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Jared

TCU Tennis 2019-2020

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Norrie beat Kuzmanov 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 in Sydney today at the ATP Cup and will now play Steve Darcis tomorrow.  Afterwards, he's scheduled to play Alexander Cozbinov (ATP#818) in 3 days.  Still not sure of the format, but Cozbinov is playing Kuzmanov today. 

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18 minutes ago, Jared said:

Norrie beat Kuzmanov 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 in Sydney today at the ATP Cup and will now play Steve Darcis tomorrow.  Afterwards, he's scheduled to play Alexander Cozbinov (ATP#818) in 3 days.  Still now sure of the format, but Cozbinov is playing Kuzmanov today. 

This is an indoor tournament, right? I can't believe anyone would be doing anything outside there in South Australia with the heat, fire smoke, etc. 

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There's so much to learn about tennis that it may be past me at my age.  Jared, I will continue to follow this thread and hopefully we can watch a TCU tennis player on TV some time soon!  Thank you for keeping this thread updated

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I've read up more about this event - it's a country v. country competition which is the new version of the Hopman Cup that Cam played in last year in which he got his first match ever against Federer and also Serena Williams in mixed doubles.  But that event wasn't sanctioned by the ATP and this one is now jointly sponsored by Tennis Australia and the ATP (hence the name).  This one is being played all over the country and it's technically outdoors, but the matches in Sydney in which Cam has played are at a stadium that has a new canopy, which has kept out some of the smoke/haze  ("smaze") from the fires.  Cam made the Team GB team, which is being coached by Tim Henman and the Brits first played Bulgaria and have won the singles matches but lost the doubles.  They'll now play the Belgians - Steve Darcis is Belgian.  There are group standings and the top 2 from each Group will advance.  Darcis is ranked ATP#157 - the match will start at 1:00 a.m. tonight (CST).

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Cam Norrie was upset this morning in Sydney at the ATP Cup by Steve Darcis (Belgium) 2 and 4 in quick fashion.  This is a bad loss for Cam as Darcis was ranked well below him but Darcis was perhaps motivated by the fact that he plans to retire after the Aussie Open later this month.  But despite Norrie's loss, Team GB avoided elimination with a doubles win by Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury, which clinched the tie against Belgium.  Next up for the Brits is Moldova and, if they win that, they'll advance to the knockout round in the ATP Cup.  Cam is now scheduled to play Alexander Cozbinov (ATP#818) and he'll be heavily favored.

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The Camster easily beat Kozbinov 2 and 2 in Sydney today at the ATP Cup, winning 84% of his first serves and breaking 4 times to prevail in 71 minutes.  But Team GB's chances to advance depend on sweeping the Moldovans and hoping Belgium beats Bulgaria tomorrow night.  If that happens, then the Brits will be the winners of their Group and will automatically advance to the knockout round.  If Bulgaria beats Belgium, then Cam's team will have to hope that they will be one of the highest finishing teams that finished 2nd in their group; which isn't a lock at all.  Evans has already won the other singles match, so Murray and Salisbury must win the doubles later tonight.  The Brits made the Final 4 in the most recent Davis Cup, so going out before the knockout round would be a disappointment.

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The Brits clinched a berth in the Final 8, along with Australia (who is undefeated), Serbia and Russia.  So Cam will get at least one more match at the ATP Cup, but the opponent has yet to be determined as the last four spots are still being contested today.

 

Alex Rybakov returns to action this week in Los Angeles at the first ITF tourney of the year in the U.S.  Now ranked ATP#528, Rybo is scheduled to play Govind Nanda (ATP#531) tomorrow in the first round of the main draw (Round of 16).  It should be an even match - we'll see if Alex has gotten better after his long layoff.  (Alex just tweeted about the Nick Kyrgios match last night that had multiple drop shots, failed tweeners, underhand serves and monster forehands).

 

I checked our team roster today and Tomas Jirousek is now officially listed as on the team, so it looks like he'll be added this month as anticipated (and may already be in Ft. Worth as Roditi tweeted that they're all back on the purple courts).

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The Final 8 at the ATP Cup in Sydney has been set: Australia will play Great Britain, Argentina will face Russia, Serbia will play Canada and Spain will face Belgium.  And Cam is going to get a key match against badboy Nick Kyrgios in a marquee event.  And fireworks have been occurring as well  - in Greece's loss last night, Stefanos Tsitsipas went on a racquet smashing rant, which accidentally hit his father and then his mother stood up and told him off in very dramatic fashion on live TV.  Spain and the Aussies are probably the favorites, for Team GB to advance, Cam needs to play well against Kyrgios (at 5:00 p.m. CST).  It'll be live on the Tennis Channel.

