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Monday, February 1, 2010

Georgia Top-ranked Women's Recruiting Class; Other Odds and Ends

There are quite a few items today that don't fit into a headline, but let's begin first with the Tennis Recruiting Network's winter recruiting class rankings for the women, which puts the Georgia Bulldogs on top. Georgia, which has NLI's from blue chips Kate Fuller and Lilly Kimbell and four-star Rachael Hart, beat out second place Duke, despite only receiving two first place votes to the Blue Devils' nine. But some voters (not me) obviously had Duke way down their lists, while Georgia must have garnered a great many second place votes from everybody. There were other schools that got votes for the top recruiting class: Florida received three, and Alabama, Yale and Southern Cal got one apiece. After Georgia and Duke, the rest of the top five consists of Alabama, Stanford and Florida, in that order. Oklahoma received a ranking of 21; I mention that because Ali Jones did an interesting interview with head coach Dave Mullins last Friday for the Tennis Recruiting Network. Mullins did get the top two players in Oklahoma this year, but he explains why international players have become such an important part of the U.S. collegiate tennis scene.

To stay on college tennis, the fields are now complete for the Team Indoors. Last night, the Florida State women defeated Ohio State to earn their first-ever trip to Madison. In case you don't recognize the Seminole's name playing No.1, it's the former Laura Macfarlane, who was married last summer.

The three men's spots remaining were all won by the top-seeded hosts. Tennessee breezed past South Carolina 4-0 and even though it wasn't an exciting match, the live blogging by Amanda Pruitt, the men's tennis SID at Tennessee, made it a treat to follow. I think I've gone on record as saying Tennessee is the team to beat this year (and given my past predictions, you can take that with as many teaspoons of salt as you like), and they've certainly played like it to start the season. The real test will come at the Indoor, of course, when the competition is tough from the first round, and just gets tougher. Last year in Chicago, there were plenty of unexpected results, so there's no reason to think this year will be different. 2009 Indoor finalist Georgia will be back, defeating North Carolina 4-2. Freshman Bo Seal beat his former long-time doubles partner Ryan Noble, also a freshman, to clinch the win for the Bulldogs. Baylor had a real battle on its hands against TCU for the doubles point, but once the Bears earned that, they swept through the singles, winning all six matches in straight sets.

For complete results of the Kick-off weekend, see the ITA tournament page.

One of the players who will be at Virginia for the Men's Team Indoor is UCLA's Holden Seguso, who helped his team advance with wins over Hawaii and Pepperdine. Seguso is not just a talented tennis player; those of you who have seen Jim Courier's movie "Unstrung" know he is also an accomplished guitar player and songwriter, and that combination is the subject of this video feature at the latimes.com.

Zootennis sponsor Tennis Warehouse has a blog that has been updated throughout the Australian Open by Sven Groeneveld and Mats Merkel of adidas Player Development. A recent commenter mentioned their remarks on Yulia Putintseva, and there is actually quite a bit about the juniors in their entries. They work with Tiago Fernandes, the boys champion, and of course, with Laura Robson, twice a girls finalist. This is their final post from Australia; others can be found in the archives.

And in one other follow-up to the Australian, Andy Yanne looks at the recent emergence of semifinalist Hao Chen Tang of China in this article.

Last week on the Pro Circuit, top Michael Russell won the Hawaii challenger, defeating unseeded Grega Zemlja of Slovenia 6-0, 6-3. Former Illini Kevin Anderson and Ryler De Heart won the doubles title. In the $10,000 Tamarac Futures, top seed Eric Prodon of France won the championship, defeating former Ole Miss star Catalin Gard of Romania.

This week the women are back in action, at the $25,000 Childhelp Desert Classic in Rancho Mirage. Juniors Sachia Vickery, Courtney Dolehide and Ellen Tsay, as well as former UCLA Bruin Liz Lumpkin, received wild cards into the main draw. Lila Osterloh and Alex Glatch are the top two seeds.

The men have a fourth clay $10,000 event in Palm Coast, with Dennis Novikov receiving a main draw wild card. The $50,000 T Bar M challenger in Dallas is underway, with Mitchell Krueger receiving a qualifying wild card and Dane Webb given a main draw wild card. There is also live streaming of matches from the tournament available without charge, at frontrowtennis.com.

For complete draws for all three tournaments, see the Pro Circuit page at usta.com.


Rick said...

Melanie Oudin was also in Palm Coast, Fla., for the men's Futures event watching her boyfriend play in the qualifying draw.

Hummmm.what is the point of college? said...

Great video on Holden, it just made me laugh because because not once did he mention "studying"..just hours of tennis and music...but I guess that is why we all went to college...lol!