Spring National 18s Wild Cards; Carson Acceptances; Kiick, Vickery & Bouchard in $25K Quarterfinals; Women's Division I Ranking Alternative
The wild cards for the upcoming USTA 18s Spring Nationals have been announced and are as follows:
Butsch and McAdoo were still playing in the ITF Grade 3 in Costa Rica as of this morning, but the tournament is scheduled to end on Saturday, and Mobile doesn't begin until Sunday. Butsch and Ciro Riccardi, who is also entered in Mobile, both qualified and took out the top two seeds, with Butsch beating No. 1 Santiago Munoz Quiroga of Mexico in the second round and Riccardi defeating Jordi Arconada of Argentina in the first round. Robert Livi, the No. 4 seed, also advanced to the quarterfinals. McAdoo and No. 2 seed Julia Elbaba are the two US girls remaining in the draw.
At the Grade 1 Asuncion Bowl in Paraguay, qualifier Spencer Papa and No. 11 seed Chalena Scholl, last week's winner at the Grade 2 in Uruguay, are the sole Americans in the singles quarterfinals.
Addison, who qualified for the $25,000 Pro Circuit event in Fort Walton Beach, lost today to ITF junior No. 4 Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in the second round, but had a fantastic win yesterday, beating WTA No. 164 Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-0. Allie Kiick, a wild card, moved into the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 4-2 ret. win over No. 4 seed Vesna Dolonts of Russia, ranked 171. Sachia Vickery, also a wild card, beat qualifier Heidi El Tabakh of Canada 7-6(4), 6-2 to also reach the quarterfinals.
Grace Min, who hasn't played since the $25K in Surprise, is scheduled to compete in the $25 in Clearwater, Fla. next week, using a junior exemption. The field is very strong, due to the tournament's place on the calendar, before the qualifying for the Sony Ericsson.
Speaking of players who have been out of action, Taylor Townsend hasn't played since winning the Australian Open girls championship at the end of January, but she is listed in the acceptances for the International Spring Championships, the ITF Grade 1 in Carson, California next month. As of now, it's an impressive field, with nine of the 12 US girls in the ITF Top 50 entered, although international presence is minimal. Samantha Crawford will be defending her 2011 title. Mitchell Krueger, who has not played on the junior circuit since last December's Orange Bowl, is entered, as are Connor Farren, Noah Rubin and Alexios Halebian. The complete list is at the ITF junior website.
I've been getting a lot of positive feedback about the alternative Division I rankings published over at the Texas College Tennis blog, and the women's rankings are now available. He cautions about the small sample size, but whatever he's done that the ITA doesn't do is an immense help in producing credible rankings this early in the season. See if you don't agree.