 

Meanwhile, in LA, Alex Rybakov will be starting against Nanda in about 3 hours.

 

This is a big day for Frog tennis!  Details later tonight!

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Alex Rybakov got a good W over Nanda today in LA - 4 and 4 with a key late break in the 9th game of the 2nd set to take control of the match.  He's now into the quarters where he will face former Virginia Cavalier Collin Altamirano (ATP#340), which will be a tough match for him to win.

 

In Sydney, Cam Norrie lost 2 and 2 to #29 Nick Kyrgios, but the Brits are still in it as Dan Evans just beat Demon (Alex De Minaur) in a long 3-setter live on the Tennis Channel.  And it will now be decided by the doubles match between Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury for the Brits v. Kyrgios and Demon for the Aussies next on the Tennis Channel.  The team winner advances to the semis of the ATP Cup, so if the Brits prevail, Cam will get another match.

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Now THAT was a doubles match!  Kyrgios/Demon beat Salisbury/Murray 3-6, 6-3, 18-16 in a thriller in Sydney to advance to the semis in the ATP Cup.  One of the greatest doubles matches I've ever seen - the atmosphere was electric.  Cam and Facundo were both on the Team GB bench cheering every point as Salisbury (a former Memphis Tiger) and Murray (Andy's older brother), both doubles specialists, took the first set easily.  But Kyrgios played lights out and Demon fought back despite being picked on to take it to the pro set breaker where each team had 6 match points and saved all of them until Kyrgios served it out for the winner.  So that's it for the Brits in the ATP Cup and Cam won't get any more matches.  But it was a good format and the crowd was really into it.  This is the inaugural event - I predict it'll last.  Both Rafa (for Spain) and Joker (for Serbia) are also in the tourney, but it looks like the Aussies will be tough to beat after tonight's match.

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Rybakov v. Altamirano in the quarters has just started in Los Angeles.  Alex is serving first and held - 1-0.

 

1-all.  Rybo took a quick 30-love lead, but Altamirano reeled off 4 straight to hold.

2-1.  De ja vu - Alex falls behind love-30 but rallies to hold.

2-all.  It's an even match so far, but Rybo has clearly been working on his serve; he has 3 aces in just two service games already.

3-2.  Rybo gets a love hold.

3-all.  Alex gets it to deuce, but the Cav holds.

4-3.  Still even on serve.

5-3!!  Rybo gets the key break!!

Alex holds and takes the first set 6-3!

 

0-1.  Altamirano serving first this set.

1-all.  Rybo with a love hold again.

1-2.  Altamirano serving better.  He gets his first ace (Alex has 5).

2-all.  Rybo saves a break point and gets the hold

2-3.  Still even on serve this set as the match goes over 1 hour.

2-4.  (sigh).  Alex suffers his first break of the match.

2-5.  Altamirano cruises with his first love hold.

3-5.  Rybo holds but needs a break to stay in this set.

Despite saving 3 set points, Alex falls in the 2nd set 3-6.  The third set will decide it...

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On to the deciding set!  Rybo will serve first.  A berth in the semis awaits.

 

0-1.  In the longest game of the match, Rybo dug a love-40 hole for himself, then saved 5 break points, but lost the 6th.  Ouch! 

1-all!  Clearly motivated by the last game, Alex storms back and breaks at love!!  Wow!

2-1.  Rybakovsky re-takes the lead with a solid hold.

2-all.  This one could go either way as they are still even on serve.

2-3. (sigh). Rybo broken yet again.   What happened to his serve?

2-4.  Alex fights back and gets 2 break points but doesn't convert.  Not looking good now as the match goes over 2 hours...

3-4.  Alex holds quickly and is still in it, but desperately needs a break.

3-5.  Rybo needs a hold and a break just to stay in it...  He leads in "points won" but they weren't at the right time.

4-5.  A quick love hold, but Altamirano was probably cheezin...

Rybakov falls 6-3, 3-6, 4-6.

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While Cam and Alex were in Sydney and LA, Nick Chappell (now up to ATP#468) qualified for the Ann Arbor Challenger, but he lost 6-7 (4-7), 2-6  in the first round to Aleks Kovacevic  (Illinois),  It's rare to see Nick in a Challenger (and Rybo (#531) in a Futures at the same time), but qualifying was a consequence of his good play in the fall.  Too bad he didn't parlay that into a strong run.  

