The USTA announced that the popular College MatchDay series will return to Lake Nona in 2018 with eight matches scheduled between February 3rd and April 15th. The series kicks off with the Florida State and Florida men and women playing simultaneously and then a week later the Georgia and Georgia Tech men will play on February 9. The USTA National Campus drew over 5300 fans a year ago including just under 1800 for Florida State's upset win over Florida. “Last year, College MatchDay cemented itself as the bowl series of college tennis, with marquee matches and elite programs,” said USTA Collegiate Tennis Director Stephen Amritraj via the USTA's release. “It is quickly turning the USTA National Campus into the 'Home of College Tennis,' with a devoted fan base and incredible atmosphere."
The full College MatchDay schedule for next year is listed below plus they'll be plenty of other college matches scheduled for Lake Nona as well.
Saturday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. ET: Florida vs. Florida State men and women
Friday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. ET: Georgia vs. Georgia Tech men
Saturday, Feb. 24, at 10:30 a.m. ET: Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M men
Saturday, March 3, at 12:30 p.m. ET: UCF vs. Michigan men and women
Sunday, April 1, at 5 p.m. ET: Florida vs. Texas women
Sunday, April 15, at 5:30 p.m. ET: UCF vs. South Florida men
Last Friday night Mackenzie McDonald and Danielle Collins were selected by a panel of six as the two inaugural winners of the Oracle US Tennis Awards. Both McDonald and Collins, who were the 2016 NCAA singles champions, won a $100,000 grant to help with their transition from college to professional tennis. Collins, who was actually a two-time NCAA singles champion, currently has a career-high WTA ranking of 237 after having no ranking when she graduated from Virginia last May. McDonald, who left UCLA after his junior year, currently has a career-high ATP ranking of 245 after having a ranking of 427 when he officially turned pro. The full release is available on the ITA's site at this link.
12 players with collegiate ties won pro titles last week with 10 of those titles coming within the United States.
Jarmere Jenkins (Virginia '13) won his first singles title of the year, seventh of his career, with a 6-1, 7-5 win over #292 Marc Polmans in the final of the $25K Australia F6 Futures in Brisbane. Interesting to note that five of Jenkins's seven career titles have come in Australia. Here was article on the match from Tennis Australia.
Santa Clara Athletic Director Renee Baumgartner announced the hiring of Niall Angus as the Broncos' new men's head coach. Angus, who graduated from Texas A&M in 2013, joined the staff last year as an assistant coach. Angus replaces Derek Mills who retired after nine seasons.
Virginia's Thai-Son Kwiatkowski and Danielle Collins gave the Cavaliers a clean sweep on Saturday afternoon at the American Collegiate Invitational in New York City. Kwiatkowski needed just 65 minutes to dispatch Georgia's Austin Smith 6-2, 6-2 while Collins defeated Michigan's Ronit Yurovsky 6-2, 6-4 in 1 hour and 21 minutes.
Kwiatkowski won a stout 73% of the points on his serve and topped that off by winning 50% of the points on Smith's serve.
Virginia senior Thai-Son Kwiatkowski will meet recent Georgia graduate Austin Smith on Saturday in the men's final of the American Collegiate Invitational while it'll be recent Michigan graduate Ronit Yurovsky taking on the two-time NCAA singles champion and Virginia graduate Danielle Collins in the women's final.
Thai-Son Kwiatkowski needed just 53 minutes to get past Stanford junior Tom Fawcett 6-2, 6-0. Kwiatkowski won 64% of the points on Fawcett's serve and converted six of seven break points with Fawcett only landing 38% of his first serves. Kwiatkowski won 24 of 31 points in the 22 minute second set.
Virginia senior and top seed Thai-Son Kwiatkowski advanced to the semifinals at the American Collegiate Invitational after Arkansas senior Mike Redlicki retired down 6-4, 3-0. Kwiatkowski broke Redlicki to go ahead 5-4 in the first and then after serving the set out he broke two more times before Redlicki threw in the towel. Below is a post-match comment from Arkansas head coach Andy Jackson via Arkansas's website: