Oracle/ITA Masters Down To the Final 4; Impressive Debuts from Vale and Cerundolo in Gainesville; Seeds Roll in the BayWritten by Bobby Knight
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 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.
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!
Eastern Michigan Hires Jayson Wiseman; Gary Sussman Headed to Marist; JJ Wolf Picks Up His First ATP PointWritten by Bobby Knight
The coaching carousel is almost done spinning for the upcoming season with two more openings filled in the last week though one of the hires created another opening. Jayson Wiseman, who was the women's head coach at Evansville for the past two seasons, was announced as the new women's head coach at Eastern Michigan. Wiseman had a tough first season at Evansville going 8-20 but in his second season the team more than doubled its win total and went 17-14. Wiseman replaces Ryan Ray whose contract was not renewed after going 97-150 (.393) over the past 11 seasons. Below is a quote by Jayson Wiseman from EMU's release:
"I am thrilled to be a part of the Eastern Michigan family. I am looking forward to helping our student-athletes develop and reach their goals on and off the court," added Wiseman. "Today we begin building an attitude and tradition of success that EMU Athletics embodies. I am humbled by this incredible opportunity with which I have been entrusted. I want to thank Scott Wetherbee, Dan McLean, Erin Kido, and everyone at EMU for this honor and responsibility. I'd also like to thank Mark Spencer and Sarah Solinsky for the opportunity and support they gave me to rebuild the program at the University of Evansville."
Pro Circuit Recap - Kevin King Wins Cary Challenger; Rutuja Bhosale Takes Thailand; Karue Sell & Robin Anderson Carry California; Marcelo Arevalo & Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela Dominant in DoublesWritten by Bobby Knight
While several former collegians were playing Davis Cup last week there were others that were out on the pro circuit taking care of business. Former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket, Kevin King, won a pro singles title for the second consecutive week after defeating former TCU star Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-1 in the finals of the $50K Atlantic Tire Championships in Cary, North Carolina. King, who served as a volunteer assistant at Georgia Tech last season while rehabbing an injury to both of his hips, won the week prior at a Futures event in Toronto and with the points from both of those events added in he has now risen to a new career-high ranking of 253.
Alastair Gray & Anna Danilina Shine in Newport; Spencer Furman Takes the Bonk; Alex Bakshi Wins Napa Shootout; Ferran Calvo Makes His Mark in MidlandWritten by Bobby Knight
The second annual Hall of Fame ITA Grass Court Invitational in Newport, Rhode Island, wrapped up on Sunday with TCU freshman Alastair Gray and Florida senior Anna Danilina finishing as the big winners. Gray, who was making his collegiate debut this weekend, earned a main draw wild card into next July's ATP 250 Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open after defeating teammate Alex Rybakov 6-3, 6-3. Gray finished the weekend with a perfect 5-0 record (3-0 singles/2-0 doubles) and only dropped one set in his three singles matches.
Danilina earned a main draw wild card into a $25K USTA Pro Circuit event after edging North Carolina junior Jessie Aney 6-7, 6-1, 10-7. The Florida senior also went undefeated on the weekend while she and teammate Josie Kuhlman won the only doubles match they played.
Illinois freshman Caleb Chakravarthi went 5-0 on the weekend and won the Gardnar Mulloy singles flight with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Georgia sophomore Alex Phillips. North Texas junior Maria Kononova won the Althea Gibson singles flight with a 4-6, 6-2, 11-9 over LSU freshman Eden Richardson. Full results are available on the ITA's event page and they also had some highlights from the finals available in their day 3 recap.