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Jared

TCU Tennis 2018-19

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19 minutes ago, FractalFrog said:

I see that Texas lost 2-4 to USC this afternoon. 

Yeah and it was in Austin at their new tennis "Center."  It won't really hurt them in the rankings because W's (and bad losses) are what counts.  Also, Mississippi State beat Georgia 4-3 in a thriller - Georgia had 2 match points for the clincher but their player (Henning) rolled his ankle and Mississippi State then clinched it.  And Ohio State blew out Michigan and Nebraska upset Minnesota.  Like I said above, we're projected to be #8 on Wednesday (we've already gotten there in the human polls) because the ITA will now rate our Top 7 W's.  Virtually all conferences have started conference play but we'll only do that this weekend (and we've still got SMU on Tuesday and A&M later).

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Arizona State is certainly better than their ranking, several close losses to highly ranked teams. They just re-started the men's program last year and they want to be an elite program. 

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10 minutes ago, PurpleDawg said:

Cool little story about TCU's use of ball kids at the matches. Beware of the auto play once the link engages.

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/sports/Ball-Kids-Help-TCU-Mens-Tennis-Team-507601411.html

 

Very cool.  I know we've had a few football recruits who'd previously run on the field before a game, so perhaps we're a decade or so out from a local kid becoming the next Cam Norrie.

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SMU is 10-10, which is better than ASU's 7-10, but the difference in the schedule strength is substantial and that has translated into the rankings where the Sun Devils are 35th (probably falling to 45th or so) and the Stangs aren't even in the Top 100 (and are probably as low as 144th).  The Ponies' W's are over Prairie View A&M (twice), Nebraska, UT-Permian Basin, Midwestern State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Incarnate Word, Oklahoma Baptist, Wagner and LMU (not exactly a Murderer's Row) and their L's are to Texas, Northern Colorado, Arkansas, LSU, UTSA, Abilene Christian, Columbia, Rice, Old Dominion and USF.  There are some good teams in there, but no W's over them.  Even if we beat them, we're only going to get 4 ITA points, which is the minimum - a loss, however, would be devastating.  When they had Johnson & Johnson (Hunter and Yates), they were competitive with elite teams, but those guys are gone now and have taken their health products with them.  Their current line-up features 2 ranked players - Jan-Simon Vrbsky (Germany) at #124 and Carlos Sarrio (Spain) at #74; both have played at #1 (usually Sarrio as against USF).  Their other players are Roberto Rosales (Mexico), Tomas Vaise (Lithuania),  Gardiner Perroti (the Highland Park Scotties) and Huntley Allen (South Carolina), as well as Michael Smith (Houston) and Andrew Buhelos (Illinois) in doubles.  They got the doubles point against the Bulls, but then lost 4 singles matches.  Grant Chen is their coach.  The Stangs will be the 5th AAC team we've faced (we only play 5 Big 12 teams) - we've already played Tulsa, Wichita State, Tulane and USF.  SMU is probably a middle-of-the-pack AAC team in tennis.

 

It'll be a double-header with the women's team at the tennis center tomorrow - the men are scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

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Nick Chappell is still down under in Australia - over the weekend, he played in Mornington and lost his first rounder to Khalil Singh 4 and 4, and in doubles, teaming with Dusty Boyer, he won his first match but lost in the octo-finals 6-7 (5-7), 6-1, 8-10.  There is now another tourney in Mornington and Nick is scheduled to face Rhett Purcell later today (or tomorrow morning down under).  Mornington is located on the Mornington Peninsula, 57 kilometers south of Melbourne and is known for its day beaches and wineries and supposedly has a "village" atmosphere. 

 

And Jerry Lopez is still in Cancun, where he advanced 3 rounds to the semis over the weekend before losing 6-7 (4-7), 6-7 (6-8) to Diego Hildago of Ecuador in the ITF World Tennis event there.

