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TCU Tennis 2019-2020

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Because everyone won yesterday, there's lots of action today.  Tadeas Paroulek lost in Austin 3-6, 5-7 to Tyler Zink.  Jerry Lopez basically got a walkover as Eduardo Ribieri retired right before the match started in Cancun.  Reese Stalder will be playing Ezekiel Clark shortly in East Lansing.  Jacob Fearnley, in a potentially significant match, will be playing Texas' Yuya Ito in Austin shortly.  Nick Chappell won easily 3 and 0 over Daniel Antonio Nunez in Cancun.

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Freshman Jacob Fearnley beat Texas' Yuya Ito, the ITA #2 in the country and the player that clinched last year's NCAA championship, in Austin today.  But before we get too excited about what would otherwise be a monumental upset, it was a walkover because Ito, for some reason withdrew.  Whatever, Jacob advances and will play Tyler Zink tomorrow, a Georgia Bulldog, who beat Tadeas Paroulek last round.  In East Lansing, Reese Stalder lost a close one to Ezekiel Clark, 6-7 (3-7), 3-6.  So, Lopez, Chappell and Fearnley remain alive going into the weekend.

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In Cancun this morning, both Nick Chappell and Gerardo Lopez Villasenor advanced to the semifinals!  Chappell lost the first set 4-6 and was leading in the 2nd set 4-2 over Jianu, who then quit, so Nick got a walkover despite trailing and being down a set.  Jerry won more easily - 6-4, 7-5 over Farren.  Unfortunately, they must now play each other in an all-Frog semi tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

 

Meanwhile, in Austin, Jacob Fearnley's match against Zink has been interrupted by rain.  It had just started and Jacob is trailing 0-1 in the first set.

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Fearnley came back after the rain delays and beat Zink 3 and 1 and has now advanced to the semis in Austin!  He'll face Siem Woldeab tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.  Woldeab is also a freshman and a Longhorn; he's 18 and from La Meca, California. . 

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Nick Chappell and Jerry Lopez (Gerardo Lopez Villasenor) are already well underway in the all-Frog semi-final in Cancun.  Jerry took the first set 7-6 and it's now 3-all in the 2nd.  The winner makes the finals and has a chance for an ITF title.  Sadly, a Frog will have to lose.  Fearnley v. Woldeab starts in about 30 minutes in Austin.

 

Nick holds and leads 4-3 - even on serve.

4-all.  Jerry saves 2 break points and holds.  Jerry is ranked #544 by the ATP; Nick  is 571st.

5-4.  Another long game - this is a very competitive match.

6-4.  Nick evens the match at a set apiece.  On to the deciding set!  And Fearnley v. Waldeab just starting...

 

Chappell takes a quick 2-love lead.

Nick leads 3-love; Jacob down 0-1, but Woldeab served first.

Chappell 3-love; Fearnley 1-all.

Fearnley gets a love break!!  2-1!  Jacob is ATP#1323; Waldeab is unranked.

Jerry broken again  - love-4; Jacob holds easily 3-1.

5-love; Jerry seems out of gas or Nick is streaking.  Jacob up 3-2.

5-1 as Jerry finally gets a hold. 

Fearnley 4-2 over the Longhorn.  Chappell-Lopez passes 3 hours in length.

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Nick Chappell advances to the finals in Cancun with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 W!  Sadly, Jerry Lopez loses in the semis 7-5, 4-6, 1-6.  Still a good performance for him. 

 

Meanwhile, in Austin, Jacob Fearnley wins the first set against the Longhorn 6-2!

1-0 in the 2nd set as Fearnley gets the early break again!

1-all.  Woldeab breaks back.

2-all.  The titanic Frog-Longhorn battle continues!

4-all.  This set is a LOT tighter!

4-5.

5-all.  Jacob holds.

5-6.  %$#@!  Sofascore stopped giving in-game scores for some reason.

6-all!  Into a breaker!  C'mon Jacob!!

 

YESS!!!  Fearnley takes the breaker and advances to the finals in Austin 6-2, 7-6!!  he'll get the winner between Colin Altamirano (Virginia) and Ruan Roelfse, which is just starting.

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Okay, we've got 2 Frog finalists this morning and 2 chances at titles in Cancun and Austin.  Nick Chappell is into the final against Mateus Alves (ATP#851) in Cancun and Jacob Fearnley is a finalist against Collin Altamirano (ATP#395, formerly a Virginia Cavalier) in Austin.  Nick is already well underway and trails 6-2, 1-6, 24 into the 3rd set.  Fearnley will be starting shortly.

