Simmons, Andry to be inducted into Hall
Former LSU coach Jerry Simmons and nationally-ranked seniors player Peggy Andry will be inducted into the Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday at the New Orleans Lawn Tennis Club.
Simmons coached for 11 years at Louisiana-Lafayette and for 15 at LSU, where his teams compiled a 492-197 record. Among his other accomplishments, Simmons created the UTSA/UTF junior circuit and introduced corporate sponsorships to college tennis.
Andry is the first female member of the NOLTC to be inducted because of her playing accomplishments, beginning as a junior girls champion. She is currently ranked in the Top 10 nationally in women’s 60 and 65 singles.
Xavier tennis teams to play for titles
Xavier’s women’s and men’s tennis teams are in a familiar postseason place — the championship round.
The Gold Nuggets (14-6) and the Gold Rush (11-10) advanced to Saturday’s finals of the NAIA Unaffiliated Group 2 Tournament.
The XU women, ranked second in the NAIA, defeated No. 10 Oklahoma Baptist 5-1 in Friday’s semifinals after a first-round bye.
The XU men, ranked 10th, beat Tougaloo 9-0 in the opening round, then defeated No. 25 Oklahoma Baptist 5-0 in the semifinals.
The Gold Nuggets will play No. 1 Georgia Gwinnett for the women’s title at 9 a.m. Saturday at XU Tennis Center. The men’s final, also a Xavier-Georgia Gwinnett matchup, will follow no sooner than 11 a.m. Georgia Gwinnett’s men are 16-0 and ranked third.
The Rush reached the championship round of a conference/unaffiliated group tournament for the 12th consecutive season. The Nuggets reached the final for the 12th time in 13 seasons. Both teams won their group tournaments a year ago as top seeds.
Georgia Gwinnett teams beat the Nuggets and Rush at a neutral site in February.
Nadal’s struggles continue with loss
BARCELONA, Spain — Top-ranked Rafael Nadal’s clay-court struggles worsened Friday as his 41-match winning streak at the Barcelona Open ended with a three-set loss to Nicolas Almagro in the quarterfinals.
Nadal was looking for his ninth title in Barcelona but lost 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4, a week after going out in the quarterfinals of the Monte Carlo Masters to David Ferrer. Nadal, widely considered the greatest clay-court player of all time, hadn’t lost in Barcelona since his debut as a 15-year-old in 2003, although he missed the tournament in 2010. He had not dropped a set here since the 2008 final.
The 20th-ranked Almagro converted his second match point, smashing a forehand down the line for his first career victory over his fellow Spaniard on the 11th try.
Earlier, Kei Nishikori of Japan and Ernests Gulbis of Latvia overpowered opponents to set up a semifinal meeting.
Phelps uses 50 free to perfect his butterfly
MESA, Ariz. — Michael Phelps competed in the second event of his comeback and failed to advance to the 50-meter freestyle final.
The 18-time Olympic gold medalist used Friday’s preliminaries at the Arena Grand Prix to fine-tune his butterfly stroke instead of doing freestyle like everyone else in his heat. He finished seventh in a time of 24.06 seconds, missing out on the eight-man evening final.
Phelps finished 42nd overall, shutting him out of any of the three consolation finals, which involve the top 32 qualifiers.
From staff and wire reports