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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Stanford's Zhao, Oklahoma's Alvarez Top Oracle/ITA Preseason Rankings; Fritz, Mmoh & Paul Fill Top Three Spots in ITF Junior Rankings; Paul Signs with Team8

The first rankings of the 2015-16 Division I season were released by the ITA today, with Stanford junior Carol Zhao and Oklahoma senior Axel Alvarez at No. 1 in singles.

The women's Top 10:
1. Carol Zhao, Stanford
2. Brooke Austin, Florida
3. Julia Elbaba, Virginia
4. Maegan Manasse, Cal
5. Josie Kuhlman, Florida
6. Stephanie Wagner, Miami
7. Sydney Campbell, Vanderbilt
8. Danielle Collins, Virginia
9. Hayley Carter, North Carolina
10. Giuliana Olmos, Southern Cal

The men's Top 10:
1. Axel Alvarez, Oklahoma
2. Ryan Shane, Virginia
3. Mackenzie McDonald, UCLA
4. Julian Lenz, Baylor
5. Quentin Monaghan, Notre Dame
6. Andrew Harris, Oklahoma
7. Nicolas Alvarez, Duke
8. Thai Kwiatkowski, Virginia
9. Brayden Schnur, North Carolina
10. Dominik Koepfer, Tulane

Bobby Knight at College Tennis Today has done a comparison between the men's Oracle/ITA rankings and their Universal Tennis Ratings. According to UTR, UCLA's Martin Redlicki, Oklahoma's Alex Ghilea and Illinois' Aleks Vukic are ranked much lower than they should be, while the ITA has Schnur, Koepfer, Cameron Norrie of TCU, and Felipe Soares of Texas Tech substantially higher in the rankings than their UTR ratings would warrant.

I'm not as proficient working with UTR as Bobby is, but if UTR ratings were used instead of ITA rankings, this would be the women's preseason Top 10:

1. Brooke Austin 12.34
2. Astra Sharma  11.99
T3. Danielle Collins 11.96
T3. Joana Eidukonyte 11.96 (Clemson)
5. Julia Elbaba 11.86
6. Carol Zhao 11.85
7. Hayley Carter 11.80
8. Maegan Manasse 11.77
T9. Catherine Harrison 11.75 (UCLA)
T9. Sydney Campbell 11.75

The newcomer rankings have US Open girls semifinalist Francesca Di Lorenzo of Ohio State as No. 1 for the women and Mazen Osama of Alabama as No. 1 for the men.

The current UTR ratings for the women's newcomers:
1. Francesca DiLorenzo Ohio State 11.90
2. Rianna Valdes USC 11.23
3. Anna Danilina Florida 11.19
4. Anna Shkudun Syracuse  11.18
5. Luisa Stefani Pepperdine 11.52
6. Ellyse Hamlin Duke 11.69
7. Andie Daniell Alabama 11.13
8. Erica Oosterhout Harvard 11.03
9. Kaitlyn McCarthy Duke 11.45
10. Melissa Lord Stanford 11.72

The Top 5 women's doubles teams:
1. Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan, Florida
2. Catherine Harrison and Kyle McPhillips, UCLA
3. Maegan Manasse and Denise Starr, Cal
4. Sydney Campbell and Courtney Colton, Vanderbilt
5. Eva Paalma and Rachel Pierson, Texas A&M

The Top 5 men's doubles teams:
1. Austin Smith and Ben Wagland, Georgia
2. Luca Corinteli and Ryan Shane, Virginia
3. Felipe Soares and Hugo Dojas, Texas Tech
4. Boris Arias and Jordan Daigle, LSU
5. Christian Seraphim and Skander Mansouri, Wake Forest

Complete rankings can be found through the ITA rankings landing page.

Also in college tennis, the Southern Intercollegiate Championships wrapped up yesterday in Athens, Georgia, with Georgia's Wayne Montgomery repeating as singles champion and Smith and Wagland taking the doubles title.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley was at the US Open last week, and the former head coach at Illinois was obviously delighted to see one of his recruits, Kevin Anderson, make his first slam quarterfinal.  Tiley spoke about Anderson and building the Illinois program, and his current position in Australia in this interview at the Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette.

The post-US Open ITF junior rankings are out, and US boys hold four of the top 5 positions, including Taylor Fritz at 1, Michael Mmoh at 2, Tommy Paul at 3. Reilly Opelka is No. 5 and William Blumberg is No. 10. Sonya Kenin is now at No. 3, a career-high, after reaching the US Open final and Di Lorenzo is up to a career-high of 15.

Paul, who turned pro when he signed with Nike after his French Open boys title, now has signed with an agency: Team8, founded by Tony Godsick, Roger Federer's longtime agent when both were at IMG.

From today's Team8 release:

In tennis, TEAM8 manages all-time great Roger Federer, as well as 2009 US Open Champion, Juan Martin Del Potro and 2014 Wimbledon Semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov. "TEAM8 is going to continue to be very selective with whom we chose to partner.  Tommy is not only a very talented and athletic tennis player, he is also an outstanding young man with a very bright future on the global tennis stage,” said Tony Godsick, President and CEO of TEAM8.  “Tommy has all of the attributes that exemplify TEAM8 clients.  We look forward to a great partnership.”  

"I am excited to partner with TEAM8," said Paul. "Their team has an incredible reputation and track record partnering with professional athletes and I believe they can really help me with their individualized approach and global expertise.”


In the biz said...

The Paul quote regarding joining Team8 was very well scripted. It sounds like the Team8 PR team is already on it. I would prefer to hear his actual words.

Jordan said...

Thanks for sharing these lists! Very interesting response from Paul there about the Team8 thing.

Lin said...

Colette; for the "newcomers" how does the ITA rank them? It cannot be by USTA or ITF rank as neither would produce these lists, and using UTR is also off, as the #10 player should be #2 by UTR standing.