 

3-4.  Nick gets the hold, but he'll need a break to get back in this.

3-5.  He got close with a break point, but Alves holds.

4-5!  Nick survives 4 match points and comes back to get the hold.

Nick falls 6-2, 1-6, 4-6 in the finals at Cancun.  A finals appearance is still very good for him, but it would have been great to get the title.

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Jacob has taken the first set 6-4!  This would be a huge upset.

 

But Altamirano comes back and takes the 2nd set 6-4.

 

Fearnley falls 6-4, 4-6, 4-6.  To make a final, though, is super impressive for the Frog Frosh.

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With Tsitsipas' W over Thiem at the ATP Finals in London last week and Spain's victory over Canada in the Davis Cup finals, the ATP tour will now be in hiatus for about a month before gearing up for the Aussie Open in January.  But there will still be a handful of Challengers and Futures events held where some Frogs may (or may not) enter during the break.  Tomas Jirousek was on the acceptance list for this week's tourney in Antalya, but he must have withdrawn late because he's not on the order of play list today.  He is now officially listed on the Frogs' roster and I continue to expect him to show up on campus in January.  Cam Norrie, like normal, will likely head down under to visit his folks for Christmas and prepare for the Kiwi and Aussie events this summer.  Alex Rybakov might enter a Challenger if he can qualify.  Nick Chappell and Jerry Lopez are both fairly hot right now and could well show up at a Futures event.  The rest of the guys will probably be practicing in Ft. Worth in advance of next year's debut, once again at Arizona State for the Tempe Collegiate Cup in January.  The college version of the Davis Cup (the Masters U) will be held in a few weeks in France.

 

Next year's roster placement is uncertain.  Presumably, Alastair Gray will move up to #1, but right now, his ATP ranking is below that of both Jirousek and Tadeas Paroulek.  And Jacob Fearnley just made the finals in Austin, beating ITA #2 Yuya Ito en route.  Sometimes, Roditi has moved freshmen into top positions on the roster (Norrie and Rybo being the prime examples), so it's possible that Alastair may not be #1 at all.  Ostensibly, Luc Fomba and Bertus Kruger would have been #2 and #3, but I'm guessing that won't happen either.  Neither have played much this fall; nor has Sander Jong.  Eduardo Roldan and Max Kurzban have played some but not Juan Martin.  All are still listed on the roster and with the 3 new freshmen, that means a total of 10 players, with only 6 singles slots available per team match.  It is very much up in the air as to who will see playing time and where they will be slotted.  One could say that this will be Roditi's most challenging coaching year; especially given how tough the schedule will be.  I have no clue who's been doing the best in practice, but if I had to guess I'd project it as (1) Gray; (2) Paroulek; (3) Kruger; (4) Fomba; (5) Jong and (6) Fearnley, with Jirousek a major possibility to enter the singles line-up when and if he arrives.  Who knows at this point?

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USA!  USA!  USA!  Yet again, the U.S. demonstrated that it has the strongest college tennis system in the world by winning the Master'U competition in Grenoble over the weekend, prevailing over Team Great Britain 4-1 in the college version of the Davis Cup in international competition.  This is the U.S.'s second straight W and 8th  of the last 9.  The team was coached as usual by Boise State's Greg Patton and the male players were Illinois' Aleks Kovacevic (who won the clinching match) and UCLA's Keegan Smith.  The female players were Alexa Graham and Michaela Gordon.  Like normal, the U.S. team's habit of vocally cheering each other on and running on to the court to dramatically hug each other after winning completely shocked and offended the (mostly European) other teams, as well as the spectators.  Compared to football, which allows 85 scholarships, college tennis is small-time by only allowing 4.5 scholarships (for men), but that is still light years  ahead of all other countries which effectively have no college system.  The Frogs have never had a player on this team but it would be cool if we did.

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Nick Chappell is back in Cancun for yet another ITF tourney there (it seems like they hold one just about every week) and he's 3rd seeded and already into the quarters after beating Noah Berry (6-2, 7-6)  and Austin Ansari (7-6, 6-3) and will now play Joshua Ortlip later today.  Nick is now at his career high in singles - ATP#520.  Jerry Lopez is apparently not there for some reason.

 

The ITF has completely revamped their website and navigating around it is fun, if you're into that sort of thing.

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Nick easily defeated Ortlip yesterday 2 and 3 and then won again this morning 4 and 3 in the semi-finals against Gage Brymer in Cancun.  So, he's back into the finals with a chance at a title tomorrow.  Chappell has found a great formula for his career best singles performances - just go to Cancun and stay there.

