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TCU Tennis 2018-19

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Texas won their first ever national championship today with a 4-1 W over the defending champ Wake Forest.  They lost the doubles point but then stormed all over the Deacs in singles, winning 4 straight matches and Yuya Ito provided the clincher over Petros Chysochos.  It was a wild season for the Longhorns; especially with their coach being arrested and ultimately pleading guilty as the most notorious bribe-taker in the college admissions scandal, only to replaced mid-season.  But that didn't stop the senior-laden team from dominating all season, winning the Big12, beating Ohio State and only losing to OSU, USC and Baylor.  TCU lost 4-1 in the quarters to the eventual champs, so we did well, but we didn't do what Texas did.  Too bad.  But at least a Big12 school won it - both Texas and Baylor now own nattys in tennis.

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At least it wasn't Baylor again.

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Alex Rybakov is leading Andrew Fenty 6-3, 5-1 and is about to close out Round 1 of the NCAA singles tournament in dominant fashion!  Next up for Rybo will be the winner of OU's Alex Bakshi and Arizona's Jonas Ziverta.  Final 6-3, 6-2!

 

Unfortunately, Cam Norrie lost at Lyon this morning to Ugo Humbert 3 and 1.  And his doubles match was cancelled.  I think he's already qualified for the French Open because qualies have started and he's not listed.

 

Alastair Gray will be playing his first rounder later this afternoon (2:30 scheduled).

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Alastair Gray has just started his match against Kyle Seelig of Ohio State in the Round of 64.

 

1-2 (and down a break).  Alex Bakshi won his match so he's Rybo's next opponent.

1-3.

2-4 (still down a break)

3-5 (still down a break)

4-5.  Ali needs a break now or the set is gone.

4-6.  Alastair can't get that early break back and loses the 1st set.

 

1-2 in the 2nd.

1-3 (down a break).

1-4. (sigh)  This puppy's over.  At least Gray will be back next year.

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Widow and Kruger just lost their doubles match 6-3, 3-6, 11-13 in the first round of the NCAA doubles tourney to Laubser and Maclean of Auburn.  They fought hard and almost took the tie-breaker to advance but fell.  So that's it for Reese Stalder as a Frog - he had a great career with us.  He earned his first ATP points last summer and it's possible that he could try some pro tourneys this summer, but it's also possible that he could "retire" and find a real job.  Best of luck to the Red Widow.

 

Next up will be Rybo in the Round of 32 against OU's Alex Bakshi in about 15 minutes.  It's possible that this one will be on the Tennis Channel - twitter is saying it definitely will be.

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Nope - twitter was wrong.  Instead of Rybo v. Bakshi, they're showing Nuno Borges v. Florida's Andy Andrade.  Boo!!!

 

Rybo 1-1 against the Sooner. 

2-1, but just barely as Alex holds at no-ad. 

2-all.

3-2.  Sam Gore and Katrina Adams are slavering all over Nuno to a nauseating extent.

3-all.  Now, Gore and Adams are slavering all over Brandon Holt from USC - but Rybo is on the next court and sometimes, we get a glimpse of his match.

@#$%!  Rybo gets broken at no-ad.  3-4.

3-5.  Alex got it to no-ad but couldn't convert.

3-6.  Alex falls in the first set.

 

0-1 in the 2nd.  C'mon Alex!

1-all.  Rybo finally wins an easy service game.  Maybe because he changed his shirt.

2-1!  Rybo gets the break!  Grey Frog shirts work better then white ones.

3-1.  Rybo holds easily.

3-2.  Love hold for Bakshi.

4-2.  Barely - at no ad.  Sam Gore is a former Tarheel and it shows.  He referred to our coach as Ro-ditty.

4-3.  Yet another no-ad lost.

5-3.  Rybo got into a love-30 hole, but won the next 4 points to take the game.

5-4.  Rybo now needs to hold to take this set and even the score.

%$@#@! 5-all.

6-5!!  Rybakovsky breaks back!

YESS!!  Rybakov takes the set at no-ad in a crucial point!!  The Tennis Channel meanwhile is interviewing Brandon Holt.

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All square now at a set apiece.  On to the deciding 3rd set!

2-love!  Alexandrovich gets the early break!

2-1.

3-2.  Still up that break.

4-2!  Whew!  Alex holds at no-ad barely.

40-love for a 2nd break!

Rybo breaks again at love!!!  Looking great at 5-2!!  He'll serve to advance to the Round of 16!

