Sunday, 27 December 2015 00:11

2016 Season Preview - Stanford Cardinal

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Optimism is in the air on The Farm as year two of the Paul Goldstein era has many of the Cardinal faithful believing that a return to prominence is much closer than originally anticipated.
Stanford was the undisputed king of men's college tennis from 1977 to 2000 winning an astonishing 15 National Championships but since 2000 the Cardinal have only made it past the quarterfinals once (2003) and have only advanced to the Final 16 site 8 times. The last time Stanford made it to the Round of 16 was 2012 so the current 3-year drought is the program's longest since the dual-match format was instituted in 1977.

If you look at the TRN's recruiting rankings you'll notice that the Cardinal almost always has a top 5 recruiting class (#1 in 2014) but the player development was sliding towards the end of John Whitlinger's 10-year stint. The 3-man class of 2013 has only started 9 dual-matches in the past 2 years and only 2 of 4 guys from the class of 2012 were contributors last season.  

Paul Goldstein was hired on June 24th, 2014 and in his first year on the job he guided the Cardinal to its first Pac 12 regular season title (co-champs) since 2010 with 3 freshman in the starting 6 including 2 of the top 3. Stanford also managed to beat USC, UCLA, and Cal in the same season for the first time since 2011 and advanced out of the first round of the NCAAs for the first time since 2012.

Goldstein returns 4 starters from last year's team including 3 of his top 4 plus he has another stellar crop of freshman that are chomping at the bit for some playing time. The 2 guys that he has to replace both performed exceptionally well last year.  John Morrissey went 16-6, playing mostly at #2, while Robert Stineman went 10-5 splitting time between 4, 5, and 6. Morrissey and Stineman were Goldstein's #1 doubles team posting a stout 15-4 record.

Tom Fawcett (Soph) will be back at the top spot in the singles lineup after going 14-7 last season with all his starts coming at #1 singles. Fawcett played in 2 fall tournaments, ITA AA/NIIC, and made deep runs in both by beating 3 top 15 opponents along the way. David Wilczynski (Soph) should slide up to #2 after a strong fall which included 5 ranked wins and a singles title at the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional.

There will probably be some jockeying for the next 4 spots in the singles lineup but I wouldn't be surprised to see Maciek Romanowicz (Sr) start the season at #3. The senior from Warsaw, Poland played Washington's #1 Jake Douglas twice during the fall winning one of the matches going away and losing 7-6 in the 3rd in the other. Romanowicz didn't have the best junior season going 5-9 in dual-match play but he did have one shining moment when he came back from 5-2 down in the 3rd to beat Cal's J.T. Nishimura in the deciding match of the Big Slam.

David Hsu (Soph) will be a strong candidate to play at either #3 or #4 despite his fall results coming up a little short of expectations. Hsu's freshman year started off a little slow (lost 4 of his first 5 dual-matches) but he rallied to win 11 straight before dropping his season finale to Duke's Bruno Semenzato.

Nolan Paige (Sr) should have a spot at #5 or #6 after holding his own (12-9) last season at #4 and #5. The senior from Fairfield, Connecticut picked up some nice wins this fall by beating an in-form Alec Adamson (UC-Davis) and #64 Filip Bergevi (Cal).

The other starting spot will most likely be filled by Michael Genender (Fr) or Sameer Kumar (Fr). Both were top 5 Blue Chip recruits with Genender having the better fall results though Kumar was competitive in his losses against ranked players. I think both guys are capable of starting and putting up good results at the bottom of the lineup so Paul Goldstein really can't go wrong with either.

The other freshman on the roster is Jack Barber who didn't see any action in the fall. It is highly unlikely that Barber will play this coming season after just having another surgery on his right forearm. Barber's last junior event came back in February when he won the doubles title with Liam Caruana (Texas Fr) at a Grade 2 in Chile. Back in September 2014, Barber routed Seong Chan Hong 6-2, 6-2 in the second round of the U18 Canadian World Ranking Event in Montreal. The reason I mention that result is because Hong is currently ranked #2 in the ITF Junior World Rankings.

Anthony Tsodikov (Sr), Trey Strobel (Sr), Roy Lederman (Jr), Brandon Sutter (Jr), and Yale Goldberg (Jr) will fill the depth roles and probably won't see much action in the singles lineup.

Stanford went 21-4 in doubles last season, which was the third best winning percentage of teams that made the NCAA Tournament, but with Morrissey and Stineman gone they'll have to do some fine-tuning to their doubles pairings. Fawcett and Romanowicz went 11-3 at #2 last season while Paige and Wilczynski went 10-3.