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The preseason ITA rankings came out yesterday and the Frogs will start the Spring Season at #8 in the country!  Here they are:

 

1. Florida (5 first place votes; 4th last year) - they look especially tough (w/Riffice)

2. Texas (4 votes; 1st last year; defending champs) - likely the Big 12 favorite (w/Ito and others)

3. USC (3 votes; 8th last year) (Brandon Holt; Daniel Cukierman)

4. North Carolina (7th last year)

5. Baylor (6th last year)

7. Wake Forest (2nd last year)

8.  The Fighting Frogs of lil ole TCU (3rd time in the last 5 seasons starting in the Top 10)(finished 10th year-end last season)

9.  Texas A&M (14th)

10. Virginia (5th)

11. UCLA (11th)

12. Stanford (12th)

13. Illinois (15th)

14. California (18th)

15. Oklahoma State (22th)

16. South Carolina (19th)

17. Michigan (20th)

18. Tennessee (13th)

19. Columbia (16th)

19. Georgia (21st)

21. Mississippi State (9th)

22. Oklahoma (17th)

23. N.C. State (23rd)

24. San Diego (25th)

25. Arizona State (24th)

 

ARV: Alabama, Arizona, Florida State, Notre Dame, UCF

 

Personally, I think #8 is a little high given the loss of Rybo and Widow and several unproven freshmen.  I think this will be a transition year for the Frogs.  But other teams lost players too, so we'll see.  The Frogs will open up next week at the Tempe Collegiate Cup!

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And just to remind everyone, here are the final fall individual singles rankings (for the Top 10):

 

1. Daniel Cukierman )USC)

2. Yuya Ito (Texas)

3. Valentin Vacherot (A&M)

4. Sam Riffice (Florida)

5. Richard Ciamarra (Notre Dame)

6. Jack Lin (Columbia)

7. Keegan Smith (UCLA)

8. Joseph Guillen (UCSB)

9. Mor Bulis (USC)

10. Hady Habib (A&M)

51. Alastair Gray (TCU)

100. Luc Fomba  (TCU)

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It looks like the Tempe Collegiate Cup has been cancelled and replaced by a simple road match against Arizona State in Tempe which will take place a week from today on 1/18.  Last year, it was a 4-team exhibition that didn't actually count in the official standings but the Frogs got 3 victories anyway (over ASU, Mississippi State and Illinois).  This year, it'll count but we won't get as much early experience against top teams.  All-time, TCU leads ASU 5-0, but that's a little misleading as we beat them twice in the 80's, but then the Sun Devils went on a decade-long hiatus and only re-started their program 3 years ago.  They have nonetheless recruited well from overseas players and won't be a pushover at all (they're ranked 25th).

 

Cam Norrie has gone home to Auckland and will play the tune-up tourney prior to the Aussie like last year.  His doubles match has already been scheduled - he'll team with Rhett Purcell and they'll play Bopanna/Kontinen tomorrow.  Last year, Cam made the singles final (his first-ever at the ATP level) and lost to Tennys Sandgren in a thriller that was selected by the Tennis Channel as the match of the year.

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Cam's first round singles match in Auckland will be against Thiago Monteiro (ATP#87; Brazil) tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. (CST).  Alex Rybakov is on the qualifying list for the ITF tourney at Rancho Santa Fe in California, which starts Monday - the qualie draw hasn't been released as yet though.  Gerardo Lopez Villasenor is into the main draw at Cancun (where else?) for yet another tourney there.

 

Serbia and Spain are the finalists for the ATP Cup.

 

The Big 12 preseason poll has come out and the Frogs, as expected, were picked 3rd behind Texas and Baylor, who each received 3 first place votes.  Oklahoma State is 4th; OU 5th and Tech 6th.  The Frog women were picked 7th.  The Big 12 season actually started today with OU beating ACU 7-0.  OSU plays San Diego State and OU hosts Tennessee tomorrow.  But the biggest opener will undoubtedly be Wednesday when defending champ Texas visits preseason #1 Florida in Gainesville.

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Unfortunately, Cam Norrie lost to Monteiro 6-7 (3-7), 2-6 and is out of the singles in Auckland.  This is a bad result for him; especially because he made the finals here last year and will lose ATP points but also because it's his hometown.  He's still in the doubles, however, and he and Purcell will play Bohannon/Kontinen later today.  Alex Rybakov's first qualie match at Rancho Santa Fe will be against Dostanbek Tashbulatov (ATP#872) at noon today.

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It has apparently been raining all day in California, so no matches have been played in the qualies as yet.  So rather than just delay the whole tourney, they've been canceling the matches and moving the higher seed to the next qualie round.  Edit - Rybo finally got his match in and beat Tashbulatov (Kazahkstan) 1 and 4 - he'll play Lucas Gerch tomorrow.

