Sponsored by IMG Academy

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Garin Wins First ATP Match; Crawford Through in Midland; Draws Out for ITA Women's Indoor; New Men's Rankings

Sixteen-year-old Christian Garin of Chile won his first match in his first opportunity at the ATP level today, defeating 22-year-old qualifier Dusan Lajovic of Serbia 6-3, 6-4 in Vina del Mar Chile.

It was a good draw for the Eddie Herr champion, with Lajovic's current ATP ranking at 166, but Garin hasn't yet reached the finals of a Futures and is ranked 920, so he must be pleased with the result.

According to the ATP's Greg Sharko, Garin is only the fifth 16-year-old to win an ATP main draw match since 2000, with the others Bernard Tomic, Ryan Harrison, Rafael Nadal and Richard Gasquet. According to this article from the ATP website, Garin practiced with Nadal, who plays his first singles match on Wednesday, last Friday.  Next up for Garin is No. 3 seed Jeremy Chardy of France.

If you missed it back in December, here's a brief video of Garin in the final of the Eddie Herr.

Reigning US Open girls champion Samantha Crawford returned to action in 2013 at the $100,000 Dow Corning Tennis Championships in Midland, Michigan, and picked up a victory, but it was far from easy. Crawford's opponent, Samantha Murray of Great Britain, served for the match twice in the third set, and Crawford had to save to match points with Murray serving at 5-4 in the third, but the 17-year-old pulled out a 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(2) victory.

Next up for Crawford is 2012 NCAA singles finalist Mallory Burdette, who beat No. 3 seed Stephanie Foretz Gacon of France 6-3, 6-2.

Sachia Vickery defeated Vicky Duval 6-0, 6-4 in the final round of qualifying today, but both Florida teens made it in to the main draw, with Duval getting in as a lucky loser. Vickery will meet Taylor Townsend in the feature night match Wednesday.  Live streaming is available through the tournament's website.

For more on what makes this tournament so special, see this article from Doug Robson for USA Today. I've only been to the tournament twice myself, but it is an amazing community effort that doesn't feel in the least minor league.

The draw for the ITA Women's Team Indoor was posted this evening, with UCLA the top seed, followed by Duke, USC and Georgia.  I'll be in Charlottesville for live coverage of all four days beginning on Friday.

The new men's rankings, the last before the Team Indoor in Seattle on the 15th, didn't see any changes in the Top 4, with Virginia, USC, UCLA and Ohio State all staying undefeated.  Duke fell from 5 to 9 after their loss to Illinois, while Pepperdine rose from 7 to 5.  Number 9 Kentucky moved ahead of No. 8 Oklahoma after the Wildcats beat the Sooners 4-3 in Lexington on Sunday.

The ITA release on the men's rankings is here.  The complete rankings can be found here.