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Welcome to the Cavalier Tennis Blog, providing you updates from the team’s trip to Athens, Ga., for the 2010 NCAA Championships. This blog will be updated periodically during the week. If you have a question you wanted answered on the blog, feel free to submit it here.


Final entry of the blog. Tough loss yesterday to a good USC team. This is a tough tournament and only one of the 16 teams that make it to the final site each year gets to go home happy. Ome of these years it is going to be us.

We had great fan support this week in Athens and it meant so much to the team. Other than Georgia, we probably had the most fans there. You don’t know just how much that means to the guys.

Michael, Sanam, Jarmere and Drew stayed in the Athens for the individual tournaments that start tomorrow (as did Houston, in case they can get into doubles off the alternate list). The rest are headed back to Charlottesville today.

It was a great year. A school record 39 wins, another NTI title and another undefeated year in the ACC. 2011 has the chance to be yet another special season. Hope we will see all of you at the matches at Snyder and Boar’s Head next year and hope as many of you can make it to NCAAs in Stanford next May.

Good luck to the guys still in Athens!! Lets win some more individual NCAA titles.

Until next year, Go Hoos!

MONDAY, MAY 24 – 4:00 p.m.

We are here ready to go at the McWhoter Courts. Just waiting until the Florida-North Carolina women’s match is over. Shouldn’t be too far behind schedule.

MONDAY, MAY 24 – 1:00 p.m.

Here are the video highlights and photo gallery from the UCLA match.

MONDAY, MAY 24 – 9:45 a.m.

Good morning from Athens. The guys got a good night of rest and are ready to go this afternoon against USC. We will be on the back courts (Georgia-Tennessee will be on the main courts) today for the first time. The match is scheduled for 4 p.m., but could be delayed if the women’s match ahead of us runs long. There is also a 40% chance of thunderstorms throughout the afternoon/evening, so hopefully we it will stay away long enough that we won’t have any problems.

One more news story from yesterday. Here is Jerry Ratcliffe’s feature on Julen Uriguen from the Daily Progress.

SUNDAY, MAY 23 – 11:00 p.m. Here are some news articles from today’s match. Here is the recap from ZooTennis and the Daily Progress.
SUNDAY, MAY 23 – 7:45 p.m.

Great win today against UCLA and it sets up a chance to avenge last year’s loss to USC in the tournament. Should be a great match.

Here is the recap of today’s win over the Bruins. A photo gallery and video highlights will be available later on.

Great crowd supporting the Hoos today. The team really appreciates the support of the fans. Plenty of seats are still available for the remainder of the tournament, so if you are anywhere near Georgia, come tomorrow!!!

SUNDAY, MAY 23 – 1:40 p.m.

About 20 minutes to match time. It is going to be hot one here in Athens. The team looks focused and ready to go.

Tough five-set loss for Somdev to Chiudinelli in Paris. But making the main draw will give him some more ATP points and a nice paycheck.

Looks like a great contingent of Cavalier fans already here. I know they will be making a lot of noise today.

Go Hoos!

SUNDAY, MAY 23 – 9:45 a.m.

It is beautiful sunny morning in Athens. The team just had breakfast and is getting set to go over to the courts for a light morning hit.

If you need your Virginia tennis fix before the 2 p.m. match with the Bruins, follow the action in Paris. Somdev’s first round match with Marco Chuidinelli starts in a few minutes. Unfortunately it is on court 3, which doesn’t appear to be one of the TV courts.

SATURDAY, MAY 22 – 3:30 p.m.

Here on our off-day, here are some fun facts…

• The four teams that had made the quarterfinals each of the past five seasons all made it again this season (Virginia, UCLA, Georgia, Baylor)

• Seniors Houston Barrick and Lee Singer completed an undefeated career in the ACC with the win over Duke (61-0 in all competitions). That is on top of their 71-0 record at home during their career.

• Now that the “conference tournaments” are done, its time for the real NCAA Tournament to begin. The round of 16 had six of the eight matchups between conference foes. Now, in the quarterfinals, we have all four matchups between teams that haven’t played this season.

