Current, Former Collegians to Meet In Mansfield Futures Semifinals; Two Prominent College Men Out of Regionals; TRN Report on Blue Chip Girls; Philips Receives ATP Valencia Qualifying WC
The $15,000 Futures tournament in Mansfield, Texas this week was plagued by rain early in the week, but they've managed to get back on schedule with the quarterfinals completed today. Fifteen-year-old Stefan Kozlov, who had gotten his third straight win over Germany's Alexander Zverev, the ITF's No. 2-ranked junior, Thursday, lost to top seed Austin Krajicek 6-3, 6-2. Former Texas A&M All-American Krajicek's opponent in the semifinals is University of Oklahoma freshman Andrew Harris of Australia, who defeated No. 6 seed Joshua Milton of Great Britain 6-2, 7-6(3). Former Illinois All-American Dennis Nevolo, who is unseeded, knocked of last week's champion Jeff Dadamo in today's quarterfinal 7-6(3), 6-4, and will play TCU junior Arnau Dachs of Spain in the semifinals. Dachs defeated Oklahoma State junior Jakob Sude of Germany 6-2, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
Not to make too much of one Futures result, but it's interesting to note that neither Dachs nor Harris managed to qualify for the ITA Men's All-American Championships earlier in the month. Harris, who won two junior slam doubles titles in 2012, made it to the third and final round of qualifying before losing to Daniil Proskura of Alabama, but Dachs lost in the first round of qualifying. That two weeks later they could both reach the semifinals of a Futures speaks to the depth of the men's college game right now. Harris isn't in the draw of the Central regional, so he will not be at the USTA/ITA Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in New York next month unless he gets a wild card. (Corrected to note Dachs is in Texas Regional).
The remaining USTA/ITA Regional Championships have begun across the country with two notable absences. At the men's Southwest Regional hosted by Pepperdine, UCLA's Marcos Giron is not competing due to a hamstring injury suffered in the Tiburon Challenger last week, and at the Atlantic Regional hosted by Virginia Tech, preseason No. 2 Alex Domijan of Virginia is not in the field due to a recent foot injury. So if their health allows, both of them will also need wild cards to compete in the Indoors in New York. It's good to see women's preseason No. 1 Sabrina Santamaria of USC back in action after missing the All-American Championships with an injury, as the top seed in the Southwest Regional in San Diego. For more links to regional tournament hubs, see the ITA's Regional results page.
The Tennis Recruiting Network has kicked off its countdown to signing day coverage, and on the site today is the updated list of blue chip commitments for 2014. It seems to me there are more uncommitted players than usual, but the next few weeks could change that in a hurry.
Qualifying for the two ATP events next week begins Saturday with Jack Sock, Denis Kudla and Michael Russell among the 16 competitors in the Basel ATP 500 tournament vying for four spots in the main draw. A less familiar name appears as one of the 16 players in qualifying for the ATP 500 in Valencia, 18-year-old Texan Bayo Philips, who received a wild card. 2013 graduate Philips is apparently not attending college, as he is showing as a client on this sport agency's website.