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TCU Tennis 2019-2020

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Both Eduardo Roldan and Max Kurzban won two matches in the pre-qualifying rounds at the All-American in Tulsa yesterday and have advanced to (potentially) two more rounds today.  Roldan beat UNLV's Zach Garner 1 and 1 and Wichita State's Alex Richards 2 and love and will now play Tennessee's Andrew Rogers.  Max beat Pacific's Coby McCaib 2 and 2 and MTSU's Stijn Slump 7-5, 6-7 (5-7), 6-0 and will now face Baylor's Ryan Dickerson.  The  other guys won't get started until tomorrow in the regular qualies nd Ali Gray is already into the main draw.  This is a HUGE tournament - with hundreds of players competing.  Last year, we skipped it because it conflicted with the Houston ITF tourney.  This year, we're going all in.

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Unfortunately, both Eduardo and Max lost their 3rd round matches in the pre-qualies at Tulsa today and are out at the All-American, probably the biggest of the college fall tourneys.  Eduardito lost 2-6, 7-6 (9-7), 2-6 to Tennessee's Andrew Rogers and Max lost 4 and 2 to Baylor's Ryan Dickerson.  But fortunately, that just means that 3 more Frogs will be playing in the qualies tomorrow.  Luc Fomba will be taking on Indiana's Bennett Crane, Jacob Fearnley will be facing Belmont's Marko Illic and Tadeas Paroulek will be playing Tulsa's Tom Thelwall-Jones.  Ali will be awaiting the main draw.  I'm a little concerned that Sander Jong,  Bertus Kruger and Juan Martin aren't playing - maybe they just didn't qualify or maybe they're still injured and Roditi is just holding them out.

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Each of Luc Fomba, Jacob Fearnley and Tadeas Paroulek advanced today in the qualies at the All-American in Tulsa.  Fomba beat Bennett Crane 2 and 2 and will now face Old Dominion's Francois Musitelli; Fearnley won over Illic 1 and 1 and will now play A&M's Noah Schacter and Paroulek beat Thelwall-Jones 3 and 4 and will now face ETSU's Frazier Rengifo.

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Meanwhile, in China, Cam Norrie, after trips to Zhuhai and Beijing, has been playing in the Shanghai Open.  He first won 2 qualie matches over Schnur and Fabbiano, then he won his opening rounder in the main draw 7-5, 6-2 over Gilles Simon, but this morning, he played and lost to ATP#4 Daniil Medvedev 3 and 1.  So, he won 3 and lost 1 in Shanghai and his loss was only to the 4th best player in the world.  Not bad.

 

And Alex Rybakov just finished his opening rounder at the Fairfield Challenger, losing in 3 sets to Jack Draper (ATP#340) 1-6, 6-2, 5-7.  Alex has been steadily moving back up in the rankings and is now #597, but he needs to actually get some W's and go deeper in the Challengers like he's been doing in the Futures.

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With Norrie out in Shanghai and Rybo out at Fairfield, attention shifts back to Tulsa for the All-American.  For some reason, I couldn't find the results from today's matches, but the main draw has been announced so we can glean who won and who didn't.  The 64-player main draw includes Ali Gray, who will play Arizona's Jonas Ziverts tomorrow, but he had already qualified.  And it also includes Luc Fomba, who will face a very tough opponent in Mississippi State's Giavanni Oradini, and Jacob Fearnley, who will play Arizona's Filip Malbasic.  So we can assume that Luc and Jacob won their matches over Musitelli and Schacter although who knows by what scores.  Tadeas Paroulek apparently lost to Rengifo, but he's listed as a "Lucky Loser" with a "sign-in" at 8:30 tomorrow morning, so he's likely to play either in the Consolation bracket or, possibly, be an alternate for the main draw.  This means that we'll have at least 3 Frogs in the main draw and that our combined record, so far, is 9-3 overall, which is pretty good. It'd be nice, however, for Luc, Jacob and Ali to each go deep into the tourney.

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The early results from the All-American in Tulsa are in and Alastair Gray has advanced to the 2nd round with a 4 and 1 win over Jonas Ziverts.  He will next play the winner of the match between USC's Riley Smith and Ohio State's Camron Kingsley.  Luc Fomba and Jacob Fearnley play this afternoon.

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Unfortunately, both Luc Fomba and Jacob Fearnley lost today - Luc 6-1, 3-6, 4-6 to Oradini and Jacob love and 2 to Malbasic.  So Ali is the only Frog left standing although both of the others, I think, will get matches in the consolation bracket.  Gray will face Riley Smith of USC tomorrow.

