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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sandgren Takes Futures Title in Canada; Virginia Tech Men Upset Second-ranked Duke; ITF Junior Update

Tennys Sandgren won the $15,000 Futures in Canada Sunday, collecting his first title since he won the Champaign Challenger in November of 2013. After hip surgery kept him out between February and September of 2014, the former Tennessee Volunteer had seen his ranking drop from the 180s all the way down to the 700s.  Although unseeded this week, Sandgren beat No. 8 seed Matteo Donati of Italy, top seed Jarmere Jenkins, No. 6 seed Nick Meister and in the final, unseeded Philip Bester of Canada 6-3, 7-6(7). The 23-year-old from Tennessee is scheduled to compete in next week's Futures in Canada as well. With the BNP Paribas Open qualifying beginning, there is no Pro Circuit event in the United States for the men.

The women have a $10,000 tournament in Gainesville, Florida, where qualifying is underway.

The upsets keep on coming in college tennis, with the second-ranked Duke men the victims today. In an ACC match in Blacksburg, played with traditional scoring, No. 44 Virginia Tech posted an impressive 6-1 win over the Blue Devils, taking all six singles matches without their No. 1 player Amerigo Contini in the lineup. Edoardo Tessaro clinched the match for the Hokies, defeating Bruno Semenzato 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 at line 4.

For more Division I men's results from today, see College Tennis Today.

Three Grade 1s were held this week on the ITF Junior Circuit, with two top seeds winning in Russia and Thailand.  Akira Santillan, who recently began competing under the Japanese flag after representing Australia for many years, won the Grade 1 in Thailand, defeating Nam Hoang Ly of Vietnam 6-3, 7-6(7). Santillan didn't drop a set, winning all three tiebreakers he played.  The girls title went to No. 2 seed Pranjala Yadlapalli, a 15-year-old from India, who beat Deria Nur Haliza of Indonesia 6-4, 6-1 in the final, and like Santilla, Yadlapalli didn't lose a set in the tournament. Top seed Naiktha Bains of Australia lost to Nur Haliza in the semifinals.

In Russia, boys top seed Alexandre Bublik took the title, beating No. 3 seed Denis Klok, also of Russia 6-4, 7-6(4) in the final. Bublik also won the doubles title, with compatriot Boris Pokotilov. No. 16 seed Karine Sarkisova of Russia won the girls title, defeating No. 3 seed Anna Blinkova, also of Russia, 7-6(2), 3-6, 7-6(5) in the final.  Top seed Anna Kalinskaya lost in the quarterfinals.

The Grade 1 Asuncion Bowl in Paraguay was disappointing for American juniors, with 18 of the 19 competing there going out in the first or second round.  No. 4 seed Marcelo Barrios Vera of Chile, who won the Grade 2 last month in Chile, defeated No. 6 seed Andre Pellegrino of Italy 6-2, 6-2 in the final.  The girls title was won by unseeded Beatrice Torelli of  Italy, who defeated No. 14 seed Maria Jose Portillo Ramirez of Mexico 6-2, 6-3 in the championship match.  Torelli had taken out top seed Maia Lumsden of Great Britain in the semifinals.

Gabby Pollner reached the doubles final with Jade Lewis of New Zealand, with the No. 8 seeds falling to Portillo Ramirez and Lara Escauriza of Paraguay, the No. 7 seeds, 6-4, 6-1 in the championship match.

At the Grade 4 in Sweden, wild card Roscoe Bellamy defeated top seed Boris Gojo of Croatia in the semifinals, but lost to unseeded Rudolph Molleker of Germany 6-3, 6-3 in the final.

At the Grade 4 in Guatemala, Chiara Lommer and Sabrina Faybyshev, the top seeds, won the girls doubles title, beating No. 2 seeds Camila Ramazzine of Guatemala and Ulyana Shirokova of Russia 6-4, 2-6, 10-7 in the final.


College Tennis Fanatic said...

What's the issue with Noah Rubin. The savior of Wake Forest's tennis team hasn't played any meaningful matches. He's probably only played three of twelve team matches. Is it injuries or is he too good for the competition? Anybody out there know?

Shawn said...

He's injured.

Duke lost their talent. said...

Duke is just not the same when they lost the two brothers, Redlicki, and this loss just shows how much it hurts. Wondering what happened to the older brother btw? Next year though... team will be outstanding. They will have a super star freshman class.

College Tennis Fanatic said...

Good thing Rubin took the easy route and elected to go to college instead of hitting the pro circuit full time. If he gets injured playing college matches with no-add scoring, just think how bad it would be if he were playing in the big boy league.

College Tennis Fanatic said...