Below are each players fall college records (singles/doubles) along with a list of accomplishments. The ranking listed in front of a player is the ITA preseason ranking. Jack Barber was the only player not to play any events during the fall.

#20 Tom Fawcett (6-2/1-3) - beat #45 Piotr Lomacki (Miami), #14 Ronnie Schneider (UNC), and #76 Marko Krickovic (Auburn) in route to a semifinal finish at the ITA All-Americans, beat #5 Quentin Monaghan (Notre Dame) and #15 Cameron Norrie (TCU) in route to a quarterfinal finish at the National Indoor Intercollegiates

David Wilczynski (9-3/3-4) - beat #36 Florian Lakat (Cal), #67 Daan Maasland (Oregon), and #62 Mitch Stewart (Wash) in route to winning the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional, made the Round of 16 at the National Indoor Intercollegiates before falling to #12 Jared Hiltzik (Illinois) 6-4 in the 3rd, beat #108 Gordon Watson (Florida) at the Napa Valley Classic, beat #123 J.C. Aragone (Virginia) at the ITA All-Americans

Maciek Romanowicz (7-3/5-3) - made the doubles final at USTA/ITA Northwest Regional (w Paige), made the Round of 16 at the Northwest Regional before falling to #92 Jake Douglas (Wash) 7-6 in the 3rd, beat #92 Jake Douglas (Wash) and #78 Samm Butler (SMU) in route to a semifinal finish at the Jack Kramer Classic

#96 David Hsu (5-4/2-3) - made the Round of 16 at the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional, beat #60 Maxx Lipman (Florida) at the Napa Valley Classic, won his opening match at the ITA All-Americans

Nolan Paige (6-3/5-2) - beat #64 Filip Bergevi (Cal) in route to a quarterfinals finish at the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional, made the doubles final at Northwest Regional (w Romanowicz)

Michael Genender (4-3/1-3) - made the Round of 16 at the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional, beat #93 Herkko Pollanen (Ohio St) at the ITA All-Americans

Sameer Kumar (4-4/2-3) - won a main draw and consolation match at the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional, was competitive in his 2 losses to ranked players at the All-Americans (#63 Steinbach 7-6, 6-1 and #112 Jebens 6-4, 7-6)

Anthony Tsodikov (5-4/4-5) - made the Round of 16 at the Battle in the Bay Classic

Roy Lederman (3-7/3-2) - made the doubles final at the Aggie Invitational (w Sutter)

Trey Strobel (4-9/6-6) - made the Round of 16 in doubles at the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional (w Wilczynski)

Brandon Sutter (3-4/3-2) - made the doubles final at the Aggie Invitational (w Lederman)

Yale Goldberg (0-3/1-2) - participated at the UCSB Classic

Projected Depth Chart:
1. Tom Fawcett
2. David Wilczynski
3. Maciek Romanowicz
4. David Hsu
5. Nolan Paige
6. Michael Genender
7. Sameer Kumar
8. Anthony Tsodikov
9. Roy Lederman
10. Trey Strobel
11. Brandon Sutter
12. Yale Goldberg
**Jack Barber - most likely won't play this season

Players With A Current ATP Singles Ranking as of 12/21/15 - high in ( )
#1631 - Tom Fawcett (1595)
#1786 - Sameer Kumar (1729)
#1786 - David Wilczynski (1736)

Universal Tennis Rating as of 12/25/15:
14.36 - Tom Fawcett
13.97 - Sameer Kumar
13.80 - David Wilczynski
13.74 - Michael Genender
13.46 - David Hsu
13.35 - Maciek Romanowicz
13.23 - Jack Barber (10%)
13.22 - Nolan Paige
12.69 - Anthony Tsodikov
12.65 - Brandon Sutter
12.54 - Yale Goldberg
11.96 - Roy Lederman
11.44 - Trey Strobel

Universal Tennis Rating as of 6/3/15
14.39 - Tom Fawcett
13.93 - David Wilczynski
13.67 - David Hsu
13.60 - Michael Genender
13.48 - Sameer Kumar
13.39 - Nolan Paige
13.22 - Maciek Romanowicz
12.85 - Jack Barber
12.83 - Yale Goldberg
12.52 - Brandon Sutter
12.48 - Anthony Tsodikov
12.22 - Trey Strobel
11.84 - Roy Lederman

Pre-College Ratings/Rankings:

Peak ITF Junior Ranking:
#46 - Sameer Kumar
#82 - Trey Strobel
#98 - Maciek Romanowicz
#156 - Jack Barber
#157 - Michael Genender
#254 - Roy Lederman
#778 - Anthony Tsodikov
#883 - Brandon Sutter
#943 - Nolan Paige
#1117 - Yale Goldberg

