2015 Carlsbad Classic

November 24th, 2015

Hey Tennis Friends!

You’re not going to believe this . . . Someone scheduled a professional tennis event in Southern California . . . DURING THANKSGIVING WEEK!

Yep! It’s a WTA Tour event, and I scurried down at the last minute to get some coverage. Check it out:

Here are the results for the matches that I featured:

FIRST ROUND (with seedings):
(3) Bojana Jovanovski d. Alexandra Stevenson 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-1

(5) Nicole Gibbs d. Alla Kudryavtseva 6-3, 3-2 def.

There are SO many Tennis Friends here who have been featured on my shows, back when they were juniors. Now they are working their way up the rankings at events like this. Come on down and cheer them on!

For tickets and more information on the Carlsbad Classic
at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad, CA, visit the event web site here:
www.cldclassic.com

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I’ll see you next time, with more tennis, . . . outside the lines!

– Marcus Tennis

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2015 USTA Pro Circuit – Claremont, CA

September 28th, 2015

Hey Tennis Friends!

After a summer hiatus, GroundsPass.net is back online with all new shows!

Recently, I dropped by the 20th Annual USTA Pro Circuit Claremont Futures, to cover the finals of this event:

Here is the result for the match that I featured:

CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND (with seedings):
(2) Deiton Baughman d. Mackenzie McDonald 2-6, 6-3, 6-3

Baughman, a 19-year-old pro from Carson, California, didn’t need to win a third set during his previous four wins and run to the final.

Back in January on the clay in Sunrise, Fla., Baughman had to come back to win that Futures, after losing the first set in his final four matches. He did the same in his final two matches, to win his second Futures event in Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina in June.

“It was kind of nice to have my second Pro Circuit title in the States come that way and not to have to play a three-set match till the final,” Baughman said after receiving the $1,440 first-place check and 17 valuable ATP points. “After I lost the first set I just had to remind myself mentally that I’ve been in this situation before this year and been able to get it back down a set and a break or whatever.”

After dropping the first set 6-2, Baughman played more aggressive and focused getting an early break for a 3-0 lead. But down 1-4, McDonald was able to hold and break to get back to 3-4 on serve but Baughman promptly broke right back for 5-3 and then served out the second set.

“I had four break points against me in the first two (service) games in the first set,” Baughman said. “He just outplayed me. I just told myself I’m not playing terrible, he’s playing great and all I can do is raise my level.”

Baughman began the third set with a huge break of serve and continued to serve well hitting a huge ace to win the eighth game and go up 5-3 after being down love-30.

Baughman concluded: “I don’t feel like we both played our best. I look at my match in the quarterfinals against Gonzales (Austin) and his match in the semis yesterday against Collin (Altamirano) and they were just 10 times as better as this. Sometimes you get that in a final.”

McDonald, playing in his first Pro Circuit final, said the service game was the key to the match. “I thought my serve kind of decreased as the match went on, and I started to think about that,” said the 20-year-old UCLA junior from Piedmont, California. “I thought I played really good tennis this week. I was really happy with a lot of things I did. I got to play five matches and I just have to keep getting better. I’m going to keep working on my serve.”
McDonald went on to win the doubles of the Costa Mesa Futures the following week, with UCLA teammate Martin Redlicki.

Baughman made it to last weekend’s semifinal of the Costa Mesa Futures, which helped to catapult him to his highest ATP ranking ever: #372. He then went on to receive a wildcard into the main draw of the Tiburon Challenger, as did McDonald.

Baughman and fellow American Tommy Paul made a great showing in the first round of the 2015 U.S. Open main draw doubles. They fell to the Brazilian team of Marcelo Demoliner and Thomaz Bullucci 7-6(1), 7-6(5).

Additional information in this report was provided by the USTA Pro Circuit PR Press Aide, Steve Pratt.

Here is the link to the page with the USTA Pro Circuit events that we have in the United States this year:
2015 USTA Pro Circuit Calendars

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I’ll see you next time, with more tennis, . . . outside the lines!

– Marcus Tennis

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2015 ASICS Easter Bowl Ntl Spring Champs

April 21st, 2015

Hey Tennis Friends!

