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Monday, September 8, 2014

Cilic Wins US Open; Preseason ITA Rankings, All-American Fields Announced; Krajicek Sweeps Challenger Titles; Pro Circuit Returns

Although I covered Andy Murray's US Open junior title in 2004, my first year as media there, the Big Four's junior careers were mostly over by the time I really began to concentrate on the sport as a journalist.

Today's US Open final between Japan's Kei Nishikori and Croatia's Marin Cilic--the first men's slam final since the Australian Open in 2005 not to feature Nadal, Djokovic, Federer or Murray--feels like a preview of what lies ahead for men's tennis. (For more on the dominance of the Big Four and the unlikelihood of it being repeated, see this post from fivethirtyeight.com). I watched both Nishikori and Cilic in major junior tournaments back in 2005 and 2006, spoke to them after their wins, and so feel a more immediate connection to them than I do the (slightly) older players who have so dominated the sport recently.

Congratulations to Cilic for his 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Nishikori today, collecting his first men's slam title to go with the French Open boys title he won in 2005.  Below is a photo of him from the 2005 US Open junior championships, where he lost to Jeremy Chardy of France in the quarterfinals.

The ITA released its preseason Division I singles and doubles rankings today.

The women's Top 10:
1     Jamie Loeb     North Carolina
2     Robin Anderson     UCLA
3     Hayley Carter     North Carolina
4     Beatrice Capra     Duke University
5     Julia Elbaba     University of Virginia
6     Lauren Herring     University of Georgia
7     Chanelle Van Nguyen     UCLA
8     Lynn Chi     California
9     Silvia Garcia     University of Georgia
10   Danielle Collins     University of Virginia

Brooke Austin of Florida is the atop the Freshman/Newcomers list.
The complete women's rankings are here.

The men's Top 10:
1     Julian Lenz     Baylor University
2     Yannick Hanfmann     University of Southern California
3     Axel Alvarez Llamas     University of Oklahoma
4     Mitchell Frank     University of Virginia
5     Soren Hess-Olesen     University of Texas
6     Jared Hiltzik     University of Illinois
7     Brayden Schnur     North Carolina
8     Winston Lin     Columbia University
9     Gonzales Austin     Vanderbilt University
10    Farris Gosea     University of Illinois

The top freshman/newcomer for men is Noah Rubin of Wake Forest.

For the complete men's rankings, click here.

The selections for the All-American championships, which are in California for the women and Oklahoma for the men beginning with qualifying later this month, have also been announced. The men's selections are here;  the women's selections are here.

Austin Krajicek, the 2008 Kalamazoo 18s champion and 2011 NCAA doubles champion while playing for Texas A&M, won his first career ATP Challenger title last week at a $50,000 + hospitality tournament in Colombia.  Seeded eighth, Krajicek defeated top seed Alejandro Gonzalez of Colombia in a third set tiebreaker in the quarterfinals--his first Top 100 win--and No. 3 seed Joao Souza of Brazil in the final, 7-5, 6-3.  The 24-year-old Floridian is now 164 in the ATP rankings, a career high.  He won the doubles title with Caesar Ramirez of Mexico, with the top seeds defeating No. 4 seeds Roberto Maytin, the former Baylor star from Venezuela, and Andres Molteni of Argentina 6-3, 7-5 in the final.

Top seed Bjorn Fratangelo won the $15,000 Futures in Canada last week, defeating Mitchell Krueger, seeded No. 3, 6-2, 6-3.  Top seeds Evan King and Sekou Bangoura won the doubles title, defeating Fratangelo and Krueger, the No. 2 seeds, 6-4, 4-6, 11-9 in the final.

After a long hiatus due to the US Open, the USTA Pro Circuit is back this week, with a men's $10,000 tournament in Claremont, California and a women's $25,000 tournament in Redding, California.  Qualifying is now complete in both and draws have been posted.  The top seed in the women's event is Mayo Hibi of Japan, with wild cards going to Cal's Maegan Manasse, Stanford grad Kristie Ahn, former Oklahoma State player Megan McCray and 15-year-old Michaela Gordon.

The Claremont wild cards went to Kelvin Kim, Stefan Menichella, Collin Altamirano and Eduardo Nava.


RH said...

I noticed Jennifer Brady from UCLA isn't in the college rankings. Did she decide to go pro?

Colette Lewis said...

She is taking the fall off

RH said...

Thanks for the update (and thanks for your great column in general!).

Steve Boussom said...


You mentioned that Altamirano had a WC for Claremont. Is he taking the fall off to try pro instead of trying to crack the lineup at UVA?

Also, I appreciate the history you had with Cilic and Nishikori and look forward to your insights as future juniors move up.

Colette Lewis said...

Altamirano told me at Kalamazoo that he would decide in November whether he would go to Virginia in January or turn pro.

AR Hacked Off said...

Ole Miss tweet has indicated Nik Scholtz is also taking the fall off, he was a Finalist this past week in Turkey F30

SG said...


Do freshmen not get ranked in preseason? Was curious where Rubin would be on this list. Looks like some of the other newcomers may have played pros as amateurs and then decided to go to school. Di Feo and Cash, for example.

Colette Lewis said...

Freshmen are not ranked, which is why they have installed freshmen/newcomer rankings