SATURDAY, MAY 22 – 12:00 p.m. The highlights of the Duke match are up on
SATURDAY, MAY 22 – 10:00 a.m.

Today is our last day in Athens without a match, so it is a godo opportunity for the team to make sure they are ready to go for the remainder of the tournament.

We will have a short practice this afternoon. Usually the day before a match, it isn’t too intense. It is just an opportunity for the guys to hit a few balls and work on some parts of their games they want to work on. On Thursday (before the Duke match), our practice only went about an hour and some of the guys didn’t even go that long. Each player knows what he needs to do to be ready to go the next day.

Here are a couple of recaps from yesterday’s match, from ZooTennis and the Daily Progress.

FRIDAY, MAY 21 – 11:30 p.m.

We have come to the end of our first match-day here in Athens and it was a pretty good day. Looking forward to a practice day tomorrow before meeting UCLA in the quarterfinals on Sunday. The final matches of the day are still going on. Kind of the like the US Open, playing to midnight or later. Hopefully the rain will stay away for the rest of the tournament so we can stay on schedule.

A question from the feedback form comes from Sam from Virginia Beach. He asks:

Obviously, playing Urigen at singles meant that we adjusted the 8 eligible players for Athens (from the 2nd round). Since we played 7 guys against Duke, Who is the 8th player?

Our eight players for the remainder of the tournament are the seven who played today along with Philippe Oudshoorn. The player we had to drop was Steven Rooda, who had a slight injury. Nothing serious, but it is better to have eight guys who are all 100%.

We also had a comment from a former member of the men’s tennis staff, Leah from Santa Barbara, who was the team’s athletic trainer in 2007, the last time we were in Athens. She writes:

Just want to wish all my HOOS good luck in the rest of the tournament! I miss working with you guys and am so proud of you all, the seniors especially! Bring home the big one!

Earlier today we mentioned that former Cavalier Somdev Devvarman advanced our of qualifying to make the main draw at Roland Garros. Well, he now knows where he is in the draw. He plays Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland in the first round. Somdev downed Chuidinelli in straight sets in the first round of the ATP 500 level tournament in Dubai earlier this year. If he can beat him again, he would likely see a familiar face in the second round: John Isner. I think the people around these parts still remember the last time they met in college.

Goodnight from Athens.

FRIDAY, MAY 21 – 5 p.m.

Good way to start the tournament. Solid win against a Duke team that is really tough. Also nice to get it done before the rain came again. You can read the recap here. The team went back to hotel to get some food and some rest while the coaches stayed to watch the UCLA-Stanford match which is wrapping up indoors.

We will answer some more feedback later tonight. Thanks for all the questions and comments. Keep them coming.

FRIDAY, MAY 21 – 11:45 a.m.

The rain has stopped and the courts are almost done being dried. Our match will begin at 1 p.m., either indoors or outdoors. If there isn’t any more rain, it looks like we will be outdoors. As I am typing, the first glimpse of sunshine has appeared.

FRIDAY, MAY 21 – 9 a.m.

It’s match day. And it’s raining here in Athens. It looks like the 9 a.m. matches will start on time, just indoors. Ohio State and Wisconsin will play on the indoor courts at the Dan Magill Tennis Center at 9 a.m., with USC and Kentucky starting at 9 a.m. indoors at a club in Norcross, Ga. We will start after the OSU-UW match here in Athens. If it stops raining and the courts are dry, we will play outside. If not, we will be indoors after the 9 a.m. match finishes.

We woke up to some good news from Paris. Somdev defeated Adrian Mannarino of France 6-4, 6-1 in the final round of qualifying at Roland Garros and will compete in the main draw of the French Open for the first time in his career. He will find out later today who he draws. Congrats Somdev!!!

Another good story on the team in the local media: this story in today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch.

THURSDAY, MAY 20 – 10 p.m.

Last update of the night from Athens. An afternoon of rest and a good dinner and we are ready for tomorrow. Excited to get the tournament started.

Well, last night I mentioned the lack of a putt-putt course in Athens threw a curve into one of the team’s tournament traditions. But hand it to the guys for a little bit of ingenuity to create their own course. A tennis ball, racquet and a hotel hallway and you can create your own course.

One more question to answer tonight from the feedback. It is from “Not Alex” from “Not London”:

I have heard from someone that Dom’s infamous brother will not be travelling to the NCAA tournament for the first time in three years. How is the team going to deal with the loss of such a powerful talisman and opponent fear-instiller?

No doubt, the loss of both Inglot brothers (Dom on the court and Alex in the stands) from last year’s team is something you can’t completely overcome. But in order to put out some good vibes, below is a piece of nostalgia ….

Goodnight from Athens! Go Hoos!!

THURSDAY, MAY 20 – 4 p.m.

The team is spending a relaxing afternoon at the hotel after practicing this morning. The guys seem excited to get going tomorrow.

We have our first question from the feedback form. It comes from John in Charlottesville who writes:

What is the speed of the courts, especially relative to the ones here?

Since I am not out there hitting on them, I asked someone who is to answer this one. So here is what Lee Singer had to say:

“We just got the courts at Snyder resurfaced a few weeks ago and they are slower now than they were during the season. The courts here are similar to what we now have at Snyder and what we have been practicing on for a few weeks. When we got here, we thought that these courts would bounce a little more than they do. Overall, we like the courts at Georgia. We expected them to be different, but the speed is what we are used to and should help us this week.”

John, thanks for your question. Feel free to ask a question using the link at the top of the page.

One more news story for today: did a feature on Michael Shabaz.

For fans in the Richmond area, listen to Brian Boland on live tonight on Hoos Talking, tonight on Sportsradio 910 AM. The show starts at 6pm with Coach Boland scheduled to be on a few minutes after 6:30 pm.

THURSDAY, MAY 20 – 10 a.m.

We are getting ready to head to practice shortly. Since the women’s tournament begins today, all of the men’s teams have to practice today at the Rec Courts on the other side of campus.

A couple pieces of morning reading for all of you Cavalier tennis fans. The first is Jeff White‘s story on the team. The second is this feature on Brian Boland by Jerry Ratcliffe of the Daily Progress.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 19 – 10 p.m.

After practice, it was a pretty relaxing afternoon in the hotel. Some guys went for an extra hit before the banquet, others took a rest. Following the banquet, we decided to partake in one of our team’s great tournament traditions: Putt-putt!! But upon further investigation, it seems the only putt-putt course in Athens recently went out of business. So we went to a movie instead. Tomorrow is the final day to prepare for Friday’s round of 16 match against Duke. We are looking forward to it.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 19 – 2 p.m.

Just wanted to give a quick congrats to former Cavalier Somdev Devvarman. While the current team was practicing in Athens, Somdev was winning his second round qualifying match at Roland Garros. He topped Daniel King-Turner of New Zealand 6-1, 6-2 and will meet Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in the final round of qualifying on Friday. A win on Friday would put Somdev into the main draw at the French Open for the first time in his career. Good Luck Somdev!!!

WEDNESDAY, MAY 19 – noon

The team is currently practicing at the Dan Magill Tennis Center. With the women’s tournament beginning tomorrow, today’s practice will be the only time the team will be able to practice on the match courts before Friday’s match. Right now the weather is perfect. Mid-to-upper 70s and not a cloud in the sky. Hopefully it stays like this all week.

For most of the team, this practice is their first look at the Dan Magill Tennis Center. It is an impressive facility with seating for 5,000. Only seniors Houston Barrick and Lee Singer have played here before, when the team reached the semifinals of the 2007 NCAA Tournament in Athens when they were first-years.

We got into Athens last night after a day of travel and practice. Our initial plan was to practice in Charlottesville on Tuesday morning before hopping on the bus. But the rain changed our plans. On the drive down, we stopped along the way in Clemson to practice. It was a great opportunity to get a solid practice in while also breaking up the trip into two parts.

While the first part of the trip consisted of movies, the last part (after practice) consisted of Game 2 of the Celtics-Magic series on the satellite. There were some cheers for both teams throughout the trip. Steven Rooda celebrated the Celtics win by wearing his Kevin Garnett jersey to breakfast this morning. Houston Barrick commented that if he grew a mustache, Rooda would look like Larry Bird.

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