Friday turned out to be a chaotic day at the Riviera/ITA Women's All-Americans with two qualifiers, a lucky loser, and the No. 2 seed advancing to the semifinals. The day started off with three of the four remaining seeded players losing in the round of 16 with the biggest upset, by seed and UTR, occurring when Vanderbilt sophomore Christina Rosca defeated the top seed and last year's runner-up UCLA sophomore Ena Shibahara. The upsets continued with Rosca's teammate junior Fernanda Contreras defeating the No. 4 seed Cal senior Karla Popovic in straight sets and St. John's sophomore Jessica Livianu defeating the No. 7 seed Miami senior Sinead Lohan in three sets.
Florida International junior Andrea Lazaro lost in the final round of the qualifying draw but due to a couple of late withdrawals she snuck in as a lucky loser. Two days later Lazaro has turned that second chance into a golden opportunity after she advanced to the semifinals with a pair of three-set wins over Cal junior Olivia Hauger and Vanderbilt's Christina Rosca. Lazaro's semifinal opponent will be Aliona Bolsova who plays at Conference USA rival Florida Atlantic. Bolsova, who transferred from Oklahoma State to FAU over the summer, is the only player left in the draw that has yet to drop a set after picking up a pair of straight set wins over Texas Tech junior Felicity Maltby and USC senior Gabby Smith.
The other semifinal will match up Texas Tech senior Gabriela Talaba and Vanderbilt junior Fernanda Contreras. Talaba only dropped six games in each of her wins over Denver's Julia O'Loughlin and Washington's Stacey Fung while Contreras won the closest match of the day when she defeated St. John's Jessica Livianu 7-6(6) in the third.
After a week of qualifying we finally had main draw All-American action today in Tulsa and Pacific Palisades. Men's seeds had a great day going 13-3 with Kentucky's William Bushamuka the only top eight seed to fall after he retired in the second set of his match against Notre Dame's Alex Lebedev. The No. 5 seed Florida's Alfredo Perez was just two points away from a straight set loss to Ohio State's Kyle Seelig but Perez turned a 6-7, *5-6 (15/30) deficit into a 6-7(4), 7-6(2), 6-3 win. Seelig also served for the match at 7-6, 5-3 but never had a match point.
The first 10 matches of the day were played indoors due to rain but once the rain stopped, and the courts dried, the other 22 matches were played outdoors. The men's top seed Ohio State's Mikael Torpegaard cruised past Mississippi State's Giovanni Oradini in straight sets and will next meet Columbia's Victor Pham. Pham, who was the runner-up at the Oracle/ITA Masters, defeated New Mexico qualifier Ricky Hernandez Tong 6-3, 6-2.
North Carolina sophomore Will Blumberg, who was the NCAA singles runner-up last May, was the first guy off the court after defeating Florida qualifier Johannes Ingildsen 6-1, 6-1 in just under 55 minutes. Next up for Blumberg will be the big hitting Christian Seraphim after the Wake Forest senior pulled away from Baylor's Johannes Schretter 7-5, 6-7, 6-2.
Ferran Calvo improved to 7-0 on the week and 16-0 this fall after the Oklahoma pre-qualifier defeated Texas Tech qualifier Artem Kapshuk in straight sets. Calvo jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the first set but Kapshuk came back to tie it at 5-5. Calvo held for 6-5 and then broke to take the set 7-5. In the second set Calvo went in front 4-1 but Kapshuk came back to tie it at 4-4. Calvo held for 5-4 and then broke on the no-ad point to win it 6-4. Next up for Calvo will be Timo Stodder after the Tennessee junior cruised to a 6-3, 6-1 win over Dartmouth's Charlie Broom.
The 16 qualifiers went 4-12 on the day with Arizona State senior Michael Geerts defeating fellow qualifier Marius Frosa (Wichita State) 6-3, 6-4, Columbia sophomore Jackie Tang defeating Drake's Vinny Gillespie 6-3, 4-6, 6-1, and Georgia Tech sophomore Carlos Divar holding off Arkansas senior Jose Salazar 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
The biggest upset in terms of UTR was Utah junior Dan Little (13.41) defeating Oklahoma senior Spencer Papa (14.06) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
The final round of qualifying at the women's All-Americans in California wrapped up on Wednesday with five of eight matches finishing in straight sets. Florida's Brooke Austin and Florida Atlantic's Aliona Bolsova both came back from a set down to advance while North Carolina's Jessie Aney won her match 6-2 in the third. FIU's Andrea Lazaro lost in straight sets to Kansas's Anastasia Rychagova but since she was the highest seed to make it to the final round of qualies she got the lucky loser spot that opened up when Pepperdine's Ashley Lahey withdrew.
