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
It was another strong week on the pro tour for players with college ties. John Peers (Baylor '11) and Treat Huey (Virginia '08) won ATP doubles titles in Washington D.C. and Los Cabos respectively, Abigail Spears (UCLA '00*) won a doubles title at the Bank of the West in Stanford, and 13 others won at the Futures level. There were three singles titles won by players with college ties while another three finished as runner-up including Kevin Anderson (Illinois '07*) who lost in the finals of the ATP 500 in Washington D.C.
Joao Monteiro (Virginia Tech '16) won his third singles title of the year, fourth career, with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Javier Marti at the $25K Portugal F14 Futures in Porto. Monteiro only dropped one set on the week and with the win the Portugal native picked up 27 ATP points which will move him up to a new career high of around 308 when the points are added in next week. Monteiro is now 45-15 on the year and he's made it to at least the semifinals in 10 of 18 tournaments that he's played.
Five years ago John Peers was finishing out his collegiate career at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and on Sunday he and his doubles partner Henri Kontinen won the year-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London. The match didn't exactly start off on the right foot for the Peers/Kontinen team after they dropped the opening set to Rajeev Ram (Illinois '03*) and Raven Klaasen 6-2 however Peers/Kontinen rebounded to take the second set 6-1 to set up a winner take all third set supertiebreak. The server won each of the first 16 points in the tiebreak until Peers/Kontinen earned the mini-break off the Klaasen serve to take a 9-8 lead. Peers closed it out with a service winner to make the final 2-6, 6-1, 10-8. Peers and Kontinen split $455,000 and earned 1500 ATP points while Ram and Klaasen split $245,000 and earned 800 ATP points.
John Peers (Baylor '11) was the big winner this past weekend after he and his doubles partner Henri Kontinen won their first ATP Masters 1000 event at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris. Peers, who spent three years at Middle Tennessee State before transfering to Baylor for his senior year, and Kontinen defeated the ATP No. 1 team of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 3-6, 10-6. It was the fourth title this year for the pairing and overall it was Peers's 23rd career title. Peers and Kontinen will compete at the year-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals which begin this Sunday at London's O2 Arena. There will be five former collegians in the doubles draw with Treat Huey (Virginia '08), Mike & Bob Bryan (Stanford '98*), and Rajeev Ram (Illinois '03) joining Peers.
Another round of Davis Cup action is in the books with a handful of former college guys competing along with one current player. Duke junior Nicolas Alvarez clinched Peru's Davis Cup tie against Venezuela by defeating Jordi Munoz-Abreu 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(2), 6-1. Alvarez's win means that Peru will be promoted from Group 2 to Group 1 when Davis Cup starts up against next year.