If he wins, he'll next face the winner of A&M's Hady Habib and Illinois's Alex Brown, which has just started. 

Rybo serves it out at love and advances to the 3rd round!  3-6, 7-5, 6-2!!

It's the first time since 2016 (Norrie) that a Frog has made it this far in the NCAA singles tourney.

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Rybakov and Gray just lost their opening round doubles match against Mississippi State's Nuno Borges and Strahinja Rakic 4-6, 2-6.  So the only Frog left in the tourney is Alex Rybakov in singles and he'll play A&M's Hady Habib tomorrow in the Round of 16.  Habib beat Illinois' Alex Brown 6-7, 7-6, 6-3 earlier today.  The winner will get the winner of the match between Florida's Oliver Crawford and North Carolina's William Blumberg in the quarters.

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Rybo v. Habib has just started at Lake Nona in the NCAA's Round of 16.  Unfortunately, the Tennis Channel is once again not featuring his match.

 

3-0 early as Rybo gets the key early break over the Aggie!

Illinois' Aleksander Kovacevic got really lucky with a walkover into the quarters when Wake's Bar Botzer pulled out with a foot injury.

4-love!  Alex gets another break!  This is looking too easy.

4-1.  Habib wakes up and holds at love.  Very sunny and humid in Orlando today.

4-2.  No longer easy as Habib breaks back at no-ad.

4-3.  Another love hold for the Aggie.  Rybo better watch out as the momentum has clearly turned.

5-3.  Thankfully, Rybo steadies the ship with a love hold of his own.  Still up a break...

Borges is rolling over Stodder; Ito is upsetting Holt; Wolf is in a tight one with Riffice.

5-4.  Rybo now gets a chance to serve for the first set.

6-4!  Alex holds and takes the first set!

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On to the 2nd set.  0-1.  Rybo gets it to no-ad but can't get the early break this time.

1-all.  Nice love hold for Rybo.

1-2.

2-all. Alex dug himself a love-30 hole but fought back for the hold.  Nuno Borges is through to the quarters.

2-3.  Habib is playing much better this set (really from love-4 in the 1st) and will be tougher to beat.

%$#@!! 2-4.  Rybo is broken.  Habib lost the first set yesterday and came back to win his match.

2-5.  Alex had 2 break points but couldn't convert.  (sigh)

4-5!!  Rybo storms back, gets the break and evens it up on serve!

5-all!  Rybo holds to make it all square in the 2nd set.  (The Tennis Channel cut out, but they weren't showing him anyway). 

Riffice-Wolf and Ito-Holt both going to 3rd sets.

6-5!!  Rybo breaks at no-ad and the Tennis Channel actually showed it!!  He'll serve for the quarter-finals now!

7-5!!!  Rybo advances to the quarters!  The Tennis Channel guys call him "Baby Nadal."  He'll face the winner of Florida's Oliver Crawford and North Carolina's William Blumberg, which will take place after Wolf-Riffice wraps up.

 

The Tennis Channel did a nice interview of Rybo, asking about his nickname "the Rat," his complaints about the prevalence of love bugs all over Lake Nona this week and whether he'll watch Blumberg-Crawford (he will).  He knows Blumberg extremely well; having practiced against him numerous times at Lake Nona and he's played both Crawford and Blumberg this season, so he knows both of their games.

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Does every game follow the on the next day or are there breaks / days off between quarters, semis and the final?

 

Think this was asked before, but what is no-ad?

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The final ITA Team Rankings came out today and here they are for 2018-2019:

 

1. Texas (the national champs) (L; L)

2. Wake Forest (the runner-ups)

3. Ohio State (still in search of their first natty)

4. Florida (L)

5. Virginia

6. Baylor (L)

7. USC

8. North Carolina (L)

9. Mississippi State (W; W; W in an exhibition)

10. the Fighting Frogs from lil ole TCU

11. UCLA (W)

12. Stanford

13. A&M (W)

14. Tennessee (W)

15. Illinois (W; W in an exhibition)

16. Columbia (W)

17. Oklahoma (W)

18. Cal

19. South Carolina

20. Michigan

21. Georgia

22. Oklahoma State (W; W; L)

23. N.C. State

24. Arizona State (W; W; W in an exhibition)

25. Tech (W)

 

Individual rankings will come out  after the singles and doubles tourneys are over.

