1. The KillerFrogs

2019 TCU Tennis Thread

Discussion in 'Scott Nix Frog Fan Forum' started by Longfrog, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. #1 Longfrog, Jan 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
    The season gets underway tomorrow, so it seemed time to start a thread. The Frogs will enter the season ranked #14 in the nation. That makes them the 4th-ranked team in a tightly packed Big 12. In order, they go UT (8), Baylor (11), OU (13), TCU (14), OSU (21), Tech (rec'g votes). The conference preseason coaches poll followed the same order, with UT getting five top-placed votes and Baylor getting one. TCU is the 3-time defending champ.

    We lost our two senior stalwarts from last year - Trevor Johnson and Guillermo Nunez. We do return our #1 player, Alex Rybakov. He had an awesome fall campaign, highlighted by a win in some USTA invitational where he went undefeated against a field of several top college players, and I don't think he lost a set. He isn't quite as good as Norrie, but I expect he'll be in the top 10 in the country at the end of the year.

    After that we've got three starters from last year's team returning. Alastair Gray is a junior from England who showed promise early last year, but was in and out of the lineup with injuries. Reese Stalder is a senior who has developed into a solid player in singles; he's also our best doubles player. And Bertus Kruger is a sophomore from South Africa who had some growing pains last year but finished the season strong. I'd expect them to play spots 2 through 4 in the order listed.

    Then it's who knows at 5 & 6. Based on last year, it seems like sophomore Eduardo Roldan would be next up. There are a couple of freshmen from Europe who are probably in the mix too. The bottom part of the lineup has been a weak spot for us the last few years... I guess we will keep our fingers crossed.

    We won't have to wait long to get a sense of how where the team is, as they will face some real quality at the Tempe College Cup this week. They open with host #24 Arizona State tomorrow, then play #3 Mississippi State on Friday, and finish with #16 Illinois on Saturday.

    One other note, and a major disappointment. TCU appeared to sign the top American prospect for 2019, Jenson Brooksby. We haven't signed a top-notch American player since Rybakov, so this was a real coup. Unfortunately, Brooksby never actually signed apparently, and then backed out of the commitment. The worst part is, he ultimately signed with Baylor. The Bears hired a new coach, who was the former UVA coach who guided them to three straight national titles. Brian Borland left UVA to work with USTA, but Baylor hired him away just a year later. I did see on a message board or two that he has a reputation for being a very aggressive recruiter. College tennis is a little weird, in that they relax the amateurism more than in other sports. Athletes are allowed to compete in pro events, and with Borland's connections, he may have been able to promise Brooksby some sponsor's exemptions into pro tournaments. No idea if that's true or if it's even illegal. But since it's Baylor, I'm willing to say it's irrefutable evidence that they're dirty dirty cheaters.
     
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  2. Thanks to you the last couple years, tennis is one of my favorite sports to follow.
     
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  3. That's really bad news about Brooksby. Since Rybakov, the program hasn't really been able to recruit. Not a great sign, especially as Rybo is now a senior. The team could be in a very tough spot next year.
     
  4. Yeah, I think he was clearly viewed as Rybo's successor. Don't know why a team with as much success as we've had hasn't been able to recruit better.

    At least we have someone to focus on when Baylor comes to town next season.
     
  5. Also, if you have any interest in the pro game, Norrie is all over it right now. He just beat World #15 Tsitsipas from Greece and #39 Tiafoe playing for Great Britain in the Hopman Cup. He plays tonight in the quarterfinals of an ATP 250 event. I think he makes the top 50 this year, which would be an awesome accomplishment for someone his age and for anyone coming up through the college ranks.
     
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  6. Also worth noting that his coach is former TCU player Facundo Lagones. Based on what I've seen, it looks like TCU is probably paying him to wear TCU gear (shirt and hat) to every single ATP event while he is coaching Norrie. I really thought Roditi would have been able to spin Norrie's huge success into recruits. I think Rybakov will make top 200 within a year of leaving TCU, and has a shot at top 100 eventually.
     
  7. My son saw Norrie win his match yesterday in front of several thousand in an Auckland, NZ tournament (he advanced further with another win today) as an advance for placement in next week's Australian Open. When Norrie won my son yelled T-C-U and said Norrie turned around and flashed a huge smile along with the Frogs hand signal then Norrie's girlfriend then gave the Frog sign from across the court..
     
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  8. Yep, big time.

