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Jared last won the day on January 10

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  1. The #8 TCU Frogs moved to 2-0 today with an easy 4-0 sweep of the FAU Owls in the opening round of the Ft. Worth Regional of the ITA Kickoff. Tomorrow, at 2:00 p.m. (CST), we'll play the 5-0 Arizona Wildcats, who earlier prevailed over the Notre Dame Irish 4-2. The Frogs won the doubles point soundly, with a 6-2 W by our Brits (Gray/Fearnley) and a 6-2 win from Sander Jong and Tadeas Paroulek. And in singles, Jacob Fearnley started things out with a 6-3, 6-2 W; Luc Fomba won 6-3, 6-3, and Tomas Jirousek provided the clincher 6-2, 6-2 in his TCU debut. So it was freshmen and sophomores that carried the day, which is a good sign for the future and for our depth. Roditi was pleased with the depth but described Zona as a "fiery" team and they'll certainly be a tougher opponent. We should be favored, but nothing is a given. Across the country, Illinois was the only host that I saw that lost their opening rounder.
  2. Arizona v. Notre Dame has already started, but for some reason, I can't get the live stats to work. TCU v. FAU will start at 2:00ish, but I'll be at work, so details later tonight.
  3. The Ft. Worth Regional of the ITA Kickoff will start off tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. (CST) at the tennis center with the match between Notre Dame and Arizona. The Irish are now 1-1 with a W over Purdue after their opening loss to Kentucky. Zona is 4-0, with 4 easy W's. TCU v. FAU will follow and it's scheduled for 2:00 p.m. (CST). The losers of the openers will face each other at 11:00 on Sunday and the winners at 2:00. The mini-tourney will feature 9 ITA ranked singles players, including Gray, Fomba and Fearnley for the Frogs and as well as #5 Richard Ciamarra (Notre Dame); #36 Filip Malbasic (Arizona), #58 Maxime LaPraille (FAU), #61 Jonas Zverts (Arizona), #86 Alejandro Riquant-Bicardi (Arizona) and #102 Axel Nefve (Notre Dame). We'll be heavily favored against FAU; the Cats-Irish match will probably be very competitive (I'm picking Arizona). 14 other Regionals will also take place hosted by Texas, Wake Forest, Ohio State, Florida, Virginia, Baylor, North Carolina, USC, Mississippi State, UCLA, Stanford, Tennessee, A&M and Illinois. The hosts usually win, but there are upsets sometimes (notoriously, in recent years, TCU lost to Utah State and San Diego). If I had to pick an upset, I'd go with North Carolina State in the Virginia Regional and either OU or Georgia in the Mississippi State Regional because Virginia has started out weakly and Mississippi State lost a ton, including Nuno Borges. Texas and Florida are probably the biggest favorites.
  4. Agreed. A W over Arkansas is key for our tourney chances - I would even call it a "must" win.
  5. If anyone is interested in the goings-on in one of our old conferences, Boise State filed a complaint against the MWC yesterday alleging breach of contract in connection with the MWC's newly-announced deal with Fox and CBS. Basically, after Boise postured with joining the Big East after we had "joined" and then left, they eventually signed a re-entry deal with the MWC whereby they would receive more money ($1.8 million) and get some of their games on the ESPN platforms. In the re-entry deal, it provided that they would have to approve any new deals. In December, the other MWC schools approved the new 6-year Fox/CBS deal, which will pay the conference much more than their previous deal (roughly $5 million), but Boise did not approve this deal. And, the other MWC schools agreed to continue to pay BSU $1.8 million for another 6 years, but not to do so after that. So even though BSU will continue to receive the $1.8 million (for 6 years) and more generally due to the overall new deal, they think they could have gotten more, presumably wanted to stay on ESPN and think that the MWC voiding their special treatment in the future violates the original understanding. Both sides have announced that they each want to resolve this without a formal lawsuit, but that remains to be seen. (With such doings, cue the inevitable conference realignment talk...) Independence? The AAC? An amicable resolution?
  6. For some reason, Cam's doubles match at the Aussie was canceled and the other team (Salisbury/Ram) moved on to the next round, so Cam is now done at Melbourne in doubles as well.
