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TCU Tennis 2018-19

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4 hours ago, Endless Purple said:

Saw on gofrogs that it was a 5-2 TCU win.

Yeah, they finally posted the results.  TCU got a "nice win" (that's the Roditi quote) on the road against UTA and are now 3-1 on the season (and 19-1 all-time against the Mavs).  Roditi gave Rybo a day off, so everyone was promoted a spot both in doubles and singles.  We won the doubles point with W's from Kruger/Stalder (6-2) and Gray/Roldan (6-3).  Then in singles, Gray, Fomba and Kruger all won - clinching the win.  But they played all matches out and Roldan also won, but Reese and Sander both lost, so the final result was 5-2.  It's good to get a road win and UTA's not a bad team; albeit not a giant killer.  Gray beating Guantaname Nuez was probably the most impressive - he's their #1 player.  Next up will be Wichita State at home on Friday and then the #4 Gators at home next Sunday.  Texas upset #6 North Carolina and remained undefeated.  Together with Tech's W over the Ags, the Big12 is looking tough so far this season.

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Cam Norrie's first post-Aussie outing almost certainly owes itself to the influence of Facundo Lugones.  Staying in the Southern Hemisphere, Cam will play today in the brand-new Cordoba Open, a city located roughly 475 miles northwest of Buenos Aires.  It's the start of an effort by the sudamericanos to create a Latin American portion of the ATP tour that they call the "Golden Swing" and will be a series of 5 tourneys in South America in the period immediately following the trip down under.  Cam will play #277 Pedro Cachin, a 23-year-old Argentine at roughly 2:00 p.m.  This will be an important year for Cam - can he continue to rise up the rankings and make the Top 50 after crashing into the Top 100 last season?  Can he actually win a tournament?  Can he make an impact in a Slam?  He's now Scotland's #1 player and the U.K.'s #2 - he's becoming known (at least in the tennis world).  But unless he makes an impact in a Slam (the only times the general public actually pays much attention), he won't be a worldwide household name.  This year could be very pivotal.

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Nick Chappell (#625) has journeyed to Claremont, California and is in to the main draw in the Futures tourney there against former Cal Bear Billy Griffith (#643) and they're scheduled to play in about 2 hours in the opening round.  It should be evenly matched but Griffith hasn't played since last October so maybe Nick's more recent experience will give him an edge. 

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Nick beat Billy Griffith today at Claremont 7-6 (7-1), 7-5 to advance to the 2nd round.  He's also entered into the doubles competition and, partnering with Irishman Julian Bradley, he'll face Conor Berg and Mousheg Hovhannisyan, both Americans in the opening round tomorrow.  I'm not sure who Nick will play in singles next but I think it'll be Matic Spec, a Slovenian who is ranked at #615 in the new ITF world rankings but does not have an ATP ranking.

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The new ITA rankings are out today and TCU edged up 1 spot to 15th in the nation, passing A&M, who lost to unranked Tech over the weekend.  Here's the new poll (it'll be a few more weeks before the computer system takes hold):

 

1. Wake Forest (still the best after beating Oklahoma State 4-2 last weekend (we beat the Cowboys 4-0))

2. Ohio State

3. Mississippi State (W although it was an exhibition)

4. Florida (we host the Gators on Sunday)

5. USC

6. Texas (on our schedule; impressive W over UNC; up from 8th)

7. UCLA

8. North Carolina

9. Baylor (up from 10th; on our schedule)

10. Stanford

11. Notre Dame (up from 13th)

12. Columbia (on our schedule)

13. Virginia

14. Illinois (W although it was an exhibition; on our schedule)

15. TCU

16. Michigan (up from 24th)

17. Tennessee (on our schedule)

18. Oklahoma (on our schedule)

19. Tulane (on our schedule)

20. A&M (down from 14th; on our schedule)

21. North Carolina State

22. Florida State

23. Alabama

24. Georgia

25. Minnesota

 

ARV: Arizona State (W although it was an exhibition); Arkansas; LSU; Oklahoma State (W; on our schedule); Oregon; San Diego; South Carolina; Tech (on our schedule); Tulsa (L).  Okie State dropping out will hurt us when the computers take over.

 

Nick Chappell will play Lucas Poullain (I was wrong in my speculation) tomorrow in Claremont.

 

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In addition to the team rankings, the first singles and doubles rankings of the Spring came out today - here are those at the top (and others):

 

Singles: 1. Petros Chrysochos  - Wake Forest

2. J.J. Wolf - Ohio State

3. Thomas Laurent - Oregon

4. Daniel Cukierman - USC

5. Nuno Borges  - Mississippi State

6. Christian Sigsgaard  - Texas

7. Jan Zielinski - Georgia

8. Alex Rybakov - TCU

9. Nicolas Moreno de Alboran - UCSB

10. Alex Geller - Stanford

11. Jack Lin - Columbia

14. Yuya Ito - Texas

28.  Will Little - Baylor

29. Johannes Schretter - Baylor

75. Alastair Gray - TCU

83. Bertus Kruger - TCU

 

In doubles, Bertus Kruger and Reese Stalder are 48th; Rybo and Gray are unranked (at present).

