Bobby Knight

Bobby Knight

The ITA released the at-large and wild card selections for next week's Oracle ITA National Fall Championships which will be held in Indian Wells and Palm Desert, California. On the men's side, the teams with multiple singles at-large selections were Ohio State (3), Florida State (3), Georgia (2), Kentucky (2), and Tulane (2). The two men's wild cards went to Mississippi State's Nuno Borges (ITA Preseason No. 2) and Ohio State's JJ Wolf (ITA Preseason No. 29).

There were four extra at-large selections on the men's side due to qualifiers William Blumberg, Mikael Torpegaard, Gustav Hansson, and David Volfson opting not to play. There are two pro events in the United States next week with a Futures event in Birmingham (AL) and a Challenger event in Charlottesville.  I saw Hansson's name listed on the acceptance list for Birmingham but I didn't see the others listed in either place so unless they get a wild card I'm not sure why they choose not to play.

The women's teams with multiple selections were Cal (3), North Carolina (3), Duke (2), Georgia (2), Loyola Marymount (2), and UCLA (2). The two women's wild cards went to Michigan's Kate Fahey (ITA Preseason No. 6) and Georgia's Elena Christofi (ITA Preseason No. 10). Everyone else who qualified remained in the field. 

As per the ITA's selection criteria, to be considered for an at-large selection in singles, a player must have reached the quarterfinals of the Oracle ITA Masters, the Round of 16 of the All-American Championships or the quarterfinals of an ITA Regional Championship. The at-large singles selections were based on each players’ ITA/UTR Rankings Average which was a combination of a players’ ITA preseason national ranking, Universal Tennis Rating and ITA mid-season unpublished ranking.

Tuesday was the final day of the ITA Regional Championships with the doubles final played in both the Northeast and Southern while the Atlantic wrapped up play in singles. Columbia's Jack Mingjie Lin and William Matheson won an all-Columbia doubles final in the Northeast Regional with a 6-4, 7-6(5) win over top seeds Victor Pham and Jackie Tang. Ole Miss's Zvonimir Babic and Filip Kraljevic won the doubles title at the Southern Regional with a 6-4, 6-4 win over the top seeded team of Mississippi State's Trevor Foshey and Niclas Braun. Virginia's Aswin Lizen won the singles title at the Atlantic Regional after defeating Penn State's Christos Antonopoulos 6-3, 6-1 in the semifinals and Virginia Tech's Alexandre Ribeiro 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 in the finals. 

There were seven schools that swept singles and doubles titles over the past two weeks with three of them on the women's side (Kentucky, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State) and the other four on the men's side (Arizona State, Columbia, Georgia, Minnesota). There were an additional three schools on the women's side that had players in both the singles and doubles finals (Idaho, Texas, Virginia) while there were an additional five on the men's side (Cal, Michigan, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Virginia). 

Six regionals had teammates play in the singles final, Georgia (M), Michigan (M), Mississippi State (M), Pepperdine (W), Texas (W), Stanford (W), while seven had teammates in the doubles final (Dartmouth (W), Kentucky (W), North Carolina (W), Northwestern (W), Ole Miss (W), Virginia (W), Columbia (M). 

Arizona State's Benjamin Hannestad and BYU's Sean Hill were the only unseeded players to win a singles title while Texas Tech's Jackson Cobb and Alex Sendegeya, Dartmouth's Abigail Chiu and Julia Schroeder, and FIU's Ulyana Grib and Maryna Veksler were the only unseeded teams to win a doubles title.

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. 

All but three regionals wrapped up play on Monday with five schools sweeping singles and doubles titles while a few schools won titles for the first time in school history. The upstart Arizona State men's team swept the day at the Southwest Regional in Malibu with Benjamin Hannestad winning the singles title and teaming with Tim Ruehl to win the doubles title. 

Minnesota hosted the men's Central Regional and proceeded to sweep singles and doubles with sophomore Stefan Milicevic rolling past Nebraska's Toby Boyer in the singles final while Felix Corwin and Matic Spec defeated Oklahoma State's Artur Dubinski and Eleftherios Theodorou in the doubles final.

Columbia swept the Northeast Regional with Victor Pham winning the singles title over Cornell's David Volfson while the doubles title will be played on Tuesday between a pair of Columbia teams. 

Mississippi State has a chance to sweep the Southern Regional if it can win the doubles final on Tuesday. Strahinja Rakic and Giovanni Oradini were declared singles co-champions after each won their semifinal matches on Monday however they decided not to play the final. I can't remember an instance where teammates decided not to play each other in the final but there must have been a rule that permitted them to do so. 

Oklahoma State swept the women's Central Regional with Vladica Babic winning the singles title and then Babic teamed with Sofia Blanco to win the doubles title. 

Ole Miss swept the women's Southern Regional with Arianne Hartono winning the singles title and Savina Machalova and Natalie Suk winning the doubles title with a win over teammates Hartono and Alexa Bortles.

Lauren Proctor gave Winthrop its first-ever regional championship after defeating Duke's Samantha Harris in straight sets in the final of the Carolina Regional. 

Ulyana Grib and Maryna Veksler gave Florida International its first-ever regional championship after defeating Georgia Tech's Paige Hourigan and Kenya Jones 8-5 in the doubles final. 

Shweta Sangwan and Alyssa Tobita gave Oregon its first-ever women's regional doubles championship after a 4-6, 6-4, 10-6 win over the top seeded team of Cal's Olivia Hauger and Karla Popovic.

Michail Pervolarakis gave Portland its first-ever regional championship after defeating Cal's Jack Molloy in the singles final at the Northwest Regional.  

