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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Two US Men, Eight US Women Remain after French Open First Round; Bryde Top Seed at ITF Grade 1 in Belgium; Georgia No. 1 in 2017 Women's Recruiting Class Rankings; The International Influence in NCAA Division I Tennis

The first three days of the French Open haven't been great for Americans, especially the men, with only John Isner[21] and Steve Johnson[25] of the 11 men in the main draw making it out of the first round.

The news is better on the women's side, with eight of the 16 Americans in the draw advancing to the second round: qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands, CiCi Bellis, Shelby Rogers, Venus Williams[10], Madison Brengle, Madison Keys[12], Varvara Lepchenko and Taylor Townsend.

Johnson, Mattek-Sands, Bellis, Rogers, Williams and Brengle are on Wednesday's schedule.

The ITF Grade 1 Astrid Bowl Charleroi tournament in Belgium serves as the final warmup for the French Junior Championships, which begin on Sunday. As is often the case with this event, many top juniors take the week off, having just competed in the Grade A in Milan, but several US juniors are competing in the tournament.

Trent Bryde is the top seed, and after a first round bye, he won his second round match today.  Mark Mandlik and Ryan Goetz qualified and won their opening round matches yesterday, but fell in Tuesday's second round, as did Tristan Boyer and Boris Kozlov. No. 5 seed Danny Thomas and No. 6 seed Alexandre Rotsaert also won their opening matches to advance to Wednesday's third round.

In the girls draw, qualifiers Victoria Hu and Victoria Flores won their first round matches but lost in the second round.  No. 9 seed Hurricane Tyra Black and No. 12 seed Amanda Meyer won their second round matches today, while No. 2 seed Sofia Sewing was beaten.  Carson Branstine of Canada, the top seed, also lost in her opening match in the second round.

The Tennis Recruiting Network published their spring recruiting class rankings for women on Monday, with Georgia retaining the No. 1 spot they held in the winter rankings.  Following Georgia are UCLA, North Carolina, Stanford, LSU and Vanderbilt.  The full list is here.

The Washington Post published an article today on the international presence in Division I college tennis, with quotes from coaches Chris Woodruff, Dick Gould, Bobby Bayliss and former player Alex Kim. This issue has been a thorny one for college tennis for many years, so I was a bit surprised that the tone of the article presented it as basically resolved. Perhaps that's because the focus was on college coaches, but had the reporter sought out private coaches or parents of US juniors, I think he would have seen less consensus.