While there were several matches played on Tuesday the big story was the names released in a federal investigation into a college admissions scheme where coaches were taking payments to label prospective applicants as athletes to increase their chances of getting accepting. University of Texas head coach Michael Center was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud after reportedly accepting approximately $100,000 to designate a 2015 applicant as a tennis recruit. The unnamed applicant was accepted at Texas and subsequently enrolled in school but never played tennis. Center was placed on administrative leave by the school with associate head coach Bruce Berque named interim head coach. The charges against Center are linked here and and an article from Hook'Em is linked here. Center appeared in court on Tuesday and plead not guilty and was released on a $50,000 bond.
Current Rhode Island women's head coach Gordon Ernst, who was hired in August after serving as head coach at Georgetown for 12 years before departing unexpectedly, was charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering. Ernst is reported to have accepted approximately $2.7M in bribes to help facilitate the acceptance of multiple applicants over a six year period at Georgetown. Ernst has been placed on administrative leave according to this statement from Rhode Island. The full details of Ernst's case are at this link. The school website doesn't list any other coaches so I'm not sure who has taken over in the interim. Ernst appeared in court on Tuesday and was released on a $200,000 bond.
Full details on the entire case and all the charges brought against multiple individuals are linked here and there's plenty of other info out there all over the internet.
Top-ranked Ohio State suffered its first loss of the year on Monday night falling 4-3 to #28/#20 Texas A&M in a match that wasn't as close as the final score. The Buckeyes, who were playing without JJ Wolf (Drummondville Challenger), took the early 1-0 lead after 6-4 wins at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles but the Aggies stormed back in singles taking five opening sets. A&M freshman Noah Schachter tied the match at 1-1 with a 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 5 over Tim Seibert who was playing in just his third dual-match of the year and first against a Power 5 opponent. A&M took the lead with a 6-2, 7-6 win by Hady Habib at No. 2 and Valentin Vacherot put them a point away after a 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 win at No. 3.
A&M sophomore Barnaby Smith clinched the upset with a 7-6, 6-3 win at No. 4. The final two matches were played out with Ohio State's John McNally winning 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 at No. 1 while Hunter Tubert won 6-7, 7-6, 10-4 at No. 6.
Per the Texas A&M recap it was the just the second time in school history that the Ags had defeated a top ranked opponent with the other coming in 2015 against Oklahoma.
Wolf won his opening round match in Canada over former Cal Bear Andre Goransson and will meet former Virginia Cavalier Thai-Son Kwiatkowski in the second round on Tuesday. Ohio State's next match is set for Thursday in Austin against Texas so if Wolf were to beat Kwiatkowski and then the winner of Yannick Maden (Clemson '13) and Dennis Novikov (UCLA '13) he'd probably miss it.
Former USC Trojan Yannick Hanfmann won his sixth career pro singles title and first at the Challenger-level after a tough three set win over Italy's Lorenzo Sonego in the final of the $43K Wolffkran Open in Ismaning, Germany. Hanfmann broke Sonego in the opening game of the match and then only dropped five points on serve en route to taking the first set 6-4. Sonego bounced back and took the second set 6-3 and then he broke Hanfmann at love to go ahead 2-1 in the third set. Hanfmann got it back on serve at 4-4 after breaking Soengo in a five-deuce game and then a few games later he'd break again to win it 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. Hanfmann won $6190 and picked up 80 ATP ranking points which moved his singles ranking up to a new career high of 114.
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."
Ohio State rising sophomore JJ Wolf is one win away from earning a main draw wild card into the US Open after he defeated Cornell commit Alafia Ayeni 6-3, 6-1 in the semifinals of the USTA Boys 18 National Championship in Kalamazoo. Wolf's previous best singles performance at the Zoo was two years ago when he made it to the semifinals of the Boys 16 before falling to Patrick Kypson who then went on to win the title the next day. It just so happens that Wolf's opponent in Sunday's final will be Patrick Kypson after the 17 year-old from Greenville, North Carolina, rolled to a 6-0, 6-3 win over Ryan Goetz. Colette Lewis has plenty of quotes from Saturday's action in her recap on ZooTennis so make sure you check that out.
The final is best of five sets and there will be a live broadcast available at this link.
Ohio State rising sophomore JJ Wolf was a set away from winning the 2017 USTA Boys 18 National Championship in Kalamazoo but Patrick Kypson fought back to win the fourth and fifth sets to come away with the title and US Open main draw wild card. Kypson had the upper-hand for most of the first set with the 17-year old from Greenville (NC) holding serve rather quickly while Wolf had to work for his holds. Kypson had five set points on Wolf's serve, three at 4-5 and two at 5-6, but Wolf fought them off and then surprisingly cruised through the tiebreak 7-1.
Kypson earned his first break of the match in the second set when he broke Wolf for 3-2 but it looked like Wolf might get it back on serve. After Wolf held for 4-5, he had three break points to even it at 5-5 but Kypson managed to hold which gave him a 6-4 set.
Wolf jumped on Kypson early in the third set with a break for 2-0 and then after adding a second break for 5-1 he served out the set to take it 6-1.
Ohio State rising sophomore and No. 5 seed JJ Wolf advanced to the semifinals at the USTA Boys 18 National Championships in Kalamazoo, Michigan, after ousting the top seed Sam Riffice. Wolf, who enrolled at Ohio State last January a month after turning 18, came back after dropping the first set to defeat Riffice (2018 Florida commit) 5-7, 6-4, 6-1. Wolf's semifinal opponent will be the No. 12 seed Alafia Ayeni after the Cornell commit came back from a set down to defeat the No. 8 seed Danny Thomas (2018 uncommitted) 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4.
Ryan Goetz (2018 uncommitted) entered the week as the No. 29 seed but he's now won all five matches in straight sets after taking out the No. 6 seed John McNally (Ohio State commit) 6-3, 7-6(4). Goetz, who also beat the No. 3 seed Trent Bryde in the fourth round, will now face the No. 2 seed Patrick Kypson (2018 uncommitted). Kypson has yet to drop a set either after the Greenville (NC) native defeated the No. 7 seed Sebastian Korda 6-4, 7-6(4).
The winner of Sunday's championship match earns a main draw wild card into this year's US Open while the runner-up earns a qualifying draw wild card.
To get match recaps along with plenty of quotes make sure you check out ZooTennis with Colette Lewis doing a fantastic job as always covering her hometown tournament.
The USTA announced the six-member team that will represent the United States in the 11th annual Master'U BNP Paribas International Collegiate Team Competition which will take place from December 1st - 4th in Marcq-en-Baroeul, France. The team will be comprised of North Carolina senior Hayley Carter, Ohio State sophomore Francesca Di Lorenzo, UCLA freshman Ena Shibahara, Georgia Tech junior Chris Eubanks, Stanford junior Tom Fawcett, and Northwestern senior Strong Kirchheimer and will be coached by Boise State men's head coach Greg Patton. Team USA has won the World Team Tennis style event five years in a row and six times in the event's 10-year history. The other seven countries participating are Belgium, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, and Russia. Here was a brief recap I did of last year's final which was a 4-1 win over France.