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The all-time record in the TCU-SMU series is fairly close, with the Frogs holding a 33-29 lead, but the TCU lead is only recent, with the Frogs winning the past 8 straight and 9 of the last 10.  This will be the 46th straight season that we've played them - which is by far our longest continuous rivalry.  In Ft. Worth, we hold a 16-11 lead in the series - the last time the Stangs were able to pull off a W was back in 2007.  David Roditi is undefeated against the Ponies as a coach and a player - with a combined 12-0 record.  Back in the SWC era, SMU was a traditional power and they've been to numerous NCAA tourneys and they won the ITA Indoor Nationals once.  But they've slipped a bit recently and whether they remain an elite program is an open question.

 

The women will start at 3:00 p.m., with the men's matches following.  Unfortunately, I'll be at work.

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This week's ITA rankings are out and the Frogs moved up 1 spot to #9 in the country.  We didn't quite make it to the coveted Top 8 probably because Mississippi State (who remained above us) beat Georgia while we were beating Columbia and Arizona State.  Here they are:

 

1. Ohio State

2. Florida (L)

3. Wake (key W over Notre Dame helped them)

4. Texas (on our schedule; the loss to USC didn't help)

5. Virginia

6. Baylor (on our schedule - they also beat ASU)

7. A&M (on our schedule)

8. Mississippi State (W; W in exhibition)

9. the Fighting Frogs of lil ole TCU

10. Stanford

11. North Carolina (L)

12. USC (key W over Texas but lost to Baylor at BNP Paribas)

13. Columbia (W - also lost to Baylor)

14. Illinois (W; W in exhibition)

15. Tennessee (W)

16. Notre Dame

17. Oklahoma

18. South Carolina

19. UCLA (W)

20. Alabama

21. Michigan

22. Miami

23. N.C. State

24. San Diego

25. Arizona

27. Oklahoma State (W; on our schedule )

29. Tech (on our schedule)

39. USF (W although technically rained out)

43. Tulane (W)

45. Tulsa (L)

47. Arizona State (W; W in exhibition)

50. Wichita State (W)

 

In both the USTA and Slam Tennis' rankings, we're 7th.  No individual rankings in singles and doubles this week.  We keep climbing but it's slow - we really need to beat SMU and Baylor (especially) this week.  Our SOS is rated 5th in the nation.

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On 3/26/2019 at 1:46 PM, Jared said:

The all-time record in the TCU-SMU series is fairly close, with the Frogs holding a 33-29 lead, but the TCU lead is only recent, with the Frogs winning the past 8 straight and 9 of the last 10.  This will be the 46th straight season that we've played them - which is by far our longest continuous rivalry.  In Ft. Worth, we hold a 16-11 lead in the series - the last time the Stangs were able to pull off a W was back in 2007.  David Roditi is undefeated against the Ponies as a coach and a player - with a combined 12-0 record.  Back in the SWC era, SMU was a traditional power and they've been to numerous NCAA tourneys and they won the ITA Indoor Nationals once.  But they've slipped a bit recently and whether they remain an elite program is an open question.

 

The women will start at 3:00 p.m., with the men's matches following.  Unfortunately, I'll be at work.

 

Grant Chen was a good hire and he should make SMU a top 30 program again. But it will be difficult for them to match TCU's level and the other major Texas schools. Spencer leaving for NC State hurt them after their sweet 16 appearance in 2016.

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Well, we're 15-3, we've climbed out way into the Top 10, we've won 10 in a row, we've beaten some really good teams, but tomorrow's match against Baylor in Waco is without a doubt the most important match of the year so far.  It's the first match of the Big 12 season, they're ranked 6th and it will be pivotal as to whether we're gonna keep the regular season conference crown.  Baylor is 17-2 (really 17-3 because they "forfeited" that Wake match) and they are on an 8-match winning streak, they're 10-0 at home and they are super-hot.  They have W's over Prairie View A&M, UTA, Penn, Georgia, Michigan, USF, Nebraska, UTRGV, Mississippi State, Tulsa, Illinois, Purdue, Arkansas, Idaho, Cal, USC and Arizona State and their only losses were in Chicago (indoors) to Columbia (1-4) and North Carolina (0-4).  Needless to say, they are undefeated outdoors this year.  They are 17-2 in the doubles point this season and 17-0 when they win it.  They are now coached by Brian Boland, who has a mere 3 NCAA championships under his belt from his time at Virginia - they offered him a ton of money to "retire" from the USTA job he took when he left the Cavs.  Their usual line-up is Johannes Schretter (Austria), Matias Soto (Chile), Will Little (Missouri), Adrian Boitan (Romania), Sven Lah (Slovenia) and Jimmy Bendeck (Florida) and their doubles teams are Lah/Bendeck, Soto/Little and Schretter and Constantin Frantzen.  But they also have Juan Benitez (Colombia) who "quit" last fall but has returned this Spring for a few matches and could play and Finn Bass (U.K.).

