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Jared

TCU Tennis 2018-19

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Nick Chappell was on the acceptance list for the Tucson Futures tourney this week but was apparently a late scratch.  (Is he injured?)  Jenson "Benedict Arnold" Brooksby got a wild card though.  (He's such a spoiled favored little s*#t).  But over in Turkey, future Frog Tadeas Paroulek (ATP# 645, WAY higher than Brooksby) is entered into the Antalya Futures tourney.  Antalya, of course, is the 5th most populous Turkish city, it's located on Anatolia's southwest coast and is bordered by the Taurus mountains, it was founded by the Attalid dynasty of Pergamon in 200 B.C.E., it thrived under Roman rule when Hadrian's Gate was constructed and has been ruled by the Seljuk Sultanate and the Ottoman Empire.  It's well-known as a sports mecca, with football (soccer) teams galore, wrestling and, since 2010, is the host of of a multi-day trail running ultramarathon on the Lycian Way.  The center-left-dominated Kemalist Antalyans are very into tennis and Tadeas has played there often, with some success.  Antalya is a sister city of Austin, Texas.  In singles, he's into the main draw (Round of 32) and will play Romanian Bogdan Ionut Apostol in the first round tomorrow.  And in doubles, he's partnering with Ukranian Oleg Prihodko and they've already won their first round over  Kaya Arinc and Bekir Berk Sahin 2 and love - Paroulek/Prihodko will now face the Colombian duo of Felipe Mantilla and  Cristian Rodriguez in the quarters.  Jacob Fearnley last played a Futures tourney last Spring and doesn't have anything scheduled at present.

 

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As projected, TCU is the 15th seed at the ITA Nationals in Chicago and we'll be playing the #2 seed, which isn't Ohio State but is instead Mississippi State (6-0) - we're scheduled to play at 9:00 a.m. on Friday February 15 at Midtown.  Ohio State, coming off a thumping of USC, is the top seed; Wake, which recently lost to Virginia, slipped to the #3 slot.  Of course, we've already seen Mississippi State at Tempe where we beat them, but they were without some of their players (although Rybo did beat Nuno Borges).  So, even though we're only 4-2 and have losses to Tulsa and Florida, I think we still have a chance.  If we win, the 7th seed is North Carolina, who is playing #10 Baylor in the opening round, so my guess is we'll either play UNC or Baylor in either the 2nd round or in the consolation bracket if we lose (although I could be wrong).  As in Tempe, Mississippi State will be extraordinarily difficult to beat - the Tarheels or the Bears would be easier but everyone at the Nationals is a top-level team.

 

The ITA rankings would normally come out today, but there are no rankings this week for some reason, so everyone will await the outcome of the Nationals prior to the next rankings (which may have enough data to convert to the computers.  So the Nationals will drastically impact the next rankings and everything will depend on SOS and who has played and beat whom next week.

 

Tadeas Paroulek's match against Apostol was delayed until tomorrow in Antalya.

 

Also, Baylor's non-trip to Wake has been logged as a forfeit and counts for their individual standings and rankings.

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Paroulek (#645) beat Apostol (#623) 1 and 3 earlier today in Antalya in the Round of 32.  Now, he's scheduled to face fellow Czech Pavel Nejedly (#536) in the Round of 16 tomorrow.  He's also still alive in doubles (with Prihodko)- the quarters are scheduled after his singles match.

 

The line-ups for tomorrow's match are already set against Mississippi State.  For the Bulldogs, it'll be (1) Nuno Borges; (2) Giovanni Oradini; (3) Strahinja Rakic; (4) Niclas Braun; (5) Trevor Foshey; and (6) Florian Brosky and their doubles teams will be  (1) Borges/Rakic; (2) Braun/Oradini; and (3) Foshey/Gregor Ramskogler.  And for the Frogs, it'll be (1) Rybo; (2) Gray (3) Stalder; (4) Kruger; (5) Fomba; and (6) Jong and Rybo/Gray, Stalder/Kruger and Fomba/Jong.

