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Friday, February 22, 2013

My Profile of Nebraska's Weatherholt; Chirico Reaches Surprise $25K Semis; ITA Men's Team Indoor All-Tournament Team

I like to think that I'm familiar with most any US junior who ends up in the Top 20 of the ITA College Rankings. I've been going to major junior tournaments in this country for eight years and I keep a close eye on the draws of those tournaments I don't attend.  But until two weeks ago, I had not seen 21-year-old Mary Weatherholt of Nebraska play more than a few shots (she lost in the first round of the NCAAs last year to eventual semifinalist Zsofi Susanyi of Cal 6-4, 7-5 and I think I saw a few points of that match). Curious to hear why she hadn't played much national-level junior tennis, I arranged to interview her at the ITA Women's Team Indoor in Charlottesville, and she explained how she had lost her passion for the game, and how she got it back. A five-star recruit in high school, Weatherholt is now ranked in the ITA Top 20, demonstrating how the right school and coaches can help a motivated and talented player improve every year.  For more on Weatherholt, see my profile on the Tennis Recruiting Network.

Speaking of Nebraskans, two-time Kalamazoo champion Jack Sock has reached the quarterfinals of the US National Indoors in Memphis, after beating Milos Raonic in the first round and James Blake in the second round last night.

If you've watch Sock with any regularity, you know he is capable of hitting some eye-popping winners, and last night he came up with one of them, which can be seen here. Sports Illustrated's Courtney Nguyen wrote this piece on Sock's prospects, which she believes are very bright, and she points to his history of winning as one of the main factors in his favor.

Qualifier Louisa Chirico reached the semifinals of the $25,000 Pro Circuit event in Surprise, Arizona, defeating fellow teen Sachia Vickery 1-6, 6-1, 6-2. Next for Chirico, who has now won six straight matches, is top seed Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia, ranked 165 in the world. Vickery's day ended well for her too, as she and Samantha Crawford reached the doubles final, where they will play another unseeded team: Yi-Fan Xu of China and Emily Harman (who played at Syracuse).

At the Brownsville Futures, both Eric Quigley(Kentucky) and Bjorn Fratangelo lost in today's quarterfinals, but Dennis Nevolo(Illinois) and Jean-Yves Aubone(Florida State) reached the doubles final, where they will play the Philippines' Ruben Gonzales(Illinois) and Clint Letcher of Australia.

The ITA announced the All-Tournament Team for the Men's Indoor Championships today, with Virginia's Alex Domijan named the Most Outstanding Player for the second time in three years.

No. 1 singles: Blaz Rola, Ohio State
No. 2 singles: Alex Domijan, Virginia, MOP
No. 3 singles: Mitchell Frank, Virginia
No. 4 singles: Yannick Hanfmann, USC
No. 5 singles: Clay Thompson, UCLA
No. 6 singles: Eric Johnson, USC

No. 1 doubles: Finn Tearney and Francis Alcantara, Pepperdine
No. 2 doubles: Garrett Brasseaux and Nathan Pasha, Georgia
No. 3 doubles: Blaz Rola and Kevin Mekta, Ohio State

For the complete release, see the ITA website.