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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Those Crazy Computers: Florida Gets No. 1 Women's Ranking Over Stanford; Year's First National Opens Complete

Well, I was expecting some interesting results when the first computer team rankings were revealed today by the ITA, but I never expected to see Florida overtake Stanford for the No. 1 spot. In the ITA release, there is an obvious effort to explain how such a thing could happen:

The Gators can thank the strength of the ACC (that's right, the ACC not the SEC) for the swap with Stanford as UF has posted five top-12 victories, all over ACC opponents, including three wins over top-5 competition. Stanford meanwhile has picked up more top 20 wins than Florida with six but only has two wins over teams ranked in the top 12.
First of all, I may be missing something, but how does Stanford only have two wins over teams in the Top 12? They beat Michigan (now 4, then 8), North Carolina (now 5, then 4) and Florida (now 1, then 2) at the Indoor, so that's three right there. But most importantly, and it's impossible to overemphasize this, Stanford beat Florida on a neutral court eight days ago. I know that we have an NCAA team championship in May where No. 1 will be decided (thank goodness this isn't football) once and for all, but it doesn't give me a lot of confidence in the system being used. It is very important to be one of the Top 16 teams, with the likelihood of hosting in the regionals, and it would be a shame if there are results this skewed in May.

The top 5 women's teams are now: Florida, Stanford, Duke, Michigan and North Carolina. Northwestern has moved out of that unfamiliar place in the teens and 20s and is now back in the Top 10 at No. 9.

Stanford's Hilary Barte did retake the top spot in the singles rankings, with USC's Maria Sanchez slipping to No. 2. Notre Dame's Kristy Frilling, Cal's Jana Juricova and Michigan's Denise Muresan round out the top 5. Allie Will and Sofie Oyen of Florida remain in the top spot in doubles.

In the men's rankings, Virginia stays in the No. 1 position, but after seeing the women's rankings, I wouldn't have been surprised to see them at No. 2. Virginia is followed by Tennessee, Ohio State, Illinois and Texas. Michigan moved all the way from 23rd to 8th, giving the Big Ten three of the top 8 teams, while the SEC has only one. I expect that to change in the weeks ahead. Baylor dropped all the way from 11 to 28, which has to be one of the Bears lowest rankings in the past eight or nine years.

USC's Steve Johnson took the top spot in the individual rankings from Tennessee's Rhyne Williams, who fell to third. Alex Domijan of Virginia is second, with Ohio State's Blaz Rola fourth and Kentucky's Eric Quigley fifth. Tennessee's JP Smith and Boris Conkic moved into the No. 1 spot in the doubles rankings.

For the complete rankings, see the ITA rankings page.

The first 2011 USTA National Opens with 32 draws were completed yesterday in sites across the country. Here are the results of the singles finals, by age group:

Zeb Zheng(1) def. Maxwell Mendelsohn(7) 6-3, 7-5
Alex Del Corral(2) def. Patrick Kypson(3) 7-6(5), 6-0
Maxwell Cancilla(3) def. Sangeet Sridhar(8) 6-4, 6-1
Nathan Perrone(2) def. Justin Lee(1) 6-2, 7-6(4)

Jaeda Daniel(2) def. Amber Policare 6-4, 6-1
Jona Roka(3) def. Brianna Williams 6-3, 6-2
Catherine Bellis(1) def. Riley McQuaid 6-2, 6-2
Anna Bright(1) def. Meredith Roberts(3) 6-1, 6-2

Robert Seby(1) def. Kial Kaiser(2) 5-7, 6-2, 6-0
Aron Pierce(3) def. Spencer Furman(4) 6-1, 6-0
Xavier Gonzalez(8) def. Grayson Broadus(2) 6-3, 6-2
Asher Hirsch(2) def. Tommy Paul(1) 6-2, 6-2

Kenya Jones(3) def. Elizabeth Porter(5) 6-2, 6-2
Christina Auyeung def. Meghan Kelley(2) 7-5, 4-6, 6-4
Jessica Ho(2) def. Katerina Stewart(3) 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-2
Maia Magill(7) def. Maddie Pothoff(4) 6-3, 6-2

Ronnie Schneider(1) def. Martin Redlicki(4) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(4)
Spencer Papa(4) def. Andrew Schafer 6-3, 0-6, 6-4
Abraham Hewko(3) def. Justin Chan(8) 6-7, 6-2, 6-1
George Goldhoff(2) def. Mac Roy(5) 6-3, 6-2

Olivia Hauger def. Katherine Butler 7-5, 6-3
Kimmy Guerin(4) def. Monica Lin(3) 7-6(6), 7-6(10)
Sarah Gong(6) def. Yuki Chiang 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
Alanna Wolff(2) def. Shannon Hudson(1) 6-2, 6-2

Evan Song(1) def. Connor Farren(7) 7-6, 7-6
Robert Stineman(2) def. Jack Hamburg 6-0, 6-7, 6-4
Danny Riggs(4) def. Henry Steer(5) 2-6, 7-5, 6-2
Hunter Reese(3) def. Ross Guignon(2) 6-1, 6-2

Kyle McPhillips(3) def. Brooke Austin(2) 6-4, 5-7, 6-0
Allie Kiick def. Kaitlin Ray(2) 6-2, 6-1
Gabby Andrews(1) def. Mayo Hibi(2) 1-6, 7-6, 6-0
Katrine Steffensen def. Ellie Yates(2) 7-5, 4-6, 6-1


fairplay said...

You’re absolutely right, Colette. If the computer rankings are based on last week’s rankings, Feb. 22, Stanford had wins against the numbers 2 (FL), 3 (UNC), 5 (Michigan), 11 (UCLA) and also over #16 and 22. That is 4 top 12 wins, not just 2 and 5 top 20 wins. Where is the sixth?

Florida had wins against numbers 3 (UNC), 4 (Duke two times), 8 (Miami), and 12 (Clemson) and also over # 20 or 5 top 12 wins and 5 top 20. O.K., so FL has one more top 12 win.

I don't think Stanford will lose sleep over this, though.


With respect to the National Open 32 Draw, we're asking the question Who Wins? Please visit http://httobservations.blogspot.com/2011/02/who-wins.html to read some early reaction to this change. It’s far too early to predict who will actually win but we’re certainly hoping for the best…After all, if junior tennis players win, we ALL win. Thank you for your support!

Makes Sense said...

It should be an HONOR to play a National Tournament. It should be for the best players, not for whoever enters, which is what the 64draw size was. It's cost effective, better players and less missed school. What is not to like?

The only complaints usually come from parents who have kids who are lower ranked. The smaller draws will raise the standard in tennis because it is harder to qualify.

TennisSC said...

While I agree with what Makes-Sense said, you need to think about the kid trying to break through, its an excellent opportunity to play the better kids and figure out where you are in the process, far away from reaching the top kids, or right there. Giving them the chance to grow keeps them in the game, keeps them learning and working towards that ultimate goal, of getting better. 40 is probably a better number in terms of draw size. Personally speaking, it was a great opportunity for my son when he broke thru to beat the # 3 seed in a Nat.Open, lots of excitemnet and energy and the chance to gain convidence.