• The KillerFrogs

TCU Men's Tennis 2021-2022

Jared7

Active Member
Okay, it's finally time to start a new tennis thread! The Frogs are coming off a good 2000-21 season; which included a share of the regular season Big 12 championship and culminated in a quarter-final L to Baylor at the NCAA's. TCU finished 19-8 overall against a very difficult schedule, 4-1 in the Big 12, 7-1 at home, 9-3 on the road and 3-4 at neutral sites. The season included high profile W's against OU, Baylor, USC, Stanford, Texas, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Arizona State and Ohio State, but it was the 2 L's to Baylor which were the most disappointing in that they were in the Big 12 tourney and the NCAA's. TCU also lost to the ultimate NCAA champ Florida. Luc Fomba and Alastair Gray achieved All-American honors.

The roster has many changes. Alastair Gray has moved on to be a full-time pro and Tadeas Paroulek and Juan Martin have transferred. Max Kurzban and Eduardo Roldan have moved on as well. But the Frogs have signed 4 new players which will add a lot of depth - Tim Ruehl (transfer from Arizona State), Juan Carlos Aguilar (transfer from A&M), Lui Maxted (freshman from the U.K.) and Pedro Vives Marcos, the #2 rated recruit by the ITA. They will join Luc Fomba, Sander Jong, Tomas Jirousek and Jake Fearnley. This will be a formidable squad and who knows what the line-up will ultimately be. If I had to guess at this stage, it would be Fomba, Jong, Aguilar, Jirousek, Fearnley and one of the other newcomers, but this will obviously depend on what Roditi and the coaches see in practice.

The schedule has finally been fully released! I have no idea what Donati and Roditi have been up to - it's almost as though there's been a massive conference realignment or something going on. The Frogs will open up the season at home in Ft. Worth on January 14 against the defending NCAA champs - Florida - who swept us 7-0 in Gainesville last season. We will then host the #4 team - Tennessee on 1/16. Then, the ITA Kickoff will occur and the Frogs will be hosting a regional and will play Portland first and then, if we advance, the winner between Wichita State and Tulsa. We will then host #14 Mississippi on 2/6 and #15 Mississippi State on 2/11 and will play #7 Virginia on 2/13 (site TBD). Then, if we qualify, we'll be headed to Seattle for the Indoor Nationals. After that, we will host #49 Michigan on 3/2, visit #17 Illinois on 3/6, and play #25 UCLA in L.A. on 3/10. #29 USF at home will be on 3/19 and #45 SMU in Dallas will be on 3/20. We'll host #2 Baylor on 3/25 (OOC) and #23 Tulane on 3/27. Big 12 play commences on 4/1 with #24 Tech coming to visit. We will go to Waco to play #2 Baylor again (this time in conference) and we'll host #3 Texas on 4/8. Both Oklahoma matches will be on the road #Oklahoma State on 4/14 and #28 OU on 4/16. The good news is that we'll host the Big 12 tourney in Ft. Worth from 4/22-4/24. After regionals and super-regionals, the NCAA's will be in Champaign-Urbana. Needless to say, this is a killer schedule, including most of the top ranked teams from all across the country and in all the major conferences. This is how Roditi likes to do it and the ITA ranking system encourages it. There'll be loads of top teams coming to the tennis center. And, as always, more teams might be added to the schedule as the year progresses.

Luc Fomba is ranked 8th in the preseason ITA singles rankings; Aguilar is 18th; Jong 43rd; Jirousek 75th; and Jake Fearnley 81st. Having 5 players ranked is very impressive! I can't seem to find the preseason team rankings anywhere but based on the above, I'm guessing the Frogs are 5th or 6th.

We'll be following all the fall college action on this thread as we ramp up for the Spring season. And, of course, we'll also be following the round-the-world journeys of all of the multitudinous pro Frogs, including Cameron Norrie (now in the Top 30 and heading towards Milan), Alex Rybakov (finally in the 300's), Nick Chappell, Jerry Lopez (o Gerardo Lopez Villasenor si prefiere espanol), Reese Stalder and (now) Alastair Gray as well as the pro tourneys that the current roster may enter. We might even follow Jenson Brooksby.

Let's get the new season started! The Frogs once again have a real shot at a possible NCAA title; especially given the way everyone wanted to avoid us in the ITA Kickoff draft in June. As always - all contributions welcomed and encouraged!
 