Sunday, 22 October 2017 22:02

ITA Regionals Coming Down the Home Stretch

Just about every ITA Regional Championship will conclude on Monday so I'll let the results from Sunday do the talking. 

Men: 

Southwest (Pepperdine) 

Semifinals
Benjamin Hannestad (Arizona State) def. Alejandro Reguant-Bicardi (Arizona) 6-4, 6-3
[8] Nicolas Moreno de Alboran (UCSB) def. [11] Michael Geerts (Arizona State) 6-3, 3-0 ret.

Singles Final
[8] Nicolas Moreno de Alboran (UCSB) vs. Benjamin Hannestad (Arizona State)

Doubles Final
[1] Benjamin Hannestad/Tim Ruehl (Arizona State) vs. Pedro Iamachkine/Lautaro Pane (Pepperdine)

BYU sophomore Sean Hill capped off a great four days by winning the ITA Mountain Regional with a dominating 6-2, 6-1 win over the No. 3 seed Ricky Hernandez Tong (New Mexico). Hill only dropped two sets while defeating the No. 1, No. 3, No. 4, No. 9, and No. 15 seeds. Below are some quotes from BYU's recap:

“This was some of the most amazing tennis,” BYU head coach Brad Pearce said. “I think it was the finest match I’ve seen on our courts—flawless tennis. It’s not as if his opponent didn’t play a solid match because he did. I think Sean would have beaten some of the best players in the world today because he played that well.”

“I’m feeling awesome because I definitely didn’t expect to win the tournament,” Hill said. “I just took it match-by-match. I’m looking forward to Nationals and hope to win some matches. The team has been so supportive of my first year playing for BYU, and they helped me in my last matches.”

For the first time in a while the champion at the Southwest Regional will be someone other than a player from USC or UCLA. The top three seeds all went down on Saturday with Arizona State's Benjamin Hannestad and Michael Geerts defeating USC's Logan Smith and Jack Jaede while UCSB's Nicolas Moreno de Alboran defeated UCLA's Logan Staggs. Arizona's Alejandro Reguant-Bicardi is the fourth semifinalist after a straight set win over LMU's Gabriel Diaz. 

Plenty of results are down below so check them out. 

BYU sophomore Sean Hill has been the star of the show at the ITA Mountain Regional with the unseeded Wake Forest transfer making his way all the way to the singles final after two more big wins on Friday. Hill knocked out the top seed Utah's Dan Little on Thursday and today he defeated the No. 9 seed Utah State's Samuel Serrano 6-4, 6-4 and then in the semifinals he defeated the No. 4 seed New Mexico State's Christofer Goncalves 7-6, 1-6, 6-4. Hill is also into the semifinals of the doubles draw with he and New Orleans transfer Jeffrey Hsu set to play the top seeds from Northern Arizona on Saturday afternoon.

Hill's opponent in Saturday's final will be New Mexico's Ricky Hernandez Tong after the Lobo junior defeated the No. 5 seed Northern Arizona's Tim Handel 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 and the No. 2 seed Utah's David Micevski 7-5, 7-5.  

While the Mountain Regional finished up its second day of main draw play several other regionals just got started on Thursday with a few more not firing up until Friday or Saturday. Below is a brief recap from five of the men's regionals with more updates to come throughout the weekend. 

Wednesday, 18 October 2017 15:30

ITA Regional Championships - Week 2

Last week there were 7 ITA Regionals played which means the remaining 17 are this week. There will be 10 men's regionals and 7 women's regionals with the singles finalists and doubles winners advancing to the Oracle/ITA National Fall Championships in early November. All the draws are out and I have listed the top 8 seeds for each of those regionals down below. 

I believe there will be live streaming from 6 regionals with Texas A&M, Yale, Stanford, Kansas, Auburn, and Georgia each having the capabilities to do so. Michigan and Liberty are the only two schools that have mentioned they are doing live scoring so we'll see if there are any more. 

The ITA Carolina Regional had a strong field with the likes of Nicolas Alvarez, Gabriel Friedrich, Robert Kelly, and Christian Seraphim but when play commenced on Tuesday morning the big winner was UNC Asheville junior Henry Patten. The reigning Big South Player of the Year won all six matches in straight sets, including a 6-3, 6-1 win in the singles final over Clemson's Alex Favrot, to earn an automatic bid in the ITA National Fall Championships. Below are some comments from UNCA's recap:

"It shows a lot of the hard work is worth it and the progression is really nice," Patten mused. "I just want to thank Coach Tom Hand as he has been a big part of that progression. I also want to thank my teammates and my family for keeping up in England. It was a really long weekend of tennis and their support really helped."

"I think that this is going to show the whole team is playing at a really high level," Patten said. "I practice with those guys every day and I am able to compete at a very high level. It shows the margin is so small between UNC Asheville and others."

Texas sophomore Bianca Turati won an all-Texas singles final at the Texas Regional with a 7-5, 6-3 win over sophomore Petra Granic. Turati only dropped one set in her six matches with four of those wins coming over seeded players three of which were ranked in the ITA Top 125. Rice's Lindsey Hodge and Wendy Zhang prevented a Texas sweep by winning a close doubles final 3-6, 6-4, 10-8 over Marta Perez Mur and Dani Wagland.  

"Bianca and Petra waged a demanding battle," said UT head coach Howard Joffe via Texas's recap. "These ladies are teammates and roommates, and I cannot be more proud of the way in which the match was played. Both ladies were ferocious and yet were great sportswomen! Today, Bianca came out on top and no one is happier for her than Petra."

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