Looks like your no-add guru is the infamous Tim Russell, who single-handedly mucked up Junior Tennis in the US. Interesting that he's getting inducted into the ITA Hall of Fame this year. His bio reads "Tim Russell guided the USTA through major changes in the junior competitive tournament model as USTA Junior Competition Chair, creating a model that led to more and better American juniors for college coaches to recruit. He as USTA Presidential Advisor from 2013-2014. Russell also led the ITA Format Steering Committee as moderator and researcher. He spent hundreds of hours analyzing data from the various format tests during the 2014 spring season and led several conference calls and face-to-face meetings with members of the committee to discuss what would be the best format for college tennis."

Now - it's no wonder the ITA scoring format is screwed up beyond hope. The same "expert" who made cutting edge changes to the Junior tournament formats was the key player in ITA changes as well.

You can't make this stuff up folks!

Facts said...

And his son has a cushy USTA gig...

That figures... said...

That's truly unbelievable. The Spring GOLD BALL team event now has 3 stars playing in it, as I guess people pulled out. But, 3 stars.... Are you F kidding me? USTA juniors is in shambles and beyond repair.
Really a shame.

Cory said...

"creating a model that led to more and better American juniors for college coaches to recruit". You are right, you can't make this stuff up. It should read "creating a model that destroyed American juniors for college tennis by cutting 80% of tournaments".

Brian said...

Nepotism and the USTA. Just keep the money in the family, I am sure some pro ranked 300 doesn't need it.

sdearth said...

Best win in Virginia Tech history, by far. The most meaningful dual match I can remember 'round my parts.

Master P said...

The Duke V. Virginia Tech match was basically like two foreign teams playing a Davis Cup match.
What is the point of having two teams of 4 to 6 foreign players playing each other in a US collegiate match?

Are we ever going to start looking out for our own?

I hear ya said...

The value of gold plummeted a couple year ago when they started handing them out like participation ribbons. You think 3 stars is a problem? Wait till some of the kids that don't even play are given gold balls. That was the final fork in junior tennis telling me it was done. They have made a mockery out of the entire system. Take away tournaments of value, and then hold events where they give gold balls jut for showing up. They were sacred for decades, given only to winners of a level 1, now they are carnival prizes.

Sorry, Tulsa can't find an American to play said...

Well, if you want to talk about foreign players, take a look at Tulsa. I checked out the team after their upset. #51 Tulsa 4, #1 USC 3
( which btw their lone American did not even play in).

Tulsa's rooster:


And the big upset at #1 was an Israeli beating a German.

1. #71 Or Ram-Harel (TU) def. #6 Yannick Hanfmann (USC), 6-3, 6-2

And check it out the lone American did not even play,


Dan said...

If American kids were better, worked harder and more mature maybe college coaches would recruit them over international kids. A coach gets hired to win. American kids should work harder and parents should realize that spoiling them only hurts them.

Shawn said...

Everyone and their mother understands that coaches get hired to win. This has to come from the top.
Until the USTA cares about this issue and gets involved, it will continue to get worse with a foreign team playing a foreign team on State Universities tennis courts.

Just more comfortable with players from their own country. said...

Problem is you have foreign coaches that end up getting players from their own country, that is why the teams look this way.

5.0 Player said...

Dan-you are a fool to make that statement. Under that rationale, let's allow all professional players with no age limit to play college tennis and then you can blame the kids for "not working hard enough."

That is not a valid argument and is beyond the point.

There are many arguments back and forth regarding allowing foreigners in college tennis, but here are two very important points that a lot of you on the other side seem to be having trouble grasping.

First, no one is advocating a total ban on all foreign players, nor is anyone advocating that they can't participate without a scholarship. What we are advocating is just SOME limit such as 4 foreign scholarships per team.

Second, it's hard to explain in cold logic what is wrong with having foreign players dominate American (not international) college tennis. The reason why this domination by foreign players does not pass the "sniff test" is that it looks like these college teams are just recruiting "wringers" or "mercenaries" to play for them. As Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated pointed out, a journalist he knew recently got all excited to do a story about some pretty obscure school in some small town that was doing very well in college tennis (it might have been Mississippi State), but then quickly learned that all the players were recruited foreigners who had no connection to the school, the city, the state or even the country. Once he learned this he lost total interest in the story, because he knew his readers would have no interest. It's like, oh, who cares?!, this is no accomplishment just to lure and ship in a bunch of mercenaries/wringers in to some school with scholarship money!

These all-foreign lineups and matchups are just obscene and just look, for lack of a better word, stupid. If this were an international league or competition, or if foreign countries allowed US players to play at their universities, then it would be a totally different story. But that is not the case. So, try to grasp this concept people!

Cory said...

Just like when they dropped Maryland men's tennis, no one cared as the entire team was foreign except the coach.

Dan said...

Thanks for the nice personal attack 5.0! Just so you do know there are NCAA rules regarding age limit, time off between high school and college, GPA and test scores that all D1 student athletes must follow. The point really is there is more depth recruiting outside the US than just recruiting in the US. Coaches always recruit the top US kids but if they can't get them then they go international so they can still compete. Do you have any problem with college hockey teams having too many Canadians on their rosters?

