Top-Seeded UCLA, No. 2 USC in Semifinals today
Both of the higher seeds won in the quarterfinal matches at the 2016 Pac-12 Men’s Tennis Championships, with No. 4 seed Stanford and No. 3 seed California advancing to the semifinal. On the women’s side, seven of the eight top seeds advanced to the quarterfinals in the singles championship.
In the match between No. 5 seed Oregon and No. 4 seed Stanford, the Cardinal won, 4-0, and took the doubles point with wins from David Wilczynski and Nolan Paige on court No. 2 (6-1) and Tom Fawcett and Maciek Romanowicz on court No. 1 (6-4) to clinch the victory. Fawcett then took care of business in singles, winning on court No. 1 by a score of 6-3, 6-1. Paige was successful on court 4, winning 6-4, 6-4, while Romanowicz won on court No. 5 by a score of 6-4, 6-4. The Cardinal advance to the semifinal to face No. 1 seed UCLA on Friday at 10 a.m. PT.
No. 3 seed California beat No. 6 seed Washington, 4-0, to advance to the semifinal against No. 2 seed USC at 1 p.m. PT on Friday. The Golden Bears took the doubles point with J.T. Nishimura and Mads Engsted winning 6-1 on court No. 3. On court No. 1, Filip Bergevi and Florian Lakat won, 6-4, to clinch the point. During singles play, Nishimura won on court No. 6, 6-0, 6-0, to set the tone for the Golden Bears. Billy Griffith then won, 6-3, 6-3, on court No. 3 for California and the deciding point came from Lakat on court No. 1, who won, 6-2, 6-4.
For a look at the men’s draw bracket and for lives scores, go here:
PAC-12 WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP & INVITATIONAL SINGLES DRAWS SERVE UP THURSDAY ACTION
The Pac-12 Women’s Championship and Invitational singles draws (both brackets of 32) served up their first two rounds on Thursday to no glaring surprises. Maegan Manasse and Klara Fabikova advanced to the quarterfinals as The Ojai’s top two seeds from Cal, the top-ranked women’s team in NCAA Division I, and the Nos. 11 and 12 players, respectively, in the NCAA Division I individual singles rankings. Manasse defeated USC’s Madison Westby, 6-2, 6-4 in the first round before relinquishing just one game in her second match of the day. Fabikova was The Ojai’s 2015 Pac-12 Championship singles runner-up to UCLA’s Catherine Harrison, who was put to the test in the first round, needing 7-4 wins in two tiebreakers to squeak by Cal’s Denise Starr, 7-6, 7-6. Harrison then dispatched Arizona State’s Kassidy Jump, 7-5, 6-2, in the second round.
The Pac-12’s Women’s Championship and Invitational doubles draws (both brackets of 16) begin at 9 a.m. Friday at the Ojai Valley Athletic Club. In the Pac-12 Championship draw, Cal’s Manasse and Starr are top-seeded at The Ojai and are ranked No. 2 in the NCAA Division I individual doubles rankings. Stanford’s Taylor Davidson and Caroline Doyle are second-seeded and take on Cal’s Fabikova and Olivia Hauger in the first round at 10:15 a.m. Davidson is a defending champion in the draw and Doyle was a runner-up as the 2015 Pac-12 Women’s Championship final was an all-Stanford affair.
For a look at the women’s individual draws, click here:
TEENAGERS MAKING IMPRESSION ON MEN’S OPEN DIVISION
The Men’s Open singles draw had its 32-player draw reduced to the elite eight on Thursday. Top seed Deiton Baughman, a 19-year-old Carson, Calif. resident ranked No. 325 in the world and playing the USTA Pro Circuit tour, breezed through to the quarterfinals with straight-set victories over Jens Sweaney (Los Angeles) and Henry Ji (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.), yielding only seven games in the process. Twelve-time Open finalist (including 2015) and seven-time Open Division singles winner Lester Cook defeated Connor Hudson (Golden, Colo.), 6-2, 7-5, but lost to Laurens Verboven, of Los Angeles, 6-3, 6-2, in the second round. No. 2 seed and former UCLA tennis product Clay Thompson (Venice, Calif.) cruised into the quarterfinals, defeating Ojai resident Alexey Nesterov, 6-2, 6-3, in the second round.
