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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Indoor Thoughts; Spring National 18s Deadline Thursday: Pro Circuit, ITF Junior Update

It's an exhausting four days covering the Team Indoor Championship, particularly the first two days, when 9 am starts and 11 pm finishes don't allow much time for reflection. But it's great tennis, providing a preview (with caveats, of course) of the NCAAs in May. I've been very fortunate to cover a Georgia NCAA title in Athens (that great 2007 team) and now a Virginia title in Charlottesville, and there's no question they are two of the best venues in college tennis.

The ability to see all six courts at once is such and advantage, and the local fans at both places leave no doubt who the visitors are. The noise was especially impressive in Charlottesville, no doubt due to the indoor acoustics, and the wide variety of fans, from fraternity pledges to older alumni and residents, were loud, but very well-behaved. Virginia has yet to develop a distinctive cheer like the Bulldog bark that surfaces in Georgia's matches, and they are still developing the sense of history that pervades Athens, but all the banners at the Boyd Tinsley Courts show the progress they are making.

The lively tennis message board at The Sabre is also a testament to the interest at Virginia, and there was a lot of local media coverage of the event, from start to finish. Here's a link to the finals story from The Sabre.

The deadline for entry to the USTA Spring National 18s in Mobile, which is the next tournament I'll be covering, is Thursday at noon. See the TennisLink site for more.

In Pro Circuit action last week, Great Britain's Elena Baltacha won the $100,000 Dow Corning Classic in Midland, and France's Olivia Sanchez, who won her second consecutive $25,000 singles title in California, this time at Laguna Nigel.

This week the women are in Surprize, Ariz. for a $25,000 event, and the men are in Brownsville for a $15,000 event. Sixteen-year-old Spencer Newman has qualified for the main draw there.

For complete results, see usta.com's Pro Circuit page.

In the joint ATP/WTA tournament in Memphis, wild card Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia has reached the second round. Ryan Harrison qualified, but lost last night to John Isner 6-1, 7-5. For the tournament website, click here.

In ITF junior news, Caitlyn Williams, whose brother Rhyne was playing in the final of the Men's Team Indoor, reached the finals of the Grade 2 tournament in Bolivia before losing to Italy's Gaia Sanesi 6-3, 7-5. In the Grade 4 in Mexico, two U.S. girls reached the final, with unseeded Ashley Dai defeating No. 3 Julia Elbaba 1-6, 4-2 ret. to earn the title.

For complete draws, see the ITF junior website.


Austin said...

my post-Indoors rankings:

5)Ohio State

collegefan said...

Thank you Colette for your another outstanding coverage! Thanks to Paul as well for the great pictures !
You guys get GOLD!

john said...

georgia beat ole miss, so id have to put them ahead of ole miss. besides that i agree with ur rankings. but one thing you have to remember is that indoor tennis is way different that outdoors(obviously). not that virginia isnt the best team, but indoors, at home, is a huge advantage

Austin said...

True, Im ranking Ole Miss at 8 with the assumption Kalle Norberg will get healthy.

I think Florida is the one team thats a wildcard. If Cueto comes back and the two freshmen improve they might be higher by the end of the season.

One thing I think we all learned this past weekend is its a wide open race.

gsm said...

I think the top 3 contenders are TN,USC and UVa in no particular order. After that, Texas, Fla, OSU, UCLA and Stanford all seem capable of beating anyone, but IMO, I don't think one of these can sustain their top level for 4 matches in Athens.

john said...

true, i forgot about norberg, and also about cueto, are either of them coming back this spring?

gsm said...

At the National Indoors, Norberg was scratched with, i believe, a herniated disc or discs. The rumor was Ole Miss may have to ask for a medical redshirt. Don't know anything for certain, but it didn't sound encouraging, at least for the moment. Colette may know more

gsm said...

Also, some Florida folks were talking like the expected Cueto back, hopefully in a few weeks when conference matches begin. Obviously, he won't be match fit, but he should push a number of guys down one spot in the lineup. The Gators could have some potential come May.

scott said...

Cueto should be back soon. Just wonder who gets bumped from the lineup. I guess that's a good problem for a coach to have.

Austin said...

Ouch, if he's having disc problems then he probably is done for this season. Thats a very tough injury to come back from in the matter of 2-3 months.