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Monday, June 18, 2018

USTA's US Open Wild Card Challenge Begins July 9th, with Five Weeks of Tournaments, Including WTA; ITA Announces 2018 Collegiate All-Star Team; Texas Slam Winners

The USTA announced today that its annual US Open Wild Card Challenge will begin on July 9th, with the women's events including WTA tournaments for the first time.  The men have been using points accumulated in ATP events for some time in these Wild Card Challenges, but the women have always been restricted to the USTA Pro Circuit events designated.  This year the five weeks of tournaments for women will include not only Lexington, which had previously been part of the US Open Wild Card Challenge, but four additional $60,000 events in Honolulu Hawaii, Berkeley California, Ashland Kentucky and Landisville Pennsylvania.  Points earned in both qualifying and main draw at the WTA tournaments in San Jose and Washington DC will also count toward the best two results in this five-week span.

The men have 16 events in those five weeks that can provide points, with the American with the best three results in those ATP Tour and Challenger tournaments receiving a US Open main draw wild card.

The USTA press release is below:


Main Draw Wild Cards into 2018 US Open to be Awarded to Top-Performing American Man and Woman over Five-Week Run of ATP, WTA and USTA Pro Circuit Hard-Court Events

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., June 18, 2018 – The USTA today announced that the US Open Wild Card Challenge, which utilizes hard-court pro tournaments to award an American man and woman a main draw wild card into the US Open, will kick off the week of July 9 and conclude the week of Aug. 6.

The men’s wild card will go to the American with the highest cumulative total of ATP singles ranking points earned from their best three results during that five-week window, including results from any professional hard-court event at the ATP Challenger level and above around the world.

The women’s wild card will be awarded to the American with the highest cumulative total of WTA singles ranking points earned from their best two results during those five weeks, at select $60,000 outdoor USTA Pro Circuit hard-court events (main draw only) – including four new $60,000 tournaments, in Honolulu, Berkeley, Calif., Ashland, Ky., and Landisville, Pa. – as well as qualifying and main draw results from the WTA tournaments in San Jose, Calif., and Washington, D.C.

Only Americans who do not earn direct entry into the US Open are eligible. In the event of a tie, the player with the best ATP or best WTA singles ranking on Aug. 13 will be awarded the wild card.

All USTA Pro Circuit tournaments will be streamed live on www.procircuit.usta.com. This is the seventh consecutive year the USTA has used a wild card challenge format to award US Open wild cards for American players.

The US Open Wild Card Challenge will consist of the following events:

Men’s Events
  • Week of July 9: Winnetka, Ill. $75,000; Winnipeg, Canada $75,000
  • Week of July 16: Astana, Kazakhstan $125,000; Gatineau, Canada $75,000
  • Week of July 23: Atlanta ATP 250; Granby, Canada $100,000; Binghamton, N.Y. $75,000
  • Week of July 30: Washington D.C. ATP 500; Los Cabos ATP 250; Chengdu, China $125,000; Segovia, Spain €85,000+H; Lexington, Ky. $75,000
  • Week of August 6: Toronto ATP Masters 1000; Jinan, China $150,000; Aptos, Calif. $100,000; Portoroz, Slovenia €64,000+H
Women’s Events
  • Week of July 9: Honolulu $60,000
  • Week of July 16: Berkeley, Calif. $60,000
  • Week of July 23: Ashland, Ky. $60,000
  • Week of July 30: San Jose WTA Premier; Washington, D.C. WTA International; Lexington, Ky. $60,000
  • Week of August 6: Landisville, Pa. $60,000
The USTA first used this US Open wild card format for its 2012 wild cards. The USTA also utilizes this wild card challenge format for the French Open and Australian Open.

Previous US Open wild card winners include:
  • 2012 – Steve Johnson and Mallory Burdette, both of whom reached the third round
  • 2013 – Bradley Klahn and Shelby Rogers, with Klahn winning his first-round match
  • 2014 – Wayne Odesnik and Nicole Gibbs, with Gibbs reaching the third round
  • 2015 – Bjorn Fratangelo and Samantha Crawford
  • 2016 – Ernesto Escobedo and Sofia Kenin, with Escobedo picking up his first Grand Slam win
  • 2017 – Tommy Paul and Sofia Kenin, with Kenin reaching the third round, before falling to Maria Sharapova in Arthur Ashe Stadium
The 2018 US Open main draw will be held Monday, Aug. 27, through Sunday, Sept. 9.  Information on the US Open Wild Card Challenge will be available at www.procircuit.usta.com. Follow the USTA Pro Circuit #USTAProCircuit. 

