February Aces; Duke Women, Ohio State Men Stay No. 1; USC's Santamaria Out for Season; BNP Paribas Update
My monthly Aces column for the Tennis Recruiting Network was posted today, with 13 junior and college players (current and former) highlighted for their performances in February.
Division I and Division III rankings were released today (Division II came out last week, with Barry men and Armstrong Atlantic women at No. 1), with the National Indoor champions--Ohio State men, Duke women, Washington (St. Louis) men and Johns Hopkins women-- at the top of all four lists. The D-I men's rankings look a bit better now that Virginia has gone from 10 to 2 and Georgia from 35 to 16, but the Stanford women, who are 7-0, fell from 4 to 9, while Florida, whom Stanford shut out less than two weeks ago moved to No. 2. Alabama achieved the highest ranking in program history when it moved from 10 to 4. Two big matches involving the top 4 men's teams are set for this week. Virginia travels to UCLA on Thursday(more on that tomorrow), and Oklahoma hosts Ohio State Friday. The next college match day streamed on ESPN3 is Sunday, with the Oklahoma State women hosting Oklahoma at 1 p.m.
Men's Top 10:
1. Ohio State
5. Southern Cal
8. Texas A&M
9. Notre Dame
Women's Top 10
6. Southern Cal
10. Texas A&M
The ITA ranking page has links to the full lists for all divisions. There were no individual rankings this week.
Southern Cal received some bad news today, with their No. 1 Sabrina Santamaria suffering a torn ACL. From the USC release:
World University Games silver medalist and one half of the defending NCAA Doubles Championship team, junior Sabrina Santamaria has been sidelined for the remainder of the season after suffering an ACL tear in her No. 1 singles match on March 2. Santamaria entered the 2013-14 season ranked No. 1 in the nation in singles and in doubles with senior teammate Kaitlyn Christian. A four-time ITA All-American, Santamaria was the 2013 Pac-12 Player of the Year as a sophomore -- the same season that she and Christian became USC’s first-ever NCAA doubles winners and completing the first collegiate tennis “Triple Crown” as doubles champs at the ITA All-American Championship, the ITA National Indoors Championship and the NCAA Tournament. The pair also has been named the Pac-12 Doubles Team of the Year the past two seasons. In her two-and-a-half seasons of work to date, Santamaria has gone 79-19 overall in singles and 83-18 in doubles.
Men's qualifying got underway today at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, with former UCLA Bruins Dan Kosakowski and Nick Meister getting through in contrasting manners. Kosakowski breezed past No. 16 seed Thiemo De Bakker of the Netherlands 6-1, 6-2 in 54 minutes, while Meister saved two match points in the third set tiebreaker to beat No. 20 seed Illya Marchenko of Ukraine. Meister, who received entry via the pre-qualifying wild card, served for the match at 5-4, was broken, went up 6-4 in the tiebreaker, lost both those points, saved match points at 6-7 and 7-8 before finally posting a 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(8) win in just under three hours. UCLA's Clay Thompson and Marcos Giron and Southern Cal's Raymond Sarmiento have yet to complete their first round matches as of 8:30 pm Eastern time, but results can be found here.
Sixteen-year-old Stefan Kozlov lost to Australian Sam Groth 6-3, 6-4.
In the women's final round of qualifying, Madison Brengle went out to Camila Giorgi of Italy 6-2, 6-2 but wild card Allie Kiick made it through, beating An-Sophie Mestach of Belgium 6-4, 7-5. Kiick saved a set point at 4-5 in the second.
The men's draw was revealed this afternoon, with 11 US men competing. Only John Isner(12) is seeded, and he has a first round bye. Tim Smyczek and wild card Jack Sock meet in the opening round, as do Michael Russell and Donald Young. Wild card Ryan Harrison drew Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan, Sam Querrey plays a qualifier, wild card Rhyne Williams faces Jeremy Chardy of France, wild card Rajeev Ram plays Horacio Zeballos of Argentina, wild card Steve Johnson meets Roberto Bautista-Agut of Spain, and Bradley Klahn faces Australian Marinko Matosevic. The draw is available at the tournament website.