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.
Pro Circuit Recap - Ryan Shane & Sam Monette Sweep Futures in US & Canada; Irina Falconi Wins $100K Event in Mexico; Emina Bektas Awesome in AlbuquerqueWritten by Bobby Knight
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.
Alle Sanford & Brandon Holt Finish Atop The Wave at the Oracle ITA Masters; Sinead Lohan & Mitch Harper Brew Up a Title in Milwaukee; Wayne Montgomery is the Battle in the Bay ChampWritten by Bobby Knight
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.
Victor Pham's Run Continues in Malibu; Ena Shibahara Looks For Two in a Row; Finals Set in MilwaukeeWritten by Bobby Knight
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.