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Friday, March 29, 2013

Paul Oosterbaan's Commitment to Georgia; Krueger Update at Tennis.com; Carson Preview; New ITA Division III Rankings

In Mobile, I had an opportunity to sit down with Paul Oosterbaan to talk about his commitment to the University of Georgia for the Tennis Recruiting Network.  I also spoke with his father J.P., who played on the 1989 University of Michigan basketball NCAA championship team, and it was clear that winning a national title was a big factor in Paul's decision to attend Georgia. It's also interesting to hear that the 6-foot-8 17-year-old was inspired to concentrate on tennis rather than basketball, which he still plays recreationally, because he lived in Kalamazoo. He would spend all day every day at the tournament when he was younger, forming early the goal of playing there himself. That's food for thought with so many professional tournaments moving out of the United States, and with many of the signature junior tournaments being eliminated. Will there still be enough tournaments to inspire a young player to go all-in on the sport?

Mitchell Krueger is the subject of this question and answer session at tennis.com. Krueger explains his decision to forego college, his family background in the sport, choosing tennis over baseball and what advice he would give to young players.

Krueger won the International Spring Championships in Carson last year, and speaking of that, Steve Pratt, the media aide for the upcoming Grade 1 ITF International Spring Championships and the ITF B1 Easter Bowl, has written this excellent preview of next week's tournament. Pratt has been covering the tournament for several years and is well-versed in the Southern California competitive tennis scene, and he will also be writing daily articles from the tournament next week for the USTA.  The qualifying draws will be out later tonight, so please check the tournament's webpage for those. Qualifying begins Saturday, with the tournament main draw beginning on Monday.

The ITA released the latest Division III rankings yesterday, and unlike Division I and Division II, there are two new teams at the top. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps has taken the No. 1 men's ranking from National Indoor champion Kenyon, which dropped to No. 2, and the Williams women moved to the No. 1 spot from No. 2 replacing National Indoor champion Johns Hopkins, which fell to No. 4.  The ITA release, with links to the complete rankings, can be found here.