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TCU Men’s Tennis Takeover: Frogs set to host regional, Norrie gets French Open invite

TCU prepares for NCAA play as a pair of alumni find success on pro circuits.

TCU Men’s Tennis Big 12 Champs

TCU men’s tennis has been one of the school’s best teams in recent years and the past few weeks have been very good for the current team as well as for a pair of alumni. Here are a few notes on things happening with the program!

TCU Men’s Tennis Hosts Regional

The Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center will once again serve as an NCAA Regional host site this year, as the Horned Frogs earned the No. 9 national seed in the NCAA team tournament. This is the fourth consecutive year that the Frogs will be hosting and they have advanced through each of the past three with ease. In the six matches played in those regionals, only last year’s second round match with Florida State wasn’t a 4-0 victory, but it was 4-1.

Coming to Fort Worth will be Oregon, Dartmouth, and Utah State. The first round will feature the Ducks facing the Big Green followed by the Frogs taking on the Aggies.

Here is a breakdown of the four teams:

Fort Worth Tennis Regional

Team National Ranking Overall Record Ranked Singles Players Top Singles Player Ranked Doubles Pairs Top Doubles Pair Qualification
Team National Ranking Overall Record Ranked Singles Players Top Singles Player Ranked Doubles Pairs Top Doubles Pair Qualification
TCU 8 18-4 4 No. 21 Alex Rybakov 2 No. 6 Nunez/Rybakov At-Large
Utah State 50 19-8 0 N/A 0 N/A Mountain West Champs
Dartmouth 27 20-5 1 No. 119 Charlie Broom 1 No. 71 Horneffer/Broom Ivy League Champs
Oregon 33 17-9 1 No. 22 Thomas Laurent 1 No. 53 Clissold/Laurent At-Large

On paper, the Frogs look set to advance through another home regional relatively easy. However, this is the postseason and the only thing that matters is what happens on the courts.

The winner of this regional will advance to the Wake Forest Tennis Complex in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where the 16 remaining teams will fight for the national championship May 18-22.

TCU Pair Heading to NCAA Singles and Doubles

In addition to the team qualifying for the NCAA Tournament, Alex Rybakov has been selected to compete in the individual singles tournament as the Big 12’s automatic qualifier. He will be joined at the individual contests by Guillermo Nuñez, who will compete in the doubles competition with Rybakov. They also earned their spot as the Big 12’s automatic qualifier and will be seeded in the 5-8 range.

These tournaments will take place May 23-28 and will also be held at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex once the team tournament has been completed. Alastair Gray and Trevor Johnson may also get chances as they were selected as alternates for the singles tournament, should anyone in the field drop out.

Norrie Captures First ATP World Tour Title

Cameron Norrie has captured his first ATP World Tour title, but not on the singles side. The former Frog teamed up with fellow British national Kyle Edmund to bring home the doubles title at the Estoril Open in Portugal.

The victory was massive for the former TCU star, who saw his ATP doubles ranking jump an incredible 413 spots from No. 617 in the world to No. 204. It’ll be interesting to see if he and Edmund look to team up more often on the doubles side since they were so dominant, never dropping a set in their four matches.

With both Edmund and Norrie representing the same nation, as well as being good enough players on the singles side to qualify for big tournaments, the possibilities are endless for them. We could see this pair competing in Grand Slams, the Davis Cup, and possibly even the Olympics in the coming years.

Norrie, who is right on the verge of cracking the top 100 worldwide in singles, also received some good news in the past week as he has earned a spot in the main draw of the French Open at Roland Garros, which begins in late May.

This will be the third Grand Slam event that Norrie has made it into the main draw for in his first professional year. The only exception is the Australian Open, where he fell in the second round of qualifying.

Chappell Finding Success

Another former Frog, Nick Chappell, who competed at TCU in the 2012-2015 seasons and anchored the singles efforts on Court No. 1 in his senior year, has also found success recently in the ITF circuit. Chappell advanced to back-to-back doubles finals in April, first partnering with Raleigh Smith in Orange Park, FL, then partnering Harrison Adams at Vero Beach, FL.

Although he did not bring home either title, the deep runs in the tournaments have significantly boosted his doubles ranking, jumping 67 spots from No. 560 in mid-April to No. 493 now. As his ranking goes up, so will his opportunities and I look forward to seeing him find continued success as a professional.