I have the singles main draws listed down below with UTRs included and you can check out the doubles draws at these links - men/women. There will be live scoring and video for the men's event in Tulsa however there will be nothing from the event in California. Hopefully the ITA will have some scoring updates on Twitter.
Cameron Norrie officially started his pro career in June, after three stellar years at TCU, and since then he's won a match at an ATP 250, qualified for the US Open, and made three Challenger finals, two of which he won. The second of those Challenger titles came last week in Tiburon, California, when Norrie dropped just five games in the finals in a straight set win over former Tennessee Volunteer Tennys Sandgren. Norrie was ranked 243 when he turned pro and with these 90 points he now has a new career high ranking of 136. Norrie talked to Mike Cation after the match about his week in Tiburon with those comments available at this link.
Tuesday was an extremely long day in Tulsa with singles play beginning at 8 a.m. central and finally finishing up at 9:18 p.m after Oklahoma's Ferran Calvo closed out Texas's Leo Telles in a third set tiebreak. The opening three plus hours of action was played outside in overcast and windy conditions but then the rain came in and moved everything inside for the rest of the day. The aforementioned Calvo was the only pre-qualifier to advance to the main draw after he ran his fall record to 15-0 with a straight set win over Arizona State's Benjamin Hannestad and a lengthy three set win over Telles. In that final match against Telles, Calvo came back from a 4-1 deficit in the third set tiebreak, and fought off a pair of match points after falling behind 6-4, to win 8-6.
The biggest upset in terms of UTR came when Tulsa freshman Joshua Goodger defeated Ohio State freshman John McNally 6-3, 7-6(6). Goodger's UTR is 1.39 lower than McNally's but that didn't stop him from defeating the ITA's No. 2 ranked national newcomer. McNally led the second set tiebreak 5-3 and had a set point at 6-5 but Goodger took the last three points to close it out.
The upstart Arizona State program put two players into the main draw after Michael Geerts and Tim Ruehl pulled out a pair of wins. Geerts, who is the ITA's No. 4 ranked national newcomer, won both of his matches in straight sets while Ruehl cruised through his opener and then came from behind to defeat Illinois sophomore Aleks Kovacevic in three sets.
Ohio State was the other team to have two qualify with Kyle Seelig and Martin Joyce advancing to the main draw. Seelig started off the day by defeating the No. 5 seed Kentucky's Trey Yates in straight sets and then later on he came back from a set down to defeat Duke's Nick Stachowiak in three sets. Joyce opened up the day with a come from behind three set win over Texas A&M freshman Juan Carlos Aguilar and then to close the day out he defeated North Carolina's Bo Boyden in straight sets.
The opening day of the men's qualifying draw saw seeded players go 19-13 with the top seed Purdue's Gergely Madarasz falling to Florida freshman Duarte Vale in three sets. Vale, who was ranked as high as No. 14 in the ITF junior rankings, made his collegiate debut two weeks winning one of the top singles flights and with this win over Madarasz he is now 5-0 on the year. The biggest upset in terms of Universal Tennis Rating was Mississippi State's Trevor Foshey (12.93) defeating Illinois's Zeke Clark (14.19) 6-2, 6-3. Foshey dropped the opening two games of the match and then won 11 straight to go up 6-2, 5-0 before a late rally by Clark made it a little closer.
There were 9 pre-qualifiers that won on Monday with Virginia's Matthew Lord, Texas A&M's Juan Carlos Aguilar, and Oklahoma's Ferran Calvo taking out the No. 9, No. 10, and No. 11 seeds respectively. Calvo, who transferred to Oklahoma after two dominating years at Tyler Junior College, is now 12-0 this fall with singles titles at the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational and the Alabama Four-In-The-Fall Championship.
Other pre-qualifiers to advance were Oklahoma State's Mathieu Scaglia, Illinois's Noe Khlif, Miami's Christian Langmo, Indiana's Keivon Tabrizi, Wisconsin's Chema Carranza, and Tulane's Tyer Schick. Langmo was down 6-3 in the third set tiebreak before rallying to defeat Wake Forest's Bar Botzer 7-5, 2-6, 7-6(7).
The most dominating performance of the day came from Duke's Catalin Mateas who defeated Tulsa's Jarod Hing 6-0, 6-0. The UTR difference (1.45) between the two was the third largest of all the first round matches.