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All-time, Mississippi State leads TCU 3-2 in the historic series - the Frogs won the first two meetings but the Bulldogs have won the last 3 straight.  Not counting Tempe, the last time we faced them was in 2012 and MSU got the win 4-1 in Starkville.  At neutral sites, TCU leads 2-1.  MSU is 6-0 and is effectively the #2 team in the nation, but they, like us, are not necessarily good on indoor courts.  Their 6 W's are over Wichita State, Arizona, Miami, USF, Tech and Tulane.  Tech gave them the toughest match and only lost 4-2.  Borges is ranked 5th in singles; Foshey, Oradini and Braun are also ranked.  They are undefeated on the doubles point all year.  For the Frogs, Rybakov, Gray and Kruger are also ranked.  The match is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. - if all goes well, I'll be there and I'm not gonna bring a tablet or phone, so I'll do a re-cap tomorrow night. 

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In glorious fashion, the Fighting Frogs from lil ole TCU walloped the mighty Bulldogs of Mississippi State today at Midtown!  I got there on time but the Frogs barely made it for the national anthem (I do not own a cellphone and never have).  We lost the doubles point in a breaker which we should have won and things looked bad early on.  But then, we proceeded to absolutely dominate the singles on every single court and it was lots of fun watching the multitudinous Bulldog fans shut up and the "Hail What Hail State" chant grew ever quieter with every passing minute.  At one point, SID Mark Cohen ran onto the court to block a Nuno Borges shot (oh wait, that didn't actually happen but I swear I saw something similar recently).  I was dialed in watching Rybo v. Borges and they were both playing very well - Borges is a streaky Tsitsipas-like player who double faults twice in a row and then reels off amazing shot after amazing shot.  But Rybo played like Cam Norrie and was incredibly steady throughout.  We quickly won all 6 straight first sets.  In the end, Rybo's match didn't matter because Stalder won easily first, then Jong won, then Kruger won and then Fomba was up 5-2 and looked like he was going to win, but blew his lead and got taken to a breaker.  Meanwhile, Rybo won his first set 7-6 and Borges, the Arthur Ashe award winner of the Leadership and Sportsmanship award last year, tried to bad call Rybo on a ball that was clearly in and boos erupted and the ump overruled him and Rybo won.  The 2nd set then went to a breaker as well, but just as Rybo was about to win, Fomba stormed back to win his breaker and that was that.  4-1, with ease.  We're 5-2, we just beat #2 and Carolina (who beat Baylor) is next tomorrow morning.

 

I was mortified to learn from the program that SMU has won this thang twice and Baylor once.  That's gotta change.

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I like the idea of no cel phones but I also appreciate having one since I like road trips.  I can't count on my car breaking down 10ft from an emergency phone on a hwy in the middle of no where more than once.

 

But on the notion of road trips, I nominate Jared to travel to more events and give in depth reports from being there.  Much better than reciting scores from online.  I don't even mind waiting for the event to finish and him to get to a computer to upload the report.

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Bad news from Antalya as Tadeas Paroulek lost in singles (6-7 (5-7), 3-6) to Nejedly and doubles (w/ Prihodko) 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 7-10 to the Colombians.

 

Other impressions from Midtown and the Nationals:  Alastair Gray is incredibly tall - more so that one might imagine.  Compared to Ali, Roditi looks like a pygmy and even Rybo, who is 6'1", looks small. Bertus Kruger's accent sounds more American than Boer - I spoke to him briefly as well as Eduardo Roldan.  The Midtown set-up is such that all fans are mingling constantly with the players, coaches and entourages of 16 different teams - I almost stepped on a Columbia player twice who was insisting on stretching right in the middle of the main "aisle" if you can call it that.  For a 9:00 a.m. match on a Friday morning, there were a surprisingly large amount of fans and spectators there (although there were fewer Frog fans than almost any other team).  The level of play was outstanding - you can easily tell that this event has the very best that college tennis has to offer - and the atmosphere was electric; much more so than even Challengers that I've been to.  The teensy tiny sandwiches on sale cost $9, drinks are similarly WAY overpriced and the frickin program cost $5 - college tennis is supposed to be FREE!!!!  I was sitting next to the parents of the volunteer assistant coach for Wake - they were pretty knowledgable about all things ACC.  North Carolina will be tough to beat.

 

Today's other winners were UNC, Wake, UCLA, Ohio State, Virginia, USC and Texas.  That sets up the quarters tomorrow, with those teams playing in that order.  The losers from today will play in the consolation bracket.

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