1. The KillerFrogs

TCU Men's Tennis - 2020-2021

Discussion in 'Scott & Wes Frog Fan Forum' started by Jared7, Aug 24, 2020.

  1. #1 Jared7, Aug 24, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2020
    Given the demise of The FrogHorn (my old site for TCU tennis threads), I've decided to migrate back over to KFC to do it, thereby merging all TCU tennis fans back to one common site. I've been at KFC since 1997 although have only participated sporadically for the last few years. Welcome to all Frog fans to this tennis thread! And thanks to all those who contributed at the old site!

    Obviously, the COVID crisis caused major changes to the entire sport, including the cancellation of the Spring college season, the Big 12 season and the NCAA's as well as the cancellation of virtually all pro events for the last 5 months. The ITA and the ATP et. al. are still dealing with all the issues, so it remains fairly unclear how everything is going to be developed, but the good news is that tennis is back around the world and is trying to get back (somewhat) to "normal." We'll try to follow both the current Frog team as well as all the various ex-Frogs who have been active in the pros.

    Let's start with the current team. To recap, the Frogs were 12-4 when the season was cancelled in March, with W's over #25 Arizona State, Florida Atlantic, Arizona, #10 NC State, #6 A&M, SMU, #40 USF, #14 Mississippi, #8 Stanford, Tulsa, Tulane and Rice and L's to #16 Michigan, Virginia, #1 North Carolina and #1 USC (all rankings at the time of the match). We had climbed into the Top 8 and were looking good for both hosting a NCAA regional and, if we won, hosting a super-regional as well. In the Big 12, both defending national champs Texas and Baylor looked like tough upcoming competition. From 2016-18, we had won three consecutive Big 12 championships but had that streak snapped in 2019. Despite losing Cameron Norrie and Alex Rybakov in recent years to the pros, our new roster was hitting its stride just as the season got cancelled. This included Alastair Gray (U.K.), Luc Fomba (France), Tadeas Paroulek (Czechia), Jacob Fearnley (U.K.), Bertus Kruger (South Africa), Sander Jong (Netherlands), Tomas Jirousek (Czechia), Eduardo Roldan (Mexico), Juan Martin (Argentina) and Max Kurzban (Kansas). David Roditi remains Head Coach and Devin Bowen Assistant Coach. Luckily, all players retained their eligibility, so they all can come back - we don't know as yet whether all will.

    Team competition doesn't begin until the Spring and, hopefully, the pandemic will have eased by then. The Spring schedule is usually announced the first week or so of September - I suspect Roditi is working on it right now. The fall college season is usually a series of tourneys, highlighted by the Masters, the ITA Regionals and Nationals and the All-American (in Tulsa). Many players opt out of the college tourneys (no money) and play pro tourneys instead, but that'll be problematic this year, so maybe there'll actually be more of a fall season. In a major announcement, the ITA has completely changed this fall's schedule. There will now be a series of select singles events (only 16 or 32 players at most) in a Fall Circuit that will last for 10 weeks starting 9/18 at over 150 sites. Social distancing, testing etc... will be required. The Masters has been folded into that and the All-American has been canceled (the AAC suspended their fall season entirely). So, in about 3 weeks or so, our Frogs may (or may not) be playing in some of these tourneys. We'll see. Eligibility will be determined by UTR rankings.

    The pro season has resumed. This week, the ATP is in Cincinnati and ATP#77 Cameron Norrie won 2 qualies (over M. Kukushkin and K. Majchrsak) before falling in the Round of 64 (first round) to Reilly Opelka. When COVID hit, the Camster was streaking for a #50 ranking in order to qualify for the Olympics - but all that went away. Now, he's hoping to do well at the upcoming U.S. Open, for which his current ranking should secure a berth into.the main draw. The ITF is now only beginning to resume and only a handful (mostly European) tourneys have been scheduled as yet. Consequently, all of our other Frog pros haven't been playing and may (or may not) be returning, depending on whether they have any money. Here is a listing of the current ATP singles rankings of all (I think) Frogs as we (hopefully) emerge from COVID:

    77. Cameron Norrie
    436. Nick Chappell
    470. Alex Rybakov
    529. Gerardo Lopez Villasenor (o Jerry Lopez si prefiere ingles)
    812. Tomas Jirousek
    855. Tadeas Paroulek
    1013. Jacob Fearnley
    1064. Reese Stalder
    1089. Alastair Gray

    The ATP rankings vary from the UTR, which vary from the (newish) ITF rankings as well, each of which depend on a variety of factors which it is not necessary to go into now. Hopefully, over the next few weeks and months, we'll have some tennis to follow. TCU is, most definitely, a tennis school and there is a lot to follow if they ever begin playing regularly again.