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The finals in Cancun have already started and Nick Chappell has taken the first set 6-3 and trails 0-1 in the 2nd.  He is playing Jorge Brian Panta (ATP#505) for the title.

 

1-all.  Panta serving first.

2-1!  Nick gets the key early break!

3-1.  Nick is in control.  Nick has earned nearly 15,000 euros this season - the best ever of his pro career.

3-2.  Panta holds.

4-2.  Still up a break.

4-3.  This one's tight.

5-3!  One more game for a title.

Nick Chappell takes the title with a 6-3, 6-3 W over Panta!!!

 

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Nick Chappell is sticking with his formula to vastly improve his singles ranking.  Fresh off his Cancun title, he's staying in Cancun for yet another ITF tourney; this time in both doubles and singles.  He's playing his doubles match right now (he and Kirkov just won love and love) and will play Michal Wozniak (ATP - NR) tomorrow in singles.  And, this week, he'll be joined by Widow (Reese Stalder), who will play Oleg Khotkov (ATP#1057) tomorrow as well.  Widow is also into the doubles and he and T.K. Smith are currently leading in the first set 4-1 in the opening round. 

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Nick beat Wozniak this morning 1 and 3 and has advanced at Cancun in singles.  And Widow beat Khotkov 7-6 (14-12), 3-0 (retired) as well.  Chappell will next play Tanner Smith (who teamed with Reese in Tallahassee in doubles and is once again his doubles partner in Cancun) (ATP#1240) and Widow's next opponent in singles is undetermined as yet.  In doubles, Chappell and Kirkov are about to play Ribeiro/Yamacita and Widow/Smith will play Bradley/Butsch.  It must be really rough waking up in Cancun and having to play some tennis every day.

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Earlier this morning, Nick Chappell beat Tanner Smith (Reese Stalder's doubles partner) 4 and 2 and advanced to the quarters.  And Reese Stalder beat Alexis Canter (ATP#819) 3 and 2 and also advanced to the quarters.  So both are still alive going into tomorrow when Chappell will play Justin Butsch (ATP#901) and Widow will play Shintaro Mochizuki (ATP#1039).  In doubles, Nick and Kirkov lost to Ribeiro/Yamacita 2-6, 5-7.  Widow/Smith will play their doubles match later today.

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Nick easily won 2 and 1 this morning over Bortsch and is now into the semis.  But Widow's run ended against Mochizuki after falling behind 2-5 and then retiring in the first set.  I'm not sure who Chappell will face in the semis tomorrow, but he's now shooting for consecutive titles in two weeks, which would be outstanding for him and his ranking.  Reese apparently isn't injured as his doubles match has just started in the semis - he and Tanner Smith are currently tied 2-all in the first set.

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Nick Chappell won his 9th straight singles match this morning at Cancun and has advanced to yet another finals appearance tomorrow for yet another singles title!  This time, it was a thriller, he beat Shintaro Mochizuki (the Stalder-killer) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (9-7) in a semi that lasted over 3 hours (and just wrapped up) and he will now play (I think) Vasil Kirkov (ATP#816) in the final, who beat Panta 6-3, 3-2 (retired) in the other semi.

 

Widow and Tanner Smith have just started their doubles match in the finals for the title!  They are playing Juan Carlos Aguilar and Panta and now lead 3-2 in the first set.  A doubles Championship for Widow would be sublime!

 

3-all.  Even on serve.

4-3.  Reese has earned 2.3 thousand euros this year in his debut season as a full-time pro.

4-all.

5-4.  Still even on serve.

5-all.

6-all.  Into a breaker!

Stalder/Smith fall 3-7 in the breaker.  They trail by a set now.

 

Into the 2nd set.

2-0.  Widow and Smith get the break!

3-0!

3-1.  Still up a break but Aguilar/Panta are fighting back now..

4-1!  Another break!

5-1.  One more to even the match.

Stalder/Smith take the 2nd set 6-1!!  All square.

 

.

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It'll be a pro set tiebreak for the win.  First to 10 points with a 2-point margin will take the title!

0-1.

1-2.

2-all.

3-2!

3-4.

3-5 (sigh).

3-6.

5-6!

6-7.

7-8.  It's very tense in Cancun!

9-all!!

10-9!!  MATCH POINT!!

YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!  Widow and Smith take the doubles title in Cancun!!!  6-7 (3-7), 6-1, 11-9@!!! 

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