Looking Back at Ten Years at the Grade 1 in Carson; Bellis Wins First Round Match at Miami Open; Southern Cal Women Take Over Top Spot in ITA Rankings
I often do previews of tournaments for the Tennis Recruiting Network, but I changed it up a bit for this article, which is a look back at the ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships' first decade in Carson. Juniors who went on to WTA and ATP success have won there, and many who didn't win titles also honed their games and went on to viable professional careers. I spoke with John Lansville, the tournament director, about how the tournament has contributed to junior tennis in the US, and there's also a new enhancement to the tournament this year. I'll be posting the tournament's wild cards in the next day or so.
One of the ISC champions pictured in the article is CiCi Bellis, who won the title last year, and has made an impressive transition to the next level. Ranked outside the WTA Top 1000 last year, Bellis is now at 211, and her win today in the first round of the Miami Open will move her even higher. Bellis, who turns 16 next month, defeated 18-year-old Indy de Vroome of the Netherlands, a fellow wild card, 6-2, 6-2, and will play No. 29 seed Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan in the second round. Diyas, you may recall, defeated Bellis in the second round of the US Open last year 6-3, 0-6, 6-2.
Paula Badosa Gibert, a 17-year-old wild card from Spain, also picked up a win in Miami, defeating Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-1.
In qualifying, Irina Falconi and Austin Krajicek reached the main draw, as did 2012 World Junior Champion Alexander Zverev of Germany, who will be 18 next month.
Draws are available here.
New ITA team and individual rankings are out and while Oklahoma retains the top spot in the men's team rankings, the individual singles and the women's team have new No. 1s.
ITA Indoor champion and previous No. 1 North Carolina has still not lost a match, but Southern Cal, which has two losses (to Virginia and UCLA), has overtaken them and is now No. 1. It is the first time USC has been ranked No. 1 since 2003, with their wins over Cal and Stanford this week moving them past the Tar Heels.
The women's Top 10:
1. Southern Cal
2. North Carolina
In the women's individual rankings, Robin Anderson of UCLA has taken over the top spot, replacing Meagan Manasse of Cal.
The women's singles Top 10:
1. Robin Anderson, UCLA
2. Maegan Manasse, Cal
3. Julia Elbaba, Virginia
4. Carol Zhao, Stanford
5. Brooke Austin, Florida
6. Stephanie Wagner, Miami
7. Josie Kuhlman, Florida
8. Lauren Herring, Georgia
9. Jamie Loeb, North Carolina
10. Lorraine Guillermo, Pepperdine
Catherine Harrison and Kyle McPhillips of UCLA have retaken the No. 1 position in doubles, which they held in the first rankings of the year.
The Oklahoma men have solidified their hold on the No. 1 spot, as they continue to collect ranked wins, with two this weekend at the BNP Paribas Collegiate Challenge.
The men's Top 10:
6. Southern Cal
9. Texas A&M
In the individual rankings, Soren Hess-Olesen of Texas has earned the No. 1 ranking, with the senior from Denmark undefeated in dual matches this year.
The men's singles Top 10:
1. Soren Hess-Olesen, Texas
2. Axel Alvarez, Oklahoma
3. Julian Lenz, Baylor
4. Mackenzie McDonald, UCLA
5. Sebastian Stiefelmeyer, Louisville
6. Ryan Shane, Virginia
7. Gonzales Austin, Vanderbilt
8. Romain Bogaerts, Wake Forest
9. Yannick Hanfmann, Southern Cal
10. Thai Kwiatkowski, Virginia
There's a new team atop the men's doubles rankings, with Austin Smith and Ben Wagland of Georgia taking the No. 1 spot this week.
Links to the complete rankings can be found at the ITA website.
For more on the men's rankings, see College Tennis Today.