Women's Team Indoor Begins Friday; Stanford Women Top Recruiting Class Rankings; Osaka Beats Gibbs in Midland; Sewing and Sanford Reach Inka Bowl Semifinals
The ITA Women's Team Indoor Championships begins on Friday at the Boars Head Club in Charlottesville, Virginia, and for the first time in four years, I won't be covering it, due to the scoring change. I went last year when the format included a match tiebreaker in lieu of a third set and was dismayed by that experiment, and I'm not interested in repeating that experience this year with no-ad. I'll still provide updates, but I'm the first to admit there's nothing like being there, and I won't have photos and quotes.
There is a new blog out there however, called College Tennis Today, which is a great source for all you need to know about the big matches in Division I college tennis. Although it says it is about men's tennis, there has been coverage of some women's matches, and the page on the Women's Team Indoor has all the information you'll need, with links to the live scoring, live streaming and the lineups. The schedule for the first round Friday:
North Carolina(3) v Oklahoma State
Alabama(6) v Miami
Duke(4) v TCU
Cal(5) v Vanderbilt
UCLA(1) v Kentucky
Georgia(8) v Michigan
Virginia(7) v Southern Cal
Florida(2) v Clemson
While I was covering the Pro Circuit tournament in Midland, the Tennis Recruiting Network published its women's recruiting class winter rankings, and it was Stanford barely edging Duke for the No. 1 class. Following those two were Michigan, North Carolina and Southern Cal. The complete list is here.
I've returned from Midland after two days, but I'm obviously following the tournament closely, watching the live streaming whenever I can. Tonight, from the comfort of my den, I watched 17-year-old Naomi Osaka of Japan defeat top seed Nicole Gibbs 1-6, 6-2, 6-4. Osaka could have gone away after the first set, or after losing her 2-0 lead in the third set, but she kept swinging, going for the lines and keeping Gibbs from dictating points. (It should be said that Gibbs appeared to be having wrist issues, which she mentioned in passing when I spoke to her about her first round win on Wednesday). At 3-3 in the third set, Osaka was down a break point, but saved it with an ace, and held at love in her next service game to go up 5-4. Gibbs made two unforced errors to fall behind 0-30 and Osaka took advantage of that situation, going for the line with a forehand on the next point and making it, giving her three match points. She only needed one, taking a big cut at a Gibbs second serve and watching as Gibbs attempt to get it back went wide.
Osaka will now play No. 8 seed Louisa Chirico, who had a routine 6-1, 6-2 win over qualifier Naomi Cavaday of Great Britain. No. 3 seed Jovana Jaksic of Serbia lost to Bernarda Pera 7-5, 6-0, and Pera will play unseeded Katerina Vankova of the Czech Republic in the quarterifnals. Vankova defeated No. 7 seed Sesil Karatantcheva of Bulgaria 1-6, 6-1, 7-6(7). Czech qualifier Nicole Vaidisova won her fifth match in five days, ousting No. 5 seed Anna Tatishvili 1-6, 6-4, 6-3, and she will play Caitlin Whoriskey, who downed Quirine Lemoine of the Netherlands 7-6(5), 7-6(6). No. 6 seed Tatjana Maria of Germany beat Asia Muhammad 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(5) to advance to a quarterfinal contest with Sachia Vickery, who beat Jessica Pegula 4-6, 6-0, 6-2. Maria and Chirico are the only seeds remaining.
Friday's schedule and a link to the live stream is available at the tournament website.
At the $100,000 men's challenger in Dallas, world No. 1 junior Andrey Rublev, who qualified for the event and beat No. 3 seed Blaz Rola in the first round and Agustin Velotti in the second round, fell in the quarterfinals today to No. 7 seed Rajeev Ram 3-6, 6-2, 7-5. The 17-year-old Russian has also advanced to the doubles semifinals.
The ITF Grade 2 Inka Bowl in Peru is down to the semifinals in singles and finals in doubles, with two US girls still alive. No. 4 seed Alexandra Sanford defeated No. 5 seed Maria Paula Torres of Peru 6-2, 6-4 and wild card Sofia Sewing upset No. 2 seed Fernanda Astete of Chile 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Sanford and her partner Dominique Schaefer of Peru, who are unseeded, reached the girls doubles final with a 4-6, 7-5, 10-8 win over No. 2 seed Julieta Estable of Argentina and Rafaela Gomez of Ecuador.