USTA Announces Junior Davis and Fed Cup Teams; How Much Time Will ITA Experimental Format Actually Save?; Sean Karl Posts Two Wins at SEC Fall Classic
The USTA announced the six players--three boys and three girls--who will represent the United States at the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup competitions in San Luis Potosi Mexico next week.
The girls team for the 16-and-under competition is Katerina Stewart, Kaitlyn McCarthy and Michaela Gordon. Tornado Alicia Black, who is the highest ranked US girl age-eligible for the competition, said at the US Open that she was not invited to be on the team.
The boys team consists of Stefan Kozlov, who played for the US Junior Davis Cup team last year as a 14-year-old, Tommy Paul and Henrik Wiersholm.
The complete USTA release is available here.
The ITF website, which will provide daily coverage of the competition beginning next Tuesday, posted this preview today.
The format experiment controversy in Division I college tennis continues to rage, and although I know many of you don't read the comments to any given post, I encourage you to do so on this issue, as valuable perspectives and suggestions have been made. Alex Mott provided a sample survey for student-athletes, who, as we know from last year's reaction to the NCAA committee's changes, are a significant stakeholder in these decisions, but once again seem to have been marginalized.
Jeff Sackmann at Heavy Topspin has again used his knowledge of professional tennis databases to provide an estimate of just how much time the ITA's alternative format will save, if you subscribe to the theory--still a contentious one--that Division I college tennis matches are uniformly too long and must be shortened to keep the sport viable. This kind of analysis is vital to the discussion, so please take a few minutes to study Jeff's conclusions on the time saved by going to 1-ad and to tiebreakers at 5-5 in a set.
I will add that my husband, who was closely involved with the Division III NCAA championships held here in Kalamazoo last May, said their 16-team tournament (8 men's teams and 8 women's teams) stayed on schedule because they had access to 18 courts, meaning that the doubles(all three matches count for separate points) for the following matches could begin on schedule regardless of the status of the singles from the previous matches. That doesn't change the length of a match, of course, but it does keep the tournament's first day (two days in the 32-team Division I scenario we now have) from finishing after midnight, which is regularly the case now.
Indisputably the best news of the tennis week came today, when Sean Karl, the Tennessee recruit who was diagnosed with cancer last October, returned to competitive tennis as a freshman at the University of Tennessee last week, and this week won his first two singles matches at the SEC Fall Classic, hosted by Vanderbilt. Amanda Pruitt from the Tennessee Sports Information department has more on Karl's day at UTSports.com.