Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Story on Michigan's 4-3 Win Over Yale; Few ITA Ranking Changes; Dow Corning Classic Wild Cards; Townsend's WTA Feature

As I mentioned Sunday evening, I was in Ann Arbor to cover the tenth-ranked University of Michigan women's team against No. 35 Yale Bulldogs in the final of the Kickoff Weekend. As has been the case with nearly every Michigan women's match I've attended in Ann Arbor, this one was extremely close, with the doubles point decided in Yale's favor in a tiebreaker and the singles points going 4-2 to Michigan. My article on the match, with emphasis on the deciding contest at No. 2 between Brooke Bolender of Michigan and Blair Seideman of Yale, was posted this morning at the Tennis Recruiting Network.

The latest team rankings have been released, and there were no changes at all in the Top 10s of either the men or the women, so of course the USC men and Florida women stay at the top. Actually none of the Top 13 changed, with the only notable moves by the Mississippi(from 37 to 23) and Yale (35 to 25) women, and the smaller steps up by the Auburn, Tennessee and Texas men. No new individual rankings were released, with the next update in singles and doubles on February 14th. The complete team rankings can be found at the ITA website.

The $100,000 Dow Corning Tennis Classic in Midland, Michigan, which begins Sunday, announced its wild cards yesterday, with Julia Boserup, Gail Brodsky and Liz Jeukeng receiving main draw wild cards. Qualifying wild cards went to Jan Abaza, Chalena Scholl and Tori Kinard. Sara Remynse, younger sister of UCLA standout Andrea Remynse, who lives in suburban Kalamazoo, received a qualifying wild card after reaching the final of the tournament held for that purpose.

During the Australian Open, Taylor Townsend had mentioned she was playing in Midland this year, and I thought she might receive a main draw wild card after she won in Melbourne, but she obviously didn't get it, and will be going through qualifying instead.

As expected for such a big money event, the field is excellent, with both 2011 finalists--winner Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic and runner-up Irina Falconi of the US--competing at the Midland Community Tennis Center. The complete list of entries is available at the ITF Women's Circuit site. Because I am covering both the Women's and Men's Team Indoor Championships in Charlottesville this year, I will not be in Midland.

The WTA has taken notice of Taylor Townsend after her sweep of the titles in Australia, and she is the subject of this feature on their website. It includes additional information on how she developed her unusual game style with Donald and Illona Young before she moved to the USTA's Boca Raton training center in 2010.