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TCU Tennis 2017-18

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Whew!  Rybakov turns the tables and wins the 2nd set tie-breaker 7-3.  So it's 1 set all going into the deciding 3rd set.  This is one wild match - it's already nearly 3 hours in and they're only starting a 3rd set.  Holding serve is rare and both players are playing well.  Whoever wins will surely earn it.

 

Serving first, Rybo holds and leads 1-0 early.

2-1.  Unlike last set, still even on serve.

3-2.  Rybo holds at love.

4-3.  Alex saves 3 break points and it's still even on serve.

5-3!!  Rybakov gets the clutch break!  And he'll serve for this long closely-fought match!

Rybakov wins 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-3), 6-3!!  And he's into the semi-finals against (probably) Lucas Gomez (from Mexico).  Gomez is also a lefty and he's ranked #846.  Alex should be favored tomorrow but that's not necessarily indicative.

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I was busy all day and wasn't able to follow Alex's match, but he beat Lucas Gomez easily (3 and 2) today and has advanced to the finals of the Buffalo Futures tourney tomorrow.  He'll play Deighton Baughman, who is a USC Trojan and Alex knows him pretty well because they teamed in doubles this week.  Baughman is ranked #590 in the ATP and according to that measure, should be slightly favored, but it actually should be a very close match for the championship because Rybo is rated higher in the UTR.  To win a championship his first time out this summer in the pros would be quite an accomplishment for Rybakov.

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And Alex completes his remarkable run of 5 straight wins at Buffalo with a championship title by beating Baughman 7-6 (7-5), 3-1 (retired).  Needless to say, this is huge for Alex; he gets his 2nd title in less than a year, he starts the summer strong and his ATP ranking will surely jump up from 617.  He'll qualify for virtually any main draw in a Futures tourney and might make some Challengers as well and he certainly sends a signal to his competitors that he's the guy to beat this summer on the Futures circuit.  He's likely to defend his title at Rochester next and then he's probably on to Pittsburgh.  Cam Norrie has already tweeted his congrats as have others.  Congrats to Rybo on the title! 

 

At Queen's Club, Cam got a bad draw and will open in the first round against Stan Wawrinka, who's, like, a fantastic player - one of the few that broke through the Rafa/Fed/Joker/Murray foursome in recent years with an Aussie title.  Wavro has been injured most of the year but recently made a comeback on the clay and he's dangerous on the grass.  Cam won't be favored, obviously, but this is yet another player you've actually heard of that Cam will be playing. 

 

Elsewhere this week, I think Trevor Johnson and Reese Stalder will both be at Winston Salem (again) for the 2nd Futures tourney at Wake, Rybo will be at Rochester, Nick Chappell and Jerry Lopez will be in Calgary and Cam will be at Queen's Club.

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Cam Norrie is live on the Tennis Channel against Wawrinka right now but he isn't playing well so we shouldn't get our hopes up   - down 2-5 in the first set.  Alastair Gray is in the spectator box with Facundo.  It's on Centre Court at Queen's Club which is in Greater London (NE side).  Cam falls 2 and 3 - Wavro played well.

 

Both Reese Stalder and Trevor Johnson won their qualies yesterday at Winston Salem and are scheduled today to play matches which, if they win, will get them into this week's main draw.

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Stalder just beat Jose Martin de Oliva Carr 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 6-3 and has advanced to the main draw at the Winston Salem Futures tourney.  He now has a chance to earn some ATP points for the first time in his career if he can win one match in the main draw.  This is huge for Reese - he has now won 3 straight qualies over Jonathan Chang (4 and 4), Andrew Redding (3 and love) and Martin de Oliva Carr.  

 

And Trevor Johnson is currently playing Gage Brymer and is at 6-1, 2-6, 1-2 in his 2nd qualie which, I think, is also for a ticket to the main draw at the Wake tourney.  Stalder and Johnson, to match Rybo, would need to win 7-8 straight matches for a title - that's the big difference between having to go through qualies each week.  And Trevor takes it 7-6 (7-2) in the 3rd; fighting back from down 2-5 early!!  He's also into the main draw!

 

And Rybakov has been seeded at the Rochester Futures tourney and is scheduled to play David Souto, a 26-year-old Venezuelan, who is ranked #892 in the ATP ratings, in the first round.  Can he defend his title with another run?  Can he duplicate last week with solid play?