TennisRecruiting.Net Star Rating/High Ranking (Americans Only)
Blue Chip #2 - Tom Fawcett
Blue Chip #2 - Sameer Kumar
Blue Chip #3 - Nolan Paige
Blue Chip #4 - Michael Genender
Blue Chip #6 - Roy Lederman
Blue Chip #7 - Trey Strobel
Blue Chip #7 - Anthony Tsodikov
Blue Chip #8 - David Hsu
Blue Chip #21 - David Wilczynski
Blue Chip #22 - Brandon Sutter
5-star #49 - Yale Goldberg
Not Rated - Jack Barber

TRN Yearly Recruiting Rankings:
2015 - #4 - (Genender, Kumar, Barber)
2014 - #1 - (Fawcett, Wilczynski, Hsu)
2013 - #5 - (Lederman, Sutter, Goldberg)
2012 - #2 - (Romanowicz, Paige, Strobel, Tsodikov)

2016-17 Recruiting Class:
William Genesen - Tulsa, OK - TRN Blue Chip #7 - UTR 13.56

                                            2016 ROSTER


It won't take long to find out what this year's team is made of because they open up with a tough Virginia Tech team in New York City during the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. If they get past Virginia Tech they'd face the winner of the Columbia/Minnesota match; if they fall to Virginia Tech they'd face the loser of the Columbia/Minnesota match. The Cardinal should get past San Diego State and Santa Clara before they head to Austin to play TCU and Texas on back-to-back days. They should beat an extremely young Texas team that had to replace its top 3 but they'll be underdogs versus TCU. If they qualified for the National Indoors on the Kick-Off Weekend they'd head to Charlottesville; if they didn't qualify they'll spend the extra days preparing for the "Big Slam" against Cal. The following weekend they welcome in USC and UCLA with both listed as non-conference matches. During conference play Stanford has to go to USC, UCLA, and Cal so if they are going to repeat as conference champions they'll have to get it done on the road. 

2015 STATS

Returning singles starters: Tom Fawcett (1), David Wilczynski (3), David Hsu (4), Nolan Paige (6)
Departing singles starters: John Morrissey (2), Robert Stineman (5)

Returning depth: Romanowicz, Tsodikov, Goldberg, Strobel, Sutter, Lederman 
Departing depth: None

Returning doubles starters: Fawcett/Romanowicz (2), Wilczynski/Paige (3)
Departing doubles starters: Morrissey/Stineman (1)

Tulsa or bust - this team is still extremely young but with the Pac 12 being as wide open as it is I think now is the time for them to take the next step. Repeating as conference champions will be tough because they have to go to USC and UCLA (haven't won at SC since 2009 and UCLA since 2010) but I'd be surprised if they didn't at least get a split versus those two this year. If Romanowicz can play with some consistency and if Genender and Kumar are ready for the big time I think this easily could be a 19-4 or 18-5 team. I look for Stanford to host a NCAA Regional in May and expect to see them in Tulsa for the Round of 16.


Stanford pulled out a hard fought doubles point over Duke and then won 3 first sets but Duke won all 6 second sets and started pulling away in the third in route to a 4-1 comeback win.

[1] #10 Duke def. [2] #23 Stanford 4-1
May 9, 2015 at Durham, N.C. (Ambler Tennis Stadium)
Singles competition
1. #14 Nicolas Alvarez (DU) def. #26 Tom Fawcett (STAN) 6-4, 6-0
2. #41 Jason Tahir (DU) led #71 John Morrissey (STAN) 2-6, 6-4, *5-4 unf
3. #57 Raphael Hemmeler (DU) def. David Wilczynski (STAN) 6-4, 6-4
4. Bruno Semenzato (DU) def. Davis Hsu (STAN) 6-2, 6-3
5. Chris Mengel (DU) led Robert Stineman (STAN) 5-7, 6-4, 2-1* unf
6. TJ Pura (DU) def. Nolan Paige (STAN) 5-7, 6-4, 6-3
Doubles competition
1. #9 John Morrissey/Robert Stineman (STAN) def. #20 Hemmeler/Alvarez (DU) 8-7 (3)
2. #69 Tom Fawcett/Maciek Romanowicz (STAN) def. Tahir/Josh Levine (DU) 8-6
3. David Wilczynski/Nolan Paige (STAN) led Semenzato/Pura. (DU) 7-6
Match Notes
Duke 24-6; National ranking #10
Stanford 18-7; National ranking #23
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (1,4,3,6)
NCAA Team Championship Second Round
Duke advances to NCAA Team Championship Round of 16
T-3:48 A-172
Read 811 times Last modified on Friday, 22 July 2016 07:34


Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.