It was another strong week on the pro tour for players with college ties. John Peers (Baylor '11) and Treat Huey (Virginia '08) won ATP doubles titles in Washington D.C. and Los Cabos respectively, Abigail Spears (UCLA '00*) won a doubles title at the Bank of the West in Stanford, and 13 others won at the Futures level. There were three singles titles won by players with college ties while another three finished as runner-up including Kevin Anderson (Illinois '07*) who lost in the finals of the ATP 500 in Washington D.C.
Joao Monteiro (Virginia Tech '16) won his third singles title of the year, fourth career, with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Javier Marti at the $25K Portugal F14 Futures in Porto. Monteiro only dropped one set on the week and with the win the Portugal native picked up 27 ATP points which will move him up to a new career high of around 308 when the points are added in next week. Monteiro is now 45-15 on the year and he's made it to at least the semifinals in 10 of 18 tournaments that he's played.
Emily Wang Headed To New Mexico State; Jamie Peterson Has Interim Tag Removed at Towson, Other Coaching NewsWritten by Bobby Knight
New Mexico State Director of Athletics Mario Moccia named Emily Wang as the Aggies new women's head coach. Wang, who graduated from Illinois in 2007, had been the head coach at Eastern Illinois for the last two seasons posting a 28-17 (.622) record. Wang replaces Ivan Fernandez who left after seven seasons to take the women's head coaching job at UTEP. Below are some quotes from NMSU's release:
"Interest in our head women's tennis position was overwhelming," Moccia said. "Emily rose to the top during the process and I was glad we were able to recruit her to NM State. With her playing background in the Big 10 at Illinois and her returning Eastern Illinois to success they haven't seen in 25 years, I'm very confident she will do a tremendous job as our next head coach. I'd like to thank Erica Perkins Jasper, the ITA COO, for assisting me as well. Her knowledge of collegiate tennis coaches around the country was instrumental in our decision making."
"New Mexico State is a top-notch university, and I am excited to be part of the strong culture and part of the Aggie Athletics family," Wang said. "The women's tennis team has a lot of talent and potential. I'm excited to get on campus and look forward to a successful year."
Lots of Coaching Changes - Matt Lucas To North Florida, Houston Barrick To Richmond, Jason Potthoff to MilwaukeeWritten by Bobby Knight
The calendar has turned to August which means several schools will be in session shortly so most of the current coaching openings should get filled sooner rather than later. Over the last week there have been three head coaching hires along with several assistant coaching hires.
University of North Florida Director of Athletics Lee Moon announced the hiring of Matt Lucas as the Ospreys new men's head coach. Lucas comes to Jacksonville after serving as the associate head coach at Buffalo last season and will replace Mark Finnegan who departed after four seasons to become the men's assistant coach at Auburn. Below are some quotes from UNF's release:
"This is a great hire for our program and we are thrilled to have Matt and all his coaching experience leading our team," said Moon. "During the interview process, Matt demonstrated a real passion for the game and developing student-athletes. Throughout his career he has been a strong teacher of the game and has a wealth of experience in both collegiate and professional tennis. He is an outstanding recruiter and has strong ties to the tennis community in North Florida. We are excited to have Matt at UNF and look forward to watching him continue and even grow the success of our men's tennis program."
"I am extremely excited about this opportunity to lead the lead the men's tennis program at the University of North Florida," said Lucas. "I want to thank Lee Moon and Nick Morrow for entrusting me with the reigns of this great program. I also want to thank UNF women's coach Mariana Cobra for her support during the interview process. It is an exciting time for the tennis program and I look forward to helping build on the past successes while striving to further the national prominence of UNF Tennis and continue competing for ASUN Championships. Our guys will also be involved in the Jacksonville community and maintain their strong performances in the classroom as well. With my ties to the area, I can't wait to get back to the River City and begin working with the team. It is a great day to be and Osprey. SWOOP!"
John Isner (Georgia '07) returned to the state where he had a ton of success in college and proceeded to win his fourth singles title at the BB&T Atlanta Open. Isner, who won the week before in Newport and has now won 12 career singles titles, fired 23 aces and won 85% of the points on his first serve in a 7-6(6), 7-6(7) win over fellow American Ryan Harrison. There were no breaks of serve in the first set, in fact there were no break points either, though Harrison went up a mini-break to start the tiebreak. Isner put it back on serve on the next point and would eventually fight off a set point when serving at 5-6 before taking the tiebreak 8-6.
Harrison jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second set after breaking Isner from 30/40 but Isner broke back in a one-deuce game to make it 2-1. After another nine holds, Harrison went up 4-1 in the tiebreak but Isner took the next three to even it at 4-4. Harrison fought off a set point while serving at 5-6 while Isner fought off one while serving at 6-7. Isner would close out the second set tiebreak just like the first by winning the final three points to take it 9-7.
Isner won $114,595 with the title while collecting 250 ATP points which moved his ranking up from 20 to 18.
Yannick Hanfmann (USC '15) started off 2017 by playing a pair of Futures events in his old college stomping grounds of Los Angeles but seven months later he's two sets away from winning his first ATP singles title. Hanfmann came into the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open in Gstaad, Switzerland, with just three career main draw ATP wins but after breezing through two qualifying matches he's won four straight main draw matches with all four going the full three sets. Hanfmann started off the week with 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-4 win over Facundo Bagnis (ATP 109) and then in the second round he knocked out the defending champ Feliciano Lopez (ATP 27) 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-1. In the quarterfinals, Hanfmann dispatched Joao Sousa (ATP 61) 6-7(10), 6-2, 6-2 which set up his match today against Robin Haase (ATP 50).
Haase jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the opening set but Hanfmann broke, held, and broke to put it back on serve at 4-3. Haase would break back from 30/40 and then serve out the set from 40/30 to take it 6-3.
Haase broke Hanfmann from 15/40 to start the second set but Hanfmann broke back from 30/40 to even it at 1-all. The rest of the set would be all holds with only two of the next ten service games reaching deuce (Hanfmann held on both occasions). In the second set tiebreak, Haase had a pair of match points after going in front 6-4 but Hanfmann took the next four points to take the tiebreak 8-6 and force a third and deciding set.
Chris Eubanks showed on Thursday night that he wasn't a one-trick pony as the rising senior at Georgia Tech knocked off ATP #59 Jared Donaldson 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to move into the quarterfinals at the BB&T Atlanta Open. Eubanks went down a break midway through the first set when Donaldson broke from 15/40 to go ahead 3-2 but Eubanks broke back in the next game from 30/40 and then broke again in a two-deuce game to secure the opening set 6-4. There was only one break in the second set and it came when Donaldson broke Eubanks in a four-deuce game, a game that Eubanks had led 40/15, to go up 4-3. In the third and final set Eubanks jumped out to a 3-0 lead by holding at love twice and breaking from 30/40. Eubanks added one more break to close out the match in 1 hour and 46 minutes. Next up for Eubanks is the fourth seed Ryan Harrison, who is currently ranked #42, in a match that scheduled third so it'll probably start in the 3:30 to 4:00 time frame.