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Old 03-30-2012, 06:09 PM   #1
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Default USC at UW 1:30 PST today, UCLA at UW 1 PST tomorrow

Ditching my lab early to go watch USC today and hopefully going to see UCLA tomorrow.
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:36 AM   #2
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Default Re: USC at UW 1:30 PST today, UCLA at UW 1 PST tomorrow

USC sweeps doubles and singles.

The only close doubles match was at #1 doubles. Steve Johnson took over at some points. Good serving made the only break for USC at 7 all.

In singles USC took all the first sets. Hanfmann at #4 and Gomez at #5 got first set bagels but the second sets for both of those matches would get tighter. Hanfmann would eventually go 3 sets with Manthou but ultimately got the win 6-4 in the final set.

At #1 singles Steve Johnson looked a bit more annoyed than usual, at least compared to last year. Kyle McMorrow actually played pretty well but Steve Johnson was just better. I didn't notice anything different in terms of shot-making ability or physical fitness from the last time I saw him play.

At #2 singles Sarmiento was just too good for Egger. Egger was doing a lot more scrambling. I think they play pretty similarly and Sarmiento just does everything better. This was the first time I really watched Sarmiento play and he just seems like a grinder.

At #3 singles D-win clearly likes being the #3 player. I didn't see the second set but I'm guessing Bots started to miss more to try to get past the scrambling and such. In my opinion D-win should be a better tennis player than Sarmiento but it comes to the brain.

At #4 singles Hanfmann was hitting confidently and hitting a lot of forehands and backhands down the line. He didn't look like he was moving around at all. I'm guessing Manthou turned it around by forcing Hanfmann to move. I didn't see the beginning of the turnaround. Ultimately Hanfmann regrouped and there was just a little bit of mental letdown from Manthou at the end that gave Hanfmann the break. Personally I enjoy the sound of Hanfmann's shots. At least at the beginning he was hitting relatively flat. Pretty good on both sides but likes to dictate more with the forehand.

Didn't see any of the first set at #5. In the second set Farkas and Gomez were having some decent rallies. It went to a tiebreak which I didn't see much of. In my opinion Hanfmann and Gomez could easily be switched; they seem to be at about the same level.

Didn't pay much attention to #6.

I guess my overall impression is that USC will be tough to beat, but they don't seem incredibly dominant at any position. Yes, even Steve Johnson didn't feel like a 100% lock. They will win most (or all) of their matches because of their depth and decent doubles. I still think the team that beats USC will have to win the doubles point.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: USC at UW 1:30 PST today, UCLA at UW 1 PST tomorrow

USC seems like the most dominant team this year though. Ohio State and Virginia have shown vulnerability. I think Hanfmann is a future #1 for the Trojans. He is easily the best 5 in the nation(now plays 4).

I think Sarmiento plays #2 because his style frustrates big hitters more and you are more liekly to see nig hitters at 2 than at 3. While Nguyen plays more aggressively and takes it too the #3 players.
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: USC at UW 1:30 PST today, UCLA at UW 1 PST tomorrow

Yes, I see that for Sarmiento. Nguyen's aggressive mentality can also be his downfall.

Hanfmann looks so effortless when he plays well. He really should have rolled over Manthou who is our usual #5 player. I think he might have gotten a bit overconfident today after the 6-0 set. I didn't watch a lot of Gomez to be able to say for sure that he has more upside than Gomez. He can definitely improve his movement more than Gomez.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: USC at UW 1:30 PST today, UCLA at UW 1 PST tomorrow

UCLA 5, UW 2

UW lost a close doubles point [late breaks on #1 and #3]. The #1 doubles was a bit painful since UW got broken when McMorrow double faulted on break point.

In singles Uw and UCLA split first sets with all the ones that UCLA won being straight set victories and all the ones UW won going 3 sets. UW eventually took #1 and #3 singles.

#1 McMorrow over Thompson 6-2, 6-7. 6-4. I didn't see the first set. In the second McMorrow had his best chance at getting the break when Thompson served 3 double faults in one game. McMorrow went down an early minibreak in the tiebreak and didn't recover. In the third it was on serve and McMorrow broke for the win, with Thompson (fittingly?) doublefaulting on match point. Thompson is really a character. I think he's more amusing than someone I actually want to root for. Has a big serve and forehand.

#2 Meister over Egger 6-3, 6-4. Egger was forced to play a lot of defense. Meister is an overall solid player. He got a little tight when serving for the match but otherwise rode the one break in each set for the win.

#3 Bots over Novikov 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3). I didn't see the first set at all so I have no idea what happened. They looked pretty evenly matched. In the second Bots was missing too much and let himself get broken. Really close third set. Novikov is pretty much a power player and could move better.

#4 Giron over Manthou 6-4, 6-2. Giron overpower Manthou and unlike yesterday Manthou just couldn't get depth on his shots. The match yesterday really took it out of him mentally I guess, because Hanfmann is definitely a better player than Giron.

#5 Puget over Farkas 6-3, 6-2. Didn't see much of this match. From the little bits I saw, Puget was dictating.

#6 Mkrtchian over Kamisar 4-6, 7-6 (7-0), 6-3. There were a lot of rallies. Kamisar pretty much missed to lose every point in the tiebreak. Didn't see any of the third set.

Overall, UCLA is a solid team, but I don't see them in the top 5. Not having a top 20 caliber player means they will most likely lose the #1 and/or #2 singles. Novikov didn't have the best showing today so I can't say if he would be a strong #3 for them but Giron and Puget are decent at #4 and #5. I have never been able to predict the #6 singles match results so I can't really rate Mkrtchion. Interestingly, in comparison to USC, UCLA looks like a pretty thick (physical stature-wise) team. UCLA is a more power based team, but some of the smallest guys in college tennis (aka Nguyen) can really crack the ball. From what I saw today, I see USC taking 5-2 or better over UCLA in their rematch, but I suppose you never know until the match is played.
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