Friday, 17 March 2017 08:20

Weekend Preview

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The weekend is here and with it we've got two tournaments taking place out on the west coast plus a lot of ranked teams will do battle on campus sites across the country. The BNP Paribas Collegiate Challenge is underway in Indian Wells with several interesting first round matches while the San Diego Spring Break Tournament begins its second of three days. I did a preview of the biggest matches for the ITA at this link.

Both the Georgia men's and women's teams will face the top ranked team in the country on Friday as the men host Wake Forest while the women visit Florida. Can either of the Dawgs pull the upset or will be an 0 for 2 day?

Thursday was a busy day in the SEC with eight teams in action since the conference is playing on Thursday and Saturday this week. Three of the four matches saw the road team pick up a win while No. 17 Kentucky was the only team to win at home. TCU finished off its West Coast trip with another win while just down the road UCLA knocked off Duke. 

Most of the best tennis is usually reserved for the weekend but there was a barnburner on Wednesday afternoon in Austin between No. 8 Texas and No. 2 Ohio State. Ohio State's Martin Joyce and Hugo Di Feo cruised to a quick 6-0 win at No. 2 doubles and then about 10 minutes later Ohio State's No. 1 team of Mikael Torpegaard and Herkko Pollanen would break Texas on the no-ad point for 5-4 and then serve it out for 6-4. The match at No. 3 was abandoned at 5-5. Ohio State would take four of six first sets in singles but none of the matches would finish in straight sets. 

The College MatchDay series wrapped up its Lake Nona schedule on Tuesday evening with a top two showdown between No. 1 Florida and No. 2 Ohio State. Florida's No. 3 doubles team of Josie Kuhlman and Belinda Woolcock went down an early break at 2-1 but they broke back from 30/40 and held for 3-2. They'd break for 4-2 but Ohio State's Miho Kowase and Ferny Angeles Paz would break from 30/40 to put it back on serve at 4-3. It didn't stay on serve for long because Florida broke back at love and then served it out from 40/30 to win 6-3. 

Florida's Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan jumped out to a 2-0 lead at No. 1 doubles but Ohio State's Francesca Di Lorenzo and Anna Sanford would hold, break, and hold to go in front 3-2. After three more holds, Florida would break on the no-ad point for 5-4 but Ohio State would break back from 30/40 to even it at 5-5. Florida broke back on the no-ad point for 6-5 and then Keegan served it out from 40/30 to give Florida the 1-0 lead. The match at No. 2 went unfinished with the score tied at 5-5. 

Oracle announced on Tuesday the creation of the Oracle US Tennis Awards which will award one male and one female American player, with college tennis ties, a grant for $100,000 each to help with their transition from college to professional tennis. The two individuals will be chosen by the six-member Oracle US Tennis Awards Advisory Council with the six members being Chris Evert, Ilana Kloss, Peggy Michel, Tim Russell, Martin Blackman, and Todd Martin. The two individuals chosen must have demonstrated exemplary sportsmanship as well as shown that they are ready for the pro tour (i.e results on the ITF Pro Circuit). Playing on the pro tour is extremely expensive with estimates ranging from $80K to $160K per year so this $100K will be huge for those chosen. The release didn't say when the first awards will be presented but I should be able to find out that information in the next few days. The full release from Oracle is available here

TCU's west coast trip has been a good one so far as the Horned Frogs won their third straight with a 6-1 win at UC Santa Barbara. TCU won the doubles point with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 then they took four first sets in singles. Cameron Norrie, Guillermo Nunez, and Reese Stalder won in straight sets with Nunez clinching at No. 3. Alex Rybakov and Jerry Lopez won in third sets while UCSB's Chase Masciorini double-bageled Gianni Mancini at No. 6. I'm not sure how Masciorini's match didn't finish first but according to the box score it was the second to last match to finish. 

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