  7. It's our court and we'll storm it if we want to, storm if we want to, storm if we want to...you would storm too if it happened to you.
  8. The new ITA rankings were released today and, as expected, due to #2 Texas's W over #1 Florida, the Longhorns are now #1 in the nation. TCU remains 8th after our opening W over #25 Arizona State. Otherwise, there weren't many changes. As a reminder, the first few weeks are based on a poll; the rankings won't convert into the points-based system until after the ITA Indoor Nationals next month. Here they are: 1. Texas (the defending champs and victors over Florida)(on our schedule) 2. Florida (obviously still formidable) 3. USC 4. North Carolina (on our schedule) 5. Baylor (on our schedule) 6. Ohio State 7. Wake Forest 8. the Fighting Frogs of lil ole TCU 9. A&M 10. UCLA 11. Stanford (on our schedule) 12. Illinois (on our schedule) 13. California 14. Oklahoma State (on our schedule) 15. South Carolina 16. Tennessee 17. North Carolina State (up from 23rd) 18. Columbia (on our schedule) 19. Georgia 20. Michigan (on our schedule) 21. Florida State (up from NR) 22. Oklahoma (on our schedule) 23. Virginia (on our schedule)(down from 10th after a slow start) 24. San Diego 25. Arizona State (W) Also receiving votes: Alabama; Arizona (at the Ft. Worth Regional on Saturday); Kentucky; Louisville; Mississippi State; Notre Dame (at the Ft. Worth Regional on Saturday). 11 teams of the Top 25 are on our schedule as well as Arizona and Notre Dame whom we might face this weekend. If we make the ITA Nationals, maybe 3 more. The individual singles and doubles rankings aren't available for a few more weeks. 5 of the 6 Big 12 teams are ranked. The separate CTR (a different website) rankings have the Frogs at 7th.
  9. Norrie v. Herbert finally started around 2:00 a.m. (CST) and the match went 5 sets and lasted 3 hours 43 minutes, so I'm glad I didn't stay up for it. Cam fought hard but lost 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, so he'll have to wait another year to get his first Aussie W. It looked good after 3 sets with Cam up 2 sets to 1, but Herbert stiffened his resistance and was able to get the key breaks to win. Norrie is still in the doubles, teaming with Martin Fucsovics. They're scheduled to play Ram/Salisbury tomorrow in the opening round.
  10. Cam was supposed to start about an hour ago, but his match has been delayed, so I don't think I'm going to stay up for it. Hopefully, he'll get his first-ever W at the Aussie. Details tomorrow.
  11. Here's a good article on Cam Norrie and his upcoming battle against Pierre Hugues Herbert in the opening round at the Aussie: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/jan/19/cameron-norrie-australian-open-pierre-hugues-herbert. Cam will be shooting for his first-ever W at Melbourne tonight at 11:00 p.m. (CST). The Guardian doesn't like his chances, but Cam does. He's also very complimentary about his time with Tim Henman as the ATP Cup Coach for the Brits. FAU is already 2-3 on the year, with W's over Florida A&M and ETSU and losses (0-7 for each) to #1Florida, South Florida and Florida State. The Owls are a solid respectable C-USA squad who qualified for the ITA Kickoff by finishing in the Top 60 last year. The Kickoff is essentially the first two rounds of the ITA National Indoors,a huge sprawling national tourney that traditionally marks the beginning of the Spring tennis season. It consists of 15 regionals, with 4 teams each, the winners of which will punch their tickets to the Nationals two weeks later. Wisconsin, the host, is guaranteed a berth in the Nationals, but all the others must qualify. TCU is hosting a regional (yet again) because the Frogs finished in the Top 15 last year and the other Ft. Worth participants chose to come to Ft. Worth via a draw that was held last June. Notre Dame opened the season last night and lost to Kentucky, but they are hosting Purdue tonight for a chance to get their first W. Arizona opened with 2 W's over Hawaii and beat UC-Riverside and Northern Arizona yesterday; so they are now 4-0. Both the Irish and the Wildcats are in the "Also receiving Votes" category of the preseason Top 25, so maybe the Cats should be favored in the other bracket. If we make the Nationals, the tourney brackets will reflect the rankings, but even the first round losers are guaranteed at least 3 matches against Top 16 opponents. And because the tennis rankings are not like other sports (cough cough football), the system encourages as many matches as possible against top teams so as to build one's resume for the NCAA's - you want to play the good teams because that earns you more ranking points. Last year, for example, we got matches against UNC, Mississippi State and UCLA. This will be the Frogs' first home match - hopefully, it will be outside and will get a good turnout.
