Bobby Knight

Bobby Knight

Thursday, 15 February 2018 15:15

Men's National Team Indoor Preview

It's going to be strange to have an ITA Men's National Team Indoor Championship without Virginia but that's what we get this year after the Cavaliers were knocked out in the regional rounds. The University of Washington will host the event with half the matches to be played on campus at the Nordstrom Tennis Center while the other half will be played a few miles away at the Seattle Tennis Club. 

This year's event is wide open with multiple teams having a legitimate shot at raising the hardware on Monday afternoon. Stanford has the most NTI Championships with 12 but its last came back in 2002 while three of the last four champions have been first-time winners. 

The matches at the Nordstrom Tennis Center will have live streaming while the matches at the Seattle Tennis Club will not. The top four seeds will each be playing at Nordstrom on Friday and then on Saturday for the quarterfinals the two highest remaining seeds will play at Nordstrom while the other two will be at the STC. Both semifinal matches and the final will be played at Nordstrom. 

There will be live scoring available for all matches at this link

Below are the projected singles lineups for each match along with how each team qualified. The approved master lineups are located here and the ITA will have daily recaps on its NTI event page

Friday, 09 February 2018 10:40

Busy Weekend Coming Up

While the ITA Women's National Team Indoors is taking place in Madison their are a slew of other men's matches taking place elsewhere. Below are some notable matches in the Power 5 along with a few other conferences. The highest profile matches are taking place in Ann Arbor, Champaign, and Columbus. Michigan is hosting Florida, Harvard, and Cal with all three expected to be good matches. Ohio State welcomes in Texas A&M and Florida while Illinois hosts Stanford and Cal. Other matches to keep an eye on are Wake Forest at Oklahoma State, Kentucky at Duke, and Ole Miss at Columbia. I've accumulated a bunch of live scoring links so this should make it easy for you to follow. 

Thursday, 08 February 2018 15:30

Women's National Team Indoor Preview

The ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship gets underway on Friday morning in chilly Madison, Wisconsin. Florida, which is the No. 8 seed, is the defending champion but the Gators will have an uphill climb after dropping its last two to Florida State and Oklahoma State. North Carolina will attempt to make it to the finals for the fourth year in a row while the top seed Vanderbilt will look to win its first NTI Championship. 

All matches will be held on campus at Wisconsin with live streaming available via PlaySight for the matches on courts 1 through 6 (Duke/SC, UCLA/TT, GT/Mich, Florida/Wisconsin). There will be live scoring available for all matches at this link

Below are the projected singles lineups for each match along with how each team qualified. 11 of the 16 teams are undefeated with Texas (Illinois), South Carolina (UCF), Michigan (Duke), Auburn (Princeton), and Florida (Florida State & Oklahoma State) the only ones with blemishes. 

The approved master lineups are located here and the ITA will have daily recaps on its NTI event page

When I first started College Tennis Today three years ago I wasn't really sure how much content I'd be able to produce due to my son, 2 1/2 at the time, being my main priority during the day. I had a few small windows of free time here and there but by and large I did most of my writing at night which on many occasions turned into late-night. Once my son started going to preschool my free time increased which meant I was able to spend more time diving into the numbers and analyzing stats and rankings and whatnot. During the dual-match portion of the season if I had a free minute I was updating something on the site or preparing something for later because I wanted to make sure the site was as current as it could possibly be.

In the summer of 2016 my wife and I found out that we were going to have a second child, also a boy, with a February 2017 arrival. I knew my workload at home was about to increase exponentially but I figured I'd still be able to find the time to churn out content on a near-daily basis during the summer and fall. I held my own, for the most part, over the last several months but as you've probably noticed the number of blog entries has dropped a good bit recently. The little guy is mobile now plus he likes to wake up at 6 a.m. which has meant my free time during the day has dwindled and I just don't have enough steam left to do much work at night.  

Another big personal change that will take place in the next few weeks will be a relocation of the Knight Family from St. Louis to London. My wife was presented with a fantastic opportunity by her employer so for the next three years we will become residents of the United Kingdom. For anyone that has ever moved before you know how strenuous it can be but this move across the ocean is going to be extremely taxing. Not only do we have to pack up our belongings but we also have to get rid of our cars, get passports for the kids, set up visas, set up schooling for our oldest, sell our house in St. Louis and find a place to live in London, and then once we're there we'll have to adapt to a new culture - plus we'll have to hope our 10-month old is fairly civil on the eight-hour flight. 

With a five-hour time difference between the east coast and an eight-hour difference between the west coast following the college tennis news cycle is going to be harder plus the night matches in the US will be middle of the night matches in the UK. 

Due to these changes I've decided that I'm going to significantly cut back the amount of content on the site in 2018. I'm still going to follow college tennis as closely as I can but I just won't have the time to write about it as frequently. 

