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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Townsend Reaches No. 1 in World Junior Rankings; Losses Don't Cost USC and UCLA Top Spots; 112th Ojai Begins

Taylor Townsend had a stated goal of reaching No. 1 in the world after she won the Australian Open girls singles and doubles titles, and she achieved it yesterday, when she took over the top spot from Irina Khromacheva of Russia.  Khromacheva, who will be 17 next month, finished 2011 as the top-ranked junior girl, so although she played the Australian junior championships, her focus this year has been on her WTA ranking. She hasn't had outstanding results in the ITF Women's Circuit events this year, at least not since she reached a $25K final in Australia, but she is at 253 in the WTA rankings, a career high. Khromacheva has entered the French junior championships, perhaps with an eye to recovering her place at No. 1.

Congratulations to Chalena Scholl, who rose to No. 10 this week in the ITF junior rankings. Scholl, along with Allie Kiick, qualified today at the $50,000 Pro Circuit event in Charlottesville. See the Pro Circuit page at usta.com for draws and schedules.

For the junior rankings, which are now easily sortable by country and age, see the ITF website.

The new ITA rankings were released today, for both teams and individuals, with the UCLA women and USC men remaining on top despite losses to their LA counterparts last Friday. In the men's rankings, Georgia has moved to the No. 2 spot, the highest they've been this year, with Virginia falling to No. 4. Ohio State remains at 3.  Despite their win over USC, UCLA stayed at No. 5.

In the women's rankings, UCLA's closest rival is now Florida, which moved up to No. 2, followed by Duke, USC (who also gained nothing for their win over No. 1 UCLA) and Stanford.

Virginia's Mitchell Frank and Florida's Allie Will remain No. 1 in the country in the singles rankings, although neither is playing in the No. 1 spot on their teams.

The complete rankings can be found at the ITA website. Next Monday will see the publication of the last set of rankings before the NCAA team selection, which is next Tuesday, May 1. According to this schedule, the women's selections will be announced at 5 p.m., followed by the men's selections at 5:30 p.m.

For an interesting alternative set of rankings, see the Texas College Tennis blog, which has Florida in the No. 1 spot on the women's side, and Virginia at No. 2 (behind USC) on the men's side.

Oh, and for those of you following USC's protest of the UCLA lineup on Friday, I understand the protest was disallowed for Friday, but was upheld for this week's Ojai Pac-12 men's team championship.

Steve Pratt, who I worked with at Carson and the Easter Bowl, is helping promote and market the Ojai tournament this year, and he wrote this piece about last Friday's 4-3 UCLA win with the rematch between USC and UCLA in next Saturday's final in mind (both teams have byes into the semifinals, which will be played Friday.)  For more information on all the other divisions and events at the legendary tournament, check out the tournament website, which will provide links to all the draws.


Jerry said...

OK, so since last, or two of the last polls, UCLA loses 2 matches (to #4 and #10), stays number 1, Duke wins every match (including UNC #8)and drops down a spot behind Florida? How's that possible?

Austin said...

UCLA may have stayed #5, but they closed the gap considerably between themselves and UVA, another win over USC this weekend and it could vault them past the Hoos, and possibly even OSU depending how the Big10 tourney goes.

I dont agree with allowing that protest this weekend. I think Meister is the better player, but we are talking about flipping #1 & #2, there are countless instances of this every year. You could make that argument right now at UVA & OSU. Does this mean they also wont be able to do it in the NCAA tourney? Heck, Florida's #1 has been losing left and right, but they haven't changed their lineup.

Kevin B. said...

Someone please help me understand how USC women beat the #1 team in the country (UCLA) on the road at UCLA yet remain in the same spot?

get real said...

could nyone explain how Harvard men get a 23 ranking considering thier schedule and not even having a ranked player on their roster

Austin said...

Dont understand them or San Diego at 25.

Athens said...

Austin, have you ever seen the #1 player for a top 5 team not make the NCAA singles tournament? Most top teams have multiple guys make the NCAAs. Thompson seems likely to miss out. I agree with SC's protest. Thompson had a number of matches to prove his worth as a #1 and didn't get it done. Compare the results for Meister and Thompson and there's no question who the better player is.

tennis nerd said...

Austin & get real, the rankings are pretty simple. Wins are much more important than losses. Just look at who Harvard has beaten as well as who the teams they have beaten (like USD) have beaten. A team's best wins are what matter. San Diego beat Texas which has a decent ranking. The facts are a team is ranked where it is because it has a better collection of 8 or 9 "best wins" than the teams below it. However, sometimes, as in Harvard's case, when you beat several ranked teams and have few losses, you can get a decent ranking, though their upside is limited. A couple matches swung their ranking a large amount. I personally like the fact that the computer has no biases. Regardless of where we think a team should be ranked, the system rewards the teams based on what they actually do. Sure, it's not perfect, but it makes sure the right teams get in the NCAAs. The final ranking is the most accurate one.

Austin said...

Not neccessarily in the mens, but I will be very intrigued to see what the committee does with the women and their seeding. It seems like their rankings are somewhat out of whack. Will they ignore the order and move Florida and Stanford to the top?