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This is like the busiest day of the busiest week in Frog tennis history in the pros and I seriously doubt if I've got everything right.  First, in Winston Salem, Reese Stalder will face Emil Reinberg in singles, and in doubles, he's partnering with Rrezart Cungu, a Montenegrin who plays for Wake, and they will play Christian Seraphim (UT) and Ian Dempster.  Trevor Johnson will play Colin Altamirano (UVa.) in singles, and in doubles, he's partnering with Ronnie Schneider, and they will play Emil Reinberg and Trent Bryde.  In Calgary, Nick Chappell will play Jack Davis (Canadian), and in doubles, he's partnering with Northwestern's Sam Shropshire, and he and Shrop will play Steven Diaz and Ricardo Rodriguez (both Canadians).  And Jerry Lopez will play Harrison Scott (UT) in singles and, in doubles, he's teaming with Alexander Junior, and they will face Alexis Galarmend and Benjamin Sigouin.  And in Rochester, Rybo will play Souto in singles, and in doubles, he's teaming with Aggie (????) Jordi Arconada and they will play Temur Ismailov (Uzbekistan) and Markos Kelovelonis.  All matches in all venues are in the opening rounds of the main draw, in singles, the Round of 32 and in doubles, the Round of 16.  Good luck to all Frogs, current and former.

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Unfortunately, my earlier prediction that Alex Rybakov would get a big bump in the ATP rankings after his championship at Buffalo didn't come true.  And this is because of the simple reason that Buffalo was the tourney that Alex won last year - I had falsely remembered that it was at Rochester.  So, the result of him winning the Buffalo Futures tourney for the 2nd consecutive time was merely to retain the points that he had won last year.  So, he was at #617 last week and today's rankings came out and he's now at #615.  Thus, no big jump.  On the one hand, this is bad for Rybo because, unless he keeps winning more tourney titles this summer, he's unlikely to make the Cam Norrie (2016) jump that he needs to greatly enhance his pro prospects.  On the other hand, he's not going to lose his position for at least another year when his points roll off.  (Of course, we don't want him to move up THAT much because that might convince him to go full-time pro before his senior season next Spring).  So Alex winning at Buffalo again might be the best thing for Frog fans - he'll stay in the low 600's and be a highly-ranked returning senior but he won't leap Frog up to the 300's.  I'm not sure why he plays so well at Buffalo, but he does - it's "his" tournament.  Last year, he won at Buffalo but then lost in the first round to Thai-son frickin Kwiatkowski in the first round at Rochester.

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Here are some of the results from today so far.  Stalder and Cungu lost their doubles match 3 and 4 in Winston Salem.  But Trevor Johnson and Schneider won their doubles match 4 and 3 to advance to the quarterfinals there.  At Rochester, Rybo and the Aggie lost their doubles match 6-2, 3-6 (8-10).  And at Calgary, Jerry Lopez beat the Longhorn Harrison Scott 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 in singles and has advanced to the Round of 16, but he lost his doubles match 3 and 1.  The other matches will either be later today or will be delayed until tomorrow.

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I was, like, shocked when I first read the news that Alex was teaming with, of all things, an Aggie, in doubles!  In Arconada's defense, though, he's now a former Aggie, having left the team after 4 years there last month and he's from Argentina, so he might not have known what an Aggie was when he first committed there.  And, the Aggies did make the Final 4 this year, which is their best performance ever (although like horse racing, when you talk about "Lasix enhanced," this was "Kypson-enhanced") so Rybo does have the excuse that Jordi's a pretty good player.  In any event, they lost in the first round, so it's not like we had to endure it for more than one round.  And I checked the Aggie roster and there are no players from Portland although they may have a new recruit from there.  Whatever.  Alex walloped Souto 4 and 1 today in singles so he's now into the Round of 16 at Rochester.

 

In Winston Salem, Reese Stalder lost 4 and 2 to Emil Reinberg, so no ATP points as yet for him.  But Trevor Johnson "beat" Altamirano 4-2 (retired) and is also into the Round of 16 and TJ and Schneider advanced to the semis in doubles by beating Henry Craig and Miles Seeman 4 and 3.  TJ will now face Craig again in singles tomorrow.  I'm not sure about his doubles match-up.

 

In Calgary, Gerardo Lopez Villasenor (aka Jerry Lopez) beat the Longhorn Harrison Scott 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 in a close 3-setter and has also advanced to the Round of 16, where he will now face Paul Oosterbaan.  And, reversing his usual performance, Nick Chappell won his singles match and lost his doubles match - he beat Jack Davis 2 and 3 and will now face Steven Diez (a Canuck), but he and Shrop lost to Diez/Rodriguez 6-3, 3-6, 8-10 in doubles.

 

So, Rybo, TJ, Jerry and Nick are all still alive in singles and TJ is still alive in doubles.  Not a bad week so far.

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Former tennis star Boris Becker's attempt to wiggle out of financial trouble reportedly has hit a snag.

 

Becker declared bankruptcy in June 2017 as the result of owing a "historical debt" to private banking firm Arbuthnot Latham & Co. According to TMZ Sports, the 50-year-old tried to claim that he had a diplomatic passport from the Central African Republic that would give him immunity in the United Kingdom. However, TMZ reported that Central African Republic officials said the document is fake.

 

"The diplomatic passport that he has is a fake," Cherubin Moroubama, the foreign ministry’s chief of staff, told Agence-France Presse (h/t the Guardian's Jon Henley).

 

TMZ reported there were several issues with Becker's supposed passport. First, the serial number allegedly matched up with some that were stolen in 2014. In addition, the document did not contain the signature or stamp of the foreign minister, Charles Armel Doubane.