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association released its 2018 National Collegiate All-Star Team today.  The Division I Team is below. For the members from Division II, Division III, NAIA and Junior Colleges, see the release on the ITA website.

Division I Men
NCAA Singles Champion: Petros Chrysochos, Jr., Wake Forest University
NCAA Singles Runner-Up: Borna Gojo, So., Wake Forest University
Oracle ITA National Fall Championships Singles Champion: Nuno Borges, Jr., Mississippi State 
No. 1 Ranked Singles: Martin Redlicki, Sr., UCLA
NCAA Doubles Champions: Martin Redlicki (Sr.) / Evan Zhu (Jr.), UCLA
NCAA Doubles Runner-Up: Mikael Torpegaard (Sr.) / Martin Joyce (Jr.), The Ohio State University 
Oracle ITA National Fall Championships Doubles Champion: Petros Chrysochos (Jr.) / Skander Mansouri (Sr.), Wake Forest University 

Division I Women
NCAA Singles Champion: Arianne Hartono, Sr., Ole Miss
NCAA Singles Runner-Up: Ashley Lahey, Jr., Pepperdine University 
Oracle ITA National Fall Championships Singles Champion: Andrea Lazaro, Sr., Florida International University 
No. 1 Ranked Singles: Astra Sharma, Sr., Vanderbilt University
NCAA Doubles Champions: Jessica Golovin (Jr.) / Eden Richardson (Fr.), LSU 
NCAA Doubles Runner-Up: Vladica Babic (Sr.) / Sofia Blanco (Jr.), Oklahoma State University 
Oracle ITA National Fall Championships Doubles Champion: Emily Arbuthnott (So.) / Michaela Gordon (Fr.), Stanford University 

The USTA Texas Section held its big Closed tournament last week, with Trey Hilderbrand and Fiona Crawley winning the 18s singles titles.  The
singles finals results are below, with more on the tournament available at the USTA Texas website.

Boys’ 18 Singles: Trey Hilderbrand def. Reed Collier 6-1, 6-0
Boys’ 16 Singles: Andrew Chang def. Zachery Foster 6-4, 6-4
Boys’ 14 Singles: Kyle Totorica def. Charles Wood 6-2, 7-6 (4)
Boys’ 12 Singles: Alexander Razeghi def. Yuki Asako 6-0, 6-0

Girls’ 18 Singles: Fiona Crawley def. Sydney Fitch 7-5, 6-3
Girls’ 16 Singles: Bridget Stammel def. Brianna Wilbur 7-5, 6-0
Girls’ 14 Singles: Erica Jessel def. Ylan Duong 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-5
Girls’ 12 Singles: Chelsie Son def. Maya Dutta w/o (inj)

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Ma Wins ITF Grade 1 in Germany; Lee Takes Grade 5 Title in Thailand; Rybakov Claims Buffalo Futures, Chrysochos Extends Winning Streak at Wake Forest $25K; Townsend Captures Sumter Title

Lea Ma won her first ITF Grade 1 singles title today in Offenbach Germany, defeating Elli Mandlik 6-4, 7-5 in the all-American girls final.  The 17-year-old Ma, who was the No. 2 seed, had reached the final of two Grade 1 tournaments earlier this year, while Mandlik, also 17, was playing in her first Grade 1 final.  The boys title went to No. 6 seed Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic, who defeated unseeded Giulio Zeppieri of Italy 6-3, 7-5.  Ma, whose previous career high in the ITF junior rankings was 37, should move into the Top 25 with her title today.

At the ITF Grade 5 in Thailand, 15-year-old Karl Lee picked up his first ITF Junior Circuit title. The Sacramento resident, seeded No. 15, defeated four higher seeds to claim the title, beating No. 5 seed Iiro Vasa of Finland 6-3, 6-3 in the final.

