USC Men, UCLA Women Still Number 1; Isner on College Tennis; Krueger's Week with Tipsarevic; Can College Tennis Help Smith's Rehab?
The NCAA Sweet 16 in Athens is only 30 days away, so the weekly rankings begin to take on more significance as first and second round hosting and seeding looms.
Even with the UCLA women's loss to Cal last weekend, the Bruins stayed in the top spot, followed by Duke, Florida, USC, Stanford and at No. 6, Texas. The Longhorns moved all the way up from 13 last week, based on a win over Baylor. The Pac-12 women's title is very much up for grabs, with USC losing to Stanford, who lost to UCLA, who lost to Cal, who lost to USC. Oddly Cal did not get any boost in the rankings for beating UCLA, remaining at No. 10.
The USC men remain undefeated, but the No. 2 spot has changed regularly. This week it is Virginia occupying that spot, followed by Ohio State, Georgia and UCLA. Duke dropped from 5 to 8 this week.
Virginia's Mitchell Frank maintains his place at the top of the singles rankings. Here are the Top 10 men this week:
Ohio State's Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola continue to be ranked No. 1 in doubles.
Allie Will of Florida retains the top spot in the women's singles ranking this week, and she and Sofie Oyen are No. 1 in doubles. The top 10 in singles:
For complete team and individual rankings, see the ITA ranking page.
Last week John Isner reached the final of the US Men's Clay Court tournament in Houston. Prior to beginning play there, Isner spoke with the Houston Chronicle's Dale Robertson about the mistakes he made in his first year on tour, what he gained during his four years at the University of Georgia, and why college tennis makes sense for most top juniors. The full article is here.
Mitchell Krueger is expected to start at Texas A&M this fall, although he says he is still considering the professional option. I've mentioned before his recent experience with ATP No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia at Indian Wells. Tecnifibre, who arranged Krueger's week as a hitting partner with Tipsarevic, posted this video on the pair, with a cameo by Krueger's coach, Dave Licker, as well.
I saw a link to this Salt Lake Tribune feature on the University of Utah's Natasha Smith at SI's Beyond the Baseline blog. It's a compelling read, with a very realistic refusal to treat her addiction and substance abuse as "cured." Tennis doesn't play a large role in all this, and is probably incidental to her struggles, but you can't help but hope it provides the support network she'll need. USC's Peter Smith is credited with helping her get the scholarship to Utah and I'm guessing many others who knew her and her family through tennis have offered assistance. This was probably a difficult story for the family to tell, but I'm sure they were motivated by the hope it will help others facing similar dilemmas.