  12. Yesterday was a very good W for the team in its opening dual match of the Spring season. To get a victory over a Top 25 opponent on the road is always good, but given Roditi's prior record of slow starts and the fact that we lost so much and had so many new freshmen to break in, I was actually expecting a loss. So the 5-2 W over the Sun Devils is a very good sign that we might actually deserve our lofty ranking in the early part of a transition year. Our line-up was (1) Gray; (2) Paroulek; (3) Fomba; (4) Fearnley; (5) Jong; and (6) Roldan and in doubles, it was (1) Gray/Fearnley (our Brits); (2) Jong/Paroulek and (3) Kruger/Fomba. The doubles matches started out badly, with all 3 teams going down a break early, but they all fought and (2) and (3) ended up with the wins and (1) was also ahead but unfinished. And then, Gray, Fomba, Fearnley and Jong all won their singles matches for a relatively convincing win. Maybe #2 is a little high for Paroulek - we'll see. Kruger played, but only in doubles - I predict he'll be back in singles shortly. Gray taking down Rakotomalala was impressive and bodes well for some tough #1 matches he'll play. The Sun Devils did have two upperclassmen out with injuries, so they once again played a bunch of freshmen - this was probably a factor in our W. We're now 6-0 all-time against ASU. Next Saturday, we'll host the ITA Kickoff - opening up with Florida Atlantic. If we win, we'll play the winner of Notre Dame/Arizona for the right to go to the Indoor Nationals in Madison two weeks later. After yesterday, I like our chances against FAU; Notre Dame is probably the favorite in the other bracket and they're highly ranked. Making the Nationals is key because we'll get a lot of good competition there if we qualify.
  13. The #25 Sun Devils easily swept Grand Canyon last night 4-0 in under 2 hours, starting the season 1-0 with a W. But at least we got the opportunity to scout their line-up. They put (1) Makey Rakotomalala; (2) Andrea Bolla; (3) freshman Christian Lerby; (4) freshman Tom LeBlanc; (5) freshman George Stoupe; and (6) freshman Jonah Wilson out in singles and Rakotomalala/LeBlanc; Stoupe/Lerby; and Ruehl/Bolla in doubles. Undoubtedly, we'll see more of their upperclassmen tomorrow. They'll have the advantage of prior action, but it wasn't competitive and the opponent wasn't all that impressive, so I'm not sure it's that much of an advantage. Still, though, with virtually their whole team back and the Frogs having lost Rybo and Widow, I'm not really liking our chances on the road. I'll be working tomorrow, so no live reports from me, but the re-cap will be available tomorrow night.
  14. Rybo and Svajda lost their doubles match 3-6, 6-1 (6-10) at Rancho Santa Fe, so that concludes a bad week for Frog tennis pros with early losses by all. The main draw for the Aussie has been announced and Cam Norrie's first opponent will be Pierre Hugues Herbert (ATP#64; France), who most recently was in Doha where he went into the 3rd round and lost to Rublev. It's scheduled for the 20th, in about 4 days. Heavy rains have diminished many of the fires in Australia, so hopefully, the tourney can go on without too much trouble. Herbert is mostly a doubles specialist, but his singles ranking is similar to Cam's, so it should be an even match. But the big news is the upcoming season opener against Arizona State. There are a lot of unknowns - what will our line-up be? Will we see our new freshmen? Which ones? How good are they? Has Kruger recovered from injuries? Is Gray our #1? It's scheduled for Saturday at 1:00 p.m. (MST). The Sun Devils open their season tonight against Grand Canyon, so they'll get a dual match in before they host the Frogs. ASU is coached by Matt Hill; they return some very good players, including Andrea Bolla (Italy), William Kirkman (Dominican Republic), Nathan Ponwith (Scottsdale), Makey Rakotomalala (France) and Tim Ruehl (Germany) (basically, their whole team from last year), but they also have a bunch of highly touted freshmen.
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