    7:30 tonight -Tennis Channel may have it on
     
  9. He'll have an intriguing matchup with Tennys Sandgren. He went the college route as well (Tennessee), but he's a bit older at 27 and was kind of a journeyman until last year. But he had a breakthrough 2018 which was kickstarted by a run to the quarters of the Australian Open. Shortly thereafter, he got a lot of unwanted attention from his twitter follows, which were a little alt-right-y.

    Sandgren and Norrie have some history. In the summer of 2017 Norrie went on a run in the Challenger series were he made the finals of three straight tournaments, winning two, to push his ranking from 225 to 110. Norrie beat Sandgren in all 3 of those tournaments, including once in the finals at Tiburon. I think there was some good-natured twitter jabs between the two after that, though nothing that I remember since Sandgren's political views made the news.
     
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  10. By the way, still waiting on the results from the matchup with Miss State. They took care of Arizona State without much trouble. Looks like the Aztecs are without their top player, so it's hard to make much of the results. Only five singles matches were played, with TCU winning four. Luc Fomba is a freshman from France, and both he and Roldan played in singles. Kruger played doubles but sat out singles. Maybe today's action will give a little clearer picture of the lineup 1 through 6.
     
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  11. Unfortunately Norrie came up short in the finals. He said he was pretty nervous in the semis, so I'd imagine it was an issue in the finals. Good experience for next time. He opens the Australian Open late tonight against Taylor Fritz. Fritz is ranked higher but Norrie just beat him in Auckland.

    Different story for the Frogs, who got some very encouraging results out in the desert. They beat all three opponents, and while AZ State and Illinois played some backups due to illness and injury, #3 Mississippi State played at full strength and the Frogs downed them 4-3. Even Roditi seemed surprised by the result, as he was making excuses for the Bulldogs after the match (early in the season, not in mid-season form, etc.). I *think* these are basically preseason events and do not count towards team rankings. That's too bad, because that would be a signature win for just about any team in the country.

    The highlight of the tournament was Rybakov's win at #1 singles against Miss State's Nuno Borges, who finished each of the past two years ranked in the top 5 nationally. Rybo bagelled him in the first set and went on to win 6-0, 7-6. As I indicated previously, it feels like he's taken another step into the elite class of college tennis. Should be really fun to watch him this year.

    The other nice development was from Luc Fomba, who won all three of his matches in singles. We could dearly use some help at #5/6. It looks like he and Roldan will fill those spots.

    Doubles was more of a mixed bag. It seems like we always start the season slowly in doubles and improve along the way. Let's hope that's the case this year too.
     
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  12. #14 ftwfrog, Jan 27, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
    Jan 26- Frogs swept LMU in round one of ITA kickoff. Forgive me for not knowing much about Loyola Marymount’s tennis program but the frogs looked pretty good.
    Got wins from Fonda- looked awesome(court 5), Stalder -very quickly (court 3), and I couldn’t tell who wrapped up their match first from court 1,2 or 4 as they were all in total control.

    Jan 27- (Update) We swept Oklahoma State. Wins from Rybokav, Stalder & Gray. We were up in 2 the other 3 matches. Good start to the season!

    Weather was good. Pizza and popcorn were free.Not sure if we’re making the final four or if we’ll repeat as Big 12 champs but TCU Tennis is still the best kept secret around.
     
  13. Beat Oky State 4-0 and move to the championships in Chicago.
     
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  14. Good weekend of results, which was desperately needed after losing to Tulsa in the official opener last week. We've had a bad early-season loss now each of the past 3 seasons. The last two years were worse though, since it kept us out of the indoor championships.

    But with the wins this weekend we do finally get back to the finals. That tournament won't be for another few weeks. It's an important event in its own right, but it also gives you 4 guaranteed matches against top competition. For nearly every team, if you just go 2 and 2, you come out ahead in the computer rankings. Those points come in handy for seeding at the big tournament, the outdoor championships.

    The only top team that won't be in Chicago is A&M, which had the toughest draw with UVA in their section. The Cavaliers were down last year after winning nationals 3 years in a row, but it looks like they are going to be a problem once again. The top American recruit in the country is playing #1 singles for them... he lost his match and yet they still won at A&M.
     
  15. Playing indoors against #4 Florida. We lost the doubles point but have won the first 3 points in singles to put TCU up 3-1
     
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  16. Florida won on court 1 and in tie breaks on court 4 to tie it at 3. Winnner of court 6 wins the match
     
  17. Dropped the match 4-3 according to the twitter feed.
     
  18. Yeah I didn’t have much hope based on what our tennis people on here have said about the 6 spot. They can correct me if I’m wrong, but we played pretty well. Sucks losing on court 1 though
     

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