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Alex Rybakov (#489) decided to enter the nearby Dallas Challenger this week and yesterday, he won his first round match (in the Round of 64) against #333 Stefan Kozlov, a Macedonian born American of Russian descent 6-2, 6-1.  But today, he lost to 16th seeded 34-year old German Dustin Brown (ATP#232) 2-6, 4-6.  This is good experience for Alex, even while playing the Spring Frog schedule.  Too bad he ran into the wily veteran Brown.  This Challenger is actually being covered by the Tennis Channel.

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Nick Chappell just lost in the Round of 16 to Lucas Poullain 5-7 0-2 (retired) in Claremont - he started out strong and was up 2 breaks in the first set, but then fell apart and ended up retiring after getting broken in the 2nd.  He's still in the doubles though; he and Bradley are into the quarters after getting a walkover last night.

 

Next up for the Frogs is Wichita State tomorrow at home.

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Wichita State is 4-3 on the season and is coming off a 3-match road trip where they lost to Tennessee 5-2, but bounced back to beat Middle Tennessee State 4-3 and Tennessee State 7-0.  They also lost to OU 4-0, beat Denver 5-2, lost to Mississippi State 0-4, and beat UNC-Wilmington 4-0.  They are 1-0 at home, 2-3 on the road and 1-0 at neutral sites.  Haru Inoue is 4-0 on the season at the top two spots in the line-up and Marius Frosa also has 4 W's at the #3 slot.  This will be the 13th ever meeting between the Frogs and the Shockers and TCU holds a 9-3 lead in the all-time series.  This will be the first time since 2012 that we've met and the Frogs have a 7-match winning streak currently.  In Ft. Worth, TCU leads 7-1, with the only Shocker W coming in 1984.  Wichita State is a member of the AAC and is probably an average-to-above-average team.  The match is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the tennis center and, as usual, free pizza will be provided.  Hopefully, the Frogs will move to 4-1 with a win.

 

Evidently, Chappell was injured yesterday in Claremont because he and Bradley gave their doubles opponents (Adamson and Freund) a walkover.  Hopefully, it's not serious.  

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TCU v. Wichita State is just about to start (and, of course, Statcast isn't working quite yet).  In preparation, everyone should note that Alex Rybakov (along with Amy Okonkwo of our women's basketball team) was named a TCU Scholar Athlete of the Month.  Which, given all the time he's away from school, is kind of impressive (or doesn't speak particularly well of our other athletes' scholarly accomplishments, depending on one's perspective).  In doubles, it'll be Rybo/Gray v. Murkel Dellien/Haru Inoue; Stalder/Kruger v. Marius Frosa/Eddie Stoica and Fomba/Jong v. Andrea Caligiana/Stefan Latinovic.  In singles, it's (1) Rybo v. Inoue; (2) Gray v. Dellien; (3) Stalder v. Frosa; (4) Kruger v. Latinovic; (5) Fomba v. Caligiana; and (6) Roldan v. Stoica.  They've moved indoors because it's a little chilly (here in Chitown it's in the single digits; in Ft. Worth, it's 36)).  We've only got 5 indoor courts - that's no problem for doubles, but it'll mean the 6th slot in singles will have to await a singles finish before starting.

 

And we're off! Alex/Ali lead 1-love; Reese/Bertus are at 1-all; and Luc/Sander are up 1-love.

It's 2-1 for the Frogs in all 3 sets.

Stalder/Kruger win 6-4 and Rybakov/Gray win 6-3 and the Frogs take the doubles point!  TCU 1 Wichita State 0!

On to the singles!

 

Only 5 matches can start in singles and we're up 1-love in 4 of them (only Rybo is still love-love).

Rybakov trails 0-3 (ouch!); Gray 3-love; Stalder 3-love; Kruger 2-1; Fomba still 1-love.

Wow, Alex is now down love-4; Ali up 4-love though; Reese 3-1; Bertus 3-2; Luc 3-1.

Gray wins 6-1!; Stalder wins 6-3!; Kruger wins 6-3!; Rybakov trails 3-4; Fomba wins 6-2!  So, 4 first sets won - I'm doubtful as to whether Jong is going to play.

Rybo 4-5 still in the first; Gray 1-0 in the 2nd; Stalder 1-all in the 2nd; Kruger love-1 in the 2nd; Fomba still scoreless in the 2nd.

Alex comes back and takes his first set 7-5! Gray 4-2; Stalder 5-3; Kruger 6-3!!; Fomba 4-2.  TCU 2 Wichita State 0!

Rybo 1-0; Gray 4-3; Stalder 5-3; Fomba 5-3; Jong has just started.

Fomba wins 6-3!  Stalder wins 6-4!!  TCU gets the sweep!  We're 4-1 and Florida is next!

 

They're finishing everything and Rybo comes back with a W!   7-5, 6-0!  Jong is 3-4 in the 1st, but we're up 6-0, so it's long over...

