North Carolina sophomore William Blumberg captured the 2017 Saint Francis Health System ITA Men's All-American Championship on Monday morning with a straight set win over UCLA senior Martin Redlicki. Blumberg was dominant on his serve with the sophomore winning 77% of the points on serve while only facing one break point. Redlicki served fairly well but he had a few tough games and that was the difference in the match.
Redlicki started off the match with a no-ad hold but Blumberg took the next three games with a pair of 40/15 holds and a break from 30/40 after Redlicki netted a forehand. After Redlicki held for 2-3, he had a break opportunity on the no-ad point but his service return was just long which made it 4-2 Blumberg. It'd be all holds the rest of the set though Redlicki fought off a set point on his 3-5 service game with a service winner on the no-ad point. Blumberg closed out the set with a hold from 40/15 to take it 6-4.
Redlicki had a rough first two games of the second set with one unforced error after another giving Blumberg a love break and a love hold to make it 2-0. Neither player would face a break point the rest of the way with Blumberg only dropping six points on serve and he'd close it out with a hold from 40/15 to win it 6-4, 6-4. The ITA will probably have a clip of match point but here is a clip from UNC's Twitter that shows Blumberg tracking down a drop shot with a dropper of his own to win it.
William Blumberg continued his strong play at the $75K Levene Gouldin & Thompson Tennis Challenger in Binghamton, New York, as the North Carolina rising sophomore moved into the quarterfinals after defeating Denis Kudla (ATP 172) 6-3, 6-2. Blumberg, who got into the main draw via a wild card, won 81% of the points on his first serve and he broke Kudla six times. Blumberg will have the day off on Thursday and will be back on Friday to take on China's Ze Zhang (ATP 259). Cameron Norrie, who just recently turned pro after his junior season at TCU, also moved into the quarterfinals after he defeated Daniel Nguyen (USC '12) 6-3, 6-3. Norrie's next opponent will be the 2013 NCAA singles champion Blaz Rola after the former Ohio State Buckeye defeated Alex Bolt 6-3, 6-2.
Georgia Tech rising senior Chris Eubanks picked up his first career main draw win at the ATP-level and moved into the second round of the BB&T Atlanta Open with a straight set win over 19-year-old American Taylor Fritz. Both guys served well with each winning over 70% of the points on their serve but it was Eubanks who earned the lone break of the match and came away with the 7-6(5), 6-4 win. Eubanks was playing in the main draw of his hometown event for the third year in a row but this was the first time he was able to come away with the all-important win. Next up for Eubanks is the eighth seed Jared Donaldson.
Hayley Carter accomplished just about everything there was to accomplish in her four years at North Carolina but instead of continuing her playing career on the pro tour she has decided to start her coaching career. Oklahoma State women's head coach Chris Young announced on Thursday that Carter will become the Cowgirls new women's assistant coach replacing Matt Manasse who left to take the same position at Duke. Below are some quotes from OSU's release:
"I am excited to welcome Hayley to the Cowgirl tennis family," Young said. "I have known Hayley for a while and I value the characteristics she will bring to our program which include her worth ethic, energy, and overall competitive spirit. Hayley will be a great mentor to our current players as well as future recruits. What she has accomplished as a player is remarkable, and she will be a valuable asset for any player who has the opportunity to work with her."
"I have known Chris for six years now and am so thankful to him for the amazing opportunity he has given me to begin my college coaching career here at Oklahoma State," Carter said. "The program has proven to be one of the best in college tennis, and I am looking forward to working alongside Chris to help the girls continue to reach all of their goals. What stood out to me was not just the campus and overall academic and athletic support, but all of the people that immediately welcomed me like family. Stillwater already feels like home and I cannot wait to get started."
Tulane Athletic Director Troy Dannen announced the hiring of Maria Brito as the Green Wave's new women's head coach. Brito comes to New Orleans after spending the last four season as the assistant coach at her alma mater Clemson. Brito replaces Terri Sisk who stepped down in April after going 120-75 over the past nine seasons including 22-7 this past season. Below are some quotes from Tulane's release:
"We feel very fortunate to add Maria as the leader to our women's tennis program," Dannen stated. "Her experience as both a player and coach at the highest level, and her demonstrated commitment to all aspects of an outstanding student-athlete, are tremendous assets for our program. Maria brings high energy and enthusiasm to New Orleans and Tulane University and shares our vision for Tulane women's tennis as a consistent top-25 program."
"First and foremost, I would like to thank Troy Dannen, Rob Bernardi, Mark Booras and the entire search committee for this incredible opportunity to join such a prestigious institution," Brito stated. "I am deeply grateful and humbled to be chosen to lead Tulane's Women's Tennis Program.
Virginia senior Thai-Son Kwiatkowski capped a tremendous collegiate career by becoming Virginia's fourth NCAA singles champion after defeating North Carolina freshman William Blumberg in straight sets. Kwiatkowski broke Blumberg in the opening game of the match but Blumberg managed to break back for 1-1. It stayed on serve until Kwiatkowski broke from 30/40 to go up 5-4 and then the Charlotte native served out the set to take it 6-4. In the second set Kwiatkowski broke for 2-1 but Blumberg broke back on the no-ad point to even it at 2-2. The set would end up going to a tiebreak and Kwiatkowski broke a 5-5 tie by winning the last two point to win the match 6-4, 7-6 (5).
Kwiatkowski joins Ryan Shane (2015) and Somdev Devvarman (2007/2008) as Virginia's other NCAA singles champions.
Photo by Bill Kallenberg (CapturedInAction.com)