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Florida's Sam Riffice (a freshman) just upset Ohio State's #2 seeded J.J. Wolf in the biggest upset of the tourney.  If Rybo can get by Crawford/Blumberg, this might make his semi a little easier (because Wolf had lost only once all year).  It'll probably be Nuno in the finals though and he hasn't lost all year.

 

16 minutes ago, Endless Purple said:

Does every game follow the on the next day or are there breaks / days off between quarters, semis and the final?

 

Think this was asked before, but what is no-ad?

I'm not entirely sure of the schedule as it is announced every day in the morning.  The quarters are tomorrow for sure, but the semis may happen on Saturday and the finals on Sunday.

 

In college, the scoring is different than in the pros.  To speed things up, at 40-40, instead of having to win 2 straight points to win the game, there is instead a deciding point that finishes the game in only one point (and it's called no-ad, meaning no "advantage").  The receiving player gets to select either the deuce court or the ad court upon which he will receive the serve.  It makes college tennis much quicker and obviously more exciting and pressure-packed.

 

Rybo is only the 3rd Frog in history to advance as far as the quarters in the NCAA individual tourney.

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Blumberg beat Crawford 4 and 2 and will now face Alex Rybakov in tomorrow's epic quarter-final match-up at the NCAA's.  They're good friends and often tweet and retweet each other.  The quarters will be Rybo (TCU)v. Blumberg (North Carolina), Borges (Mississippi State) v. Holt (USC), Riffice (Florida) v. Kovacevic (Illinois) and Oradini (Mississippi State) v. Jubb (South Carolina).

 

Oh, and I looked up the schedule - quarters tomorrow, semis Friday and the finals on Saturday (weather permitting).

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Alex Rybakov's last tournament as a Frog student-athlete continues shortly.  The winner between him and UNC's Will Blumberg will then face the winner of the Nuno Borges v. Brandon Holt match in the semis tomorrow.  Both matches will occur at the same time today (Rybo/Blumberg is on Court 3 and Borges/Holt will be on Court 1); both on the Tennis Channel.

 

Alex, serving first, holds quickly in the first game 1-0. 

1-1.  Very windy today at Lake Nona.

2-1.  Whew!  Rybo digs himself into a love-40 hole, but wins 4 straight to hold.

3-1!!  Alex gets the break; yet again after digging himself a love-40 hole.

4-1.  This is Blumberg's 3rd straight quarter-final at the NCAA's and he made the finals as a freshman 2 years ago.

4-2.  Rybo gets it to no-ad, but doesn't convert this time.

4-3.  Alex broken at no-ad.  Back to even on serve for the former roommates.

4-all.

5-4.  Good hold for Rybo.

Woo hoo!!!!  Rybo break again at no-ad and takes the first set!!  6-4!!

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On to the 2nd set!  Rybo leading.  Meanwhile, Borges and Holt are in a tight one on Court 1 with Nuno leading 6-5 on serve.  Borges wins 7-5 over Holt.

 

1-0.  Rybo, serving first again, gets the hold easily.

1-all.  Yet another no-ad, but Blumberg wins it.  This match is fairly even - the no-ads are gonna decide it.

2-1.  Another good hold, despite a 15-30 hole.  On Court 1, Borges is going for his 30th straight W and now leads 3-love in the 2nd.

2-all.  De ja vu all over again as Rybo takes it no-ad but can't get the break.

%$#@!!!  2-3.  Rybo broken at no-ad.

YES!!  Alex breaks back!!  3-all.  And the Tennis Channel is finally covering his match.

3-4.  And then Rybo gets broken again (sigh).

3-5.  This set ain't looking good now.  Nuno Borges cruises 7-5, 6-3 to advance to the semis with his 30th straight W.

3-6.  Rybo broken yet again.  6-4, 3-6.  On to the 3rd and deciding set. 

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This one will decide it for the right to face Nuno Borges in the semis.  C'mon Alex!

 

1-all.  Blumberg serving first this time.  Rybo desperately needs a break.

And he gets it!!  At no-ad after being down 15-40!  2-1!!

3-1!  Katrina Adams just called us the Horn Dogs.

3-2.  Sam Gore, a former Tarheel, is openly rooting for Blumberg as he calls the match.

4-2.  Still up that key break.  Nice lefty serving by Rybo.

5-2!!  Alex grabs control of the match with yet another key break on a big-time forehand shot!  Up 2 breaks, he'll serve for the semis!

Rybo is on a roll!  Great shots make it 30-love!