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SuperTFrog

Active Member
Okay, it's finally time to start a new tennis thread! The Frogs are coming off a good 2000-21 season; which included a share of the regular season Big 12 championship and culminated in a quarter-final L to Baylor at the NCAA's. TCU finished 19-8 overall against a very difficult schedule, 4-1 in the Big 12, 7-1 at home, 9-3 on the road and 3-4 at neutral sites. The season included high profile W's against OU, Baylor, USC, Stanford, Texas, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Arizona State and Ohio State, but it was the 2 L's to Baylor which were the most disappointing in that they were in the Big 12 tourney and the NCAA's. TCU also lost to the ultimate NCAA champ Florida. Luc Fomba and Alastair Gray achieved All-American honors.

The roster has many changes. Alastair Gray has moved on to be a full-time pro and Tadeas Paroulek and Juan Martin have transferred. But the Frogs have signed 4 new players which will add a lot of depth - Tim Ruehl (transfer from Arizona State), Juan Carlos Aguilar (transfer from A&M), Lui Maxted (freshman from the U.K.) and Pedro Vives Marcos, the #2 rated recruit by the ITA. They will join Luc Fomba, Sander Jong, Tomas Jirousek and Jake Fearnley. This will be a formidable squad and who knows what the line-up will ultimately be. If I had to guess at this stage, it would be Fomba, Jong, Aguilar, Jirousek, Fearnley and one of the other newcomers, but this will obviously depend on what Roditi and the coaches see in practice.

The schedule has finally been fully released! I have no idea what Donati and Roditi have been up to - it's almost as though there's been a massive conference realignment or something going on. The Frogs will open up the season at home in Ft. Worth on January 14 against the defending NCAA champs - Florida - who swept us 7-0 in Gainesville last season. The Gators are also #1 in the ITA preseason poll. We will then host the #4 team - Tennessee on 1/16. Then, the ITA Kickoff will occur and the Frogs will be hosting a regional and will play Portland first and then, if we advance, the winner between Wichita State and Tulsa. We will then host #14 Mississippi on 2/6 and #15 Mississippi State on 2/11 and will play #7 Virginia on 2/13 (site TBD). Then, if we qualify, we'll be headed to Seattle for the Indoor Nationals. After that, we will host #49 Michigan on 3/2, visit #17 Illinois on 3/6, and play #25 UCLA in L.A. on 3/10. #29 USF at home will be on 3/19 and #45 SMU in Dallas will be on 3/20. We'll host #2 Baylor on 3/25 (OOC) and #23 Tulane on 3/27. Big 12 play commences on 4/1 with #24 Tech coming to visit. We will go to Waco to play #2 Baylor again (this time in conference) and we'll host #3 Texas on 4/8. Both Oklahoma matches will be on the road #Oklahoma State on 4/14 and #28 OU on 4/16. The good news is that we'll host the Big 12 tourney in Ft. Worth from 4/22-4/24. After regionals and super-regionals, the NCAA's will be in Champaign-Urbana. Needless to say, this is a killer schedule, including most of the top ranked teams from all across the country and in all the major conferences. This is how Roditi likes to do it and the ITA ranking system encourages it. There'll be loads of top teams coming to the tennis center. And, as always, more teams might be added to the schedule as the year progresses.

Luc Fomba is ranked 8th in the preseason ITA singles rankings; Aguilar is 18th; Jong 43rd; Jirousek 75th; and Jake Fearnley 81st. Having 5 players ranked is very impressive! I can't seem to find the preseason team rankings anywhere but based on the above, I'm guessing the Frogs are 5th or 6th.

We'll be following all the fall college action on this thread as we ramp up for the Spring season. And, of course, we'll also be following the round-the-world journeys of all of the multitudinous pro Frogs, including Cameron Norrie (now in the Top 30 and heading towards Milan), Alex Rybakov (finally in the 300's), Nick Chappell, Jerry Lopez (o Gerardo Lopez Villasenor si prefiere espanol), Reese Stalder and (now) Alastair Gray as well as the pro tourneys that the current roster may enter. We might even follow Jenson Brooksby.

Let's get the new season started! The Frogs once again have a real shot at a possible NCAA title; especially given the way everyone wanted to avoid us in the ITA Kickoff draft in June. As always - all contributions welcomed and encouraged!
Yeah, but what about Covid and Benghazi?

I kid, I kid. Thanks for starting and looking forward to one of my favorite threads on the board.
 

Jared7

Active Member
Several things that I omitted from the OP. The preseason ITA doubles rankings are also out and, despite never having played together as yet, Luc Fomba and Tim Ruehl are already ranked 24th and Sander Jong and Juan Carlos Aguilar are 32nd. Spizzirri and Woldeab from UT are 2nd; Pavel and Hilderbrand from UCF are 3rd; and Martinez and Han of OU are 13th.

