Nuno Borges Wins Big in Portugal, Alex Sarkissian a Champ in Canada, Sanaz Marand Gets the Sweep in TurkeyWritten by Bobby Knight
It was just one week ago at the Portugal F8 Futures in Lisbon that Joao Monteiro (Va Tech '16) won the singles title with a close three set win over Nuno Borges (Miss St Rising Jr) so when they met again today in the finals of the $15K Portugal F9 in Setubal most were expecting another close battle. However if you showed up an hour after it started all you got to see was the trophy ceremony because Borges exacted some revenge with a quick 6-3, 6-0 win in a match that only took 57 minutes. Borges won 73% of the points on his first serve and held all eight times while breaking Monteiro four times. The singles title was the first of Borges's career and it also gave him three titles in the last two weeks with him also winning the doubles title at the Portugal F8 and F9.
Another Year Another Title For Robert Lindstedt, Nik Scholtz Wins Singles Title in Zimbabwe, More Doubles SuccessWritten by Bobby Knight
Saturday was another great day for doubles with former college players winning six pro titles. Robert Lindstedt (Pepperdine '98) won a pro doubles title for the 20th year in a row as he and his doubles partner Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi won the ATP 250 Antalya (Turkey) Open with a 7-5, 4-1 retirement win over Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic. Lindstedt has won 47 career titles with the last 21 of those coming at the ATP level. His biggest tournament win came in 2014 when he and Lukasz Kubot won the Australian Open plus Lindstedt has also been a runner-up at Wimbledon three times. Lindstedt is currently ranked No. 44 in the latest ATP doubles rankings however he reached No. 3 back in 2013.
Wimbledon Draws Released, Oracle/ITA National Fall Championships Selection Criteria, Pro Circuit UpdateWritten by Bobby Knight
The Wimbledon main draws were released on Friday with 34 players with college ties set to compete at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. There were 23 former college players in the singles qualifying draws but Irina Falconi was the only one to come through with the former Yellow Jacket qualifying with a straight set win over Mariana Duque-Marino. Falconi's reward for qualifying will be a match against the top seed and last year's runner-up Angelique Kerber.
There will be four former college players in the men's singles draw and two in the women's singles draw. The men's doubles draw has 25 former college players while the women's doubles draw has four. The top seed in the men's doubles draw belongs to former MTSU Blue Raider and Baylor Bear John Peers and his partner Henri Kontinen.
Cameron Norrie, who recently turned pro, will face ATP #10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round while both John Isner and Steve Johnson are seeded and will face Taylor Fritz and Nicolas Kicker respectively. Former Illini Kevin Anderson will have a tough opener against Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.
While former college players may have been shutout in the Wimbledon qualifying singles draw there were three that pulled through on the doubles side. Max Schnur, who graduated from Columbia in 2015, qualified for his first-ever Grand Slam main draw after he and Cheng-Peng Hsieh defeated Ariel Behar Aliaksandr Bury 6-7, 7-5, 6-3. Schnur won 94 doubles matches in his four years at Columbia and achieved a career-high ATP doubles ranking of 95 back in February and is currently ranked 113.
The doubles team of Johan Brunstrom (SMU '03) and Andreas Siljestrom (Middle Tenn St '07) also qualified for the main draw after they defeated Arenda/Peng 7-6, 6-4. It'll be Brunstrom's ninth main draw appearance at Wimbledon while it'll be Siljestrom's fourth.
In the final round of the singles qualies both JP Smith and Dennis Novikov came up short. Novikov lost in four sets to Nicolas Jarry while Smith went down 12-10 in the fifth to Christian Garin. Smith played from ahead virtually the entire fifth set until Garin broke him for 11-10 in a four-deuce game. Garin didn't face a break point in any of his final seven service games.
Monday was a good day at Wimbledon for players with college ties but Wednesday was not as the group went a combined 2-9 with one of the wins coming in a college versus college match. Former Tennessee Volunteer JP Smith, who was the NCAA singles runner-up in 2008, defeated former UCLA Bruin Mackenzie McDonald, who won the 2016 NCAA singles championship, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3. Smith held serve all 16 times while breaking McDonald twice. The other winner with college ties was Dennis Novikov as the former UCLA Bruin defeating fellow American Stefan Kozlov 7-5, 6-2. Novikov was a perfect 10 for 10 on his service games while also breaking Kozlov three times. Both Smith and Novikov will face 21-year old opponents from Chile in the final round of qualies with Smith taking on Christian Garin while Novikov meets Nicolas Jarry.
Women's players with college ties went 3-2 in the first round with Jamie Loeb, Kristie Ahn, and Irina Falconi picking up the wins.
Maria Brito Headed To Tulane, Geoff Hernandez Takes Over at Lipscomb, Jackie Tang Wins 4+ Hour Match in Hong KongWritten by Bobby Knight
Tulane Athletic Director Troy Dannen announced the hiring of Maria Brito as the Green Wave's new women's head coach. Brito comes to New Orleans after spending the last four season as the assistant coach at her alma mater Clemson. Brito replaces Terri Sisk who stepped down in April after going 120-75 over the past nine seasons including 22-7 this past season. Below are some quotes from Tulane's release:
"We feel very fortunate to add Maria as the leader to our women's tennis program," Dannen stated. "Her experience as both a player and coach at the highest level, and her demonstrated commitment to all aspects of an outstanding student-athlete, are tremendous assets for our program. Maria brings high energy and enthusiasm to New Orleans and Tulane University and shares our vision for Tulane women's tennis as a consistent top-25 program."
"First and foremost, I would like to thank Troy Dannen, Rob Bernardi, Mark Booras and the entire search committee for this incredible opportunity to join such a prestigious institution," Brito stated. "I am deeply grateful and humbled to be chosen to lead Tulane's Women's Tennis Program.