The brief college tennis summer session officially came to a close on Tuesday with singles and doubles champions crowned at the ITA National Summer Championships in Fort Worth, Texas. Notre Dame junior Alex Lebedev won the men's singles championship after winning a pair of matches on Tuesday. Lebedev edged Penn junior Kyle Mautner 7-6, 5-7, 10-6 in the semifinals then a few hours later in the finals he defeated defeated Omaha sophomore Razvan Grigorescu 6-3, 6-2. Lebedev entered the event as the No. 10 seed and won all his matches in straight sets except for the match with Mautner.
Winthrop junior Lauren Proctor won the women's singles championship in a similar fashion to Lebedev. The No. 4 seed Proctor won all her matches in straight sets except for her semifinal match against the top seed Duke junior Kaitlyn McCarthy. Proctor came back from a set down to defeat McCarthy 4-6, 7-5, 10-4 and then in the finals she beat TCU senior Donika Bashota 6-2, 6-3.
Texas juniors Rodrigo Banzer and Leo Telles won the men's doubles championship with an 8-3 win over Michigan's Myles Schalet and Gabe Tishman while Duke juniors Kaitlyn McCarthy and Ellyse Hamlin won the women's doubles championship with an 8-2 win over Iowa's Zoe Douglas and Elise van Heuvelen.
All the winners get main draw wild cards into the upcoming All American Championships while the finalists receive qualifying wild cards. To view all the results from the past four days click on this link.
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.
Friday was a good day at the Edwardsville (IL) USA F27 Futures for Ole Miss rising senior Gustav Hansson and 2015 Ohio State graduate Hunter Callahan. Both Hansson and Callahan won their quarterfinal round singles matches then later in the day they teamed up to win the doubles title.
Callahan advanced to his second career singles semifinal after coming back from a set down to defeat Florida rising junior Alfredo Perez. Callahan won the opening two games of the match but Perez took six of the next seven games to claim the opening set 6-3. In the second set Callahan broke Perez for 3-1 and would go on to take the set 6-1. In the final set Callahan broke Perez for 2-1 and added a second break for 5-2. Perez broke back at love and then held for 5-4 but Callahan served it out in a one-deuce game to take it 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Callahan's semifinal opponent will be Or Ram-Harel after the former Tulsa Golden Hurricane advanced to his second career semifinal, first since 2013, with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Harry Bourchier. Ram-Harel, who is just a couple of courses short of getting his degree, broke Bourchier five times while holding serve seven of nine times himself. Ram-Harel is now 19-3 since playing his final collegiate match in May while Callahan is 44-20 on the year. Neither player has made it to a singles final so it'll be a first for whomever comes out on top.
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.
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.
New Mexico State Director of Athletics Mario Moccia named Emily Wang as the Aggies new women's head coach. Wang, who graduated from Illinois in 2007, had been the head coach at Eastern Illinois for the last two seasons posting a 28-17 (.622) record. Wang replaces Ivan Fernandez who left after seven seasons to take the women's head coaching job at UTEP. Below are some quotes from NMSU's release:
"Interest in our head women's tennis position was overwhelming," Moccia said. "Emily rose to the top during the process and I was glad we were able to recruit her to NM State. With her playing background in the Big 10 at Illinois and her returning Eastern Illinois to success they haven't seen in 25 years, I'm very confident she will do a tremendous job as our next head coach. I'd like to thank Erica Perkins Jasper, the ITA COO, for assisting me as well. Her knowledge of collegiate tennis coaches around the country was instrumental in our decision making."
"New Mexico State is a top-notch university, and I am excited to be part of the strong culture and part of the Aggie Athletics family," Wang said. "The women's tennis team has a lot of talent and potential. I'm excited to get on campus and look forward to a successful year."
The calendar has turned to August which means several schools will be in session shortly so most of the current coaching openings should get filled sooner rather than later. Over the last week there have been three head coaching hires along with several assistant coaching hires.
University of North Florida Director of Athletics Lee Moon announced the hiring of Matt Lucas as the Ospreys new men's head coach. Lucas comes to Jacksonville after serving as the associate head coach at Buffalo last season and will replace Mark Finnegan who departed after four seasons to become the men's assistant coach at Auburn. Below are some quotes from UNF's release:
"This is a great hire for our program and we are thrilled to have Matt and all his coaching experience leading our team," said Moon. "During the interview process, Matt demonstrated a real passion for the game and developing student-athletes. Throughout his career he has been a strong teacher of the game and has a wealth of experience in both collegiate and professional tennis. He is an outstanding recruiter and has strong ties to the tennis community in North Florida. We are excited to have Matt at UNF and look forward to watching him continue and even grow the success of our men's tennis program."
"I am extremely excited about this opportunity to lead the lead the men's tennis program at the University of North Florida," said Lucas. "I want to thank Lee Moon and Nick Morrow for entrusting me with the reigns of this great program. I also want to thank UNF women's coach Mariana Cobra for her support during the interview process. It is an exciting time for the tennis program and I look forward to helping build on the past successes while striving to further the national prominence of UNF Tennis and continue competing for ASUN Championships. Our guys will also be involved in the Jacksonville community and maintain their strong performances in the classroom as well. With my ties to the area, I can't wait to get back to the River City and begin working with the team. It is a great day to be and Osprey. SWOOP!"
John Isner (Georgia '07) returned to the state where he had a ton of success in college and proceeded to win his fourth singles title at the BB&T Atlanta Open. Isner, who won the week before in Newport and has now won 12 career singles titles, fired 23 aces and won 85% of the points on his first serve in a 7-6(6), 7-6(7) win over fellow American Ryan Harrison. There were no breaks of serve in the first set, in fact there were no break points either, though Harrison went up a mini-break to start the tiebreak. Isner put it back on serve on the next point and would eventually fight off a set point when serving at 5-6 before taking the tiebreak 8-6.
Harrison jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second set after breaking Isner from 30/40 but Isner broke back in a one-deuce game to make it 2-1. After another nine holds, Harrison went up 4-1 in the tiebreak but Isner took the next three to even it at 4-4. Harrison fought off a set point while serving at 5-6 while Isner fought off one while serving at 6-7. Isner would close out the second set tiebreak just like the first by winning the final three points to take it 9-7.
Isner won $114,595 with the title while collecting 250 ATP points which moved his ranking up from 20 to 18.
Yannick Hanfmann (USC '15) started off 2017 by playing a pair of Futures events in his old college stomping grounds of Los Angeles but seven months later he's two sets away from winning his first ATP singles title. Hanfmann came into the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open in Gstaad, Switzerland, with just three career main draw ATP wins but after breezing through two qualifying matches he's won four straight main draw matches with all four going the full three sets. Hanfmann started off the week with 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-4 win over Facundo Bagnis (ATP 109) and then in the second round he knocked out the defending champ Feliciano Lopez (ATP 27) 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-1. In the quarterfinals, Hanfmann dispatched Joao Sousa (ATP 61) 6-7(10), 6-2, 6-2 which set up his match today against Robin Haase (ATP 50).
Haase jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the opening set but Hanfmann broke, held, and broke to put it back on serve at 4-3. Haase would break back from 30/40 and then serve out the set from 40/30 to take it 6-3.
Haase broke Hanfmann from 15/40 to start the second set but Hanfmann broke back from 30/40 to even it at 1-all. The rest of the set would be all holds with only two of the next ten service games reaching deuce (Hanfmann held on both occasions). In the second set tiebreak, Haase had a pair of match points after going in front 6-4 but Hanfmann took the next four points to take the tiebreak 8-6 and force a third and deciding set.