I want to thank everyone that subscribed to College Tennis Today in 2017. The subscriber numbers met my expectations but due to the upcoming reduction in content I'm going to suspend my subscription service in 2018. I will cancel the automatic payments for all monthly subscribers while most of the yearly subscriptions are set to expire in the next month or so. If you are a subscriber and have any questions you can reach me via email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

While the timing of this announcement isn't the best, with the dual-match season about to begin, I thought it was better to do it before the move to London. Best of luck to everyone in the new year and I'll try not to be a stranger!!

 

Incoming TCU freshman Andreea Rosca won a second consecutive pro singles title in Cairo and also picked up a doubles title as well. Rosca only dropped 18 games in her five singles wins with just four of those coming in the final in a 6-1, 6-3 win over Austria's Melanie Klaffner. Rosca will have a new career-high singles ranking of around 601 when these 12 points are added in next week. Rosca and Gabriela Tatarus won the doubles title with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Klaffner and Jelena Stojanovic. The doubles title was the fourth of Rosca's career with three of those coming with Tatarus. 

Last week was another strong on the pro tour for players with college ties. The unstoppable doubles duo of Rob Galloway (Wofford '15) and Ben Lock (Florida State '16) ran their winning streak to 23 after winning a sixth straight doubles title. Galloway and Lock won a third straight doubles title in South Africa after previously winning three straight in Kuwait. They won their first three matches in straight sets and then in the finals of the South Africa F3 in Stellenbosch they edged Jaime Pulgar-Garcia (NC State '12) and Javier Pulgar-Garcia (San Diego State '12) 7-6, 6-7, 10-5. Lock's ranking is now a new career high of 247 while Galloway has a new career high of 284. Galloway finished the year with seven doubles titles while Lock won nine. 

The United States had won the Master'U BNP Paribas for six straight years, and seven of the last eight, but Great Britain put an end to that streak with a 4-2 upset win last Sunday. The US came back from a 2-1 deficit in wins over France and Germany but it couldn't do it a third time against Great Britain. UCLA sophomore Ena Shibahara put Team USA in front 1-0 after coming back from 3-0 down in the third set to win 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 but recent North Florida graduate Jack Findel-Hawkins tied it up after defeating UCLA senior Martin Redlicki 6-4, 6-4. Pepperdine sophomore Ashley Lahey fell 7-6, 7-6 but it looked like USC sophomore Brandon Holt would tie it up when he served for the match up 6-5 (40/0) in the third. However Holt would be unable to close it out and would fall 7-6(3) to GB's Jonny O'Mara. Shibahara and Lahey trimmed the deficit to 3-2 with a 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 win in doubles but Redlicki and Holt fell 6-4, 6-3 to Findel-Hawkins and O'Mara to give Great Britain its first-ever Master'U championship. Former Texas Longhorn Pippa Horn was also a member of Team Great Britain. 

The 12th annual Master'U BNP Paribas is set to begin in France with several current and former US college players set to participate in the eight-team event that Team USA has dominated since 2011. Team USA will be represented by UCLA's Martin Redlicki and Ena Shibahara, USC's Brandon Holt, Pepperdine's Ashley Lahey, Florida's Alfredo Perez, and North Carolina's Alle Sanford. Other players with US college tennis ties are Michael Geerts (Arizona State Sr/Belgium), Louis Cant (Mississippi State '12/Belgium), Jane Fennelly (Notre Dame '17/Ireland), Pippa Horn (Texas '15/Great Britain), and Jack Findel-Hawkins (North Florida '17/Great Britain). The eight countries participating are the United State, France, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, China, Russia, and Ireland. Live scoring will be available at this link and there is a tournament program here though most of it is in French. Boise State head coach Greg Patton is writing a blog for USTA.com so you can check out his Thursday post at this link.

First-Round Pairings:
[1] USA vs. France
[4] Germany vs. Belgium
[3] Great Britain vs. Ireland
[2] Russia vs. China

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

The final women's singles rankings of the fall are out and the top three players are from the unlikely locales of Kansas, Florida Atlantic, and Florida International. Kansas junior Anastasia Rychagova, who won the consolation draw at the All-Americans, jumped from No. 35 to No. 1 after picking up nine ranked wins including three over top 10 opponents. Rychagova becomes the first Kansas player to ever hold the top spot in the singles ranking. 

Florida Atlantic sophomore Aliona Bolsova moved up from No. 30 to No. 2 after making the finals at the All-Americans. Bolsova picked up six ranked wins in her run from the qualifying draw to the final. Florida International senior Andrea Lazaro moved up from No. 29 to No. 3 after winning the National Fall Championships. Lazaro's six wins at Indian Wells all came over top 25 opponents plus she added three additional ranked wins en route to making the semifinals at the All-Americans. 

Duke's Samantha Harris and Kelly Chen are the top ranked doubles team after going 9-2 (seven ranked wins) with semifinals showings at both of the fall majors. The second ranked doubles team is also from Duke with the All-American doubles champs Ellyse Hamlin and Kaitlyn McCarthy claiming that spot after going 8-2 (five ranked wins). According to Duke's release this is the first time that the top two spots in the doubles rankings have belonged to the same school since Stanford did it in 1990. 

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