On the Top Newcomers' List is Pedro Vives Marcos, TCU's new recruit, at #2. We shouldn't let his signing get lost in the shuffle of the thread transition. He is a highly-sought-after recruit; currently ATP# 557 in singles and is coming off an active summer playing tourneys in Tunisia and Spain. He's apparently already on campus along with the other newcomers.

Here's the ITA preseason Top 10 in singles:

1. Liam Draxl, Kentucky
2. Sam Riffice, Florida (defending NCAA champ)
3. Daniel Rodrigues, South Carolina
4. Duarte Vale, Florida
5. Adam Walton, Tennessee
6. Johannes Monday, Tennessee
7. Matias Soto, Baylor
8. Luc Fomba, TCU
9. Adrian Boitan, Baylor
10. Eliot Spizzirri, Texas

If you look at our schedule, we will be facing all those players this year other than Rodrigues. Based on the individual and team rankings, Texas and Baylor are going to yet again be our expected closest competitors in the Big 12.

Alastair Gray demolished Caripi in Joburg this morning 0 and 1 and has advanced to the 3rd round in South Africa.
 
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Jared7

Active Member
Alex Rybakov is in Poland this week at the Pekao Szczecin Challenger and is already into the Round of 16! He won 2 qualie matches and his Round of 32 match on Tuesday over Danilo Petrovic 1 and 2. He's scheduled to face Nicola Kuhn today at noon (CDT).

Nick Chappell was at a different Challenger in Istanbul. He won 2 qualie matches but lost yesterday 4 and 2 to Alexandre Muller.
 

Jared7

Active Member
Cam Norrie has now moved to a CH singles ranking in the first post-U.S. Open rankings - he's now the 28th best player in the world. But he still trails Dan Evans for the top British position - Evans made the quarters at Flushing Meadows only to lose to eventual champ Daniil Medvedev and is now 23rd.
 

Longfrog

Active Member
That's the craziest schedule I've ever seen. Aside from kickoff weekend, the only spot where you can sort of relax is vs SMU.

I don't think ITA has done team rankings yet for 2022. Unlike a year ago, there's a clear favorite in Florida, which I believe only lost their #6 player to graduation. Baylor will be tough assuming Boitan doesn't change his mind about coming back, but UT worries me more. Glad we get them at home this year.
 

JogginFrog

Active Member
Alastair Gray demolished Caripi in Joburg this morning 0 and 1 and has advanced to the 3rd round in South Africa.

In some sports (thinking baseball, mostly), newcomers have an advantage of being an unknown quantity--little in the way of scouting reports, making preparation difficult for opponents.

Any truth to that in tennis? Will it take long for Alistair's opponents to develop a 'book' on how to attack/defend him? Or is there so much video on everybody that there's no real newcomer advantage?
 

Jared7

Active Member
That's the craziest schedule I've ever seen. Aside from kickoff weekend, the only spot where you can sort of relax is vs SMU.

I don't think ITA has done team rankings yet for 2022. Unlike a year ago, there's a clear favorite in Florida, which I believe only lost their #6 player to graduation. Baylor will be tough assuming Boitan doesn't change his mind about coming back, but UT worries me more. Glad we get them at home this year.
I think you're right - I literally looked for over an hour and couldn't find preseason team rankings. USF and Tulane are also potential respites, but both of those are really good teams; not pushovers. This is a monster schedule - #1 Florida, #2 Baylor (at least twice); #3 Texas; #4 Tennessee; # 7 Virginia and many many more. We will certainly face the best that college tennis has to offer. Maybe we'll add a UTA or somebody later (especially if we need W's to get to .500).
 

Jared7

Active Member
In some sports (thinking baseball, mostly), newcomers have an advantage of being an unknown quantity--little in the way of scouting reports, making preparation difficult for opponents.

Any truth to that in tennis? Will it take long for Alistair's opponents to develop a 'book' on how to attack/defend him? Or is there so much video on everybody that there's no real newcomer advantage?
Absolutely. Alastair will probably have an easier time as a rookie until he becomes better known and then there will likely be an inevitable sophomore slump. He'll be traveling to places he's never been seen and playing all sorts of players who may not have seen him since juniors, if then. We provincial Americans who follow college tennis may know all about him, but the worldwide tennis community pays little attention to what they consider the minor leagues. You could argue that that is what happened with Norrie recently - the top pros didn't know his game all that well while he was climbing this Spring and summer. But their entourages have surely scouted him thoroughly by now.
 

jake102

Active Member
Absolutely. Alastair will probably have an easier time as a rookie until he becomes better known and then there will likely be an inevitable sophomore slump. He'll be traveling to places he's never been seen and playing all sorts of players who may not have seen him since juniors, if then. We provincial Americans who follow college tennis may know all about him, but the worldwide tennis community pays little attention to what they consider the minor leagues. You could argue that that is what happened with Norrie recently - the top pros didn't know his game all that well while he was climbing this Spring and summer. But their entourages have surely scouted him thoroughly by now.

