Monday, 10 July 2017 16:34

Chuck Merzbacher Headed to Chattanooga, Wimbledon Update, Winnipeg/Winnetka Challengers

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Chuck Merzbacher retired from coaching at the end of April but after two months off he decided to jump back in and last Friday he was named the new men's head coach at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Merzbacher coached the women's team at his alma mater, Minnesota, for the last five years and prior to that he served as the women's head coach at Ohio State for 15 years. Merzbacher replaces Carlos Garcia who stepped down after going 154-208 (.425) over the last 16 season. Below are some quotes from UTC's release:

"We are very excited to welcome Coach Merzbacher to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga," stated Chattanooga Interim Athletic Director Scott Altizer. "We are very fortunate to have Chuck and his wife Cherie join the Mocs and we look forward to the impact they will have on our men's tennis student-athletes."

"Chattanooga felt like the right fit for me as a coach," said Merzbacher. "The University and the tennis community seemed like such a great place for me to continue coaching. All of the pieces fell into place, and I am ready to get to work on improving the program.

"I would like to thank Senior Associate Athletics Director Laura Herron for her work in leading the search process for our newest head coach," added Altizer. "To land someone with this level of experience and past success says a lot about our program, our community and the potential for success at UTC."

Former Illini Kevin Anderson was the last remaining player with college ties in the singles draw but despite hammering 31 aces he fell in five sets to American Sam Querrey. Anderson fought off four matches points in the fourth set tiebreak to force a fifth set but Querrey broke for 4-2 in the final set and then held at love twice to win it 5-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3.
The Australian Open doubles champs, John Peers (Baylor) and Henri Kontinen, will meet the French Open doubles champs, Michael Venus (LSU) and Ryan Harrison, in the quarterfinals after each team won on Monday. Peers and Kontinen won in four sets while Venus and Harrison pulled out a five set win over the No. 6 seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcel Granollers. 
The Skupski Brothers (LSU) were ahead of their match two sets to one when play was halted due to darkness so they'll have to finish on Tuesday. 
Wimbledon Championships
Men's Singles - 
Fourth Round
#28 Sam Querrey def. #42 Kevin Anderson (Illinois '07*) 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-7(11), 6-3
Men's Doubles - 
Third Round
[1] John Peers (Baylor '11)/Henri Kontinen def. Nys/Sancic 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
[10] Michael Venus (LSU '09)/Ryan Harrison def. [6] Dodig/Granollers 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(7), 6-3
Ken Skupski (LSU '07)/Neal Skupski (LSU '12) vs. Daniell/Demoliner 7-6(3), 5-7, 7-6(7), to be finished..
Podlipnik-Castillo/Vasilevski def. [7] Rajeev Ram (Illinois '03*)/Raven Klaasen 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-3
Mektic/Skugor def. Robert Lindstedt (Pepperdine '98)/Sam Groth 6-7(7), 7-6(4), 7-5, 7-5
Marcin Matkowski (UCLA '03)/Max Mirnyi def. Nicholas Monroe (North Carolina '04)/Artem Sitak 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
[1] John Peers (Baylor '11)/Henri Kontinen vs. [10] Michael Venus (LSU '09)/Ryan Harrison
Marcin Matkowski (UCLA '03)/Max Mirnyi vs. [16] Oliver Marach/Mate Pavic
Recent North Carolina graduate Ronnie Schneider qualified for the main draw at the $75K Winnipeg National Bank Challenger with a close three set win over longtime rival Thai-Son Kwiatkowski. Schneider took the opening set in a tiebreak but Kwiatkowski forced a third set after taking the second 6-2. Schneider broke Kwiatkowski from 15/40 to start the third set and he'd make the break lead hold up and would win 7-6, 2-6, 6-4. Schneider will face the No. 3 seed Tatsuma Ito in the first round. 
TCU rising junior Alex Rybakov also qualified in Winnipeg with a straight set win over Ohio State rising senior Mikael Torpegaard. Rybakov opened up a 4-1 lead in the first set but Torpegaard took the next three to even it at 4-4. Rybakov held from 40/15 and then broke from 30/40 to claim the opening set 6-4. In the second set Torpegaard went in front 3-1 but Rybakov won the final five games to close it out 6-4, 6-3. Rybakov will face 16 year-old Canadian wild card Nicaise Muamba in the first round. 
Also participating in the main draw are Hugo Di Feo (Ohio State), Ray Sarmiento (USC), Jack Mingjie Lin (Columbia), Sam Monette (Indiana), Blaz Rola (Ohio State), Finn Tearney (Pepperdine), Marcos Giron (UCLA), Sekou Bangoura (Florida), Brayden Schnur (North Carolina), and Alex Sarkissian (Pepperdine). 
All four qualifiers at the $75K Nielsen Pro Tennis Challenger in Winnetka, Illinois, have college ties and in fact three of them are still in college. In the most intriguing matchup of the day Martin Redlicki (UCLA) defeated his older brother Mike Redlicki (Arkansas) 7-6, 6-3. Martin will now face Stanford rising senior Tom Fawcett in the first round. 
USC rising junior Logan Smith qualified with a 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 win over Minnesota rising senior Felix Corwin and now Smith will meet fellow qualifier Aron Hiltzik after the Illini rising senior defeated Rob Galloway (Wofford) 6-3, 6-1. The final qualifier was Illinois graduate Dennis Nevolo after he got past recent Valparaiso graduate Jeffrey Schorsch 6-0, 7-5. 
Tennys Sandgren (Tennessee), Kevin King (Georgia Tech), and Dominik Koepfer (Tulane) won first round matches on Monday while Chris Eubanks (Georgia Tech), Dennis Novikov (UCLA), Bradley Klahn (Stanford), JC Aragone (Virginia), and James McGee (NC State) will be in action on Tuesday. 
Read 867 times Last modified on Tuesday, 11 July 2017 00:06

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