West Coast Tennis Tour Debuts This Summer With 13 Tournament Dates
Former USC Assistant Women’s Coach West Nott And Coaches Taking ‘Road Trip Of a Lifetime’
West Nott with former USC Trojan Kaitlyn Christian
Former USC women’s assistant coach West Nott is rolling out West Coast Tennis Tours this summer for high performance juniors and college players looking to take their game to the next level.
Nott and his coaches will host the West Coast Tennis Tour this summer and will travel to 13 open prize money tournaments from May 15 to Aug. 12. The tour will begin in San Diego and make stops in places like Santa Cruz, Calif., Salem, Ore., and in Seattle for one of the oldest tournaments in the country, the Washington State Open which has been played every year for 128 years.
“We want to get young players to compete more,” said Nott, who severed as the Trojans’ women’s assistant coach for 10 seasons. “The tour is geared toward high school and college players who are seeking more pressure-filled match play. All levels are welcome. This is one giant road trip and we are connecting all the dots A to Z for a memorable life experience and seeing sights along the way.”
The tour is something Nott experienced himself last summer as a player. Now he wants to share what he learned and saw to others. He added that all results from the tournaments will go toward a player’s Universal Tennis Rating.
“It was a road trip of a lifetime,” said Nott, who grew up in Midland, Mich., and played his college tennis at Georgia Tech.
“This is for college players who are looking to makes some leaps in the lineup,” he said. “We will learn life lessons while competing. There’s more to tennis than just hitting cross courts.”
Nott’s coaching staff includes some of his former players who made the NCAA Final Four twice, won four Pac-12 championships and reached an NCAA national No. 1 team ranking in 2015.
A second project Nott is working on is College Tennis Tours where he will be hosting a trip to the NCAA Team Men’s and Women’s Championships May 17-22 at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, N.C. Nott said more information on the tours will be released shortly, but the trip provides the “ultimate college viewing experience for all junior players aged 13-18,” he said.
Tennis instructions and seminars will take place during the trip, as well as catching all the Sweet 16, Elite Eight, Final Four matches and NCAA Team Championships in men’s and women’s tennis. For more information, check out: email@example.com.
“The whole idea behind these business projects is to get young players fired up about college tennis and competing,” Nott said.
Janowicz, Querrey, Rosol, and Lu are semifinalists at Winston-Salem Open 2014 Eric Logan, Tennis East Coast
Quarterfinal day, my final day at the Winston-Salem Open, was an eventful if disappointing one as the four semifinalists were decided. Spectators arrived to Center Court for four singles matches and one doubles match for the honor of playing on Friday in the semifinals.
The first quarterfinal was played between Taiwanese number one Yen-Hsun Lu and Italian Andreas Seppi. While the two are ranked closely and were both seeded in the 9-16 range at the event, their form could not have been more polar opposite coming into the Wake Forest event. Lu has been in superb form, beating Berdych in Cincinnati and nearing his career high rank. Seppi, on the other hand, has a negative win-loss record this year and seems on the downswing.
Their respective forms were telling as Lu broke early. Seppi had chances to break back, but repeatedly missed returns. In fact, the return seemed to be the source of the vast majority of the Italian’s woes, as it repeatedly found the net and the point was over before it had begun.
Lu reaches the semis and continues a career best year for him
The second set began with a poor Seppi service game, where Lu broke to cheers from his coaching camp. It was around that time that the announcement was made that defined the day for many fans: 2012 champion John Isner had withdrawn from his clash with the big-hitting Czech, seventh seed Lukas Rosol. The marquee match of the day now canceled, the crowd seemed almost to will themselves into emotionally investing in the match at hand.
That task proved difficult as Seppi continued to play woefully- at one point getting a chance to get back on even terms at 15-40 only to miss four consecutive returns. The 6-4 6-4 final score was generous to the fourteenth seed as he struggled to ever make any headway on the Lu serve. The match ended with almost two hours before the next match, which while doubtless a boon to the concession vendors, was unkind to the fans who had to wait in the heat for David Goffin and Jerzy Janowicz to play the only other day session semifinal.
