Bobby Knight

Bobby Knight

The final women's singles rankings of the fall are out and the top three players are from the unlikely locales of Kansas, Florida Atlantic, and Florida International. Kansas junior Anastasia Rychagova, who won the consolation draw at the All-Americans, jumped from No. 35 to No. 1 after picking up nine ranked wins including three over top 10 opponents. Rychagova becomes the first Kansas player to ever hold the top spot in the singles ranking. 

Florida Atlantic sophomore Aliona Bolsova moved up from No. 30 to No. 2 after making the finals at the All-Americans. Bolsova picked up six ranked wins in her run from the qualifying draw to the final. Florida International senior Andrea Lazaro moved up from No. 29 to No. 3 after winning the National Fall Championships. Lazaro's six wins at Indian Wells all came over top 25 opponents plus she added three additional ranked wins en route to making the semifinals at the All-Americans. 

Duke's Samantha Harris and Kelly Chen are the top ranked doubles team after going 9-2 (seven ranked wins) with semifinals showings at both of the fall majors. The second ranked doubles team is also from Duke with the All-American doubles champs Ellyse Hamlin and Kaitlyn McCarthy claiming that spot after going 8-2 (five ranked wins). According to Duke's release this is the first time that the top two spots in the doubles rankings have belonged to the same school since Stanford did it in 1990. 

Typically the ITA only releases one set of individual rankings in the fall, with those being preseason rankings in early September, but today they released a second set of individual rankings which took into account all the results from the past two months. UCLA senior Martin Redlicki jumped up from No. 24 to No. 1 in the men's singles rankings after going 9-2 with a finals appearance at the All-Americans in Tulsa and a semifinal appearance at the National Fall Championships in California. Redlicki picked up four top 10 wins during the fall with wins over Wake's Petros Chrysochos, Oregon's Thomas Laurent, Florida's Alfredo Perez, and Michigan's Alex Knight. Redlicki's only losses came to No. 2 William Blumberg (UNC) and No. 3 Nuno Borges (Miss St). 

Florida's Johannes Ingildsen and Alfredo Perez were the top ranked doubles team after going 7-1. The Florida duo won the All-Americans with wins over three top 10 teams plus they made it to the quarterfinals at the National Fall Championships. 

For the second week in a row a former Stanford Cardinal claimed a singles title as Carol Zhao won the biggest singles title of her pro career at the ITF $100K event in Shenzhen, China. Zhao started off the week with a 6-4 (ret.) win over the No. 7 seed Anna Zaja and then in the second round she came back from a 5-1 third set deficit to defeat former top 30 player Laura Robson 6-1, 4-6, 7-5. Zhao defeated Xu Liu Sun 7-5, 6-4 in the quarterfinals and then in the semifinals she won 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 over Yuxuan Zhang. In the final, Zhao ousted the No. 4 seed Fangzhou Liu 7-5, 6-2 in 1 hour and 19 minutes. The singles title is the second of Zhao's career with the other coming back in August at a $25K event in Japan. 

Zhao entered the week with a WTA ranking of 221 but with the title and corresponding 140 points she moved up 71 spots to a new career high of 150. Zhao also picked up a nice payday of $15,200. Zhao's former teammate Kristie Ahn won an $80K event last week in Tyler, Texas. 

Friday, 10 November 2017 20:06

National Signing Day

National Signing Day was this past Wednesday with hundreds of high school seniors signing their national letters of intent. The Tennis Recruiting Network has been doing a tremendous job with its Fall Signing Week coverage with article after article profiling several of the signees so if you haven't visited their site recently I highly recommend doing so.

It's always interesting to look back at the recruiting rankings from years past to see who excelled and who did not. If you look back at TRN's Blue Chips from 2014 several of them are top of the lineup players, some are solid contributors in the middle to lower part of the lineup, and a few quit playing. 

I put all the blue chip, five-star, and some of the known international signees from TRN into a spreadsheet and added their respective Universal Tennis Ratings. There aren't any sure things but several of these guys and girls look like can't miss prospects. 

Kristie Ahn won her second singles title of the year, seventh career, after defeating two-time NCAA singles champion Danielle Collins in the final of the $80K RBC Pro Challenge in Tyler, Texas. The match started off with three consecutive breaks until Ahn held for 3-1. The rest of the opening set was all holds, including a six-deuce hold by Ahn for 5-3, as Ahn would go on to take it 6-4. Ahn went up an early break in the second set but Collins back on serve at 4-4. However Ahn would break back at love for 5-4 and then go on to serve it out in a one-deuce game to claim the title with a 6-4, 6-4 win. 

