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Jared

TCU Tennis 2018-19

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4 hours ago, Jared said:

Martina Navratilova and Purple Dawg have a combined 18 major singles titles between them.

There's only about 14 degrees of separation between me and Martina. I knew where she lived over by Shady Oaks in FW. That's as close as it ever got. ūüėĄ

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The Frog v. Frog quarterfinal between Nick Chappell and JT Brooksby has just started in Waco and the future Frog currently leads the former Frog 2-1 (up a break) in the first set.  In a sense, it's unfair that they placed the two in the same bracket, so someone has to lose, but it does guarantee at least one Frog into the semis.

 

Brooksby up 3-1.

Chappell holds after a looong game and trails 2-3.

Brooksby holds and goes up 4-2.

Chappell broken again and JT leads 5-2.

Brooksby takes the first set 6-2.

 

Nick holds and takes a 1-0 lead in the 2nd set.

1-all.

Chappell up 2-1.  Still even on serve.

2-all as JT holds easily.

Nick up 3-2.

3-all.

JT gets the break and leads 4-3!  Go Frog!

Nick breaks back and evens it at 4-all!  Go Frog!

JT breaks right back and takes a 5-4 lead!  Go Frog!

 

JT Brooksby takes the match 2 and 4 and advances to the semis in Waco.  This has been a very good tourney for him and he only got into the main draw because of a wildcard.  It's too bad that Nick got such a bad draw that he had to play a Frog.

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The Chappell v. Watson match has started in Tallahassee and Nick trails 4-5 in the first set, having given up an early break. 

 

4-6.  Nick falls in the first set.

1-all in the 2nd.  Nick has earned $7,344 this year and $34,978 in his career.  He's moved up to #677 in the ATP.

2-1.

3-1!!  Nick gets the early break!  The Watson machine must be prevented from working at all!

6-1!  Nick evens the match at 1-set apiece!  (I tried to join the Cal message board, but you have to have a mobile phone and I don't).

 

0-1 in the 3rd.  Screw BearInsider!  If they insist on/want a mobile phone, they don't get to read my Mario Savio jokes!

0-2.  %$#@!  All that wasted time trying to talk to the Cal Bears was bad luck for Nick!

0-3.  The BearInsider machine has become so odious that you just have to beat them in the Cheezit Bowl.  You have to put your bodies on the gears of their offense!  On the whole apparatus!

1-5.  This whole match is making me extremely mad at Cal!

Nick falls 4-6, 6-1, 1-6.  Screw Andrew Watson, BearInsider and the whole Cal football machine!

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December is usually a slow time for tennis because the top pros are all taking the month off and there just aren't very many tourneys scheduled.  And college tennis is also basically over for the fall and won't start up again until the Spring when dual match team competition ramps up.  So, here are the year-end ATP rankings for the multitudinous former, current and future Frogs that we follow:

 

Cam Norrie - #91 in singles and #199 in doubles.  This is huge because the Top 100 get automatic main draw berths in all the Slams.

Alex Rybakov - #535 in singles.  A good year, but not that good for Alex means he'll be back playing for the Frogs in the Spring.

Nick Chappell - #677 in singles and #649 in doubles.  Nick was flirting with the 1000's and bounced back nicely this year.  His career will continue.

Gerardo Lopez Villasenor - #746 in singles and #1261 in doubles.  The Mexican Davis Cupper had a good year although not playing all that much.

Trevor Johnson - #938 in singles and #697 in doubles.  After graduating, Trevor did fairly well and looks to better in 2019.

Jenson Brooksby - #1234 in singles.  The Kalamazoo winner has a very bright future.

Reese Stalder - #1276 in singles.  Reese got his first ATP points and is probably thinking about a full-time pro career (in his usual laid back way).

Alastair Gray - NR.  Ali's injuries prevented him from playing many tourneys and he lost all his ATP points.

Bertus Kruger - NR.  Like Ali, Bertus just didn't play enough due to injury and his points have also rolled off.

Juan Martin - NR.  Juan is an enigma because he hasn't played any pro tourneys and sat out last Spring for the Frogs.  Maybe he'll play this Spring.
Eduardo Roldan - NR.  Also not ranked due to inactivity, but we'll need him this Spring.

Sander Jong - NR.  Highly ranked as a junior, he just didn't play enough pro (Futures) tourneys to earn points.

Max Kurzban - NR.  Similarly, he's done well in college, but hasn't broken through in the pros as yet.

