke from 15/40 to even it at 5-5 and then she held from 40/30 to go in front 6-5. Shibahara held from 40/15 to send the match to a winner take all tiebreak. 

Columbia junior Victor Pham moved into the finals of the Oracle ITA Masters after ousting the top seed Wake Forest junior Petros Chrysochos in three sets. Chrysochos took the opening set 6-2 and also went up a break early in the second but Pham broke back for 2-2 and then held on a no-ad point for 3-2. Pham would break for 5-3 and then have three set points while serving up 40/0 but he double faulted three times and added another unforced error to give the break back. After Chrysochos held for 5-5, Pham held on a no-ad point for 6-5. Chrysochos held to force a tiebreak but Pham jumped out to a 4-1* lead and would go on to take it 7-5.

The third set was all Pham as he ran away with it 6-0 with Chrysochos appearing to run out of gas. Pham's opponent in Sunday's final will be Brandon Holt after the USC sophomore stopped the red-hot Johannes Schretter 7-6, 6-0. 

The action heated up on the second day of the Oracle ITA Masters with three of the top four men's seeds moving into the semifinals while the women's draw saw some surprises. The men's top seed Wake Forest's Petros Chrysochos was pushed to three sets by Old Dominion's Adam Moundir and then a few hours later he defeated Cal's Billy Griffith in straight sets. Chrysochos will meet the No. 14 seed Columbia's Victor Pham in the semifinals after the California native defeated the No. 5 seed Elon's Felipe Sarrasague in straight sets and then followed that up with a straight set win over the No. 4 seed Arizona's State Michael Geerts.

USC sophomore and No. 2 seed Brandon Holt advanced to the semifinals after getting past Pepperdine's Dennis Uspensky in three sets and then later in the day he cruised past Portland's Michail Pervolarkais in straight sets. Holt's next opponent will be the No. 3 seed Baylor's Johannes Schretter. The junior from Austria has only dropped eight games so far including a pair of dominating wins over Arizona State's Benjamin Hannetad and Texas's Harrison Scott. 

The women's top seed UCLA's Ena Shibahara booked her spot in the semifinals with a tough three set win over North Carolina's Sara Daavettila. Shibahara will now meet the No. 13 seed Oklahoma's Lily Miyazaki after the senior from Tokyo defeated the No. 5 seed USC's Jessica Failla and No. 12 seed St. John's Jessica Livianu. North Carolina freshman Alle Sanford will face Pepperdine senior Mayar Ahmed in the other semifinal. Sanford, who is the No. 6 seed, defeated Loyola Marymount's Eva Marie Voracek and Duke's Samantha Harris while Ahmed, who is the No. 10 seed, rolled over both Loyola Marymount's Veronica Miroshnichenko and East Carolina's Celia Ruiz. 

The ITA's event page has the starting times and updated draws plus my spreadsheet shows the UTRs of each of the remaining players - men/women

The opening day of the Oracle ITA Masters is in the books with almost all the favorites cruising into the second round. 15 of the top 16 seeds advanced on both the men's and women's side with both of the No. 16 seeds falling to the No. 17 seed. The player with the higher UTR won 31 of 32 matches with East Carolina's Celia Ruiz the only "underdog" to come out on top. The women's top seed UCLA's Ena Shibahara won her match 6-1, 6-1 over Quinnipiac's Jennifer Lu while the men's top seed Wake Forest's Petros Chrysochos faced more resistance in his 6-2, 7-5 win over Bryant's Matt Kuhar.

To see all the first round results along with the second round pairing (including UTRs) click here (men/women). The ITA's event page has the starting times for Friday along with the consolation draws and mixed doubles results. 

Wednesday, 20 September 2017 22:18

Oracle ITA Masters - By The Numbers

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The first major tournament of the fall gets underway on Thursday morning in Malibu as 32 guys and 32 girls descend upon the Malibu Racquet Club and Pepperdine University for the 2017 Oracle/ITA Masters. There will be representatives from 24 conferences on the men's side and 25 on the women's side with the other remaining spots filled by wild cards and at-large selections. The top returning player from each conference was offered a spot in the field though several declined due to a number of factors such as expense and the ability to compete with a talented field.

Universal Tennis Ratings were used to make at-large selections as well as seeding. Wake Forest junior Petros Chrysochos will be the top seed on the men's side while UCLA sophomore Ena Shibahara is the top seed on the women's side. There will be live scoring and detailed stats available for all matches at this link and there will be free live streaming for all matches at the Malibu Racquet Club. The ITA's event hub has the order of play listed within each draw so make sure you bookmark it!

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