I'd probably argue that in the ITA ranks, and even Challengers, there isn't a ton of familiarity and scouting. I don't think it's much of an issue until you get top 150. Sure you'll see some of the same guys occasionally, but there are literally like 600 players in Challengers and ITA tournaments.

This has definitely happened to Norrie. His past few opponents have all adjusted, and basically dug in and said they aren't going to beat themselves. Going with longer rallies and exposing Norrie's lack of real weapons. Norrie's return of serve has also fell off earth.
 

Longfrog

Active Member
We will certainly face the best that college tennis has to offer. Maybe we'll add a UTA or somebody later (especially if we need W's to get to .500).

I think the part that surprises me is that given our depth, I would have thought we'd schedule some cheap Ws just to get everyone playing time, a la Baylor last year. Maybe this means that Roditi is willing to mix up the lineup against any opponent, even if it costs us some continuity and a win or two. Or maybe he just thinks our #3 through #8 players are all about equal and so you don't harm your chances by working guys in.
 

Longfrog

Active Member
Also, I have not been this excited for a tennis season in a long time. It's not just that we're elite (rather than just really good like in recent years), but also that we've got some new guys. And we should be awesome in dubs, which always makes things more exciting. And we should be a threat both indoors and outdoors.

CAN'T WAIT
 

jake102

Active Member
I'll pose this question:
When Jared starts the 2022-2023 tennis thread, will Norrie or Brooksby be ranked higher?
What about Rybakov, Chappell or Gray?

I'll take Norrie (barely!) and Rybakov, Gray, Chappell in that order.
 

Jared7

Active Member
Okay, just to update everyone on the current ATP rankings for our pro Frogs, here's the post-U.S. Open positions:

Cameron Norrie - 28th
Nick Chappell - 338
Alex Rybakov - 371 (up 25 spots due to playing Challengers; not ITF events)!
Jerry Lopez (o Gerardo Lopez Villasenor si prefiere espanol) - 654
Pedro Vives Marcos - 710
Tomas Jirousek - 872
Reese Stalder - 965
Alastair Gray - 1015
Jake Fearnley - 1071
Sander (Alexander Marteen) Jong - 1119
Juan Carlos Aguilar - 1175

I think Fomba and Ruehl are currently NR; Maxted, I think still only has a juniors ranking.
 

Jared7

Active Member
I'll pose this question:
When Jared starts the 2022-2023 tennis thread, will Norrie or Brooksby be ranked higher?
What about Rybakov, Chappell or Gray?

I'll take Norrie (barely!) and Rybakov, Gray, Chappell in that order.
I think that they'll figure Brooksby out, like they did with Norrie. I'll go with Norrie. Rybo, Chappell, Gray - it's just so tough to rise high and I don't think Alastair will do that well in his first year.
 

Jared7

Active Member
Also, I have not been this excited for a tennis season in a long time. It's not just that we're elite (rather than just really good like in recent years), but also that we've got some new guys. And we should be awesome in dubs, which always makes things more exciting. And we should be a threat both indoors and outdoors.

CAN'T WAIT
Me too. Which is why I was chomping at the bit to get this thread started once the schedule was released. We're coming off a quarters and we've arguably improved. Losing Gray will be tough though (he was a rock of stability and consistency). As we've seen, Fomba can beat anyone if he's on, but he isn't that consistent. But the new depth should give us what Baylor had last year. We have a legitimate shot at a title. But that schedule is an absolute killer.
 

Jared7

Active Member
Where's Volare's predictions thread for tennis? Put me down for 0 non-wins.
I think that's a tad optimistic. This isn't football - we've got 5 matches (at least) against Top 4 teams on the schedule (mostly early) and we usually start slow. That'd be like opening up against Bama, Georgia (twice), OU, Clemson and Notre Dame - I don't think we'd go undefeated through that in football, no matter how good we were. And something like a dozen or more against Top 25 teams. But I like the positive vibe!
 

Purp

Active Member
I think that's a tad optimistic. This isn't football - we've got 5 matches (at least) against Top 4 teams on the schedule (mostly early) and we usually start slow. That'd be like opening up against Bama, Georgia (twice), OU, Clemson and Notre Dame - I don't think we'd go undefeated through that in football, no matter how good we were. And something like a dozen or more against Top 25 teams. But I like the positive vibe!
You're wearing the wrong colored glasses.
 
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