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Monday, November 3, 2014

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.


I Read Wayne Bryan's Article said...

Correct me if I am wrong- 7 of the 8 men's seeds for the Indoors are not US players.

Why so many foreign players... said...

The ages of the foreign players are still a thorn in the side of American players, because rules weren't changed til 2012 and we are still living with older foreign players that cost US college players positions and contributed to large population of foreign players in college tennis. US players come start freshman year at 17-18, foreign players came in at 20 or 21+, some came in even older. That's a huge difference in game and lineup chances. The #1 Oklahoma player last season, Alcorta, was playing NCAAs two weeks shy of his 25th birthday this past May. Geeeeeez. Regulations should prevent this now, but they still have ways to come in older that US players don't have. This advantage was the beginning of the huge presence they now have in US college tennis. They weren't better, they were just older and many had played pro before they came to college in the US.

Wonder why American tennis is down/look at the percentage of foreigners in college tennis said...

What some of the coaches do is they bring in an older foreign player at age 21 and he only plays a year or two. Meanwhile, in the US, juniors who want to play Division 1 need to start 6 months after graduation.

Tennisdad said...

Heads up to the USTA - if you want parents to pay for tennis clinics, lessons, racquets, sneakers, court time, tournament fees ( with the worst refs), then there has to be some rainbow at the end....

Like even a spot on your states university tennis team instead of having the entire team foreign.

Foreign Players said...

Collette- What are your thoughts on the following: Private Colleges/Universities can have any foreign player they want on scholarships but taxpayer funded State Public Universities should not? I guess it is really up to the Legislature in any particular State and those that run the particular State institution. You cannot fault a coach for wanting to improve their team. Thanks.

Colette Lewis said...

I have never bought the taxpayer argument. Many taxpayers never set foot on an airplane, but they still pay taxes that fund the FAA. Should only players from that particular state be eligible for scholarship funds at a state school? That's the logical extension of the argument. I believe it's up to the athletic department to decide what to do with the funds allocated to it. It's a complex issue that I've thought about a lot and in the end, I just can't support quotas or rules that hinder someone's opportunity based on nationality.

LoveTheGame said...

Folks, Just FYI - athletic scholarships are not funded by tax payers at public institutions. Feel free to call a public school to find out more details.

Scanlon said...

This argument to impose limits on foreign players bothers me. What happened to the free market? Competitiveness in winning scholarships is a good thing, as long as it’s the "right" people doing the winning, is that it?

The issue is whether college tennis coaches should have a free mandate to compete and win, versus having an imposed mandate to develop American talent or allow Americans to have easier access to scholarships.

I’ll go with more freedom, more competition, fewer restrictions, less xenophobia, thank you very much.

ROI said...

I'll go with players that are good enough and likely to contribute or give back to the school and the community in some form after being given so much for free, rather than just take take take. And yes, they can be from anywhere to do that.

Endowments at certain schools are drying up and it is evident why. That's not xenophobia, it is a well documented situation.

United States in USTA said...

Hey Scanlon-
Just a reminder that it is the UNITED STATES (not INTERNATIONAL) Tennis Association, and that it is the NATIONAL (not INTERNATIONAL) Collegiate Athletic Association.

These organizations are not set up to provide for athletes throughout the entire world. Conversely, the other countries don't support US players. If these were international organizations, or if the other countries supported US players, then you might have a point about the INTERNATIONAL free market. These US organizations should only be concerned about the free market within the United States.

Related to this, the USTA and the NCAA should not be expected to provide training programs for foreign athletes who will be representing THEIR countries -- not the US -- when they win Olympic or other international medals and prize money after having been given free training by US colleges.

Tennis mom said...

Correction - athletic scholarships at public universities are paid out of public funds. (I work at a major public university with an excellent tennis team and various big time teams of the football/basketball/baseball type.) Claims that booster clubs or athletic dept revenue create budgetary self-sufficiency etc are erroneous. Non-revenue sports (like tennis) depend almost entirely on public funds.
I'm actually okay with that (football excesses aside) so this isn't a critique of that, but only pointing out the budget myth.