    All contributions welcome!
  2. Okay, let's start off with some college tennis news. This might not seem too unsurprising to Frog fans, but Baylor's coach Brian Boland "unexpectedly" resigned a week or so ago because of "inappropriate" text messages that he sent to a Baylor woman player. Boland had started at Baylor before the 2018 season after previously leading Virginia to 3 NCAA titles in 4 years. Michael Woodson is now Baylor's new men's tennis coach. Baylor is now in a stiff competition with UT for the "most embarrassing recent tennis coach resignation" after Michael Center had to resign in Austin for being one of the lead defendants in the college admissions scandal a couple of years ago. The lurid details of Baylor's scandal are in a wacotribune article that I'm not linking to.

    Facing a projected deficit of at least $60 million due to cancelling all fall sports, Iowa has terminated its men's tennis program (the savings estimate is about $1 million or so). The Hawkeyes have never really been much of a Big 10 power in tennis - now, they never will be. The news came as somewhat of a shock to highly touted recruit Rudra Dixit, who arrived on campus for the first time last week all excited about his upcoming career.
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  3. I met Boland when he paid to park in my neighbor’s driveway for the game last season. Chatted with him and his family for a bit. He seemed like a nice guy. Guess you just can’t trust anything Baylor.
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  4. Welcome back Jared!!
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  5. Here's some more detail on the new ITA Fall Circuit which will debut in 3 weeks. It'll run from 9/18 until 11/22, will be singles only, will feature limited flights of 16-32 players only and eligibility will be determined by UTR rankings. COVID protocols will be enforced. The first week's sites will be at Charlottesville, Lexington, Lawrence, Kearney, Medina, Salt Lake City, White Plains, Aurora, Orlando, Alpharetta and College Station. Obviously, the Frogs will probably be looking at A&M as a preferred destination, but that's the only Texas site and will almost certainly be oversubscribed, so maybe Lawrence or Kearney could be alternative possibilities. If only 16 or 32 players will play, that drastically limits who will be eligible, so, really, only Ali Gray and Luc Fomba and maybe another player or two will really have a chance to make a draw.

    Is doing it by UTR fair? Well, there aren't any current ITA rankings and the ITA cancelled the preseason rankings (usually out about now) and virtually nobody has been playing anywhere and you can't really base college tourneys on pro rankings (who also haven't been playing), so... UTR is purportedly based on ALL matches played (including pro, college and club (if they submit their results)), so it's probably the only real alternative. Teddy Paroulek and Tomas Jirousek might benefit because, prior to arriving at TCU, both were playing a lot of pro tourneys. But really, we're probably talking about the top 2 players at most schools being eligible, which means that the lower ranked players aren't going to get much action this fall. I don't have the current Frog UTR ratings (it costs money), but they'll be widely available at various free sites as these events approach, so we'll be able to figure it out.

    We should bear in mind that in most fall seasons, there isn't a lot of college play anyway because most players who are good enough opt to play in pro tourneys. And in the U.S., at least so far, there probably aren't going to be many ITF events, either on the Transition Tour or the Futures Tour. The Fall Circuit, basically, will be brand new and we'll just have to see how it goes. I suspect that Coach Roditi was heavily involved in the planning - he tends to have a great deal of influence in everything the ITA does. The entry deadline will be at the end of next week.
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  6. Catching up on the most recent action by Frogs, Tadeas Paroulek entered 2 ITF tourneys in Austria over the last 2 weeks, losing (6-4, 2-6, 10-12) in the first round at Vogau to Russian Alexander Shevshenko and losing (3-6, 6-2, 7-10) in the first round at Anif to German Chris Patzanovsky. The losses aren't good, but split sets and making breakers in each match isn't bad. So, if he's in Austria despite classes having started, is he taking the fall off? Will he return?