An intriguing part of this year’s Men’s Open singles and doubles draws is the infusion of some of the country’s best teenage talent that resides in Southern California. USC-bound high school seniors Brandon Holt (Palos Verdes HS) and Riley Smith (Los Alamitos HS), coming off of their finals appearance in the 2015 U.S. Open Juniors as an unseeded wild-card entry, chose to forego The Ojai’s CIF Boys’ competition in search of the best singles and doubles competition The Ojai has to offer. As the luck of the singles draw turned out, Holt – the son of two-time U.S. Open singles champion Tracy Austin — and Smith, son of USC coach Peter Smith, ran into each other after winning their first-round matches and Holt downed Smith, 6-3, 6-3, to advance to Friday’s 9:30 a.m. quarterfinal meeting at the Ojai Valley Inn with third-seeded Eric Johnson, of San Jose.
The Open doubles draw (bracket of 16) commences at 12:30 p.m. Friday at the Ojai Valley Inn. Holt and Smith are among the top two seeds but, interestingly, with different partners for the tournament. Holt and Thompson are top-seeded and Smith and Baughman are the No. 2 seed. Meanwhile, defending men’s Open doubles champions Quinn Borchard (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) and Calle Hansen (Newbury Park, Calif.) are third-seeded and open up their title defense against Joe Dorn and Warren Wood, who teamed at NCAA Division III collegiate powerhouse Claremont-Mudd-Scripps College and finished as The Ojai’s Men’s Division III West doubles runners-up in 2015.
The 16-player Women’s Open singles draw gets underway at 8 a.m. Friday at the Ojai Valley Inn and showcases former University of Florida All-American Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) as the top seed. She plays Kristina Smith (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) in the first round. Defending champion Ena Shibahara (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) returns as the No. 4 seed and opens her title defense against Annette Goulak (Oak Park, Calif.) at 11 a.m.
For the Open draws, click here:
The CIF Boys’ divisions at the 116th Ojai commenced Thursday and the leading contenders made their presence known on Thursday. In the CIF Boys’ Singles tournament, Jacob Brumm from Torrey Pines High downed La Canada’s Lucas Chmielewski, 6-2, 6-1, and knocked off Redlands’ Patrick Cachipero, 6-2, 6-2, in the first two rounds. Brumm is the top player from one of the nation’s best high school tennis programs. Torrey Pines is the reigning CIF-San Diego Section Division I champion and won the 16-team National All-American Team Invitational in March 2015. A couple years ago, Torrey Pines’ roster included Taylor Fritz, who is now 18, finished 2015 as the world’s top-ranked Junior player after winning the U.S. Open Junior Championship, and is currently ranked No. 69 in the world.
Corona del Mar High senior Bjorn Hoffmann reached last year’s CIF Boys’ singles final at The Ojai and is again a leading contender to win Southern California’s most prestigious and competitive high school tournament. He advanced from the first round in a walkover before defeating Andrew Leahy of Claremont, 6-3, 6-2, in the second round. Peninsula’s Connor Hance, a 2015 CIF Boys’ Singles quarterfinalist, advanced to Friday’s Round of 16 with a 6-1, 6-0 trouncing of Beverly Hills’ Adriano Saitta.
The CIF Boys’ Doubles draw welcomed back both of its finalists from 2015 on Thursday. Palm Desert High doubles team Bradley Cummins and Alex Kuperstein opened their title defense with a pair of wins and a berth in Friday’s Round of 16. Cummins and Kuperstein did not surrender a game in three of their four sets, and beat Agoura’s Max Derensteyn and Benjamin Lustgarten, 6-2, 6-0, in their second and final match of the day. In the bottom of the draw, Point Loma’s Keegan Smith and Ivan Thamma advanced to Friday’s third round with a pair of wins – 6-0, 6-2 over Claremont’s Christian Settles and Jason Weisman in the first round, and 6-2, 6-1 against Matthew Diamond and Bennett Williams of Bonita in the second round.
For the junior draws, click here:
INDEPENDENT AND COMMUNITY COLLEGES
MEN: Play starts on Friday as Men’s Independent College singles defending champion Brendan Aguilar of San Diego Christian is the top-seed and plays his first round at Camino Real Park in Ventura.
For the draws, click here:
For all the individual Community College Draws, click here: