Dadamo beats Rux, Pollock to face Luigi, Krajicek advances and Weinhold falls

Just a few quick words, since I haven’t posted since Monday.


New Aggie, Jeff Dadamo defeated Jordan Rux of Kerrville and Baylor in a tough 76 76 match. This is good news for Aggies, as Dadamo appears ready to step right in and play a solid #2 next Spring. I am hurting for Rux, as I really want him to grab some points this summer. He is on the cusp to make that jump.

Conor Pollock got in via a lucky loser and took great advantage of the opportunity. He defeated fourth-seed Matej Bocko, 46 76 63. That’s a great win for Conor and he appears to be pretty healthy. It also gives credence Dadamo’s win over him earlier in the week.

Pollock will now face former Longhorn Luis Diaz-Barriga. who beat Marcus Fugate, 76 76.

Austin Krajicek defeated Jordan Cox, 76 64, and will now face Michael McClune.

In doubles, Luigi and his partner, Juan-Manuel Elizondo, the top seeds, have won a couple of rounds and are in the semifinals against Cory Parr and Todd Paul. Parr and Paul won a tight first rounder over Krajicek and Pollock on Tuesday.

Ashwin Kumar and his partner, Tigran Martirosyan, fell in the first round.


In St. Joseph, MO, second seeded Ashley Weinhold fell to Maria Sanchez, 63 26 75, in the first round. Weinhold did advance with Irina Falconi to the second round in dubs.

Brandi to Baylor, Chang upsets Chen, Godfrey Pro Circuit and Possible Stalking

Time to catch up on a few things that happened today, but before we do, I have to say this article that was tweeted by SI’s Jon Wortheim on Andy Murray is just flat-out cool.

As the release below states, Baylor has hired Chris Brandi as their next assistant men’s coach. I have not spoken to anyone, but just from his resume, it looks like another good hire and Waco will likely just be a stepping stone for another big job. I thought Wake Forest (Cory Parr and Steve Foreman, especially) was solid down the stretch last season and those guys have already performed well this summer.

Unseeded Jonathan Chang ‘upset’ second-seeded Ben Chen, 64 62 to claim the men’s division at the College Station ITA. Although it was an upset for the incoming Rice freshman, those who saw the Class 5A championship knew that this was a tough match-up.

Chang is going to make a real good addition to the Owls next season and both of these guys could make an immediate impact.

In the girls’ singles, Round Rock’s Rosalia Alda cruised past Nazari Urbina, 63 62. Alda must be playing some incredible tennis as she just dominated the field. She won at least one 60 set in every match prior to the finals.

In the girls’ doubles played today, Alda and Texas A&M’s Sheri Olivier teamed to beat Urbina and Stephanie Davidson, 8-6.

In an interesting side story, the men’s final was not without some intrigue. It was reported that Chang’s father was using some pretty obvious hand signals when his son was serving. Some school officials were notified, but were not real clear whether coaching was allowed during the event or not. The father apparently stopped using the signals when he realized the officials were watching him.

FULL College Station ITA RESULTS

As I tweeted this afternoon, future Aggie Jeff Dadamo defeated ex-Aggie, Conor Pollock, 75 62 today in the qualifying round. No word yet on how healthy Conor is, but he did beat Mitchell Frank yesterday pretty handily.

Dadamo will now play Kerrville (and Baylor’s) Jordan Rux, who also quailed into the main draw. This should be exciting, as both players should be tentatively slated to play at #2 for their respective teams next season.

In the “what the?” department, Ken Flach and his nephew Ricky are playing in the doubles. I think this is awesome, but Holden Seguso is in the draw and I think it should’ve been Holden and Ricky playing together. That might have stirred afew flashbacks for the oldtimers like me. I love looking up Ken’s ITF info… career high doubles ranking – #4 (27 Jan 92)…

OK, back to the locals.

Round Rock (and Harvard alum) Ashwin Kumar is in the main draw of doubles with Tigran Martirosyan, the top-seed in singles. They face Clint Bowles and Marcus Fugate.

Speaking of Fugate, he plays for Longhorn Luis Diaz-Barriga in the first round. Luigi is also the top-seed in doubles with Juan-Manuel Elizondo.