Ahn earned $12,000 and picked up 115 WTA ranking points which moved her ranking up to a new career of 106. As the runner-up Collins earned $6,500 and picked up 70 WTA ranking points which moved her ranking up from 206 to 167. 

Mississippi State junior Nuno Borges finished off a dominating week in California by winning the men's singles title at the Oracle/ITA National Fall Championships. Borges hadn't dropped a set all week entering Sunday's final against Wake Forest junior Petros Chrysochos and that wouldn't change in the 1 hour and 10 minute match. 

Borges faced an early break point on his 1-1 service game but he managed to hold on the no-ad point when Chrysochos missed a forehand wide. Borges had three break points on Chrysochos's 2-3 service game but the Wake junior fought them off to hold for 3-3. Borges had a pair of set points on Chrysochos's 4-5 service game but Chrysochos hit an overhead to bring up the no-ad point and then he hit a service winner to get the hold for 5-5. Borges held easily for 6-5 and then he went up 15/40 and would get the break from 30/40 to take the opening set 7-5. 

Borges fought off a pair of break points to start the second set and then he had four break points himself but Chrysochos came back from 0/40 down to hold for 1-1. Borges held on the no-ad point, with a service winner, for 2-1 and then he broke Chrysochos from 15/40 for 3-1. Borges held for 4-1 and then Chrysochos fought off a break point to hold for 2-4. After an exchange of holds, Borges came back from 0/30 down to hold on the no-ad point, via a service winner, to clinch the championship. 

The finals are set at the Oracle/ITA National Fall Championships with Mississippi State junior Nuno Borges set to meet Wake Forest junior Petros Chrysochos in the men's final while Duke senior Samantha Harris and Florida International senior Andrea Lazaro will meet in the women's final. 

Nuno Borges rolled through the first set against UCLA senior Martin Redlicki taking it 6-2 but Redlicki turned the tide in the second set and went in front 4-1. Borges fought back and after holding for 2-4 he'd break from 30/40 to put it back on serve at 3-4. Borges held for 4-4 and then broke on the no-ad point after a good angled forehand forced a Redlicki backhand miss. Borges would make it five straight games and would close it out when a drop shot skimmed the net cord and fell in for a winner. 

Petros Chrysochos came out of the gates a little slow against Thomas Laurent with the Oregon junior taking an early 2-0 lead but the match would take a sharp turn in Chrysochos's favor. The Wake Forest junior went on to win 12 of the next 14 games to close out Laurent 6-2, 6-2.

Chrysochos was back on the court later in the day as he and senior Skander Mansouri advanced to the doubles final with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Louisville's Chris Kougoucheff and Parker Wynn. Chrysochos and Mansouri will meet Texas's Rodrigo Banzer and Leo Telles in the final after the Texas duo held on to defeat Wisconsin's Chema Carranza and Josef Dodridge 6-2, 3-6, 12-10. Banzer and Telles had match points at 9-7, 9-8, and 10-9 before finally converting at 11-10.

Friday was a busy day at the Oracle/ITA National Fall Championships with two rounds of singles contested and by the time the dust had settled we had our final four. On the men's side, three of the top five seeds advanced to the semifinals with the top seed Nuno Borges (Miss St) the only one not to drop a set. Borges will meet UCLA's Martin Redlicki after the Bruin senior won a pair of three setters. Redlicki came back from a set down to defeat Tennessee's Timo Stodder in the Round of 16 and then in the quarterfinals against Wake's Skander Mansouri he squandered four match points at *5-4 (40/0) in the third but he still managed to pull it out in a tiebreak by a 7-4 score. 

Wake's Petros Chrysochos booked his spot in the semifinals with a close three set win over Ohio State's JJ Wolf and a straight set win over Florida's Alfredo Perez. Against Wolf, Chrysochos was broke serving for the match up 5-4 in the third but he managed to break back at love for 6-5 and then he held from 40/30 to take it 6-4, 4-6, 7-5. 

Thomas Laurent will be up next for Chrysochos after the Oregon junior defeated Virginia's Aswin Lizen in straight sets and Georgia Gwinnett's Kevin Konfederak in a third set tiebreak. 

FIU's Andrea Lazaro made it to the semifinals at the All-American Championships a month ago and on Friday she matched that result at the Fall Nats after a pair of straight set wins over Oklahoma State's Vladica Babic and North Carolina's Alle Sanford. 

Vanderbilt's Fernanda Contreras and Texas's Bianca Turati are the only two left that have yet to drop a set. Contreras won a close first set over LMU's Veronica Miroshnichenko before pulling away in the second set. Then a few hours later she edged Clemson's Marie Leduc after Leduc had routed Stanford's Emily Arbuthnott.

