The draws have been released, with some last minute substitutions, for the Oracle Masters event, the new collegiate major being held for the first time this weekend at the Malibu Racquet Club. The three-day event has small fields, with 16-player singles draws and eight-team doubles draws.
Cal's Maegan Manasse, fourth in the preseason rankings, is the top seed in the women's draw, with Stanford's Carol Zhao(1) and Florida's Brooke Austin(2) not entered and Virginia's Julia Elbaba(3) a late withdrawal. Elbaba was replaced by Mississippi State's Jasmine Lee.
Miami's Stephanie Wagner is the No. 2 seed, Vanderbilt's Sydney Campbell is No. 3 and Virginia's Danielle Collins is No. 4. With all 16 women in the ITA Top 25, upsets will be more technical than actual.
Oklahoma's Axel Alvarez is the top seed in the men's draw, with Virginia's Ryan Shane No. 2, Baylor's Julian Lenz No. 3 and Notre Dame's Quentin Monaghan No. 4. UCLA's Mackenzie McDonald, ranked fourth nationally, did not enter, and is playing the Claremont Futures this week, where he has reached the quarterfinals.
Illinois' Jared Hiltzik, initially listed as a participant, told me in New York that he is taking the fall off, and he was replaced by Tom Fawcett of Stanford. But Fawcett qualified for the Claremont Futures and today reached the quarterfinals with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 3 seed Jean-Yves Aubone, so Florida State's Benjamin Lock was named to the field. Fawcett will play McDonald on Friday in Claremont.
Oklahoma's Andrew Harris is also out of the Oracle Masters, with Tulsa's Or Ram-Harel taking his place in the draw. As with the women, all 16 men are ranked in the ITA preseason Top 25.
Manasse and Denise Starr are the top seeds in women's doubles, with Austin Smith and Ben Wagland No. 1 in the men's doubles draw.
The Oracle Masters digital tournament program is advertising live coverage of the finals on Tennis Channel Sunday, although my Tennis Channel TV schedule shows Davis Cup in that time slot.
Live scoring is available at the ITA tournament page, as well as full draws.
Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim spoke with Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd, a former Baylor player, about the company's support of the tournament and college tennis, the recent format changes and how tennis and business skills intersect in this podcast.
Davis Cup begins for the United States team of Jack Sock, Sam Querrey, Steve Johnson and Donald Young at 1 a.m. Eastern time Friday morning in Uzbekistan, with Johnson taking on Denis Istomin, followed by Sock playing Farrukh Dustov. The US, playing without Isner and the Bryans, must win the tie to stay in the World Group for 2016.
Below is the complete list of Davis Cup ties this weekend. Many former college players are on their countries' rosters, with a current one having the most challenging assignment. Due to Spain falling out of the World Group, they take on Denmark in Zonal competition, with Ohio State sophomore Mikael Torpegaard facing none other than Rafael Nadal in the opening rubber.
2014 ITF World Junior Champion Andrey Rublev, who helped Russia relegate Spain in July, also has a tough assignment, taking on Italy's Fabio Fognini at No. 2 singles.