Jacob Fearnley - NR in singles; #1481 in doubles.  Another future Frog with a bright future.

 

It's kind of amazing that we have 14 players that we follow - quite a bit more than most schools.  That, plus the fact that TCU has won 3 straight Big12 championships shows that we're definitely a "tennis school." 

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Well, Jenson has obviously never read the stellar tennis thread on this board and doesn't know about how this reporting will further his career. I mean, who was Cam Norrie before Jared started talking about him, really? Just a nobody who swung a racket. It's Jenson's loss.

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On 12/12/2018 at 4:49 PM, FractalFrog said:

I just saw on twitter that Jenson Brooksby has not only decommitted from TCU but also signed a NLI with Baylor.

 

Ouch. 

Well, I guess we won't be following him any more.  I wonder what happened - I think he's making a huge mistake, which will not be good for either his tennis or his education.

 

Alex Rybakov is competing in the USTA Blizzard Challenge this weekend at Lake Nona - he was one of only 8 male college players selected and the winner will get a main draw wildcard entry into the main draw of the Orlando Challenger that starts in two weeks as well as qualifying for the U.S. National Collegiate Team (which means grant money and coaching by USTA pros).  Others in the tourney include Cornell's Alafia Ayeni, USC's Brandon Holt, Ohio State's John McNally, Georgia's Emil Reinberg, Florida's Sam Riffice, UCLA's Keegan Smith and USC's Tanner Smith.  Alex has the highest ATP ranking in the field and the highest UTR rating as well.  They started the round robin yesterday, but I couldn't find the results.  The semis will be Monday and the finals on Tuesday, if Rybo makes it that far.

 

Cam Norrie was in Ft. Worth this past week practicing with the TCU team, but he'll be heading down under soon (if not already).

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The finals at Lake Nona between Rybo and Brandon Holt have finally started.  They were milling about for nearly an hour trying to dry one end of the court before they could start (it apparently rained there last night).  Alex has started strong and has taken a 3-love lead in the first set.  It's being streamed live on the usta site.

 

3-1.  Holt holds and wins his first game.  Rybo is wearing the school colors (purple and black - sorry PD).

4-1.  It must be VERY humid there because they've both worked up quite a sweat already.

4-2.  Holt playing much better.

5-2!  Alex holds at love.  Holt is Tracy Austin's son - he's 20 and won the Claremont Futures tourney in September (ATP#734).

6-2!  Rybakovsky holds and takes the first set with ease!

 

1-love in the 2nd set.  Alex has changed shirts and is now wearing a grey shirt with the frog logo on the front.

1-all.  Holt holds and this set may be tougher than the first.  Holt last played a pro tourney at the Tiburon Challenger - losing to Tommy Paul in the 2nd round.

2-1.  Alex hits a beautiful passing shot to take the game.

3-1!! Holt has adopted a much riskier strategy of coming to net on every point.  He led 30-love, but Rybo took aim and won 4 straight points.

4-1.  Alexandrovich holds again.

5-1!  Another break and this one looks over.

6-1!!  Alex takes the title!  He won two Futures tourneys over the summer, took the Summer ITA's in doubles with Max Kurzban, won the Battle in the Bay tourney and now the USTA Blizzard!  If he could just do better in the Challengers, it'd be a fantastic year.  He'll get one more chance at the Orlando Challenger next week and he won't have to go through qualies.  He's also on the U.S. National College team!

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Unlike past years (like the arguments over the Roditi Rule), not much happened at the ITA Coaches Convention this past week.  There was an announcement that USC and South Carolina will be competing in a dual match (both men and women) to be staged in Melbourne at the Aussie Open for the first time ever outside the U.S. and at a Slam venue , there was a forum on dealing with LGBT athletes and there was the usual assistant coach interviews and networking.  Two weeks ago, the U.S. won its 8th Masters'U (the collegiate version of the Davis Cup) title in 10 years in Lille with a 4-1 victory over Great Britain in the finals.  Greg Patton, the former Boise State coach was once again the coach and the team was led by USC's Brandon Holt, who just an hour or so ago, lost to Alex Rybakov in Orlando.  Most of the talk in the tennis world during the December break has been about the new "transition tour" that kicks off in a couple of weeks - we've talked about it here.  Basically, it means that a new lower level of tourneys will be introduced that pay no money but will allow successful players to earn points to advance to the Futures and Challengers that will pay more money - the point being to make the Top 700 players to be able to make a living at playing pro tennis (rather than the 200-300 that do so now).  Cam Norrie wrapped up his Ft. Worth practice with a thank you tweet yesterday to his "whole team" and he's now headed down under to get ready to play Roger Federer in the Hopman Cup.  I don't know whether he'll return to the Noumea Challenger in New Caledonia - traditionally, that's the opening tourney of the year but the new Orlando Challenger (which Rybo just qualified for) is an addition to the schedule which will share dates with Noumea.