Not equal yet said...

But the rule changes just went into effect in 2012 and there are ways around it, like find a foreign player who is in HS till 19 or 20 as some are. In 2012 there were plenty of 20+ year old freshman coming in and they are still on the rosters as seniors today, so the issue is still alive. They came in two years older than their American recruits and had spent that time on the pro circuit. So it is still a sore spot for some because it is still relevant.

5.0 pLAYER said...

Dan-I only attacked you because you attacked the entire group of America’s young players by calling them immature, lazy and spoiled, which happens way too often on this site as a way to justify this travesty of foreign domination of United States (it’s not an international organization!) College Tennis.

I also really meant to attack your “logic” because it is so obviously flawed. Of course, if you compare the pool of players from the entire world (EVERY other country combined) against just the players in one country (the U.S.) there will be a deeper pool of talent or it will obviously ADD TO that U.S. pool of talent because it is ADDITIONAL talent not otherwise available in the U.S. The other obvious problem with your logic is that if college coaches are allowed to recruit as many foreign players as they want, they will ALWAYS try to do so, not because the American players are not “good enough” but because if they can tap the entire international pool they will always find SOME good players that are better than the only ones that one particular coach can find for his team in the U.S. Every coach will try to get an edge and will try to find more players if they are allowed to tap into the entire world marketplace for talent with no restrictions. That is why there needs to be a rule that restricts the number of times these U.S. coaches can do this. There is such a rule that applies to Junior Colleges, so it can be easily implemented if the ITA, USTA and NCAA get off their asses and do something right for once, instead of spending all their time forcing rules on the players that hurt them and which the players despise.

Your last post just basically repeats some of these facts, but your problem is that you’re BLAMING the U.S. kids for this fact about there being good players that exist outside the U.S.; that will always be the case no matter how hard US players work, and no matter how mature and unspoiled they are.

As to your question about college hockey, of course I am against what you describe about Canadian players because I am consistent and logical, I just don’t follow the sport so I don’t know anything about it.

Dan said...

5.0. Then by your logic the US colleges and universities should ALL limit the number of international students they are allowed to enroll into the general student population. Those international students are taking the place of US students in the classrooms right and some are getting financial aid too? Think about how many more US kids could get into Ivy League schools and schools like Stanford, Duke etc.Right?

Cory said...

Dan, are you being obtuse on purpose? You mean if an entire American university was filled with all foreign students, you would be ok with that ( assuming you are American). So, your kid wants to go to their state university because it is cheap, but the entire place is filled with foreigners, that is ok for you? That's what it is like when an entire tennis team is filled with foreigners.

Good God man, look at the roosters. Get your head out of the sand. There are 20 year freshman. Of course, they are more mature, they are older.

5.0 Player said...

And, Dan. All universities already DO limit the number of international students that can enroll or otherwise the percentage of international students would be above 50% at some schools. The universities also already limit the number of out of state students at state schools and charge more for out of state students and international students. That is why what we're proposing should not be a big deal, and that's why the Junior College division has already implemented these changes with no complications.

5.0 Player said...

And Dan-Reread the first of my two points in my first initial response to you. I could not have made it more clear to you. No one is advocating a total ban on all foreign scholaships, nor is anyone advocating any restrictions on PARTICIPATION. We are only advocating some limit on the NUMBER of tennis scholarships awarded to foreign players per team.

Scanlon said...

"Good God man, look at the roosters. Get your head out of the sand."

LOL. That made my day.

Come on Dan, stop being an ostrich and look at them roosters.

College parent said...

Good point about how would you feel if your state university was 100% FOREIGNERS, and no American could get in as the foreigners math score was higher (due to them having an extra 2 years of SAT study).
That's what the tennis teams look like at the state schools and the USTA has buried their head in the sand. Who do they think supports the other 99.9% of the US players, the parents.

Randy said...

Is anyone going to address how the players hate the new scoring system. Time is ticking by, and no one is liking it any better. Anyone.....

Per US News Rankings - foreigners in universities - MOST INTERNATIONALS. said...

The highest number of foreigners in universities
Check out the schools. Top is around 20%.


A few are at the bottom educationally too - Lynn

So, a tennis team at 20% = 8 man team = 1 player.
If you want to fall in with the highest number of players per team.

So, enough with this factual argument that universities are all foreign, so the teams should be too.

Joseph said...

Randy, I am a parent of young man playing 2-3 on the line up, and no one on the team feels the new scoring system is good. My son feels there is an element of luck involved now instead of hard work, and he is one of the better double players,and he is upset he gets to play less doubles. ..Problem is how does he speak up if he is worried about his scholarship money? He is pretty bummed and feels no one cares about the players and their game anymore.

