Novikov, Sell to Join UCLA in March; Junior News from Europe; Virginia Feature; Feder's Budding Rap Career
UCLA, No. 3 in the latest ITA rankings, has announced the addition of two new players for the spring quarter, which begins March 24. Dennis Novikov of the US and Karue Sell of Brazil will be joining the Bruins, according to this release on the athletic website.
The last such high-profile, mid-dual season case that I can recall is Chase Buchanan, who joined Ohio State, which also on the quarter system, in March of 2009.
UCLA lost 6-1 to No. 1 USC yesterday, an uncharacteristically lopsided score in their often bitter rivalry, so these additions are no doubt welcome news in Westwood. The two schools could play twice before the NCAAs, definitely April 20th at USC, and possibly in Ojai, where a Pac-12 men's team tournament will be held for the first time.
Tennis Europe has distributed its monthly newsletter and it's a worthwhile overview of what's been going on primarily in junior tennis on that continent. The Head Winter Cups, team competitions for 12s, 14s and 16s, are each given their own write-ups and there is an in-depth look at the 10-and-under tennis program launched several years ago in Latvia. The newsletter also contains rankings, which I haven't been able to figure out. Australian Open girls champion Taylor Townsend is the top-ranked 18-and-under girl, with No. 1 ITF Irina Khromacheva of Russia nowhere to be found. Noah Rubin is No. 4 in the 18-and-under boys rankings. I would expect Francis Tiafoe of the US to be at the top of the boys 14s, having won two consecutive Grade 1 Tennis Europe events in January, but he's not in the rankings, perhaps because he doesn't have the minimum number of tournaments played? Michael Mmoh of the US is No. 3 in the boys 14s rankings.
I do appreciate that you can get this publication via email, downloadable pdf or via flash, and I wish more digital publications would offer these choices.
I ran across this C-Ville Weekly feature about the University of Virginia's men's team yesterday, and thought it provided an interesting look at college tennis from a feature writer's perspective. There are plenty of errors (I counted seven, not including a dubious characterization of USC's semifinal win over Georgia), but once you get past those, you'll probably enjoy the descriptions, observations and insights of a reporter not familiar with the beat.
A beat of a different kind is an important part of this article on University of Richmond tennis player Jesse Feder. Feder is not only a Division-I student-athlete but a budding rap star, with serious ambitions. "I’m not going to be a cookie-cutter, ring tone artist,” Feder is quoted as saying. “I want to change the face of the game.” And he means rap, not tennis.