This year, they shifted the schedule of this event and I was unable to attend the USTA 16s finals, which I have covered in the past. As a result, I am only able to bring you the ITF (18s) portion of the National Spring Championships, known as the ASICS Easter Bowl! Here is my first report, semifinal day for the ITF singles:

Here are the scores for the matches that I featured (seedings in parenthesis):

GIRLS’ 18s SINGLES SEMIFINAL
(2) Katie Swan d. (unseeded) Kylie McKenzie 6-2, 6-3
Swan had turned sixteen on March 24th. She will now play 14-year-old Claire Liu in the final day of action at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Last year, Swan fell in the 18s final to good friend CiCi Bellis while the No. 12-seeded Liu, then just 13 years old, was playing in the final of the 16s and taken out by Katerina Stewart in three tight sets.

The two will meet for the second time in their careers with Swan, originally from Bristol, Great Britain, getting the better of Liu in the first round of the US Open Juniors in early September in their only other meeting.

On this Saturday, Swan was also the winner of the Tory Fretz/Jackie Cooper Sportsmanship award.

BOYS’ 18s SINGLES SEMIFINAL
(1) Taylor Fritz d. (4) Nathan Ponwith 7-6 (5), 6-0
The last time Fritz played rival Ponwith, he fell to him in the 2013 16s at the Kalamazoo USTA Hardcourt National Championships. “I remember we played a lot in the 12s,” said Fritz, who said that the 12s may have been the last time he beat Ponwith. “It used to be I was all forehands and no backhands. I think I have worked on my backhand a lot in the past year and it’s gotten better. That’s what made the difference.”

Fritz, currently the No. 4-ranked junior in the world, has been taken to three sets in his previous two matches before Saturday and has been taking an ice bath after each match.

He said playing a prestigious event like the ASICS Easter Bowl and being so close to home was a no-brainer when he looked at his schedule. “It would be great and so nice to win this title,” he said. “Why not play here? I’m so close to home and I’m getting good matches here. It’s not like I’m getting the same practice at home.”

Fritz will face the other finalist, Sam Riffice, in the final. He beat Riffice 6-2, 6-3 in their last meeting at the Tulsa ITF back in October. “He’s so much better than when I beat him last,” Fritz said, who added the difference in the first set and the second on Saturday was just winning the big points.

At the end of last year, Riffice became just the second junior player since Grigor Dimitrov to win both the Eddie Herr and Junior Orange Bowl 16s tournaments back to back.

GIRLS’ 18s DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIP
(1) Sonya Kenin / Katie Swan
def. Caroline Dolehide / Ena Shibahara 4-6, 6-4, 10-6

Additional information in this report was provided by the ASICS Easter Bowl PR Press Aide, Steve Pratt.

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I’ll see you next time, with more tennis, . . . outside the lines!

– Marcus Tennis

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Wilson #BURNChallenge

March 10th, 2015

Hey Tennis Friends!

While attending the 2015 BNP Paribas Open, I had a chance to participate in an off-site event promoted by Wilson. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the #BURNChallenge, however, I certainly put forth a worthy effort:

Wilson introduced its revolutionary PlayerID system featuring the Sony Smart Sensor.

The BURN Challenge consists of the following tests:
Eight groundstrokes from baseline, alternating forehands and backhands
Touch three cones located in the left alley
Run through agility ladder
Touch three cones in right alley
Complete five (5) air squats
Complete three (3) push ups
Hit one (1) serve from Deuce court and one (1) serve from Ad court

If you REALY want to make a better effort than I did, I suggest that you set up a similar course at your local courts and practice a few times . . . that will give you quite an advantage. Don’t forget to post your efforts to social media with the hashtag: #BURNChallenge

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I’ll see you next time, with more tennis, . . . outside the lines!

– Marcus Tennis

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“Let’s Dine Out” Appearance

March 2nd, 2015

Hey Tennis Friends!

This post is a little bit of a departure, as it really is more about food and traveling, and less about tennis. Recently, I was privileged to appear on a long-running local PBS restaurant review show. I have been a fan of host Allan Borgen for over twenty years, and it was quite a kick to finally get a chance to be his guest “foodie”. Enjoy!:

There were so many things edited out of the program that they probably could have made TWO shows out of all of the commentary. Fortunately, they kept a lot of the entertaining bits intact, and illustrated a good representation of the fun that was had by gorging ourselves at two restaurants in one day!

Here is the link to the Facebook page of the “Let’s Dine Out” TV (KVCR) and radio (KTIE) programs. If you’re a Southern California “foodie”, be sure to “Like” the page for updates:

Facebook.com / Let’s Dine Out Show

When you chime in, be sure to tell them that you saw it, right here, at GroundsPass.net!

Be sure to share GroundsPass.net with your other Tennis Friends using the social networking buttons, below.

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I’ll see you next time, with more tennis, . . . outside the lines!

– Marcus Tennis

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