    Alastair Gray has been active in the U.K. - he won two titles in July, teaming with some guy named Cam Norrie to win a doubles title and taking the singles title in the 2nd St. Georges Hill Pro Series. He's actually played in 3 of those tourneys at St. Georges Hill (a very snooty-sounding pretentious British Club) and in the Battle of the Brits tourney that Cam also played in - the most recent was on 8/16 where he won 3 matches and lost 3. Will he return? Is he going to play in Europe this fall?

    Other than Cam, I can't find any other recent results for Frogs although that doesn't necessarily mean they haven't been playing. Rybo continues to tweet regularly about tennis, so that's a good sign.

    Other notes - the Frogs were recognized in July as an ITA All-American Academic team; Max Kurzban earned a Scholar-Athlete award.
  7. Ouch! The main draw for the U.S. Open (which begins Sunday) was just announced and Cam Norrie got what I would consider a bad draw - he'll be opening up in the first round against 9th seeded and ATP #13 Argentine Diego Schwartzman, who is a short, small grinder (kind of like Cam, although he's taller). I expect long rallies from the baseline. Going against the 9th seed is like Cam is ranked 120th - he's actually 77th, so a W is NOT expected. But if he does win, the next rounds would be relatively easier. Cam has yet to make a major splash in a Grand Slam - upsetting Schwartzman could be his best result yet. Schwartzman's last match - like Cam's - was a 3-6, 6-7 loss to Reilly Opelka, the 6' 11" giant, last week.
  8. Yeah that's an awful draw and opponent for Norrie. Perhaps Norrie's high lefty topspin can cause troubles to Schwartman's backhand, but unlikely. I probably see this as a straight set deal, very long shot.
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  9. Going exactly as expected, Norrie down two sets to none. Every time the point gets to a rally Norrie loses 60-70% of points.
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  10. #10 Jared7, Aug 31, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2020
    Not over yet. Cam fights back to take the 3rd set 6-2. (Like a dumbass, I thought it was over after 2 sets; not remembering that its best 3 of 5 at a Slam).

    And now he's up a break in the 4th! It'd be epic if he could come back from 2 sets down!

    And now he's up 2 breaks in the 4th!! Is Schwartzman cheezing or, like me, did he think it was over after only 2 sets?

    ESPN just briefly cut to the match live! 5-1 in the 4th!
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  11. Up a break in the 4th also
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  12. Norrie takes the 4th set easily 6-1
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  13. #13 Jared7, Aug 31, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2020
    Cam breaks yet again and dominated the 4th set 6-1! On to the 5th and deciding set at the Open! C'mon Frog!!

    The first two games of the 5th have been hard-fought and titanic - trading breaks - now at 1-all.

    Now 3-all. Still trading breaks. Has Facundo Lugones been working on Cam's conditioning?

    3-4. Down a break (again). Facu needs to work on Cam's serve.

    5-ALL!!! Cam saves 2 match points and evens the match again!!

    6-5!! Norrie holds at love!
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  14. #14 Jared7, Aug 31, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2020
    Cam takes it in epic fashion 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 7-5!! I was so unconfident of the W that I never checked out the draw and have no idea who's up next. This is truly Cam's biggest W ever at a Slam!! It's the biggest (obviously) upset so far as Cam takes down a Top 10 seed in a 5-set first-rounder. Check out ESPN for the highlights!
  15. It's fun to read the British (BBC) coverage of the match!
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  16. Come on!

    My stream cut out mid 3rd set, all but looked over. Craziness!
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  17. Apparently the match set the record for most break points (58) for any US Open match ever. Kind of a bad record, but whatever
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  18. #19 Jared7, Aug 31, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2020
    Next up is Federico Coria, another Argentine. Coria is ATP#103 and he advanced today in similar fashion coming back from 2 sets down to beat Jason Jung 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, 2-0 (retired). Facing Argentines plays right into Facundo Lugones' hands though - he knows them well and can wisely advise Cam on their strengths and weaknesses.

    Yeah, the U.K. press loves them some Cam Norrie - even more homerish than Frog fans. They do think he talks like an American though and have never really figured out his Boer/Kiwi/Scottish/Welsh/Texan accent.

    I always follow Cam's (and Rybo's etc..) matches on the British betting site SofaScore. Good stats and other info...
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  19. Looked like the match clocked in at 3:59. A long time to be playing tennis at that level.
    Jared7 likes this.

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