It looked Turati and Stanford's Michaela Gordon were headed to a third set in their Round of 16 match after Gordon opened up a double break 5-2 lead in the second set. However Turati would break on the no-ad point for 3-5, break again on the no-ad point for 5-5, and then after getting broke herself she'd break on yet another no-ad point to force a tiebreak. Gordon had a fifth set point up 6-5* in the tiebreak and a sixth one up *7-6 but Turati rallied to win the final three points to close it out 6-2, 7-6(7). Turati rolled through her quarterfinal match against Texas Tech's Gabriela Talaba to set up a semifinal showdown against Duke's Samantha Harris. 

Harris won both her matches in straight sets with the first over Denver's Julia O'Loughlin and the second over the No. 2 seed Pepperdine's Ashley Lahey. Harris broke O'Loughlin on the no-ad point to take the first set 6-4 and then in the second she broke O'Loughlin on the no-ad point, after O'Loughlin led 40/0, to close it out 6-4, 6-4. 

The second day of the Oracle/ITA National Fall Championships saw 14 of 16 men's matches finish in straight sets with 10 of the original 16 seeds advancing to Friday's Round of 16. The top seed Mississippi State's Nuno Borges rolled to a 6-3, 6-1 win over Kentucky's Ryo Matsumura while the No. 2 seed USC's Brandon Holt was upset by Florida State's Lucas Poullain 6-3, 6-4. Texas A&M's Jordi Arconada won the quickest match of the day after his opponent Alexis Galarneau retired early in the first set due to illness. Virginia's Aswin Lizen accounted for the other upset with a 6-0, 6-2 thrashing of Baylor's Johannes Schretter who was the No. 8 seed. 

Georgia Gwinnett's Kevin Konfederak advanced to the Round of 16 with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Ohio State's Kyle Seelig. The NAIA Oracle Cup Champion won 85% of the points on Seelig's second serve and broke him six times. 

There are just nine seeds left on the women's side after No. 4, No. 6, No. 7, No. 10, and No. 15 were defeated on Thursday. Seven of 16 matches went the distance which included Denver's Julia O'Loughlin coming back from a set down to defeat No. 7 Miami's Sinead Lohan 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.  

Texas's Bianca Turati pulled off the biggest upset of the day (by seed) with a 7-6, 6-2 win over No. 4 seed UCLA's Ena Shibahara. The highest remaining seed left is Pepperdine's Ashley Lahey who held off Virginia's Rosie Johanson 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. 

The doubles draws have already reached the quarterfinals with the biggest surprise being Wesleyan's Eudice Chong and Victoria Yu. The Oracle Cup Champs defeated UNC's Jessie Aney and Alexa Graham in the opening round and then in the second round they outlasted Kentucky's Mami Adachi and Akvile Parazinskaite 6-2, 5-7, 10-8. Chong and Yu qualified for the Fall Nats by only dropping 16 games in five matches at the Oracle Cup with the first three matches coming against D3 foes while the final two came against the NAIA and D2 champs.   

Full singles results are available down below plus the ITA's event page has doubles results. There will be two rounds of singles on Friday.

The opening day of the Oracle/ITA National Fall Championships saw most of the top seeds pull through however there were a couple of big upsets on the women's side. Oklahoma State senior Vladica Babic (11.27) rolled the top seed Florida senior Anna Danilina (12.10) 6-3, 6-1 while Ole Miss senior Arianne Hartono (11.53) came back from a set down to defeat the No. 3 seed Cal senior Karla Popovic (11.86) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. The No. 2 and No. 4 seeds also got all they wanted with Pepperdine sophomore Ashley Lahey (11.92) holding off Purdue junior Silvia Ambrosio (10.70) 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-3 while UCLA sophomore Ena Shibahara (11.82) edged TCU senior Aleksandra Zenovka (11.05) 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(5).

The men's top seed Mississippi State junior Nuno Borges won his opening over Texas junior Leonardo Telles 7-5, 6-1 while the No. 2 seed USC sophomore Brandon Holt defeated Virginia Tech junior Mitch Harper 6-3, 6-2. The highest seed to fall was the No. 10 seed Florida sophomore Johannes Ingildsen (14.20) who lost 6-1, 7-5 to Notre Dame junior Alex Lebedev (13.69). 

Both Ohio State and Florida State went 3-0 on the men's side while Georgia went 1-3. 

The ITA's event page will have doubles results after all the matches finish along with singles start times for Thursday's Round of 32. 

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