Austin Krajicek faces new pro Jordan Cox, who signed with IMG today. I know that the IMG folks would like nothing more than to sign the former IMG-alum, Krajicek. As stated by, this is a battle of the last year’s Kalamazoo singles champs.

Krajicek and Pollock face Cory Parr and Todd Paul in the first round of dubs.

Andy Roddick has tweeted that some of the youngsters are in town to train with him. Ryan Harrison has tweeted that he’s in Austin to train. Hmmm. Maybe I need to drop by the courts and see if the boys are working out tomorrow? Wonder who else is here? Then again, that’s a bit too creepy-stalkerish.

Brandi Joins Baylor as Assistant Coach

Chris Brandi has been hired at Baylor as Assistant Director of Tennis, Director of Tennis Matt Knoll announced today. Brandi replaces Kyle Spencer who was recently named head men’s tennis coach at Maryland.

“Baylor tennis is proud to welcome Chris Brandi to our tennis family. He will be a tremendous addition to our program. I wasn’t able to convince him to join us after he visited Baylor as a high school prospect in 2001 so it’s gratifying that I was able to get him here as a coach in 2009. His pedigree in coaching is special as is his passion for the game and love for his players. He’ll make everyone here better this year,” said Knoll.

Brandi comes to Baylor from Wake Forest where he served as an assistant coach. In 2008, the Demon Deacons advanced to the finals of the ACC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament round of 16. Brandi coached Cory Parr and Steve Forman to the ITA National Indoor Doubles championship in addition to serving as a coach for the USTA Collegiate Summer team.

Prior to his stint at Wake Forest, Brandi worked at the Harold Solomon Tennis Institute in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where he was a hitting partner for the USA Federation Cup’s tie against Belgium in Oostende, Belgium. Brandi has coached in both the junior and professional ranks. He worked with several great players including Elena Dementieva ranked No. 4 in the WTA and 2005 U.S. Open Junior Champion Ryan Sweeting.

Brandi graduated cum laude from the University of Florida in 2005 with a degree in business administration where he captained the Gator squad to regular season and tournament SEC championships. The Gators reached the NCAA’s Final Four in 2005 before losing to Baylor. Brandi earned doubles All-American status in 2004 and was an all-SEC singles selection in 2005. He was named to the All-SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2004 and 2005. “Chris can relate to our players because he has walked in their shoes. We ask our guys to compete on the court and in the classroom just as Chris did during his career,” said Knoll.

Brandi continues in the footsteps of his father, Andy, who enjoyed a highly successful coaching career as Florida’s women’s coach. He led the Gators to three NCAA championships (1992, 1996 & 1998).

College Station ITA, Clays and Pro Circuit news

College Station ITA
The finals will be played Monday morning at 9. The women’s draw will have top-seeded Rosalia Alda (Round Rock) from the University of Tennessee playing Nazari Urbina of Mexico, who will be at Texas A&M in the fall.

The 20-year old Urbina beat Texas’ Abby Liu and Ohio State’s Paloma Escobedo Sunday to advance to the final. Urbina was once as high as 840 in the world back in 2006. She looks to be a great addition for the Aggies and will fit right into the lineup.

Alda crushed A&M Sheri Olivier, 60 61, then Louisiana-Monroe’s Claire Clark, 63 60.

In doubles, Urbina and Aggie teammate Stephanie Davidson face Olivier, who is paired with Alda.

On the men’s side, things look good for Texas and Rice, as the final will be a rematch of the UIL Class 5A boys championship between two Houstonians, Ben Chen and Jonathan Chang.

Back in May when they played for the top high school title, Chang, who will be at Rice this fall, suffered a freak nose bleed when he was seemingly in control of the match. There was a long delay and eventually Chen prevailed in three sets.

Chang, who will be at Rice this fall defeated fifth-seeded Brett Powers (Austin and St. Edward’s) Saturday (62 20 ret) and surprise quarterfinalist Colby Meeks (61 64) before upsetting top-seed, Colin Hoover of Texas A&M, 64 36 10-3.

