UNC's Jamie Loeb, Louisville's Sebastian Stiefelmeyer Top Seeds at Indoor Championships; Donaldson Signs with Octagon; ITF, AO Wild Card Challenge Notes
The draws have been posted for the USTA/ITA Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, which begin Thursday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. Defending champion Jamie Loeb of North Carolina is the top women's seed, with All-American champion Sebastian Stiefelmeyer of Louisville selected as the top men's seed.
The women's seeds:
1. Jamie Loeb, North Carolina
2. Chanelle Van Nguyen, UCLA
3. Hayley Carter, North Carolina
4. Brooke Austin, Florida
5. Maegan Manasse, Cal
6. Julia Elbaba, Virginia
7. Danielle Collins, Virginia
8. Viktoriya Lushkova, Oklahoma State
The men's seeds:
1. Sebastian Stiefelmeyer, Louisville
2. Yannick Hanfmann, Southern Cal
3. Mackenzie McDonald, UCLA
4. Julian Lenz, Baylor
5. Romain Bogaerts, Wake Forest
6. Axel Alvarez Llamas, Oklahoma
7. Cameron Norrie, TCU
8. Soren Hess-Olesen, Texas
The top seeds in the 20-team doubles draws are All-American champions Beatrice Gumulya and Jessy Rompies of Clemson and Hanfmann and Roberto Quiroz of Southern Cal. NCAA and All-American champions Hunter Reese and Mikelis Libietis of Tennessee are not playing, meaning they cannot complete the collegiate calendar slam in 2014. Libietis and Reese are both playing the Knoxville Challenger this week with wild cards in singles, and they have also been given a wild card into doubles, where they've drawn No. 2 seeds Kevin King and Juan Spir, the former Georgia Tech pair.
For the singles and doubles draws, which include times, see the ITA tournament page.
Jared Donaldson, who turned pro in August prior to the US Open, has signed with Octagon, one of the major sports management firms. Donaldson will be represented by Alastair Garland. For the complete release from Octagon, click here. Donaldson is playing this week's Challenger in Knoxville, taking on fellow wild card Daniel Nguyen not before 1 p.m. Tuesday. Libietis and Reese are scheduled for evening matches Tuesday. A pdf of Tuesday's order of play is here.
This week's ITF Grade 4 tournament in South Carolina got off to a wet start over the weekend, with qualifying unable to be completed until today. All first round matches involving qualifiers or lucky losers were pushed back until Tuesday. Jade Lewis of New Zealand and Emil Reinberg are the top seeds, and both won their first round matches today, although Reinberg needed a third-set tiebreaker to survive wild card Alexandre Rotsaert's challenge.
Last week in Belgium, 14-year-old Vanessa Streng reached the final of an ITF Grade 4 there as a qualifier. Streng, from the Atlanta area, has been training with Bart Beks in the Netherlands this year. Beks has worked with 2013 Orange Bowl champion Varvara Flink and before that, with Indy de Vroome. Streng, who received a wild card into the qualifying, won eight matches before falling to No. 3 seed Phillis Vanenburg of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-3 in the final.
The USTA sent out an update of Australian Open Wild Card Challenge standings today, with one more women's event and two more men's events remaining. The current points totals are below. Jonathan Kelley digs deeper into the women's scenarios in his On the Rise blog.