After the match finally began, Janowicz quickly broke. The Belgian’s serve proved an enormous liability, and although throughout the first set Goffin seemed the better player off the ground, the Pole’s potent returns coupled with his own huge serve (which was more reliable than normal) allowed for Janowicz to take the set 6-4 after a game in which the net and the side of the racquet favored him on more than one occasion. In the second set, the confident and aggressive baseline play coupled with excellent retrieval that led Goffin to win 25 straight matches was nowhere to be seen as he was broken twice to lose the match 6-4 6-2. Janowicz would advance to the semifinal to play the winner of the day’s night match.
Janowicz snaps Goffin’s win streak
With Rosol getting the walkover into the semifinals, the only other quarterfinal was contested between Sam Querrey and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Querrey had his serve and forehand working and he prevailed 6-7 6-2 6-4 as GGL faded late. In the only doubles match contested yesterday, Jamie Murray and John Peers beat Mariusz Frystenberg and Marcin Matkowski 6-3 6-4.
Sanity Finally Prevails @WSOpen R16 #WSOpen Eric Logan, Tennis East Coast
Groth=147 mph serve
The seeds met in the R16 today at the Winston-Salem Open in North Carolina. The day produced some great drama, a wide variety of quality, and in the end, the majority of favored players advanced.
Action began on center court (and only center court, given the small number of matches on courts two and three) with twelfth seed Edouard Roger-Vasselin considered the underdog against Jerzy Janowicz despite his higher rank. Fresh off a controversial win over Joao Sousa, the Pole came back from a set down to win in a rather messy three set-match. The quality of tennis was low, but there was great drama at the end as Janowicz faced break point from 40-0 up serving for the match before serving out a 4-6 6-3 6-4 win.
Janowicz’s victory was followed by what would be considered the match of the day by most present, where fifth seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez faced eleventh seeded American Donald Young. A tight first set was decided in a tiebreak in which, after a great effort earlier in the set to save a number of set points, the Spaniard crumbled at 4-5 in the tiebreak, losing both service points. Garcia-Lopez rebounded by breaking twice in the second set by prevailing in numerous beautiful rallies.
In the third, Garcia-Lopez captured the break and looked poised to win when he held two match points serving at 5-4. Young brought the crowd to its feet, however, by saving them with a return winner and a smash off a smash before Garcia-Lopez broke himself on a double fault. After drawing the set to a tiebreak, Young then held two match points at 6-4. Garcia-Lopez saved the first with a forehand winner before Young threw the second away with a double fault of his own. Garcia-Lopez then hit another of his countless forehand winners to set up a third match point on his serve, which he took at last.
The third match on Center court was another low-quality affair, where Sam Querrey dispatched an out-of-sorts Kevin Anderson in a match defined by countless Anderson unforced errors by a score of 7-6(4) 6-4. This match brought an end to the day session on center court, and left the tournament without three of its top four seeds after Robredo and Mayer’s losses in the previous round.
On the outer courts, eight players attempted to punch their tickets into the quarterfinals. Marcel Granollers arrived late to his match against Yen-Hsun Lu and looked thoroughly unprepared to play tennis. The eighth seed fell to the ninth 6-1 6-2 in a match in which he sliced the vast majority of groundstrokes, was kept on the defense constantly, and won only two return points in the second set.
David Goffin continued his win streak with a 6-4 4-6 6-4 score against an unexpectedly game Jarkko Nieminen. Nieminen has been in very poor form in contrast to Goffin’s 24 (now 25) straight victories. In the end, however, Goffin’s game proved more solid than the Finn’s. Lukas Rosol defeated Pablo Andujar 1-6 6-2 6-2 in an up-and-down match that seemed to end with words between the players. Nicolas Mahut was unable to back up his win against Tommy Robredo as he fell 6-4 7-6(7) to Andreas Seppi.
In the night match, top seeded John Isner took on thirteenth seed Mikhail Kukushkin. The Kazakhstani player began
the match extremely poorly, surrendering the first set 6-1 in a flurry of unforced errors amid some good returning by Isner. Kukushkin raised his game in the second to make the match competitive, but was unable to return Isner’s huge serve in critical moments and in the end surrendered 6-1 7-6(3).