At the ITF Grade 4 in Guatemala, Spencer Brachman and Max McKennon won the boys doubles title, with the unseeded pair beating No. 2 seeds Guillermo Castaneda and Patricio Nieto of Mexico 6-2, 7-6(2) in the final. McKennon, who was unseeded in singles, lost in the final to unseeded Rafael De Alva Valdez of Mexico 6-2, 6-4.

Two of the three USTA Pro Circuit events had disappointing endings, with Taylor Townsend claiming the $25,000 women's event in Sumter South Carolina without winning a point.  The top seed got a retirement from No. 2 seed Alize Lim before any points were played to earn her third Pro Circuit singles title this year.  At 75 in the WTA rankings, Townsend may have played her last $25,000-level tournament for a while.  The Sumter Item has been covering the event this week; whether they will have a story about the final is unclear, but this article provides more on Saturday's doubles title, won by collegians Astra Sharma and Luisa Stefani.

TCU rising senior Alex Rybakov, the No. 5 seed, won his second career Futures title today at the $25,000 tournament in Buffalo New York, with No. 4 seed Deiton Baughman retiring down 7-6(5), 3-1. The 21-year-old left-hander was playing his first Futures event since early in January, when he made two quarterfinals in the California Futures.

A dramatic finish did play out at the $25,000 Futures at Wake Forest, with NCAA champion Petros Chrysochos of Cyprus coming from 4-1 down in the third set to defeat qualifier Michael Redlicki 6-2, 1-6, 6-4.  Rising Wake Forest senior Chrysochos was down two breaks before his surge in the third set, which kept his winning streak intact.  In my post last night, I said Chrysochos hadn't lost since January, and that's true in a collegiate context, but he did have a quarterfinal ATP Challenger loss back in March. But since then, he also has recorded three Davis Cup wins, so his winning streak, at all levels, now stands at 34, according to the Wake Forest sports information staff. Chrysochos is also entered in the second Wake Forest $25,000 Futures this coming week, which is expected to see the comeback of Tommy Paul, who hasn't played since the end of January.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Ma and Mandlik Face Off for ITF Grade 1 Title in Germany; All-US Final in Buffalo Futures; NCAA Champion Chrysochos Ends Ritschard's Win Streak at Wake Forest Futures

Two 17-year-old Americans will meet Sunday for the ITF Grade 1 title in Offenbach Germany, with the winner of the championship match between No. 10 seed Elli Mandlik and No. 2 seed Lea Ma collecting her first Grade 1 title.  Mandlik, the daughter of four-time slam champion Hana Mandlikova, advanced to her first Grade 1 final when German wild card Mara Guth retired trailing 7-6(4). 3-2. Ma, who lost the two previous Grade 1 finals she played back in January, defeated No. 11 seed Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia 6-4, 7-6(1).

The boys final will feature unseeded Giulio Zeppieri of Italy against No. 6 seed Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic.  Zeppieri took out top seed Facundo Diaz Acosta of Argentina 6-4, 6-4 in today's semifinal, with Lehecka beating unseeded Fabrizio Andaloro of Italy 6-3, 6-2.

Ma and partner Chloe Beck, the top seeds, fell in the girls doubles final 6-3, 6-3, to No. 3 seeds Sohyun Park of Korea and Hong Yi Cody Wong of Hong Kong. The top seeds in the boys doubles also lost with Filip Jianu of Romania and Tao Mu of China falling to No. 7 seed Rinky Hijikata of Australia and Yannik Steinegger of Switzerland 6-3, 2-6, 10-7.

The $25,000 Futures in Buffalo New York will have an all-American final, with No. 5 seed Alex Rybakov facing No. 4 seed Deiton Baughman. Rybakov, a rising TCU senior, defeated unseeded Lucas Gomez of Mexico 6-3, 6-2 and Baughman downed unseeded Markos Kalovelonis of Russia 6-1, 6-3.  Rybakov will be playing for his second career Futures singles title, while Baughman hopes to secure his fourth, although he has not won a singles title since 2015.  They have played twice in Futures qualifying, splitting those decisions, but those matches were three and five years ago. Gomez and Alejandro Gomez of Colombia won the doubles title today, with the No. 2 seeds beating No. 1 seeds Matias Descotte and Eduardo Torre of Argentina 6-3, 6-4 in the final.