LoveTheGame said...

Tennis Mom - Used to work for public university, so things definitely could have changed. The way I understood it, athletics were funded by private donors as well as student tuition fees, but not actual tax dollars that someone would pay that is not affiliated with a public school in any way shape or form. Not all public universities in their state have the same amount of sports, spend the same amount on sports, bc of this. Maybe you could elaborate?

Scanlon said...

The idea that foreign players are somehow limiting the development of American kids is false. If anything, the foreign players increase the level of competition, thereby making it easier for the American kids to develop their skills at a higher level. Most people can see that, unless of course it’s their own kid or they that have been shut out from those competitive scholarships.

TennisMama said...

The tax money going to international scholarships is a tired and flawed one. Colette makes a great point re: FAA. My taxes pay for my community's public schools, but my kids go to private schools. Is that fair? Not sure, but doesn't do much good complaining about it. I'm sure there's several other examples of our tax dollars not going to places where we'd want them to go to, including international endeavors (i.e. "rebuilding" countries we bombed the hec out of just a few years prior).
This debate has been going on since the 80s and it just isn't going to change. Colleges like having diverse populations and if 5 or 6 of their international students happen to be good tennis players they LOVE that.

AJT said...

Regarding international money paying for “scholarships”, this arguments it boils down to you can't take water out of half a glass. You can do all sorts of account maneuvers to say that tax dollars do not directly go into foreign player scholarships accounts, but at the end of the day, they indirectly (or in some cases directly) receive benefits at the expense of American tax payers. For instance, athletic departments are charged transfer costs that do not cover the total educational expense of their student athletes, hence they are being indirectly subsidized. Lump on top of that that the athletic facilities that they are use are typically by tax exempt bond measures, etc. This is just the start. To posit that “private donors” at all universities are somehow paying all the actual, true costs of the education and living expense of any athletic scholarship recipient, in any sport, is preposterous. This applies to private universities, or at least the 99.999% of t tax exempt private universities that benefit from tax exemption as well.
I think the argument that foreigner raise the level of play is correct, within limits. But when you have entire team of foreigners playing entire team of other foreigners (not uncommon in D2), the argument breaks down. Exactly how is that increasing American level of play when no Americans are actually playing?
Collete, your FAA corollary is an interesting one, but has some flaws. For instance, a lot FAA fees are actually paid by direct tax on air fares, not income taxes, so there’s that. But at the end of the day, most passengers (90%+) are American and we also get reciprocal service from foreign countries, they all have their own equivalent of the FAA when American fly on their flight. The equivalent argument would be 75% of people on American Air Flights would be foreign and other countries would have no equivalent to the FAA. No reciprocal tennis scholarship thing going on.
What drives me nuts about the foreigners in college tennis argument is that most people opposed to the current situation are really just looking for reasonable limits, like every other country in every other sport does. The “Open Borders” folks do everything possible to it seem like any restrictions on foreign players is a Xenophobic and we anybody who complains about foreigners in college tennis wants a ban. Sorry, that’s just straw man BS.

Scanlon said...

My guess is that if you really pressed universities over how they choose to award athletic scholarships, or money allocated to financial aid, or admissions decisions generally, you’d see how much they value their autonomy. Is there any way to prove that a given university is using “tax money” to fund its athletic scholarships, let alone the scholarships of a given sports team? I doubt it. The money is coming from many different sources and it can be channelled in many different directions, in practice and on paper. Good luck trying to dictate to a relatively powerful, autonomous body how to spend your $0.02 that went into your state u’s tennis team.

Anyway, the NCAA would require the approval of its members in order to impose a cap on foreign-born athletes. Many of its member institutions would fight tooth and nail against it because a cap would restrict their ability to compete, and could realistically reduce revenue from other sources like alumni. The business-minded NCAA would take particular notice of those arguments.