 

The match will be tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. (CDT) at the Hurd Center.  I'll be at work and will miss it.

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Baylor has won 13 Big 12 titles in their 22 years in the league which could be described as a dynasty.  And this is the weekend for them as they host TCU tomorrow and then head to play Texas in Austin on Sunday - if they win both, they will become the prohibitive favorite to take their 14th title.  As I said above, they're 10-0 at home so far this season and they're 26-1 over the past two seasons in their concrete monstrosity that they call their tennis center.  They have 3 ranked singles players, including #40 Johannes Schretter, #Matias Soto and #82 Will Little.  But the key to their success has been their doubles teams - they have the #1 ranked duo with Jimmy Bendeck and Sven Lah.  TCU holds the all-time lead in the historic series 34-25 but that's largely the result of Baylor being the cellar dweller back in the SWC - Baylor is 17-3 in the last 20 matches between the schools, including an upset 4-2 W last year in the Big 12 tourney.  We've turned it around a little in the last 3 years, but some of Roditi's worst memories are constantly losing to Baylor in his first few years as TCU's coach.  Basically, they used their BCS monies while we were in the wilderness to build up their Olympic sports - especially focusing on tennis.

 

I'm not making any accusations but I wanted to at least mention the Juan Benitez situation prior to tomorrow's match just in case he plays and we lose.  If you scroll back multiple pages, we briefly discussed the fact that he announced last fall that he was quitting the team to go pro full-time and he basically played a full-time pro schedule all fall.  So he wasn't expected back and wasn't expected to be on the roster this Spring.  But possibly because he hasn't had Cam Norrie-like success on the ATP tour as yet, he popped back up on their roster at some point this Spring.  I checked his Spring pro schedule and he hasn't played any pro tourneys (whereas guys like J.J. Wolf and Rybo have), so there isn't anything necessarily wrong with him coming back, but if you think about it, Cam Norrie still has 1 year of eligibility left and could conceivably also "come back" to play a match or two for TCU if he (and Roditi) were so inclined.  Presumably, he's re-enrolled in school but has he actually attended any classes?  I don't know.  He did play for Baylor the last few years, so maybe it's nothing.  On the other hand, ACC competitors of Virginia have noted from time to time that Brian Boland is notorious for pushing envelopes and we've already seen how Benedict Brooksby magically received a wild card to the Waco Futures tourney and apparently be feted by Baylor that week and then magically switched his commitment to Baylor from TCU.  So I wanted to get all that in so as not to be accused of ex post facto sour grapes if we lose after he plays this weekend.  There was some discussion over at collegetennistoday about the Benitez situation and some commenters (not me) thought that he shouldn't play this Spring.

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Keep the pressure on them, Jared. That Waco school's morals are odious in tennis just like football and basketball!

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Crap!  The Frogs fell to #6 Baylor 5-2 tonight in Waco, losing a close doubles point and then only getting W's from Rybo and Stalder in singles.  With only 5 conference matches, this is a killer for our championship hopes - we now have to pray that Texas beats Baylor on Sunday while we beat Tech which would enable us to have a chance if and only if we run the table and beat Texas at home to finish the season.  I HATE losing to Baylor!

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11 hours ago, Jared said:

 I HATE losing to Baylor!

This is why I didn't post the results from Twitter. Me, too.

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Norrie is getting prepared for ATP Houston in a couple of weeks. 

 

The Benitez situation is bizarre. But it's not ended up mattering much as he hasn't been playing this spring. 

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