NCAA singles champion Petros Chrysochos of Cyprus has advanced to the final of the $25,000 Futures tournament on his home courts at Wake Forest, ending the 18-match Futures winning streak of former Virginia star Alexander Ritschard with a 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 victory in today's semifinals.  Since Chrysochos, a rising senior, lost to Vanderbilt's Cameron Klinger back in January, the 22-year-old has won 30 consecutive college matches, including the six in the NCAA singles tournament, and now four this week in the Futures.  He will play qualifier Michael Redlicki, who advanced to his second career Futures final with a 6-4, 7-5 win over No. 5 seed Karue Sell. Chrysochos defeated Redlicki's younger brother Martin in the semifinals of the NCAA singles tournament last month.

The top two seeds will face off in the final of the $25,000 Women's Pro Circuit tournament in Sumter South Carolina, with No. 1 Taylor Townsend playing No. 2 Alize Lim of France. Townsend defeated qualifier Gail Brodsky 6-2, 7-6(4) and Lim ended the run of Pepperdine's unseeded Ashley Lahey 6-4, 5-7, 6-3, in another three-hour match for the NCAA finalist.   Vanderbilt's Astra Sharma of Australia and Pepperdine's Luisa Stefani of Brazil won the doubles title today, with the No. 3 seeds defeating No. 4 seeds Julia Elbaba and Shilin Xu of China 2-6, 6-3, 10-5.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Ma, Mandlik Reach Semifinals of ITF Grade 1 in Germany; Seven Americans Advance to USTA Pro Circuit Semifinals; Bobby Curtis Florida Closed Results

Elli Mandlik and Lea Ma picked up victories today to reach the semifinals of the ITF Grade 1 tournament in Offenbach Germany.  Mandlik, the No. 10 seed, defeated No. 4 seed Gergana Topalova of Bulgaria 6-2, 7-6(4) and will face German wild card Mara Guth for a place in the final. Ma, the No. 2 seed, defeated unseeded Andjela Skrobonja of Serbia 7-5, 6-2 and play No. 11 seed Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia.  Ma and her partner Chloe Beck, the top seeds, have reached the doubles final, beating No. 7 seeds Margaryta Bilokin of Ukraine and Nikki Redelijk 6-3, 7-5 in today's semifinals. They will play No. 3 seeds Sohyun Park of Korea and Hong Yi Cody Wong of Hong Kong in the championship match.

The semifinals are set at the three $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit events this week, with seven Americans still in the running for the titles.  At the women's tournament in Sumter South Carolina, three Americans have advanced to the final four, with top seed Taylor Townsend facing qualifier Gail Brodsky and Pepperdine's Ashley Lahey, the 2018 NCAA finalist, playing No. 2 seed Alize Lim of France. Lahey needed three hours and 11 minutes to defeat No. 7 seed Marcela Zacarias of Mexico 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 in today's quarterfinals.  Brodsky beat qualifier Hailey Baptiste 6-2, 6-4 and Townsend got past No. 6 seed Maria Mateas 7-5, 6-3.  Lim prevented an all-USA semifinal lineup by defeating Robin Anderson[5] 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-2 in three hours and 41 minutes. 

At the men's Futures in Buffalo New York, No. 5 seed Alex Rybakov, the rising TCU senior, advanced to the semifinals with another marathon result from today's action.  Rybakov defeated unseeded Mateo Martinez of Argentina 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 6-3 in three hours and 46 minutes. He will play unseeded Lucas Gomez of Mexico, who advanced in a mere three hours and three minutes over No. 6 seed Pavel Krainik of Canada.  Deiton Baughman, the No. 4 seed, is the other American man in the semifinals. He defeated No. 7 seed Alejandro Gomez of Colombia 6-4, 7-5 to set up a meeting with unseeded Markos Kalovelonis of Russia.