40-love!  Quadruple match point!

40-15.  Blumberg saves one.

Alex Rybakov takes the match 6-4, 3-6, 6-2!!  On to the semis!  He earns a berth in an ATP event for doing it.  And yes, he's an All-American.  And the Big 12 Player of the Year.  And the TCU Male Athlete of the Year.  And the TCU Scholar-Athlete of the Year.  But, uh, he has to play Nuno next. 

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Alex is only the 2nd Frog (Norrie did it 3 years ago) ever to make it to the semi-finals of the NCAA individual tourney.  He's played Nuno 3 times this year and in the interview he said he'll be excited to play him again, but he won't be favored at all.

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Cam Norrie has qualified for the French Open at Roland Garros and the draw initially had him matched up on Sunday against Nick Krygios, the volatile player who made such an impression at Acapulco, but for some reason, that match was cancelled and now he's scheduled to face Elliot Benchetrit, a Frenchman ranked at ATP #273 who has already won 3 qualie matches, on Monday on the red clay.  This is a much better match-up for Cam to advance to the 2nd round; except for his tendency to lose to lower ranked players (especially Frenchies) and upset higher ranked players. Kyrgios withdrew an hour ago saying that the "event sucks."  This was a week after he was defaulted in Rome for kicking chairs and slamming a folding stool with his racquet.  LOL

 

Rybo has played Nuno Borges 3 times this year and the H2H is 1-1-1.  At the Tempe Collegiate Cup exhibition in January, Rybo came out on top outdoors; at the ITA National Indoors in Chicago, it was a very even match that didn't finish; and at the supers in StarkVegas, Nuno basically blitzed him easily.  Nuno is super hot so far at the NCAA's having lost no sets (and he's won 30 straight matches), while Alex has had tough 3-setters.  Unfortunately, I think Nuno will be heavily favored.  I'll be here for the start of the match at 3:00 , but have to go to work soon thereafter, so maybe someone else can follow it here.

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In an interview just published in the U.K. press, Cam defended Kyrgios and lamented that he won't be playing him at the French saying that it would have been "entertaining, that's for sure."  Kyrgios had also described Joker as "cringeworthy" and Rafa as "super-salty" in addition to going berserk in Rome.  His opponent there - Casper Ruud - had celebrated wildly when Kyrgios was defaulted and Cam described that as "harsh" and also disagreed with Ruud's call for Kyrgios to be banned from tennis for at least 6 months.  Cam said that Kyrgios is "good for tennis" and the fans and said that "he can act that way if he wants."  (Cam has always favored the Roditi Rules for tennis).  Kyrgios is claiming an injury caused him to withdraw but Cam theorized that he really just doesn't like clay and will now get ready for the grass season.  Cam said that his preparation for the French will now be a little "more straightforward" because "you never really know what Kyrgios is going to do."

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And we're off in the semi-finals of the NCAA's!  Nuno serving first - there will be line judges in this match.

 

0-1.  Nuno looks hot.  Not good.  (Paul Jubb and Aleksandar Kovacevic are playing in the other semi at the same time on Court 3).

0-2. Nuno breaks Rybo at no-ad.  Not good.

1-2!  Rybo breaks back at no-ad as Borges mis-fires.

1-3.  Rybakov serving poorly.  He called an out ball out but was over-ruled by the ump.  The replay showed it out.

2-3!  Alex breaks back (again) at no-ad after Nuno double faults twice in the windy conditions (he's not tossing it right).

3-all!  Finally - Rybo holds.

3-4.  Borges with a love hold - and he looked overpowerful doing it.

4-all.  Easy hold for once.

4-5.  Nuno holds easily - the Battle of the Breaks is clearly over.

5-all!  Unfortunately, that's it for me - I'm DVRing it, so I'll catch up later tonight...  Go Alex!

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Well, it was 5-all when I left and then Nuno won 8 of the next 11 games and Alex ended up losing in the semis 5-7, 3-6.  So this was the last match ever for nRybo as a student-athlete for the Frogs (although he'll remain a Frog forever).  It was a great career for him - making the semis at the NCAA's, a 3-time All-American, leading the team to 4 Sweet 16's and 2 Elite 8's.  With Norrie, he's probably one of the 2 best tennis players TCU has ever had and we've followed his whole career on TFH.  Best of luck to Alex in the future!

 

It'll be an all-SEC finals with Nuno facing Paul Jubb of South Carolina.

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