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Monday, January 30, 2012

Fields Set for ITA Team Indoor Championships; Pro Circuit Update

When you consider that the draft for the ITA's Kickoff Weekend takes place right in the summer, long before the new school year starts, it amazes me that there aren't more upsets. The host teams are chosen by final rankings, but those ranked (roughly) 16-65 select where they want to play. Although travel time and cost are certainly considerations, teams outside the Top 15 hope to select a 4-team regional that gives them the best chance for an upset of a higher-ranked team, and a place in the ITA Team Indoor next month.

The toughest region on the men's side was hosted by Georgia Tech, with four teams inside the Top 20; Tech(19), Illinois(15), North Carolina(18) and Auburn(20). It was there that the only men's seeded upset occurred, with No. 4 seed Auburn beating Georgia Tech in the first round and North Carolina in the final, both by 4-1 scores.

There were some close calls for the top-seeded host team, with Tennessee just squeezing by No. 3 seed Ole Miss 4-3 this evening, after the Rebels had beaten No. 2 seed Oklahoma in another very tough region. Texas A&M also came through by a 4-3 score over Mississippi State, with Baylor winning 4-3 over Florida State, a No. 3 seed.

On the women's side, there were three host teams and No. 1 seeds who failed to reach Charlottesvile, the site of both the women's and men's team indoor championships. Texas, a No. 2 seed, beat host Vanderbilt 4-1; USC, a No. 2 seed, beat host Arizona State 6-1, and Ole Miss, a No. 3 seed, defeated host Florida State 4-3.

Ole Miss, who hadn't sent their women's team to the Indoor since 2000, wasn't the only team earning their spot by the narrowest of margins. Northwestern beat Nebraska 4-3 to win their regional, while in the match I'm covering for Tennis Recruiting Network, Michigan got by Yale by that same slim margin.

In order of their current rankings, here are the teams who have qualified for the Team Indoor Championships:

1. USC
2. Virginia(host)
3. Ohio State
4. Georgia
5. Florida
6. Stanford
7. Kentucky
8. Baylor
10. Duke
11. Texas A&M
12. Pepperdine
13. Cal
17. Texas
20. Auburn
24. Tennessee

3. Duke
5. Baylor
6. Georgia
7. Cal
8. North Carolina
9. Virginia(host)
10. Michigan
11. Miami
12. Northwestern
13. Georgia Tech
14. Clemson
15. Texas
16. Southern Cal
19. Tennessee
37. Ole Miss

The ITA has provided an easy-to-read compilation page of all the results from the Kickoff Weekend here.

The only Pro Circuit events in the United States last week were on the men's side, with a $10,000 Futures in Weston and a $50,000 Challenger in Hawaii. Brian Baker continued his comeback by winning the singles title in Weston, beating 18-year-old Jason Kubler of Australia 7-5, 6-3 in a battle of unseeded players. Recent collegians Rhyne Williams and Jeff Dadamo, a qualifier, made the semifinals. The doubles title went to Dennis Novikov and Daniel Kosakowski, who beat Vahid Mirzadeh and Michael Shabaz 6-4, 7-6(4) in another all-unseeded final.

In Hawaii, top seed Go Soeda of Japan beat unseeded Robby Ginepri 6-3, 7-6(5) to take the singles title. Unseeded Amer Delic and Travis Rettenmaier won the doubles, defeating No. 3 seeds Nick Monroe and Jack Sock 6-4, 7-6(3).

Austin Krajicek and Devin Britton captured their first doubles title as a team, winning the $15,000 Futures in Mexico last week. Dimitar Kutrovsky, the former Texas All-American, won his first Futures singles title in Turkey.

The women are back in action this week, at a $25,000 tournament in Rancho Santa Fe, while the men are in Palm Coast for another $10,000 tournament on clay.


athens said...

When the top teams don't participate in a premier event, it devalues the event and leaves a bad taste. Thankfully, all the men's teams play, regardless whether they are warm or cold weather schools