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Rybo's qualie match against Lucas Gerch (Germany; former OSU Cowboy; ATP#436) has started at Rancho Santa Fe and it's all square in the first set 3-3 (w/Alex serving first).  He's also in the doubles - already in the main draw - and he's teaming with Zachary Svadja.  Their opening round match will be tomorrow against Leshern/Serdarusic.

 

4-3.  Still even on serve.  Rybo's ranking improved slightly after making the quarters at LA - he's now at #524.

4-all.  Cam Norrie is now officially into the main draw at the Aussie Open (qualies started today) and he just signed a deal w/ K-SWISS.

5-4. Alex had to save 2 break points to hold.  I don't think I mentioned that Serbia won the ATP Cup based on Joker beating Rafa.

YES!!!  Rybo gets the match's first break and takes the first set 6-4!

 

0-1 in the 2nd as Gerch breaks back (albeit not at as key a moment).  Jerry Lopez opens up at Cancun tomorrow against Brandon Walkin.

1-1!!  Alex breaks back (a tennis adage is that the "pros" always break back)!  Cam's doubles match in Auckland is at 9:00 p.m. (CST).

2-1.  Rybo had to save a break point to hold.

2-all.  Gerch holds for the first time in 3 tries. 

2-3.  Rybo gets broken again in this topsy-turvy set.

2-4.  Not looking good this set...

3-5.

4-5.  In the longest game of the match so far, Rybo saves 4 set points and fights back to stay in the set.  But he needs a break right now.

5-ALL!!!!  Alex saves 3 set points after being down love-40 and storms back to even the set!!!  He's saved 7 set points in the last 2 games!

6-5!  It's not quite Nicklaus on the 17th at the '86 Masters, but Alex has just taken the lead!

6-all.  Gerch gets motivated and holds at love to force the breaker.

It wasn't easy, but Alex Rybakov gets a good W over Lucas Gerch 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) to advance at Rancho Santa Fe!!

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I was just reading that the smoke is causing real problems for the players at the Australian tournament. One of the women's players said she couldn't believe the officials weren't making concessions for the smoke and breathing issues.

 

In another article about the huge fires, it said the smoke is so pervasive that it's reached the stratosphere and gone all the way to South America and will soon go so far to make its way back to where it started, Australia. It's making for pretty sunsets, but that's the only positive thing about it.

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Cam Norrie and Rhett Purcell lost their doubles match 4 and 2 to Bopanna/Kontinen so Cam is now done in Auckland.  And because his ATP points from last year's finals run have now rolled off, he's dropped to ATP#61.  But, he is already into the main draw at Melbourne, so he'll have an opportunity to make up for that loss if he can advance deep there.  The draw hasn't been released as yet, but it should be shortly.  Jerry Lopez (o Gerardo Lopez Villasenor) was favored in Cancun over Brandon Walkin but he unexpectedly lost the first set 2-6 and then retired, so he's out there.  After so many good performances in Cancun, this is a surprise and not good news.  Jerry is now at ATP#508.

 

Alex Rybakov (now at ATP#524) is scheduled to start in just a few minutes at Rancho Santa Fe against Emilio Nava (ATP#940).  This is not former Frog (and now Wake Forest Deac) Eduardo Nava, but they may be related.  Rybo should be favored, but we'll see.

 

In college tennis though, the big event is Texas v. Florida in Gainesville later today.  UT is the defending champion and Florida enters the season as the preseason #1.  If this were football, it would be an epic matchup and would be hyped extensively.

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With Cam and Jerry losing, it was already a bad day for Frog pros and it just continued with Rybo unaccountably losing to Nava 6-7 (4-7), 3-6 at Rancho Santa Fe.  He's still in it in doubles but not singles.

 

#1 Florida v.#2 Texas has just started; with the Gators leading in all 3 doubles matches.

 

Florida takes the doubles point.  In singles, it'll be Oliver Crawford v. Yuya Ito; Sam Riffice v. Christian Sigsgaard; Duarte Vale v. Siem Woldeab; Andy Andrade v. Eliot Spizziri; Lukas Greif v. Chiu Huang; and Blaise Bicknell v. Cleeve Harper.

 

Texas takes it 4-2, w/ singles W's from Ito, Sigsgaard, Woldeab and Huang.  A huge early season W for Texas, who will undoubtedly move up to #1.  And the Longhorns had lost several seniors while the Gators lost less so.  Texas beat Florida 4-2 in the NCAA semis last year and just did it again.

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