The University of Georgia announced today that their No. 1 player, KU Singh, has quit the team. The complete announcement:
Senior KU Singh has notified men’s tennis head coach Manuel Diaz that he has decided to leave the team effective immediately.
Singh’s decision comes just three days before the second-ranked and third-seeded Bulldogs are set to begin NCAA Championships play in Athens, with first and second round matches scheduled for May 10-11 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Singh was ranked No. 4 in the nation in singles prior to his departure, with an overall record of 17-9.
“This is a very close group and today they’re closer than ever,” Diaz said. “Our program will continue to stress teamwork, togetherness, and playing with our hearts for each other, as it always has. We are united and are moving forward in a positive manner.”
Insiders in Athens are not exactly shocked by this, with signs of discord surfacing earlier this year. The 22-year-old from India, who had transferred from Illinois after a brief stint there in the spring of 2011, did not travel with the team to this year's ITA Team Indoor for undisclosed reasons. The timing is obviously unfortunate however, especially given the loss of Nick Wood to an ankle injury shortly after the Team Indoor.
Singh's departure also has implications for the NCAA individual tournament singles draw, where he was the No. 5 seed. Another player will move into both the numerical and alphabetical seedings, and of course an alternate will move into the main draw. If the committee goes according to rankings, Duke's Henrique Cunha will move from the 9-16 group to No. 8 and Washington's Kyle McMorrow will now be seeded. Guillermo Alcorta of Oklahoma is currently the first alternate.
And before I move on to other tennis news, hats off to Georgia's athletic department for getting this news out officially. While I'm sure it's not pleasant for them, it's the right thing to do, for everyone involved. Meanwhile, there's been nothing from Brigham Young on why their top two players will not be competing in the regional Friday.
There's already been a lot of drama off the tennis court this week on the professional tours. Sloane Stephens, who is currently mired in a puzzling slump, was featured in the current issue of ESPN the magazine this month, and she explained in no uncertain terms that her relationship with Serena Williams is nothing like it was portrayed earlier this year.
Bernard Tomic's father John has been charged with assault in Madrid, accused of an altercation with Bernard's hitting partner, Thomas Drouet of Monaco. Chris Clarey of the New York Times provides this report, which contains a rogues gallery of tennis parents and also a Nick Bollettieri rebuttal of the generalization that a parent as coach is a recipe for trouble. Clarey later revealed that the ATP has suspended John Tomic's credential privileges at its events.
Speaking of Bollettieri, his second annual Discovery Open tournaments are coming up at the end of this month for 9, 11, 13, and 15 age divisions for both boys and girls. Winners of each of the eight tournaments receive a free week at the Academy and an evaluation from Bollettieri and staff, with the opportunity for a full scholarship. Entries close on Friday, May 10th. See the tournament website for more information on applying.
If you are looking for a tennis camp for this summer, check out the list Lisa Stone at Parenting Aces has compiled. Two of my direct sponsors, IMG Bollettieri Academy and College Tennis Exposure Camps are among those with summer camps, and I would appreciate it if you would use the links on this page to request more information about their offerings.
I ran across this item from a Northern California tennis blog about a recent tournament win for 2011 Boys 14s national champion Cameron Klinger, who has been missed this year on the junior circuit.
Somehow I totally missed this, although I am fairly certain there was no press release by the USTA, but Saddlebrook's Craig Boynton, John Isner's longtime coach, joined the USTA as a National Coach back in March.
And yesterday, the USTA held a conference call with Shelby Rogers and Alex Kuznetsov, the winners of the French Open Har-Tru Wild Card Challenge. The complete transcript is here. My question was near the end, about how they felt about using this method of determining a wild card rather than a tournament like the one the USTA holds for the Australian Open wild card. Unsurprisingly, since neither was invited to participate in that AO wild card tournament in Atlanta last year, they prefer this method. (UPDATE: Rogers was apparently invited to the wild card tournament but was injured and could not play.)
For the AP's article on Kuznetsov and Rogers, click here.