 

"Boris Becker is not an official diplomat of Central African Republic," Doubane said, via the Independent. "The President never asked me to take the appropriate steps in the case of Boris Becker."

 

Earlier this month, the former No. 1-ranked player in the world put his tennis trophies up for auction in a bankruptcy sale. Becker won six Grand Slam singles titles, recording victories twice at the Australian Open, three times at Wimbledon and once at the U.S. Open. He never won the French Open, although he reached the semifinals three times.

 

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The British media is, like, totally harshing and throwing shade on the way Cam talks.  He was quoted recently as saying that he "did not realize how 'sick' it was to be able to travel the world and just play tennis" and how "stoked" he was to be playing the Slams.  And the hoity toity stuffed shirts, in, like, a totally condescending and supercilious way, commented that "sick" was "apparently a compliment" and that "stoked" was a California "surfer-dude" way of saying "excited."  I mean, like, if Cam is jonesing for a higher ATP ranking, why are the U.K. media getting all gnarly with him??!!

 

Starting shortly will be Alex Rybakov v. Kelsey Stevenson, Trevor Johnson v. Henry Craig, Gerardo Lopez Villasenor v. Peter Oosterbaan  and Nick Chappell v. Steven Diez - all for tickets to the quarters in Winston Salem, Rochester and Calgary.

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Rybo beat Stevenson 4 and 1 and has moved on to the quarters at Rochester.  But TJ (6-4, 3-6, 5-7) and Nick (5-7, 2-6) both lost.  Lopez's singles match and Trevor's doubles match also went badly as Lopez lost a heartbreaker 6-7, (6-8), 6-7 (5-7) and TJ and Schneider lost 2 and 4.  So, as of yesterday, we had 4 singles players and 1 doubles player still alive and tonight, we've got Rybo at Rochester in the quarters.

 

And in the quarters tomorrow, Alex will face the same guy he played against in the epic match in the quarters at Buffalo - Mateo Martinez, from Argentina.  Last week, it was 6-7, 7-6, 6-3.  Tomorrow's rematch?

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It took three sets again, but Alex Rybakov was able to once again beat Mateo Martinez 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 and he has advanced to the semi-finals at the Rochester Futures tourney.  Tomorrow, he will face Ecuadorian-American Andres Andrade, a 19-year old who received a wild card into the tourney and doesn't have an ATP ranking.  Rybo will therefore be favored to make his second final in a row this summer, which is a very hot start to the season.

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The semis have started and Alex leads Andrade 6-1, 1-1.  The winner moves on to the finals.

1-2 in the 2nd but on serve.

2-3.  They're playing on a clay surface.

3-4.

4-all  Still on serve.

5-4! Alex gets the break!!  He'll serve for the semis!!

6-4!  Rybo wins 1 and  4 and advances!!

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Rybo's opponent tomorrow morning in the finals of the Rochester Futures tourney on clay will be Markos Kalevelonis, a 24-year-old Greek-Russian who is ranked #909 currently, but has a CH of #445.  He's good on clay and especially proficient at doubles, with 6 ITF titles so far.  He's been playing very well at Rochester.  Alex will be favored to win his 2nd singles title in as many weeks.  There'll be an element of revenge for Rybo as Kalevelonis was one of the players that beat Alex and the Aggie in doubles in the first round.

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1 hour ago, Boston Frog said:

Well?!?!?!?!?

I'm not sure when yesterday, but play was ultimately resumed and Rybo won his second straight title 6-1, 7-6 (8-6).  The Buffalo and Rochester championships are now in TCU's hands and Rybo is off to Pittsburgh shooting for 3 in a row.

 

Meanwhile, Reese Stalder is in Tulsa, where he has already won his first qualie 6-1, 6-1 over Piotr Lada and he'll face Isaiah Strode later today.  Jerry Lopez will next play at Kelowna in Canada next week.  Cam Norrie will be at Eastbourne this week and he's scheduled to play Daniel Brands, a 30-year old German vet (with 9 historic singles titles) with an ATP rank of #315.  (Cam's up to #80 today).

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Reese Stalder lost to Strode and failed to make the main draw at Tulsa.  But the Camster is currently playing Brands at Eastbourne and is leading 7-5, 1-1 in the Round of 32.

 

3-3 in the 2nd.

4-3.

4-all.  Still even on serve.

5-4.

6-5.

6-all.  Into a tiebreak.

6-7.  Cam falls to Brands in the breaker 4-7.

 

1-1 in the 3rd.

2-all as Cam has to save two break points.

3-2!  Cam gets the key break!

4-2.

5-2!  Another break!  Cam will serve for the match!

6-2!  Norrie advances to the Round of 16!  In the last tune-up before Wimbledon.

 

Cam will face 19-year-old fellow Brit Jay Clarke (ATP#236) in the next round.  Alex Rybakov has moved up to #568 after his recent championships.

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