What To Watch – Jan. 20-22
By Bobby Knight - College Tennis Today
It’s time for another great season of college tennis dual-match action and things get off to a quick start with several men’s matches taking place between ranked teams.
Seventh-ranked TCU (0-0) opens up its season with a road trip to Chicago to face No. 13 Northwestern (1-0). These two were supposed to play at Northwestern last year, but inclement weather prevented TCU from making the flight so they ended up playing a month later in Fort Worth. TCU won that match 4-3 with Trevor Johnson clinching the decider 6-2 in the third. The defending Big 12 Champions return everyone from last year’s team while Northwestern returns four starters including its top three. Northwestern opened up its season last weekend with a tough 4-3 road win at Vanderbilt.
Second-ranked Wake Forest (2-0) hosts No. 12 Oklahoma (2-0) on Saturday evening in what will be the fourth match between these teams in the last 12 months. Wake Forest won both of the regular season meetings last year but Oklahoma ended the Demon Deacons’ season in the NCAA Sweet 16 en route to making it to the NCAA Finals for the third consecutive year. Wake Forest opened up its season with wins over North Florida and East Tennessee State, while Oklahoma was victorious against Abilene Christian and Nebraska-Omaha.
Fourth-ranked Texas (3-0) ventures outside of the Longhorn State for the first time this weekend with road matches at Tulsa and No. 19 Arkansas (1-0). Texas opened up its season with home wins over Abilene Christian and UTSA, and a road win at SMU, while Arkansas squeezed out a 4-3 win at home over Tulsa. Last season the Razorbacks went into Austin and defeated the Longhorns 4-3, which snapped a 12-year losing streak to Texas and a 28-year losing streak in Austin. Arkansas returns three starters from last year’s team including the 2016 National Indoor Intercollegiate Singles Champion Mike Redlicki. Texas returns five starters from last year’s team plus they welcomed in three high profile freshmen (Christian Sigsgaard/Yuya Ito/Leo Telles) that are already making an impact.
Twenty-first ranked Michigan (0-0) and Alabama (2-0) will kick off the USTA College MatchDay Series on Saturday night at the sparkling new USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida. Alabama, which added five newcomers to its roster, opened up with a pair of wins over East Tennessee State and Samford, while Michigan, which returns everyone from last year, will be making its dual-match debut. Michigan won last season’s meeting in Ann Arbor 4-3. This match will be broadcast on ESPN3 so make sure you tune in!
While there aren’t any women’s dual-matches taking place between ranked teams there will be some good tennis played at the Miami Spring Invite. The host Hurricanes, ranked No. 12, welcome in No. 9 Vanderbilt, No. 13 Texas Tech, and No. 20 Kentucky. There will be 10 ranked singles players in action along four ranked doubles team. Each day will start off with four doubles matches between two teams then afterwards each team will play four singles matches against a different team.
Miami Spring Invite - played begins at 8 a.m. ET on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Live Scoring: http://www.hurricanesports.com/fls/28700/livestats/w-tennis/livestats/xlive.htm?&DB_OEM_ID=28700
No. 7 TCU at No. 13 Northwestern – Friday – 6 p.m. CT
Live Scoring: http://www.sidearmstats.com/northwestern/mtennis/xlive.htm
Video with a paid subscription: http://www.nusports.com/watch/?Live=337
No. 12 Oklahoma at No. 2 Wake Forest – Saturday – 5 p.m. ET
Live scoring: http://www.wakeforestsports.com/livestats/m-tennis/xlive.htm
No. 21 Michigan vs. Alabama – Saturday – 6 p.m. ET
Video via ESPN3: http://www.espn.com/watchespn/index/_/id/2986877/alabama-vs-michigan
No. 4 Texas at No. 19 Arkansas – Sunday – 1 p.m. CT
Live Scoring: http://www.statbroadcast.com/events/statmonitr.php?gid=ark
Make sure you follow each of these matches at the provided live scoring links and follow me on Twitter for updates throughout the weekend.
If you want to read my thoughts and predictions on this weekends action you can head over to my site College Tennis Today.