At the men's Futures at Wake Forest, Alexander Ritschard continued his men's Pro Circuit winning streak, picking up No. 18 with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over qualifier Ryan Peniston of Great Britain. Ritschard's opponent Saturday will be Wake Forest's 2018 NCAA champion Petros Chrysochos of Cyprus, who defeated teammate Yuval Solomon 6-2, 6-1.  Qualifier Michael Redlicki will face Karue Sell in the semifinal in the bottom half.  Redlicki advanced with a 7-6(1), 6-2 win over unseeded Marc-Andrea Huesler of Switzerland and No. 5 seed Sell of Brazil, ended the run of Brian Shi 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. 

Huesler won the doubles title, with Sem Verbeek of the Netherlands. The top-seeded pair beat No. 4 seeds Trevor Johnson and Ronnie Schneider 7-6(7), 6-1 in today's final.

The Bobby Curtis State Closed in Florida ended this week, with the results below. Girls 18s winner Alexis Blokhina, at age 13, became the youngest champion in that tournament's 70 year history.  For quotes from the winners and photos of the finalists, see this article from USTA Florida.

Girls’ 18s: Alexis Blokhina (Plantation) d. (3) Sophia Edwards (Nokomis) 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
Boys’ 18s: (3) David Lins (Boca Raton) d. (6) Matthew Segura (Apopka) 4-6, 7-5, 5-0 Retired (injury)
Girls’ 16s: (1) Elaine Chervinsky (Boca Raton) d. (2) Anastasia Sysoeva (Bradenton) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
Boys’ 16s: (1) Jameson Corsillo (Boca Raton) d. (2) Emilio Van Cotthem (Ft. Pierce) 6-2, 6-1
Girls’ 14s: (1) Natalie Block (Plantation) d. (2) Nikki Yanez (Sarasota) 6-3, 6-2
Boys’ 14s: (2) Yannik Rahman (Miami) d. (7) Phillip Dell (Bradenton) 5-7, 6-1, 6-4
Girls’ 12s: (1) Sophie Llewellyn (Tarpon Springs) d. (11) Natalie Outcalt (Ponte Vedra Beach) 6-1, 7-5
Boys’ 12s: (2) Nathan Blokhin (Plantation) d. (3) Tanner Povey (Indian Rocks Beach) 6-4, 6-1

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Mandlik, Ma Reach ITF Grade 1 Quarterfinals in Germany; Ritschard's Futures Win Streak Reaches 17; McDonald Makes ATP Quarterfinal; Anisimova, Gauff Features

Two Americans have advanced to the quarterfinals of the ITF Grade 1 in Offenbach Germany, with No. 10 seed Elli Mandlik and No. 2 seed Lea Ma posting wins today.  Mandlik defeated No. 6 seed Sohyun Park of Korea 6-4, 6-1 and Ma beat unseeded German Eva Lys 7-5, 3-6, 7-5. Mandlik will play No. 4 seed Gergana Topalova of Bulgaria Friday in the top half, with Ma taking on unseeded Andjela Skrobonja of Serbia in the bottom half.  Top seed Margaryta Bilokin of Ukraine lost today to German wild card Mara Guth 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Last month 2017 University of Virginia graduate Alexander Ritschard won three consecutive Futures titles in Sweden.  After a two-break, Ritschard returned to the US and has now reached the quarterfinals of the $25,000 Futures at Wake Forest, beating top seed Alexander Sarkissian in today's second round 7-6(4), 6-0. The 24-year-old will face qualifier Ryan Peniston(Memphis) of Great Britain Friday, looking for his 18th straight win.  NCAA champion Petros Chrysochos of Cyprus will face Wake Forest teammate Yuval Solomon, a wild card, after Solomon surprised No. 3 seed Marcos Giron 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-0.  Eighteen-year-old Brian Shi advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 win over Felipe Mantilla of Colombia, his second Futures quarterfinal in the past two months. The Harvard recruit will face former UCLA Bruin Karue Sell of Brazil, the No. 5 seed, on Friday.

At the $25,0000 Futures in Buffalo New York, No. 5 seed Alex Rybakov and No. 4 seed Deiton Baughman are the sole Americans to reach the quarterfinals.