Chen had a hard-fought win over Michigan State’s (Houston) Austin Brooks in the quarterfinals, winning the third set tiebreaker, 11-9. In the semifinals, he beat Jake Hendrie (New Braunfels) of St. Louis University, 62 60.

Chen and future teammate (Corpus Christi) Alex Hilliard captured the doubles with a win over Texas A&M’s (McAllen) Alberto Bautista and Brooks.

With Junior Davis Cup coming in just a week, followed by Kalamazoo, it appears that Chen is in solid form.

There were several Texas connection to the Clay Court results today.

First off, in Tunica, where they had to play a few matches indoors due to rain, TCU’s Kayla Duncan teamed with Alison Falkin to capture a gold ball and the Girls’ 18 doubles title. Duncan, who is from Winston-Salem, N.C., will be a sophomore.

Austin Brett Ellen Keeler captured the bronze ball today in doubles with her partner Sarah Lee.

For more on the Girls, check out or the TCU website.

Jack Sock captured both the singles and doubles titles in Delray Beach, earning a wild card into the qualies of the ATP event there next year. Sock hails from Nebraska, but has been known to play in a Texas Longhorns hat. I am not saying that means anything other than I know he likes UT.

In the Godfrey qualies, Jordan Rux had a great win over Justin Kronauge the other day, 63 63. He has since topped Jonathan Wolff and Erik Corace to reach the qualifying round tomorrow against Ruan Roelofse. (As a side note, Roelofse’s name looks like an Internet abbreviation gone bad at first glance).

Also in the qualies will be an all-Aggie matchup, as Conor Pollock, back from injury, will face incoming Aggie, Jeff Dadamo.

In Joplin, Blake Strode topped Arnau Brugues for the title. Michael Venus made it to semis, falling to Brugues in a third set tiebreaker.

Former Longhorn, Luis (Luigi) Diaz-Barriga won a couple of rounds before also falling to Brueges, 62 36 64. Dadamo also gave Brueges a run in the second round, falling 75 64.

Diaz-Barriga and Robbye Poole fell in the doubles final to Cory Parr and Todd Paul, 61 62.

What I am reading and an open invitation

We don’t have any results from College Station or any of the Pro Circuit events yet but I am not sure I am going to be able to get online later this evening and wanted to post a few things, including something I hope to make a regular feature.


I want to start something where I share items I am reading each day. Obviously, I am not going to list everything, but will include what I think was worthy. It should be a given that I am reading and daily, so they will likely not get daily mentions.

Here are just a few of the things I read in the last 24 hours. I think I have them in the order of what I liked. I am disappointed that the Straight Sets blog at the NY Times has been dormant for about 10 days. Most of their stuff is great.

I also started reading The Talent Code, by Daniel Coyle after it was reviewed by Colette Lewis over at zootennis and find it fascinating.

Q&A with American Sam Querrey (SI)

Backcourt Buzz: That’s a Rap for Novak (

which led to this
Alec Baldwin shows Jimmy Fallon exactly why he’s nominated for an Emmy (very funny)

Tennis career puts law school on hold (Joplin Globe on Blake Strode)

USTA men’s tourney returns to LCCC for 12th year (Godfrey Telegraph on USTA PC)

Helfant quietly absorbing new role as ATP leader (ESPN)

How would the best to play here match up? (Indianapolis Star)

That’s about it. It was a fairly slow day.

This blog is about bringing Texas college tennis to the forefront. I am not always right about my ideas. I am also not going to say the most popular thing. I am however going to bring more publicity to kids, coaches and a game I love. This can be a dialogue and you are certainly welcome to chime in with your opinions too.

These are my opinions and have nothing to do with where I work or who I work for. If you don’t like what I say, please feel free to go elsewhere for your news or join the conversation. Thank you.

College Station ITA, Outed and Pro Circuit News

The Southwest run of the ITA Summer Circuit finishes this weekend in College Station and the draws are very exciting.

Singles play gets underway Friday at 2 p.m. and runs through Monday. Doubles competition begins Saturday at 2 p.m.

The last match on Friday is slated for 7 p.m. Matches on Saturday and Sunday are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Championship matches are currently slated to be contested Monday morning.