 

The fall ITA rankings came out a few weeks ago - most of our guys haven't played much college tennis this fall so most everyone's rankings slipped.  Rybakov is 14th (down from 10th), Stalder and Gray dropped out, Bertus Kruger is 65th and Eduardo Roldan is 69th.  Petros Chrysochos of Wake Forest is #1 (duh).

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Just to follow up on yesterday's point on the ITA rankings for the fall, following is a list of the current Top 20 players in singles.  Obviously, the fall rankings have to be taken with a grain of salt because most players would rather try their hands at earning money on the pro circuits and don't even enter the purely college tourneys (that don't pay anything).  But here are Rybo's competitors as of now:

 

1. Petros Chrysochos - Wake Forest (he's won virtually every major tourney and is the leader by a mile)

2. Jan Zielinski - Georgia

3. J.J. Wolf - Ohio State (best known for the Patrick Kypson spitting incident)

4. Christian Sigsgaard - Texas (up from #54 in the pre-season)

5. Thomas Laurent - Oregon

6. Nicolas Moreno de Alboran - UCSB

7. Paul Jubb - South Carolina

8. Daniel Cukierman - USC

9. Oliver Crawford - Florida

10. Alex Brown - Illinois (last year's Nemesis for the Frogs; the Illini lost Hiltzik and Vukic)

11. Nuno Borges - Mississippi State (usually Top 5; he'll likely move upwards)

12. David Volfson - Cornell (up from NR in the pre-season)

13. Kyle Seelig - Ohio State

14. Alex Rybakov - TCU

15. Emil Reinberg - Georgia

16. Alex Lebedev - Notre Dame

17. Will Little - Baylor

18. Yuya Ito - Texas

19. Laurens Verboven - USC

20. Axel Geller - Stanford

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The courts at the tennis center have either been resurfaced or repainted and they now have a fresh new purple surface - Cam Norrie tweeted that they're likely to be slow and he feels sorry for teams that will have to play on it.  Cam is also the new celebrity spokesmodel for Epiology, a New Zealand based skincare brand that has a regime that is supposedly clinically proven to help acne-prone skin and, according to Cam, it is "perfect for people with active lifestyles who are on the go all day."  (I've been generally skeptical of tennis pros hyping products ever since McEnroe was pushing that horrific Bic shaver that served the purpose of mangling the skin of everyone who ever tried it and this skepticism was only amplified when Agassi was pushing the "image is everything" slogan).  Nonetheless, the fact that Norrie is now doing it sort of indicates that he's arrived as a (at least D-list) celebrity.

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In addition to Alex Rybakov in the Orlando Challenger later this week, Reese Stalder is on the acceptance list for the Los Angeles Futures tourney which will also start this weekend.  So, uh, is that traitor Jenson Brooksby, but I promised not to follow that turncoat who just made a life-ruining decision.

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Cam Norrie will kick off his Hopman Cup matches in Perth with a tough one against Greek phenom Stafanos Tsitsipas, who has rocketed up to ATP#15 tomorrow,  He's also got a mixed doubles match against the Greeks(with Tsitsipas as the male opponent).  And only after that will he get to play his first match ever against Roger Federer.  If he can pull just one upset (hopefully against Fed), it would be astonishing.

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Check it out!!!  Cameron Norrie just played the best match of his career and stunned #15 Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (10-8), 6-4 in the first match of the 2019 season (for all players) on live international TV!!  Tsitsipas looked like the better player throughout, making great shot after great shot, but he also made a lot of unenforced errors (39) and Cam just played slow and steady all the way and was clearly better conditioned.  The Aussie announcers were very complimentary of Cam although not so much about his choice to enter the "U.S. system" which they thought had hampered his development.  And they also knew next to nothing about TCU or Ft. Worth or our tennis history - repeatedly saying that we were undistinguished and that no top players had ever come from TCU.  (I wanted to throw things at them all the way to Perth!).  Whatever.  Beating the #15 player is key to beating the GOAT (i.e., Roger Federer) in 2 days.  Can Cam do both??!!

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