USTA Rankings Released, TCU Wins Big 12 With Win Over Baylor, Kalbas Breaks UNC Wins Record, Pepperdine Puts One Over on USC, Upset in Big SouthWritten by Bobby Knight
The latest USTA Top 25 is out with both the Wake Forest men and Florida women remaining at No. 1 although their leads at the top are as slim as they've been. On the men's side Virginia is just two votes back at No. 2 while on the women's side Ohio State is only one vote behind Florida. There was no change in the men's top six though Baylor moved up two spots to No. 7 while USC dropped one spot to No. 8 and Texas dropped two spots to No. 9. Florida, South Carolina, and Oregon made the biggest jumps by coming up four spots each to No. 15, No. 18, and No. 21. Georgia Tech took the biggest tumble by dropping five spots to No. 19 after a tough loss at unranked Virginia Tech. Coincidently Columbia only dropped one spot to No. 19 after it fell to unranked Harvard.
The women's top four remained the same though Vanderbilt shot up six spots to No. 5 after its big win over Florida last Sunday. Pepperdine came up four spots to No. 8 after defeating Stanford and Texas A&M came up six spots to No. 18 after defeating Georgia in Athens. Texas Tech and Auburn each dropped four spots to No. 10 and No. 22 after T-Tech lost to unranked TCU while Auburn fell to Arkansas.
The Tulane men and TCU women were the only newcomers to this week's poll with each coming in at No. 25. The Kentucky men and LSU women were the only two to fall out after each lost a pair of matches over the weekend.
NCAA Announces Sites for Future Championships, ITA Releases 4/18 Rankings, Analysis of NCAA Cut-Off (Premium)Written by Bobby Knight
On Tuesday afternoon the NCAA announced the host sites for the 2019-2022 NCAA Championships with the National Tennis Center in Lake Nona the big winner. The new "Home of American Tennis" was awarded the 2019 and 2021 NCAA Division I Championships plus the 2022 NCAA Division III Championships. The full release from the USTA is available here. Oklahoma State University was awarded the 2020 NCAA D1 Championships, which will be the first time Stillwater has hosted, while the University of Illinois was chosen as host of the 2022 NCAA D1 Championships. Illinois previously hosted four years ago in 2013 when Virginia won its first national championship on the infamous net touch by Puget on championship point for UCLA. Below in the table are the sites for the next five years with 2018 sites announced several years ago.
Monday was a light day for competition with many teams gearing up for conference tournaments this weekend but there was one match of substance that took place in Tampa between No. 26 South Florida and No. 34 Memphis. Memphis put itself in great shape to take the doubles point after winning 6-3 at No. 1 and leading 4-0 at No. 2 but South Florida's Justin Roberts and Peter Bertran came storming back to win the decider in a tiebreak by an 8-6 score. In singles action, South Florida took opening sets at 2, 3, 5, and 6 and Alberto Barroso Campos and Vadym Kalyuzhnyy would close out their matches at 3 and 5 in straight sets to make it 3-0. USF junior Peter Bertran would get the clincher at No. 4 with a come from behind 1-6, 6-3, 6-0 win and with that win South Florida locked up the top seed in this week's American Conference Tournament which will be held in Orlando at the USTA National Campus.
Wild Day in the SEC (Women), Oregon Upsets Stanford, Michigan Slides Past Northwestern, Alabama State Men & Women Win SWAC TourneyWritten by Bobby Knight
Sunday was as wild a day as it gets in the SEC with four lower ranked women's teams picking up wins with two of those wins coming over No. 1 Florida and No. 2 Georgia. The SEC is the only Power 5 Women's Conference to have its conference tournament this coming week so many of these same teams will see each other much sooner than they had probably hoped. Sunday was a day of redemption for some teams on the men's side with both Oregon and Michigan overcoming tough losses to pick up a top 25 win.
Aggie Avalanche Smothers Georgia, Harvard Upsets Columbia, Virginia Tech Stings Georgia Tech, Illini Tops Michigan, TCU Women Over Texas TechWritten by Bobby Knight
Georgia came into Saturday's match at Texas A&M with an undefeated conference record but a few hours later they'd be undefeated no more as Texas A&M played a tremendous match and came away with the win and the top seed in the SEC Tournament. Georgia was 16-5 in doubles coming into the match while Texas A&M was just 9-13 but it'd be the Aggies that'd get off to the quick start by picking up breaks at No. 1 and No. 2.
Texas A&M's AJ Catanzariti and Arthur Rinderknech jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead at No. 1 doubles against the ITA No. 2 team of Jan Zielinski and Robert Loeb and they refused to let Georgia get back in the match. Texas A&M's Jordi Arconada and Hady Habib went up an early break at No. 2 however Georgia's Paul Oosterbaan and Nathan Ponwith would break back to even it at 2-2. Arconada and Habib returned the favor and broke for 3-2, Habib held for 4-2, and then A&M broke again via a Ponwith double fault for 5-2. Over at No. 3, it stayed on serve until Georgia's Wayne Montgomery and Walker Duncan broke Max Lunkin to go ahead 5-3.
Cal came into Friday evenings match against No. 23 Oregon with a perfect 33-0 record all-time against the Ducks but the streak nearly came to an end. Cal picked up the all-important doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 3 but Oregon came back in singles and picked up three quick straight set wins from Akihiro Tanaka, Cormac Clissold, and Ty Gentry to go in front 3-1. Cal came back to tie it up with Andre Goransson and Filip Bergevi each winning in straight sets so the match would be decided in a third set at No. 1 between a pair of Frenchmen.
Cal senior Florian Lakat (Paris) took the first set 6-4 but Oregon sophomore Thomas Laurent (Montpellier) snagged the second 7-5 after breaking Lakat's 6-5 service game. After an exchange of holds, Laurent went up 30/40 on Lakat's 1-2 service game but Lakat hit back-to-back forehand winners to hold for 2-2. Laurent held for 3-2 and then he went up 30/40 on Lakat's serve but Lakat hit back-to-back service winners to hold for 3-3. Laurent held for 4-3 and then once again he'd go up 30/40 on Lakat's serve but Lakat hit an ace out wide and then on the deciding point he hit a service winner to hold for 4-4. Laurent had been cruising on his serve all set but Lakat would break him on the no-ad point after hitting a forehand winner that just clipped the sideline right in front of the chair. Laurent actually called the shot out but the chair quickly overruled it so now Lakat was serving for the match up 5-4. Lakat would serve it out from 40/15 to give Cal a tough 4-3 win.