Admission to the four-day tournament is free.

The top-seed on the women’s side is Rosalia Alda from Round Rock, who now plays for the University of Tennessee. Last sumer, Rosalia won the USTA Texas Summer Grand Slam after her freshman year at UT, defeating the likes of Lilly Kimbell and Charlotte Calhoun, to earn a spot on the Texas Junior Fed Cup team.

Also returning to the Lone Star State is Paloma Escobedo, who now plays for Ohio State.

What makes this draw (as well as the men’s)  interesting are the incoming freshmen and lower rung players from some of the top universities scattered thoughout. It will be interesting to see who is ready for prime time.

Colin Hoover (of Texas A&M and Victoria) is the top-seed in the men’s draw. He has been on fire during this series, dominating play in the earlier tournaments.

Incoming freshman Ben Chen (Houston and Texas) is the second seed. He recently won the USTA Texas Summer Grand Slam and will be heading to Illinois for Junior Davis Cup next week.

Also seeded are such names as Jake Hendrie (New Braunfels and St. Louis Univ.), Jack Seider (Austin, TCU and now Texas A&M), Alberto Bautista (McAllen and Texas A&M), Kayvon Karimi (Dallas and Texas A&M), Brett Powers (Austin and St. Edward’s), Thomas Wilson (San Antonio and Purdue), Aaron Carpenter (Houston and Duke), Jonathon Chang (Houston and Rice), Austin Brooks (Houston and Michigan State) and Robert Cocanougher (Southlake and Trinity). I know I left some people out.

One interesting note would be in the top quarter if Hoover and Bautista meet. That would give the Aggies a look into what may be the bottom of their lineup next spring.

It should be hot in College Station, as the high is projected to be over 100 each day.



If you haven’t read the article at, it explains who I am. Thanks again to Colette and Dallas for being so supportive over the last few months… and for all of those who kept the secret. It was just time to move on.


I have it on good authority that Conor Pollock will return to action on the Pro Circuit with Austin Krajicek this coming week in Godfrey, Illinois. They will then head to Decatur. The duo hopes to rekindle the magic of earlier this summer.

I know there is more I should write about, but I keep getting interrupted and it has taken several hours to finish just this.

The Big Reveal, Random Thoughts While Wondering Why John Roddick Picking His Nose is Disturbingly on the Internet and Lukacs plays Davis Cup

OK, it has been a few weeks and that is because I have not really had a whole lot to say. I know there is plenty of tennis going on at every level, but my brain just hasn’t been in the mood to write.

First off, the Big Reveal of my identity will be put to rest this Thursday, I believe with an article by Colette Lewis of on the website

I could go into more detail about this, but read the article. It should all be spelled out in there. Suffice it to say, it was just time.

I appreciate and respect both Colette Dallas do and appreciate their interest in this site.

Why is John Roddick picking his nose on the Internet?

If you haven’t seen it, LINK, the video of the Wimbledon final shows John making a swipe at his nose and then licking his fingers. As the coach of OU, he now opens himself up to all kinds of scrutiny that he never had to endure, even as his brother’s coach.

Not only are there fans at his own school, but plenty of message boards of rival schools, ready to pile on whenever he makes a move. Most college coaches don’t have to endure this sort of thing, but when you are the brother of a high-profile athlete and put yourself in a very public position outside of your university, these sorts of disturbing things happen.

In speaking with several people, there seems to be a couple of sentiments towards Roddick’s move to Oklahoma.

Every person I have spoken to (including opposing coaches) is hoping he succeeds. This is for several reasons, John is a nice guy and having OU better only improves the quality of tennis in the Big XII. It helps the schedules and the competition.

There also seems to be those who are wondering how long he will actually stick this out. He has a history of jumping from one project to another and collegiate coaching is difficult and constant.

Boys on the Tour

I have been following the U.S. Pro Circuits daily and wanted to give a rundown of who was doing well so far. That made me think there are quite a few good players missing from the draws, so I suspect they are playing ‘back home’ and have given the ITF site quite a run-through.