Sixteen-year-old Hailey Baptiste had reached the quarterfinals of the previous two $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit events, and after qualifying again this week in Sumter South Carolina, Baptiste made it three quarterfinals in a row with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 3 seed Shilin Xu of China. Baptiste will play qualifier Gail Brodsky next. Ashley Lahey, Maria Mateas[6], Robin Anderson[5] and top seed Taylor Townsend are the other Americans advancing to the quarterfinals.

Former UCLA Bruin Mackenzie McDonald received a wild card into the ATP 250 in S'Hertogenbosch and he's used it to reach his first ATP quarterfinal. After a win over No. 8 seed Andreas Seppi of Italy in the first round, the 2016 NCAA singles and doubles champion defeated qualifier Alex Bolt of Australia 6-4, 7-5 today and will face unseeded Jeremy Chardy of France next. Chardy took out top seed Adrian Mannarino of France 6-4, 6-4. Currently ranked 110, McDonald is inching closer to the Top 100 with his results this week.

The USTA's Ashley Marshall has been keeping up with the young American women in the past few weeks, and he has recently spoken to the past two US girls junior slam champions: Amanda Anisimova and Coco Gauff.  Anisimova reveals her summer schedule after a fracture in her foot kept her out during the clay season in this article.  Gauff's schedule includes next week's Pro Circuit event in Baton Rouge, then it's back to the ITF Junior Circuit for the 14-year-old, who will play Roehampton and Wimbledon. For more on Gauff's win at the French Open, see this article.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Brooksby, Shi, Poling Earn Futures Wins; Maymi to Lead Nebraska's Men's Program; Chong Named D-III Honda Athlete of the Year; LTA Reveals New Performance Pathway

First round matches are complete at the two $25,000 Futures being played this week in the United States, with juniors Jenson Brooksby, Brian Shi and Karl Poling among those advancing to the second round.

TCU recruit Brooksby, the 2018 Easter Bowl ITF champion, defeated No. 2 seed and former USC star Emilio Gomez of Ecuador 6-1, 6-2 in Buffalo New York. The 17-year-old from Northern California, a qualifier, has reached a Futures quarterfinal, but this is his first main draw Futures win this year.  Wild card Karl Poling, a Princeton recruit, earned his first ATP point with his 6-3, 6-4 win over qualifier Charles Broom of Great Britain, a rising junior at Dartmouth. Ohio State rising sophomore John McNally, a wild card, also picked up a win today, beating Isaiah Strode 6-2, 6-4. Top seed Matias Descotte of Argentina lost his first round match today to Lucas Gomez of Mexico 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.

At the Wake Forest Futures, qualifier Brian Shi, a Harvard recruit, added to his ATP point total with a 6-2, 7-6(2) win over wild card Skander Mansouri of Tunisia. Shi, who reached the quarterfinals of a Futures in Mexico last month, will face unseeded Felipe Mantilla of Colombia, who defeated No. 2 seed JC Aragone 6-3, 6-7(2), 7-6(2). Wake Forest's NCAA champion Petros Chrysochos of Cyprus advanced to the second round with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Alexios Halebian.

The University of Nebraska announced its new men's head coach, with Sean Maymi, associate head coach at Michigan, taking over in Lincoln. Maymi, who worked under Bruce Berque at Michigan and returned to Ann Arbor under Adam Steinberg in 2015, takes over for Kerry McDermott, whose contract was not renewed after 37 seasons with the Cornhuskers.

Four-time NCAA singles champion Eudice Chong of Wesleyan has been named the Honda Athlete of the Year for Division III.  The Honda awards, which are given every year to the top performers in women's collegiate sports, have special awards for Division II and Division III athletes, and Chong was selected for the top honor among the 11 women winners in other sports.  For more on Chong's award, see the this release from the Collegiate Women Sports Awards website.

Great Britain's Lawn Tennis Association has announced a new development initiative, with two national academies and 11 regional development centers.  Last year LTA chief executive Michael Downey returned to the same post at Tennis Canada that he held before taking over at the LTA, where he lasted just three years.  The new LTA CEO, Scott Lloyd, is now emphasizing a more centralized approach, which I would say is the exact opposite of the direction the USTA decided to take in recent years.  For more on the new LTA system and its training centers, see this Daily Mail article.