Steve Boussom said...

I raised a young man, who happens to blessed by God with incredible athletic ability and hand eye coordination. As his coach from the first day, before we went to a tennis focus, while he was ages 4-8, he played baseball and basketball and not once did we ever talk about where the other players were from. We were and are color blind. It was exciting when there were several good kids(athletically) on the team and we experienced team success. As I counsel my son now I tell him to seek a team where there other guys committed to getting better and working hard, not to be checking passports.

Experience it first said...

Steve you sound like a good guy that hasn't put your kid into the college system yet and realized that a full ride is going to the foreign player while yours gets 10% after you've invested a couple hundred thousand dollars+ in their tennis for the last decade. Or that your kid should play top three, but will be lucky to crack the line-up cause the foreign guys are coming in two years older with pro experience. And having that go on from the start will effect his place and his scholarship for all four years. Of course you can put your kid at a lower level tennis school for the better money, but he/she will be unfulfilled by their tennis. When you complete that journey, let's hear back from you. We don't dislike the foreign players personally, we dislike the system that disregards our players for them.

Another USTA shill ( everything is great with USTA juniors) said...

Steve Bousson, you appear to be a USTA shill. All your past comments are how great the new USTA Junior tournament system is... Really, what a bunch of BS.. And now we should be "color blind". If you had a kid who actually played tennis... There are no Bousson juniors in the USTA system, ( easy check by looking it up today...), then you wouldn't be so color blind ( and truly what does that even mean?), you wouldn't be happy when your kid couldn't get on his state university team.

Lining their pockets. said...

A lot of comments here, but the nepotism comment by the USTA is astounding. Thanks to commenters for reporting this. Agree that an American ranked 300 would probably be more qualified than the son of a USTA executive.

Tennisforlife said...

Don't know If Steve is a USTA shill or not but there is junior Boussom(not Bousson).

Steve Boussom said...

The last name is Boussom and yes the ranked person is my son and he is being recruited on a national scale by many of the universities that Colette has reported on. We are approaching the recruiting process with our eyes open and looking at coaches and rosters carefully. We are as disappointed as other boys and parents in my sons age group(B18), with the number of tournaments that the USTA has whittled away from the schedule since he was in 12's. Match play is a key to development and therefore this one is the most puzzling.


Steve, I read your comments on a different post about wonderful the new tournament structure was that you didn't have to travel. But for those of us in a small dinky section, playing the same 4 kids over and over again just makes the kids quit out of boredom. This is not a job, they don't do it to pay the mortgage, and majority of US Parents don't feel the need to suck up to the USTA.

Your words -

"The current system actually rewards those who play in section and do well with a golden ticket to Kalamazoo. This same system of National tournaments might reward you with a seeding at Kalamazoo if your results merit but this current system is not as rewarding to the family who could travel from the Midwest to FL to TX to CA just to play someone out of section for the sake of playing out of section. "

" USTA has relieved many parents of the need to travel huge distances and spend lots of dollars in national or regional tournaments and it will be up to us parents to put new challenges in front of our kids if they win at too high a percentage of matches in the section by playing the same kids over and over. These other challenges could be in the form of ITF tournaments."

Why do I think you are a mouthpiece for the USTA?

So, we in the crummy, small sections just want to

"play someone out of section for the sake of playing out of section"

Your ignorance here on small sections is staggering. Yes, we just want to do it for the sake of doing it. No other reason.

It couldn't be due to the fact that my son is sick and tired of playing the same 4 kids over and over again?

"These other challenges could be in the form of ITF tournaments."

So according to you, if I need to .... my son can now play an ITF tournament and have to fly around the WORLD instead of the country if we need a challenge?

The only positive thing I can say here is maybe you are a new tennis parent who doesn't remember all the great tournaments that were in this country and that THE KIDS STAYED IN THIS COUNTRY TO PLAY.

Look at March 2012 128 draw players against March 2015 Team.


In March 2012, there were probably 40 blue chips between two grades, 11th and 12th and some 10th grade for Boy's 18's,
now there are zero blue chips for the 18's.


They are all in South America traveling from country to country.
I know how cheap that is to fly from country to country.


Mo' money said...

The tournament structure is in shambles as they have taken away many tournaments mentioned here previously that were key to development. We never chased points, we chased competitive matches in the old structure full of level 3s and level 2s virtually every weekend around the country. It prepared players for top tier collegiate and pro tennis. Now we watch as players in our section flood the ITF tournaments with no winning experience behind them. And what is astounding is the number of girls signing in to WTA events that have no business being there, never having won anything of significance nationally or sectionally because that system is a mess. As shown in Alabama, the level is plummeting to rec levels. The only thing that is on the upswing is the ridiculous amount of money people are spending to go to ITFs and pro events, neither of which they are qualified for. But they are in search of a good match however they can get it.