Obviously the guy with the best results so far in the US is Texas A&M’s Austin Krajicek. So far he has accumulated four ranking point points and this week added what looks like three more by qualifying at the Lexington Challenger. His singles ranking will rise to near 890, which is just off his career high of 883 last summer.

In doubles he is doing great. He and Conor Pollock won the Loomis, CA doubles and he and Rhyne Williams reached the finals in Pittsburgh, shooting his doubles ranking to a career-high 851.

Speaking of Pollock, he has not returned to the circuit after injuring his ankle a few weeks ago. I hope to have more news on that soon.

Baylor’s Jordan Rux and Denes Lukacs were busy on the Futures circuit early, but neither gained any points. Lukacs actually played singles for Hungary, losing twice, in the team’s win over Moldova. Lukacs lost to Andrei Gorban, 64 26 75 61 in the second rubber and Radu Albot 6362 in the fifth ‘dead’ rubber.

That’s pretty cool. Getting to represent your country in Davis Cup must be a great thrill.

Texas A&M’s Alexis Klegou has played a couple of Futures in France, but has yet to win a match on clay in the qualies.

I will explore more and discuss the ITA Circuit real soon.

TCU signs Romanian Cirstea

The TCU men’s tennis team added a player to its 2009-10 roster with the signing of Romania native Marius-Adrian Cirstea to a National Letter of Intent, head coach Dave Borelli announced Thursday. Cirstea, currently ranked among the top 1,300 players in the world, will join the Horned Frogs as a freshman this fall.

An up-and-comer on the world Futures scene, Cirstea has enjoyed a rise in success, especially over the last six months. The 6-1 righthander from Bucharest has climbed to his current career-high position of No. 1,253. Cirstea will bring a wealth of Futures experience with him to TCU. He most recently has been winning main draw rounds of Futures events.

“We are excited that Marius has decided to come play for us here at TCU,” Borelli said. “He has a big forehand, also what I call consistent pro depth on his shots, and hits the ball very well. He has had quite a bit of success at the Futures level over the last five or six months. As far as recruiting, initially he kind of flew under everybody’s radar, but then a lot of coaches started taking notice of his success, so we really had to battle for him over these last few months. I’m really excited about getting Marius, because we are planning on bringing in one more impact player for January to get us to the next level.

“In addition to his tennis skills, Marius is also a very good student and has a reputation for being a quality person. He should represent TCU well, both on and off the court.”

The addition of Cirstea brings TCU’s roster total for the next season to 10 student-athletes. Borelli’s squad suffered only one loss from last season’s regular six-man singles lineup with the graduation of Kriegler Brink, who was an All-MWC Singles and Doubles selection in 2009.

Perianu Joins Baylor Women’s Staff

Former OU All-American named assistant coach.

Anda Perianu (pronounced AWN-duh), a former Oklahoma All-American and two-time Big 12 Player of the Year, has been named assistant coach of Baylor’s women’s tennis program head coach Joey Scrivano announced today.

Perianu, a native of Romania, comes to Baylor after serving as a Sooner volunteer assistant coach for the past four seasons while also playing on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Perianu replaces Anousjka van Exel who is returning to her native country, the Netherlands, after two years with the Lady Bear program.

“We are excited to have Anda join the Baylor family. Her professional and collegiate tennis experience is incredible and will be a major asset to our program. She has a great understanding of how to be successful at the highest level and this can only help us in the development of our student-athletes,” said Scrivano.

While playing for the Sooners, Perianu was the school’s first Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American and ranked as high as No. 3 in the ITA listings. She was named the Big 12 Conference Player of the Year in 2003 and ‘04, was a three-time All-Big 12 selection and was named the league’s Newcomer of the Year in 2002. On a national level, she played in the NCAA Championships in both singles and doubles in 2003 and ‘04 and was a National Indoor finalist in 2003. She earned regional distinction as well, earning the ITA Central Region Singles championship in 2004 and earning the title of Central Region Senior of the Year that same season.

