by Bobby Knight. Pictured North Carolina's Ronnie Schneider
Yesterday was not a good day to be a seeded player in Tulsa as 12 of the 16 seeds, and all the top 6, were knocked off on Day 1 of the Main Draw at the 2013 Saint Francis Health System ITA Men's All-American Championships. Day 1 consisted of 2 rounds and that extra match seemed to take its toll on a few players.
The #1 seed Tennessee's Mikelis Libietis was knocked out in the 2nd round by Texas freshmen George Goldhoff 6-3 6-7 6-3, the #2 seed Ohio State's Peter Kobelt was upset in the 1st round by USC's Jonny Wang 4-6 7-6 6-3, the #3 seed Vanderbilt's Ryan Lipman was forced to retire in the 1st round against USC's Michael Grant when trailing 7-5 4-3, the #4 seed Wake Forest's Romain Bogaerts (formerly of Mississippi State) was knocked out in the 2nd round to Texas A&M's Harrison Adams 6-4 6-2, and the #5 seed UCLA's Marcos Giron was upset in the 2nd round by Virginia Tech's Amerigo Contini 6-4 6-2.
The 4 seeds that did advance to the Round of 16 were USC senior Ray Sarmiento, Virginia junior Mitchell Frank (2011 AA Champ), Baylor senior Patrick Pradella, and Illinois sophomore Jared Hiltzik. There are 5 qualifiers still in contention as Texas freshmen George Goldhoff, North Carolina freshmen Ronnie Schneider, Georgia sophomore Austin Smith, Texas A&M sophomore Harrison Adams, and NC State junior Austin Powell all made it through the opening 2 rounds.
Below are today's round of 16 contests along with my thoughts on each.
(Q) George Goldhoff (Texas) vs. Dane Webb (Oklahoma) - Goldhoff has been on a roll this week and he's playing with nothing to lose against Webb. Both players went the distance in each of their matches yesterday so neither should be that much more tired than the other. Prediction: Goldhoff in 3.
Julian Lenz (Baylor) vs. (Q) Ronnie Schneider (North Carolina) - Schneider knocked off both Cal's and Georgia's #1s yesterday (McLachlan/Wagland) but will face a tough Lenz who won both of his matches yesterday in straight sets against Schneider's UNC teammate Esben Hess-Olesen and Ole Miss #1 Nik Scholtz. Prediction: Lenz in 2
Winston Lin (Columbia) vs. (12) Mitchell Frank (Virginia) - Frank won the event 2 years ago and has to be considered one of the favorites, if not the favorite, to win it all now. Lin won his 2nd round match yesterday 7-6 in the 3rd over USC's Michael Grant but I don't see either of the sets being that close today. Prediction: Frank in 2
(7) Ray Sarmiento (USC) vs. (14) Jared Hiltzik (Illinois) - Sarmiento was pushed to 3 sets in the 1st round by Texas A&M's Shane Vinsant before winning in straights in the 2nd round against Oklahoma's Axel Alvarez while Hiltzik won both his matches in straights against UNLV's Ace Matias and Duke's Fred Saba. Hiltzik has the game to win this one but I think the crafty SC veteran gets it done. Prediction: Sarmiento in 2
Gonzales Austin (Vanderbilt) vs. Amerigo Contini (Virginia Tech) - Austin spent the least amount of time on court yesterday only dropping 6 games against Texas A&M's Jeremy Efferding and Cal's Campbell Johnson while Contini scored in my opinion the biggest upset of the day when he beat UCLA's Marcos Giron in straight sets. These two met a year ago at the Southern Intercollegiates in Athens and Austin pulled out a tough 3 setter 6-4 4-6 6-4 and I think this one will have a similar scoreline. Prediction: Austin in 3
(Q) Austin Smith (Georgia) vs. (Q) Harrison Adams (Texas A&M) - This will be the 2nd meeting between these 2 in the last 2 weeks as Adams won the 1st meeting 6-4 6-0 in the finals of the SEC Fall Classic in Nashville. Adams rolled through both Mississippi State's Malte Stropp and Wake Forest's Romain Bogaerts yesterday while Smith came back from a set down in each of his matches to defeat Stanford's John Morrissey and Virginia's Mac Styslinger. Adams brings an 11-0 record into this match and I look for him to make it 12-0 after this one. Prediction: Adams in 2
Guillermo Alcorta (Oklahoma) vs. (Q) Austin Powell (NC State) - Powell came to Tulsa on a 4 match losing streak but has now won 5 in a row including a 7-6 3-6 7-5 win over Texas's Soren Hess-Olesen in the 2nd round while Alcorta has started off his year with 2 wins over Florida's Stephane Piro and USC's Roberto Quiroz. I look for Powell's hot streak to cool off against the OU senior. Prediction: Alcorta in 2
(13) Patrick Pradella (Baylor) vs. Clarke Spinosa (San Diego) - Both of these guys were on court late into the evening yesterday with Pradella gutting out a 7-6 7-6 win over Elon's Cameron Silverman while Spinosa scored a 7-6 6-4 win over USC's Jonny Wang. I think Pradella will have just a little too much firepower for Spinosa and will pull it out in 3. Prediction: Pradella in 3
Play gets underway at 10:30am central and you can follow live scoring at this link and CTO's Facebook page will provide updates as well.