Thursday, May 2, 2013

Latest ITA Rankings; Kuznetsov Earns French Wild Card; An Interview with Tennis Canada's VP of High Performance

The final ITA rankings before the NCAA tournament were released today, and the most interesting part is comparing them with what the NCAA committees did with their selections and seedings.

First, I have to point out what I'm sure is an error in the women's draw, with No. 24 Notre Dame listed as the regional's 33-48 seed and No. 42 North Carolina State showing as the 17-32 seed. They play each other, so it's of no real consequence, but it is a mistake nonetheless.

The women's committee stayed in lock step with the rankings, with the exception of Duke, which is ranked No. 15, but is not hosting and is in the 17-32 grouping.  All the other rankings match the seedings, with No. 17 Texas Tech and No. 16 Nebraska moving up when Duke was dropped.  The individual seedings for the women followed the rankings with no exceptions.

The men's committee did make several changes, the most significant being No. 2 Georgia's drop to 3 in the seedings, with No. 3 Virginia moving up to 2. It should be noted the difference was .05 of a ranking point, and should both advance to the semifinals, they will play each other and decide the issue on the courts. 

Ranked No. 6, Tennessee's two losses to Ole Miss cost them a spot, as the No. 7 Rebels switched places with them in the seedings.  Pepperdine, ranked 12th, and Texas A&M, ranked 11th, were also switched, for reasons that elude me, since they didn't play this year.

In the singles seedings, Georgia's KU Singh's two losses to Anthony Rossi of Kentucky in dual matches resulted in his seeding being dropped from his No. 4 ranking to No. 5, with Rossi taking the No. 4 place.

The complete rankings are available at the ITA website.

The next week will be a quiet one in college tennis, which will give everyone time to debate and discuss the draws and matchups. I will again be participating in the Tennis Recruiting Network's round table discussion next week, and don't forget to enter their May Madness Bracket Challenge with an opportunity to win great prizes. 

Also check out Marcia Frost's preview of the championships from first-time host Illinois.

One of the USTA's French Open wild cards has been decided with Sarasota champion Alex Kuznetsov clinching it when Wayne Odnesik lost yesterday in Tallahassee.  Although it may be no more than coincidence, it is interesting that both last year's winner Brian Baker and this year's winner Kuznetsov, are former French Open junior finalists. See this article from usta.com for more.

Rain has made for a difficult few days in Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., where the women's French wild card will be decided at the $50,000 Challenger there. With leader Shelby Rogers losing today, Madison Brengle and Alison Riske both still have an opportunity to pass her this week.

And finally, Tom Tebbutt, a renowned Canadian tennis journalist, posted this interview with Tennis Canada's Vice President of High Performance Athlete Development Louis Borfiga, who has been in his position since 2006.

The interview provides Borfiga's background as a player, the reasons why he left the French federation for Canada, his views on what pros have overachieved, his surprising admission about Milos Raonic, his philosophy on coaching and how coaching girls has become more like coaching boys. 

It's a wide-ranging interview and a fun read, so if you're interested in player development, I recommend it. You need to scroll down because it's the third section in the post.

3 comments:

college fan said...

Has anyone ever had a "quieter" undefeated spring season than Cunha this year?

russ said...

ps on cunha's doubles record: 2 of those three losses happened at indoors when he had shoulder issues and actually did not play singles against virginia because of it.
Just want to "amplify" his achievements this year a little more.
Not forgetting usc (in fact I still like them slightly more than ucla despite the three losses), but the calculus remains the same: someone has to win a top three match or the doubles to beat Virginia. Not saying it can't be done, as Duke actually won 1 and 2 and if Tahir in the deciding match had replicated his win over Uriguen last year in the ACC tournament they would have upset Virginia.

Austin said...

I dont think it is too hard to figure out why Pepperdine is ahead of A&M. The Waves have only 1 loss to a team outside the Top 5 while A&M has quite a few questionable losses on their resume. They have a great win over Ohio State, but too many losses to lower ranked teams.