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Alastair Gray advanced to the Round of 16 today with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory over USC's Riley Smith at the All-American in Tulsa.  He'll next play a very tough opponent in Florida's Oliver Crawford tomorrow.  The Frogs' singles record is now 10-5 in this tourney.  But Ali and Jacob Fearnley lost 3 and 4 in the doubles to the 3rd seeded Florida doubles team of Ingildsen/Berducci.

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Ali Gray fell 2 and 1 to Florida's Oliver Crawford today in the Round of 16 at the All-American in Tulsa, so that's it for the Frogs in this huge tourney.  Given that Gray is ranked 23rd in the ITA pre- season rankings, the Round of 16 is actually a little better than where he was expected to go, so it was a good tourney for him (although I was hoping for better).  The overall TCU record was 10-6, which is pretty good (although I was hoping for better).  Next up will be the ITA Texas Regionals in Waco.

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Cam Norrie (ATP#64) has traveled to Antwerp and is scheduled to face Feliciano Lopez (ATP#61) tomorrow.  He's also teaming in doubles with Soon Woo Kwon.

 

The ITA All-American Final will be between Florida's Sam Riffice and Texas' Yuya Ito today.  Alastair Gray, Tadeas Paroulek, Eduardo Roldan and Reese Stalder are in Waco in the qualies in the Futures tourney there this week. Widow drew the top seed  - Jack Findel-Hawkins and won't be favored, but Eduardito, Ali and Courageous Heart got better draws and will face Peter Bothwell, Svan Lah and Eliot Spizzirri, respectively.  Rybo is also there, but he's qualified (barely) for the main draw.

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Texas' Yuya Ito ended up winning the ITA All-American in Tulsa over Florida's Sam Riffice 4 and 4.  This is a bad sign, with Ito rising, the Longhorns' chances of repeating a Big 12 championship and possibly another national championship are rising as well.

 

But in Waco, there was good news yesterday as Gray, Paroulek and Roldan rolled to first round qualie W's - Eduardo won 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-0) over Peter Bothwell, Tadeas won 1-6, 6-3, 10-4 over Baylor's Sven Lah and Ali won 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 12-10 over Eliot Spizziri.   (Reese Stalder lost as expected (6-7, (3-7), 4-6) to the U.K.'s Findel-Hawkins).  Today, Gray will play Vasil Kirkov and Paroulek will face Nevin Arimilli, while Eduardito will get a day off.  Rybo awaits the main draw.  Cam Norrie v. Lopez will be at 5:00 a.m. (CDT) at Antwerp.

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One W and 2 L's today at the qualies in Waco.  Alastair Gray lost 4 and 4 to Vasil Kirkov and Eduardo Roldan lost 6-7 (3-7), 0-6 to Eric Morris.  But Tadeas Paroulek won easily 2 and 1 over Nevin Arimilli and has advanced to the main draw along with both Rybo and Nick Chappell (whose name I didn't see until today).  So, 3 Frogs remain - Rybo will face off against Jonathan Gray (ATP#597 -  a Brit but no relation to Ali), Nick will play Daniel Nguyen (ATP#400) and Tadeas will play Adam Jones (NR - also a Brit).  All are first rounders.

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Tadeas Paroulek's match against Jones was not in the main draw - it was his 3rd qualie match - but he won it 3 and 1 and has now advanced to the main draw in Waco where he will face Ryan Nijboer this morning.  Rybo's match against Jonathan Gray and Nick's match against Nguyen were delayed until today.  So the 3 Frogs will all be in action some time this morning or afternoon.

 

In Antwerp, Cam Norrie lost in the first round in both singles and doubles - in singles it was to Feliciano Lopez 6-7 (2-7), 4-6, and in doubles it was to the team of Arends/Pel.  So another disappointing tourney for Cam.

 

Er, Tadeas is currently playing #532 Nijboer.  He lost the first set 4-6, but came back to even the match 7-6 (7-1) in the 2nd set.  It's now 3-1 in the 3rd.  The Rybo match will follow.  Go Tadeas!

 

4-1!  This would be a very good W for Tadeas - he's currently at #830. 

5-1!  Up 2 breaks and cruising!

6-1!  Courageous Heart advances!  He's now 8-2 in pro tourneys since coming to America.  There's always the concern that, although all Futures tourneys are rated the same, the draws in certain parts of the world are tougher than others.  Tadeas has been playing almost exclusively in Eastern Europe, but has now shown similar success in the U.S., if not actually better.  And he's only a freshman!  Rybo and Nick upcoming...

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Rybo (ATP#595) v. Jonathan Gray (ATP#597) has just started.  Alex is serving first and held his first game.

 

2-0!  Rybakov breaks at love!

4-0!  Rybo breaks again!

Alex takes the first set easily 6-1!

 

Gray serving first in the 2nd set.

0-1.  Gray wakes up and gets a love hold.

1-all.

1-2.  This set seems to be far more evenly matched.

