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Thursday, September 13, 2012

NCAA Tables Final Four and Warmup, Changeover Proposals; Vekic Reaches Semis at Tashkent; McCarthy in Grade 2 Final; Pan American Acceptances

The NCAA Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet did not support the changes the Tennis Committee submitted to them regarding the change from the current Sweet 16 format to a Super Regional and Final Four model. The Cabinet also did not support the changes proposed to warmups, time between singles and doubles and shortening of changeovers.

Changes to the college tennis format are still a possibility however, with the release saying, "Cabinet members believe the proposals need more vetting with coaches and student-athletes. However, they did suggest that the Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis Committee explore additional format-change options for the championship and possibly present them when the cabinet convenes in February."

The only change approved was one regarding minimum matches for NCAA individual eligibility, and it didn't produce any controversy.  The complete explanation of that change can be found in the release, which is headlined, for reasons known only to the NCAA, as "DI cabinet approves new selection process for swimming."

Sixteen-year-old Donna Vekic of Croatia became the youngest WTA semifinalist since 15-year-old Tamira Paszek in 2006, defeating No. 6 seed Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia in today's quarterfinals. Vekic, a qualifier, has not had the success on the ITF Junior Circuit that you would expect from someone who has posted her results on the ITF Pro Circuit, but she said in this interview with the WTA that she is done with juniors and will now play only professional events. Vekic reached the final round of qualifying of the women's draw at the US Open, but did not enter the juniors, with Wimbledon her last junior event.

The finals are set at the Grade 2 in Canada and 14-year-old qualifier Kaitlyn McCarthy has advanced to her first ITF final. Today McCarthy defeated No. 2 seed and US Open junior quarterfinalist Ilka Csoregi of Romania 6-4, 6-2 to reach the final against No. 3 seed Erin Routliffe of Canada. Routliffe beat No. 8 seed Madison Bourguignon of the US 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the semifinals.  The boys final is between two Canadians--No. 3 seed Hugo DiFeo and No. 5 seed Brayden Schnur.

Top seeds Christina Makarova of the US and Csoregi won the girls doubles title 6-4, 2-6, 10-8 over No. 3 seeds Routliffe and Charlotte Petrick, also of Canada. The boys doubles title went to Rogelio Siller of Mexico and Thomas Tenreiro of Venezuela, who beat Michael Mmoh of the US and Tommy Mylnikov of Canada 6-1, 7-5. Neither team was seeded.

The acceptances for the ITF Grade B1 Pan American Closed have been posted, revealing an excellent girls field, headed by 2011 finalist Chalena Scholl and Canadian standouts Carol Zhao and Francoise Abanda. DiFeo and Schnur of Canada are entered in the boys draw, with Noah Rubin, Spencer Papa, Thai Kwiatkowski and Stefan Kozlov of the US among the highest-ranked entries. I will again be covering the tournament, which is October 8-13th.