 

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The exhibition against #3 Mississippi State in Tempe was huge but tomorrow's match against #4 Florida is (currently) the biggest scheduled dual match of the season.  Florida is 4-0, with win's over William and Mary, UCF, FAU and #22 Florida State and earned their ticket to Chicago with ease.  They're one of the favorites for the SEC championship and possibly the NCAA championship.  They have 5 ranked players, led by #20 Oliver Crawford and #27 Andy Andrade.  They have 4 ranked doubles teams, led by Johannes Ingildson and Brian Berdusco, who just moved up to #3 in the nation.  Roditi said that many of their players were the best juniors in their respective countries and that he tried to recruit 5 or 6 of them.  Historically, the Frogs hold a 3-2 advantage in the all-time series against the Gators, including a thrilling 4-3 W in Gainesville last year.  This will be the first time Florida has ever visited Ft. Worth.  Roditi said that "it doesn't get any bigger than this."  This could be very pivotal and could be the match of the year.  It'll almost certainly be indoors on the new purple courts, which TCU broke in yesterday against Wichita State for the first time ever in competition.  (Remember that Cam Norrie said that they were very slow and thus might add to our advantage on home courts).  Attendance yesterday was poor - only 125 - and we need more support for the battle against the Gators.

 

A win would be soporific going into Chicago!

 

(Baylor is taking on #1 Wake today).  (Y'all should really check out the photo gallery at gofrogs).

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Baylor canceled its road match at Wake due to "unforeseen circumstances" which was kind of explained by the Wake twitter page as injuries and sickness of several Baylor players and the Baylor twitter page as "flu-like symptoms" among several Baylor players.  Given that injuries and sicknesses are rarely disclosed, it is somewhat unique that they disclosed that much.  In any event, Baylor will not get their highly ranked opponent and their next scheduled appearance will be in Chicago at the ITA Nationals.  I'm gonna be busy until 3:30 tomorrow, but the Florida match is scheduled for 1:00 p.m., so I'll only catch the tail end of it, if at all.

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48 minutes ago, Jared said:

flu-like symptoms" among several Baylor players

Is that the same as syphilis?

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Filling in for Jared a bit here - 

 

Frogs have taken a 3-1 lead on #4 Florida after losing the doubles point. Fomba, Stalder & Gray all with upsets.  

 

Rybakov and Kruger both in third-set fights right now.  A win by either of them gets the Frogs a massive W.

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Ouch - Kruger and Rybakov both go down and the Gators have tied it at 3.

 

It all comes down to Court #6, where Sander Jong lost the first set, 4-6, and is currently down 0-1 in the second.

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The Frogs fall 4-3 to #4 Florida.  We just couldn't hang on after taking a 3-1 lead.  If we could just have won the doubles point, it wouldn't have been an issue.  Tough loss as we fall to 4-2 heading towards Chicago. 

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Draws and the schedule of play in Chicago will be released Wednesday, which is kind of a drag because I want to go to the TCU matches but now won't have more than a day or two to make adjustments to my work schedule (I think I'll be able to make the Saturday matches for sure).  Above, I speculated that we'd be playing Mississippi State - now I'm not so sure.  We're essentially the 15th seed (out of 16), so if you go by the rankings, that would have us playing #2 Ohio State.  But the original brackets of the regionals would have us playing #3 Mississippi State. And it's at least  somewhat possible that we could get an easier first round match.  We'll see.  According to Roditi, the two keys of our loss to #4 Florida were losing the doubles point and Alex allowing Oliver Crawford to come back and beat him at Court #1 - that should obviously act as a spur to Rybo to up his game.  I don't think we should be too down about losing - sure it's disappointing, but we were toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the country and came very close to winning, so we're obviously a good team too.  But being only 4-2 with at least one expected loss this weekend is likely to take a toll on our ranking.  One good thing about it being cold in Ft. Worth last week is that we played both the Shockers and the Gators indoors, which is potentially beneficial given that these are the National Indoor championships.

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Cam Norrie stayed in the Southern Hemisphere this week in an attempt to qualify for the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires.  Yesterday, he beat Slovakian Andrej Martin (ATP #248) 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 to advance to the 2nd round of the qualies.  But today, he lost to 34-year-old Brazilian (ATP #138) Rogerio Dutra Silva 7-6, 6-7, 2-6 and got knocked out of the tourney.  So far, after the highs of the Hopman Cup and the finals at Auckland, Cam hasn't had a good start to the year - losing to lower ranked players several times.

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There just might be a new #1 team when the rankings are next announced.  In addition to our loss to Florida (collegetennistoday is back up after nearly a year with no blogposts), the big news over the weekend was Virginia upsetting the #1 Deacs, Baylor not even traveling to Winston-Salem, Tech beating Tulane and Ohio State beating Georgia.  Tech has been unranked but might move upwards after beating both A&M and Tulane; Ohio State could take over the top spot (or do you move Virginia way up?).  I don't think we'll be hurt badly by losing closely to Florida, but a lot will depend on how well we (and others) do this weekend.  I just checked and tickets are 10 fricking dollars!@  It's supposed to be free!!  I was thinking of going both Friday and Saturday - now I think I'll just go one day, but I still have to await the draw and scheduling before making any plans. 

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46 minutes ago, Jared said:

10 fricking dollars!@

I bet they won't even be serving free pizza. Scandalous.

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