The day’s most dramatic match in doubles ended the same way the most dramatic match in singles had: heartbreak for Donald Young. Young and Nicolas Monroe lost the first set to Florin Mergea and Joao Sousa 6-2 before roaring back to win 5 games in a row and send the match to a supertiebreak at 2-6 6-1. Here, the American team led 7-1 amid a number of bad calls against the Europeans that had even the North Carolina crowd calling out in dismay and had to have Sousa wondering if the officials had a pact against him. Things then began to turn, and it was a tighter 6-9 when Young and Monroe arrived at match point.
On the first match point, Sousa served an ace. The second was dealt with routinely as well. The third, however, was the shot of the tournament thus far. Off of a big Young serve that looked to have the point won, Mergea hit a stunning full stretch backhand return winner that seemed a good deal faster than the aggressive serve. Mergea backed up the shot with a big forehand, and a point later Mergea and Sousa clinched an incredible
In the final match of the day, Sam Groth showed off his enormous serve as he hit 147 miles per hour in the first game of his doubles effort partnership with Chris Guccione. The Australians faced two losers from the singles draw, Marcel Granollers and Pablo Andujar. Some clutch Granollers net play saved four break points, including a set point. Chris Guccione then tightened up to lose all three service points in the first set tiebreak to allow the Spaniards to steal a set in which they were clearly not the better team. In the second, however, they stepped it up a notch to break twice for a 7-6(4) 7-5 win.
Tomorrow’s schedule includes one doubles match, Jamie Murray and John Peers against the veteran Polish team of Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski. It also includes four appealing men’s singles quarterfinal matches: John Isner against Lukas Rosol, Andreas Seppi against Yen-Hsun Lu, Jerzy Janowicz against David Goffin, and Sam Querrey against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Until then, all eight players should still feel they have a fighting shot at the title in Winston-Salem.
Jurgen Melzer came into the Winston-Salem open with three consecutive first round losses.
He left the Winston-Salem Open with a surprise title, 6-3 2-1 ret. over Gael Monfils.
Melzer dominated the first set and broke to open the match before Monfils was beset with yet another injury, supposedly a stomach muscle, that forced him to concede. The Austrian veteran improves to 1-1 in ATP finals this year and earns his 4th career ATP title. Melzer has started working with Milos Raonic’s former coach, Galo Blanco, and the partnership seems to be paying off.
Melzer put his arm around Monfils in a gesture of good sportsmanship after the Frenchman retired and wished him good luck.
Melzer beat Thiemo De Bakker in three sets, Benoit Paire and Dmitry Tursunov in straights before dispatching Sam Querrey in three sets to reach the final. The Winston-Salem field was damaged by the withdrawals of John Isner and Tomas Berdych after the draw.
Monfils beat Guido Pella in straights, Tommy Robredo and Fernando Verdasco in three sets, followed by Alex Dolgopolov in straights to make the final.
Daniel Nestor and Leander Paes beat Treat Huey and Dominic Inglot for the doubles title.
The last pit stop on the US Open series is Winston-Salem in what is also the final tune-up before the US Open. This preview is a bit late being posted because I was waiting to see if any players would withdraw, as often happens here.
ATP World Tour 250
Winston-Salem, NC, USA
August 18-August 24, 2013
Prize money: $575,250
Top 8 seeds (Top 16 receive first round byes)
1: Tomas Berdych
2: Andreas Seppi
3: John Isner
4: Tommy Robredo
5: Benoit Paire
6: Sam Querrey
7: Fernando Verdasco
8: Juan Monaco
It’s only a 250 but it is one of the best 250 fields around.
First round matchups to watch:
Evgeny Donskoy vs. (wc) Mardy Fish
Donskoy has been struggling and has mainly played challengers this summer, while Fish, who has seen his ranking careen out of the top 100, is still getting his feet wet. He’s 2-2 since his comeback, but at least all the matches were at the ATP level. Fish has a great chance to do well here in front of American fans and he should be the favorite, but Donskoy is streaky.
James Blake vs. Rhyne Williams
Old America vs. New America in this one. Blake is as streaky as ever, as he knocked off Jerzy Janowicz in Cincy before meekly losing in Round 2, while Williams has been disappointing this summer. Heading into the USO, he has just 1 qualifying win and 1 ATP main draw win to his name. Regardless, he is up to a career high ranking inside the top 115. This one could go either way, but I’ll give Blake a slight edge.
