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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Easter Bowl Acceptances; UCLA, USC Remain No. 1 in College Rankings; Hampton, Stephens and Keys Qualify for Sony Ericsson

The Easter Bowl acceptances are out, with the ITF B1 tournament having nearly the same field as the International Spring Championships in Carson the week before, minus the international players. Mitchell Krueger and Taylor Townsend are likely to be the top seeds in both tournaments. Krueger is currently in Zurich, Switzerland playing alongside Marat Safin, who is there competing in the BNP Paribas Zurich Open Champions tournament. Krueger and several other top-ranked ITF juniors are playing doubles with the older players and playing exhibition matches among themselves.

There are a couple of interesting 18s vs. 16s choices made by competitors who are playing both California events. Michael Mmoh, who is 15 (actually Mmoh is 14, thanks for the correction), has opted for the 18s in both tournaments, but 14-year-old Stefan Kozlov has decided to play the 16s at the Easter Bowl, although he would have easily qualified for the 18s. Like Koslov, rival Henrik Wiersholm will be playing the 18s in Carson and the 16s in Rancho Mirage. I can't figure out which division Jordi Arconada will be playing as he is showing in the acceptances for both the 18s and 16s at the Easter Bowl.

Kyle McPhillips will return to defend her 2011 Easter Bowl ITF title, and Chalena Scholl, who has gone from 41 to 14 in the ITF junior rankings with her two recent titles in South America, will be among the top seeds.

I'm disappointed not to find Frances Tiafoe's name among the competitors, but perhaps he is requesting a wild card for the 16s. 2011 Easter Bowl 14s finalist Katerina Stewart is another name that doesn't appear in any of the age groups, so I hope there is a chance she will receive a wild card. Another name missing from both tournaments is Vicky Duval, last year's top girls seed in Carson, who withdrew from the Eddie Herr last November with an injury and hasn't played since.

Three of the semifinalists at the USTA 18s Spring Nationals in Mobile expressed interest in the wild cards that are reserved for them, so Lexi Borr, Ronnie Schneider and Jared Hiltzik will added to the fields if they choose to play.

The 16s and 14s fields are at their TennisLink site. The 18s fields are at their TennisLink site.

For all of the acceptances, both 16s and 18s, at the International Spring Championships in Carson, see the tournament page at usta.com.

The new Campbell's ITA Division I team rankings were released today, with no change in either top 2. The UCLA women remain at 1, followed by Florida, USC, Stanford and Duke. USC and Stanford switched places this week. The USC men, currently on a 38-match winning streak, are No. 1 and Ohio State remains No. 2, followed by Virginia, Georgia and UCLA. Virginia moved up from fifth place the previous week. For complete rankings, see the ITA website. For the Texas College Tennis blog's alternate national rankings, click here.

Tomorrow's big men's match is No. 2 Ohio State at No. 4 Georgia, who have only two losses between them, both losing close matches to USC at the ITA Team Indoor last month. Ohio State has beaten Georgia their last three meetings. There will be a live blog, scoring and video of the match beginning at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. For more on the match, see georgiadogs.com.

Today at the Sony Ericsson, Madison Keys, Jamie Hampton and Sloane Stephens all won their final round qualifying matches to advance to the main draw. No. 17 seed Hampton beat No. 12 seed Mandy Minella of Luxembourg 6-3, 6-2, wild card Keys beat No. 19 seed Anastasia Rodionova of Australia 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, and, on her 19th birthday, No. 10 seed Stephens defeated Sania Mirza of India 6-2, 6-4.

The Sony Ericsson website features a question and answer session with Keys about her comeback win, the improvement in her game, and favorite Food Network shows.


small correction said...

Isn't Michael Mmoh 14? He played in both major 14U tennis tournaments, the Aegon Championships and Les Petits As, earlier this year...