The final two rounds will be played on Tuesday with start times available on the ITA's event page.
The pre-qualifying rounds came to a close on Sunday with 8 women moving on to the qualifying draw in Pacific Palisades while 18 men moved on in Tulsa. In Tulsa, there were actually 16 men that came through the pre-qualifying rounds however two more earned spots as lucky losers after a couple of late withdrawals.
Six of the eight women's pre-qualifiers were freshmen and in fact that they were the only seeded players to advance. Ole Miss's Sabina Machalova and Georgia's Katarina Jokic were the only pre-qualifiers to drop a set though they only dropped one a piece. Monday is an off day for the women so we won't know where the pre-qualifiers are slotted until the qualifying draw is announced later in the day.
On the men's side there were just seven seeded players, out of 21 total, that survived the four-round gauntlet. Texas A&M's Juan Carlos Aguilar, Oklahoma State's Mathieu Scaglia, Virginia's Matthew Lord, Texas's John Mee, Illinois's Noe Khlif, Florida State's Rana-Roop Singh Bhullar, and Nebraska's Linus Erhart were the only pre-qualifiers that won four matches with all the others, except Miami's Christian Langmo, winning three after getting a first-round bye. Langmo had the easiest path after getting a first-round bye plus a walkover win in the third round.
Indiana's Keivon Tabrizi, South Florida's Grayson Goldin, Miami's Christian Langmo, UAB's Tim Dollman, Oklahoma's Ferran Calvo, and Florida State's Rana-Roop Singh Bhullar were the only ones to win all their matches in straight sets. Singh Bhullar played eight sets in his four matches, Langmo played just the four sets, while the others played six sets.
Virginia's Matthew Lord and Texas A&M's Juan Carlos Aguilar were the only freshmen to advance while several others fell in the final round. Monmouth's Nicola Pipoli and Florida's Stephen Madonia were the lucky losers due to South Florida's Peter Bertran getting bumped up to the main draw, after UCF's Korey Lovett pulled out, and Kentucky's Enzo Wallart pulling out with an injury.
The opening day of the pre-qualifying draw in Pacific Palisades saw 9 of the 16 women's seeds fall in the opening rounds which included all but 1 of the top 8 seeds. Virginia Tech's Elena Cerezo-Codina knocked out the top seed Oklahoma State's Sofia Blanco 7-6, 6-4 while Texas Tech's Sabrina Federici (Texas Tech) ousted the second seed UNLV's Aiwen Zhu 6-4, 6-2. The final round of the pre-qualifying draw will be played on Sunday and out of the seven remaining seeded players all but one (Miki Kobayashi) are freshmen.
The 256-player men's pre-qualifying draw saw 12 of 21 seeded players make it through the first two rounds although each of the top five seeds bowed out in the second round. There will be two more rounds played on Sunday in Tulsa and by the end of the day we'll have our 16 players that will be moving on to the 128-player qualifying draw.
A busy week of tennis will get underway tomorrow morning in Tulsa and Pacific Palisades as the pre-qualifying rounds get started at the men's and women's All-American Championships. The men's pre-qualifying draw is a massive 256-player draw, although 69 get a first-round bye, while the women's pre-qualifying draw is a 64-player draw with no byes. There will 16 men and 8 women that will advance to the qualifying rounds with the men's qualifying draw a 128-player draw while the women's will be a 64-player draw. The pre-qualifying draws with match times are available on the ITA's event page with the men here and the women here. There will be live streaming for the men's draw but I don't believe they'll be live scoring until the later rounds. There will not be any live streaming for the women.
The men's top 10 freshmen/newcomers were guaranteed spots in the qualifying draw while the women's top 10 freshmen/newcomers were guaranteed spots in the pre-qualifying draw so that's why you see Kelly Chen and Alexandra Sanford in the pre-qualifying draw.
While John Isner was keeping Team World alive in the Laver Cup there were several other players with college ties that were leaving their mark on pro events across the globe. Ryan Shane, who won the 2015 NCAA singles championship during his junior season at Virginia, swept both the singles and doubles titles at the $15K Laguna Niguel (CA) USA 31 Futures. Shane teamed up with former ACC rival Ronnie Schneider to win the doubles title with a 7-5, 6-2 win over TCU senior Trevor Johnson and BYU graduate Patrick Kawka. Two days later Shane won his third career singles title with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Denver graduate Henry Craig. Shane only dropped one set on the week and won his last four matches going away. Shane picked up 18 ATP points with the win and when they are added in next week he'll have a new career high ranking of around 480.