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.
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.
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!
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."
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.
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.
TCU teammates Alex Rybakov and Alastair Gray remained undefeated on the grass at Newport and will face each other on Sunday with a nice prize awaiting the winner. The TCU junior and freshman won the Woodbridge/Woodforde doubles flight at the Hall of Fame ITA Grass Court Invitational by defeating last season's NCAA runner-ups Georgia's Jan Zielinski and Robert Loeb 8-7. In the Andy Roddick singles flight, Rybakov won his semifinal match over Columbia's Jackie Tang 6-4, 7-5 while Gray edged Georgia's Jan Zielinski 6-7, 6-1, 10-3. The winner of Sunday's match will earn a main draw wild card into next July's ATP 250 Hall of Fame Open while the loser will get a wild card into the qualifying draw.
North Carolina junior Jessie Aney and Florida senior Anna Danilina will meet in the final of the Kim Clijsters singles flight after Aney edged Florida senior Josie Kuhlman 6-3, 3-6, 10-8 while Danilina rollled over Princeton senior Katrine Steffensen 6-1, 6-2. The winner of Sunday's final gets a main draw wild card into a $25K USTA Pro Circuit event while the loser gets a qualifying wild card.
Georgia's Alex Phillips and Illinois's Caleb Chakravarthi will meet in the final of the Gardnar Mulloy singles flight while LSU's Eden Richardson and North Texas's Maria Kononova will square off in the Althea Gibson singles final. Full results are available on the ITA's event page.
The opening day of the Audi Napa Valley Classic was a good one for USC and Cal with their guys going a combined 6-2 in singles. Billy Griffith, JT Nishimura, and Bjorn Hoffmann were the three Bears to pick up wins while USC's wins came from Jake DeVine, Thibault Forget, and Mateusz Smolicki. Oklahoma's Aleksandre Bakshi, who transferred in from Texas A&M, spoiled the collegiate debut of Cal's Jack Molloy with a straight set win while fellow Sooner Jochen Bertsch did the same to Texas A&M's Juan Carlos Aguilar. The USTA's High Performance Junior Team went 2-6 on the day with Axel Nefve and Jaycer Lyeons picking up wins while Nathan Han was edged 7-6 in the third by Texas A&M's Valentin Vacherot. Full results from Friday are available at this link which also includes the UTRs of each player.