USTA/ITA Indoor Begins Thursday in New York; Playsight Challenge System Debuts at USC; USTA Eastern College Showcase; Pro Circuit Update
The second collegiate major of the season, the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, gets underway tomorrow at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center in New York. Ohio State has the top seeds in both the men's and women's draws, with Mikael Torpegaard, the 2016 NCAA singles finalist, and Francesca Di Lorenzo, the defending Indoor and recent All-American champion, scheduled to meet freshman Christian Sigsgaard of Texas and Claudia Herrero of Nevada respectively, in their opening round matches.
Play begins at 9:00 a.m. with nine women's first round singles matches. There will be live streaming via FloTennis, but unlike last year, there will be a charge for the streaming. Live scoring is available without charge from Tennis Ticker, but there will not be a USTA live blog this year.
Bobby Knight has all the numbers for the NIIC competitors over at College Tennis Today, and the ITA has provided a thorough preview here.
The Southern California Intercollegiate Championships, won by freshman Brandon Holt of USC, featured the new Playsight Challenge system. Players who disagreed with an opponent's call (or an umpire's) could challenge it using the Playsight video kiosk, which differs from the Hawkeye system used on the pro tours and grand slams in that it is actual video, not a computer projection. Lisa Stone of ParentingAces.com was at the tournament and filed this story on the innovation's debut. Although there are obvious barriers, most of them financial, to this system being used throughout college tennis, this represents an important step in dealing with an issue that has plagued college tennis (and all amateur tennis) for decades.
The USTA's Eastern section puts on a highly regarded College Showcase every year, and it's scheduled for Sunday, November 6 in Mt. Kisco, New York. If you are in the area and looking for more information about the recruiting process, you can register here.
A quick update on the Pro Circuit action, with the first round now complete at the $10,000 Men's Futures in Birmingham and the $50,000 Women's event in Scottsdale.
Seventeen-year-old qualifier Benjamin Sigouin of Canada was the star of the day in Birmingham, defeating top seed Jose Statham of New Zealand 6-4, 1-6, 6-3. Wild card Martin Joyce, the Ohio State sophomore, picked up his first ATP point with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Harrison Richmond of Central Florida (Richmond was at Virginia prior to this year). Qualifier Dominic Cotrone defeated No. 5 seed Alex Rybakov 6-2, 5-7, 7-6(3) in a three-hour 22-minute marathon.
In Scottsdale, Macon champion Kayla Day kept her winning streak alive, defeating Robin Anderson 6-3, 6-4 in the first round. Sonya Kenin defeated No. 2 seed Samantha Crawford 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-4, joining Kristie Ahn, Grace Min(6) and Jennifer Brady(4) in the second round. Kylie McKenzie defeated Claire Liu 6-1, 6-4 in the all-teen battle, and No. 7 seed Taylor Townsend outlasted Macon finalist Danielle Collins 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
In the $50,000 ITF Women's Circuit tournament in Toronto, Raveena Kingsley, playing in her first tournament since July due to injury, advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over 2014 US Open girls champion and fellow 18-year-old Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic. Kingsley will face 16-year-old Bianca Andreescu of Canada in Friday's quarterfinals, after Andreescu defeated No. 3 seed Francoise Abanda of Canada 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. Nicole Frenkel also advanced to the quarterfinals with a three-set win.
At the $50,000 ATP Charlottesville Challenger, Jared Donaldson, Denis Kudla and Reilly Opelka advanced to the quarterfinals with wins today. Opelka defeated Michael Mmoh 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3 in an entertaining battle between the two teenagers, with Opelka, who had 18 aces, getting the only two breaks of the match and saving the two break points he faced, both in the third set. No. 2 seed Donaldson defeated Liam Broady of Great Britain 6-4, 7-6(3) and No. 4 seed Kudla took out the last University of Virginia player still alive, freshman Carl Soderlund of Sweden, 6-4, 6-1. Opelka and Kudla will meet in Friday's quarterfinals.
In a second round Charlottesville match Thursday night, top seed Frances Tiafoe will play NCAA singles champion Mackenzie McDonald for the third time this fall, with McDonald winning in the Tiburon Challenger quarterfinals and Tiafoe winning in the Stockton Challenger semifinals. As with all matches in Charlottesville, free live streaming is available.