Tomas Berdych, the Cincy semifinalist, will play Kenny De Schepper or a struggling Ricardas Berankis. There was talk of him pulling out from this event as recently as yesterday. He is still in the draw with play starting today, but I almost suspect he could go out earlier here to get himself to New York quicker.
The 3rd round opponent for one of those 3 players will be one of 14 seed Martin Klizan, a qualifier, or Roberto Bautista-Agut. Klizan has struggled all year.
Sam Querrey could use some match wins, as he has also struggled over the summer. He faces Grega Zemlja or Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in a match he should win, then Donskoy/Fish or Jarkko Nieminen in Round 3. Depending on the form of Fish, this can be a tough or weak section for Sam.
Cincinnati finalist John Isner is hightailing it down to Winston-Salem for his home tournament as he bids for a 3rd straight title. He’ll start off against Alex Bogomolov or Victor Hanescu. In Round 3, the options are a qualifier, Jack Sock, or Dmitry Tursunov (who has had a quality year and did well in Cincy, making the Quarterfinals as a qualifier).
Benoit Paire, who was upset by Nikolay Davydenko in Cincy Round 1, will open against Williams/Blake in a winnable match for the underdog. The Round 3 opponent for the winner should be Igor Sijsling, if the semi-struggling Dutchman can beat a qualifier and then the seeded-but-way-out-of-form Jurgen Melzer
Andreas Seppi, who went out in Cincy Round 1 and is 1-2 this summer, will play Bobby Reynolds or a qualifier and then Pablo Andujar, Yen-Hsun Lu or Romain Bogaerts, a Wake Forest transfer who got a main draw wild card.
Juan Monaco will play an atrocious-form Nicolas Mahut or Lukasz Kubot in a match both players wished took place on grass. Meanwhile, the slumping-all-year Alex Dolgopolov, Daniel Gimeno-Traver or Edouard Roger-Vasselin await in Round 3.
Cincy 3rd Rounder Tommy Robredo opens with Denis Istomin, assuming Istomin beats Guillaume Rufin. The winner of that could get Gael Monfils in his comeback, if Monfils beats Leo Mayer/Guido Pella. This is an intriguing section.
Fernando Verdasco debuts on summer hardcourts just before the US Open. His opponent will be Michael Russell or Tim Smyczek, with Robin Haase/Adrian Mannarino/Lukas Rosol awaiting in Round 3. Mannarino has a nice shot at Round 3 here with Haase being beatable and Rosol unable to win a match.
Dark Horse: Denis Istomin
With such a large and varied field, darkhorses such as Monfils, Bautista-Agut and Roger-Vasselin abound, but Istomin is the primary pick this week as I have him in the final. Excluding a Round 1 Cincy loss, he has been mostly consistent on US Hard Courts, and after Rufin and clay courter Robredo, the unpredictable Monfils and most likely Verdasco are his route to the semis. In those semis, Monaco/Seppi or Roger-Vasselin are the most likely opponent in what is a weak section of the draw.
Fish d. Bautista-Agut
Isner d. Paire
Istomin d. Verdasco
Monaco d. Seppi
I have a good feeling about Mardy Fish in this tournament as it seems like things are coming together. Even a tired Isner ought to drag himself to the semis at home. He has further motivation. Since he lost at Cincinnati today, he has to win some matches here to win the US Open Series bonus money.
I will pick Istomin over a cold Verdasco. Monaco is slightly better than Seppi in a match neither should dominate with the career H2H being 2-2 and hard court H2H at 1-1. Verdasco is 2-0 against Istomin career.
Isner d. Fish
Istomin d. Monaco
I’m sure the tournament organizers would be pumped to have an All-American semifinal like Isner-Fish and I’ll go with Isner, and Istomin over a really not in-form Monaco in a surprise.
Isner d. Istomin
Even tired, Isner has an almost easy route to the final and the title, without Berdych being an expected factor. He still has the motivation with this being his hometown event, the US Open Series money, and the three-peat title crown. I will make him the favorite. Istomin did beat Isner in Memphis this year, but I don’t expect a repeat of that. The overall H2H is 2-1 Istomin and 1-1 on hard courts.