On the professional level Perianu claimed three singles tournaments (El Paso, Texas, Houston and Tampa, Fla.) and five doubles crowns (El Paso, Houston, Pakova, Italy, St. Louis, and Louisville, Ky.). She achieved a high ranking of No. 120 on the WTA listing and competed in Tier I, II, III, and IV tournaments as well as 11 Grand Slams. Perianu reached the second round at the French Open as a qualifier and defeated 28th-seeded Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) in the first round before falling to then-No. 8, Alicia Molik (Australia). She has played World Team Tennis events with the Boston Lobsters Team (2006), where she was coached by Anne Smith and Martina Navratilova.

Perianu graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor of arts degree in 2005 with a French major and a minor in health and exercise science.

“I am very excited to join the Baylor program and I thank Coach Scrivano for giving me this wonderful opportunity. He is recognized as one of the elite coaches in the nation and I am absolutely thrilled to start working with him on a daily basis. I look forward to using my collegiate and professional experience to further develop this outstanding team and win a national championship,” said Perianu.

Trinity Restructures Coaching Roles; Adds Director of Tennis

Trinity University Director of Athletics Bob King today announced the restructuring of coaching and staff positions for men’s and women’s tennis.

Beginning Aug. 1, Butch Newman will assume the new position of Director of Tennis, Russell McMindes will be the head coach of men’s tennis, and Ryan Takao will continue as head coach of the women’s tennis team.

“The restructuring of positions will allow us to better address the needs of the tennis program,’’ Mr. King said. “We were able to hire two outstanding head coaches and establish the new position of Director of Tennis by reallocating existing funding.

“The change of responsibilities will give Butch the opportunity to focus on achieving the long term goals of developing an outstanding on-campus facility for men’s and women’s tennis, recruiting academically qualified and athletically talented student-athletes , and to continue to cultivate a relationship with former tennis student- athletes from the Division I and Division III eras.”

Mr. King concluded, “Over the past 50 years, Trinity has established one of the great programs in the history of intercollegiate tennis for men and women. Today’s announcement will help us to enhance the rich tradition of Trinity tennis!”

Coach Newman has coached the Tiger men’s team since 1986, and guided the Trinity women from 1991 to 2008. He led both Tiger teams to the NCAA playoffs and Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships. Coach Newman was named national coach of the year on three occasions.

A crowning achievement occurred in 2000, when the Tiger men and women captured the NCAA Division III Championships, minutes apart and in two different states.

“Coaching the tennis teams at Trinity University has made the past 23 years of my life extremely meaningful,” coach Newman said. “But, I know that Russell is the right man to take over the reins. The future of Trinity tennis is exciting and I am happy to be a continuing part of it.”

Coach Newman was a two-time All-American at Trinity in 1963 and 1965. His 53-2 singles record is the best in Tiger history. He was inducted into the Trinity University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.

Coach McMindes has completed seven seasons as the Trinity men’s assistant coach. He was a three-year letter winner for the Tigers and was a member of Trinity’s 2000 NCAA Division III national championship team. Coach McMindes earned a bachelor’s degree from Trinity in engineering science in 2002. A resident of San Antonio, he was the Clemens High School valedictorian in 1997.

“I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to become part of the history and tradition that goes with becoming Trinity tennis men’s head coach,” said coach McMindes, who also was a tennis professional at the San Antonio Country Club. “Coach Newman is a legend, and there is no way to replace him. We are fortunate to have him continue as director of tennis.”

Coach Takao, who took over the women’s team in the fall of 2008, has completed 13 years as a coach with the Tiger tennis program. He served as the women’s tennis assistant under coach Newman, and was on board when the Tigers captured the NCAA championship. Coach Takao earned the bachelor of arts in humanities from Trinity in 1996 and was a four-year letter winner on the Tiger men’s team. He helped lead Trinity to three consecutive SCAC titles. Coach Takao was named to the All-SCAC Team twice in his career, and spearheaded Trinity to four NCAA postseason appearances.

“Russell is a great addition,” said coach Takao about his colleague. “He has a lot of heart and spirit. It’s nice to know a Tiger alum is taking the reins and continuing the Trinity tennis legacy.”

And coach Newman could not be more pleased that two people he mentored are now running the teams.

“I am really excited to have two of my former players leading the charge as head men’s coach and head women’s coach,” coach Newman said. “I am confident and excited about the future of Trinity tennis, that these two young men will add to the program.”