1-3.  Not so evenly matched now as Rybo gets broken for the first time in the match.

1-4.  Ouch.  Another love hold for a re-energized Jonathan Gray.

2-4.  Alex gets a hold but needs a break.

2-5.  No break there but at least the game was competitive.

3-5 (barely).  Rybo saves a set point and will have one more chance for the break.

4-5!  Woo hoo!  Rybo gets the clutch break and evens the set on serve!!

5-all!  A love hold for Alexandrovich Rybakovsky!  All square in the 2nd.

YESS!!  6-5!  Alex has won 4 straight games, including 2 breaks!  He'll serve for the match!

7-5!  It took four match points to do it, but Rybo advances with a strong 6-1, 7-6 W!  The 2nd set comeback was especially clutch.

 

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Nick Chappell (ATP#609) ended up beating Lebedev 7-5, 6-3 and has also advanced at Waco.  Tomorrow, he'll play Liam Caruana (ATP#549 - the guy who gave us so much trouble in Houston).

 

Meanwhile, in Antalya, Turkey, Tomas Jirousek (ATP#796) is into the quarters after beating Dan Alexandru Tomescu (ATP#796, from Romania) and he'll play Viacheslav Yulik (ATP#1907, a Russian) early tomorrow morning.

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Earlier this morning in Turkey, Tomas Jirousek (ATP#796) did not declare a ceasefire against Viacheslav Vulik and instead created a safe zone for himself by advancing in the Antalya Futures tourney love and 2.  He will next wage tennis war against Lorenzo Musetti (ATP#450, an Italian) at 2:00 a.m. (CDT).

 

Meanwhile, in Waco, three Frogs are in action today.  Alex Rybakov (ATP# 596) just beat Colin Sinclair (ATP#540) 6-1, 7-5.  Tadeas Paroulek (ATP#830) lost to Michael Geerts (ATP#447) 1 and 2.  And Nick Chappell (ATP#609) beat Liam Caruanu (ATP#549) 4 and 4. Chappell will next play Geerts; Rybo will play the winner of Strong Kirscheimer (formerly from Northwestern) and Ben Patael (Israel).

 

So 3 Frogs remain in this week's tourneys - good performances so far.

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In Turkey, tennis hostilities re-commenced today and, like the Kurds, Tomas Jirousek went down to defeat in the quarters at Antalya 3 and 2 to Musetti.  But 3 Frogs are, as I type, currently in action: Jerry Lopez v. Cristian Rodriguez in Cancun, Alex Rybakov v. Ben Patael  in Waco and Nick Chappell v. Michael Geerts in Waco.

 

Jerry trails 6-7 (5-7), 3-5; Rybo leads 4-1 and Nick leads 4-3.

Jerry breaks and evens the 2nd set 5-all!

Jerry 5-6 in the 2nd; Alex leads 4-2; Nick breaks and leads 5-3!

Jerry falls 6-7, 5-7 and is out in the quarters.

Rybo 5-2!; Nick broken and back to even on serve 5-4.

Alex breaks again and wins 6-2!  Nick 5-all.  Rybo has earned 15.2 thousand euros this year; Nick 7.4.

Nick gets broken 5-6 (sigh).

Nick breaks back 6-all!  Into a breaker!

 

Alex holds 1-0 in the 2nd.  Nick 1-0 in the breaker.

Rybo breaks again 2-0!; Nick 4-2 in the breaker. 

Rybo cruising 3-0; Nick 5-3 in the breaker.

Nick takes the breaker 7-5 and the fist set 7-6!

Alex 4-1; Nick 0-1.

Rybakov 4-2; Chappell 0-2.  Uh oh... 

Rybo 5-2; Nick 0-3.

5-3; 1-3.

Alex Rybakov advances to the semis in Waco with a solid 6-2, 6-3 W over Patael!  He continues to have success in the Futures tourneys while having difficulty in the Challengers.  He'll now face the winner of the battle of the Aggies Hady Habib v. Jordi Arconada for a chance at the finals.

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So all that remains in this busy Frog tennis day is whether Nick Chappell can also advance in Waco against Geerts.  He's currently down a break 1-3 after winning the first set in a breaker. 

 

1-4 despite 3 break points.

1-5.  A 3rd set seems likely.

1-6.  Geerts makes a solid comeback and squares the match.  On to the deciding set!

 

0-1.  Nick is broken early in a long game with multiple deuces.

0-2.  The collapse continues.

1-2.  Nick finally wins a game.  He's only down 1 break, but needs a change of momentum.

1-3.

1-4.  The fat lady is warming up.

1-5.  She's definitely vocalizing.

2-5.  Geerts is probably cheezing as he allows a love hold.

Chappell falls 7-6 (7-5), 1-6, 2-6 and is out at Waco.  So only Rybo won today in the quarters.

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