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Monday, February 5, 2018

Texas A&M Tops Women's Recruiting Class Rankings; Hewitt Signs with IMG; Qualifying Complete at San Francisco Challenger

The Tennis Recruiting Network announced its 2018 women's recruiting class rankings today, with Texas A&M coming in at the top spot.  The Aggies have two blue chips, Jayci Goldsmith and Katya Townsend, signed for the fall, as well as top Canadian Brindtha Ramasamy.  Texas Tech is No. 2, followed by Columbia, Harvard and Stanford.  As I mentioned when the men's rankings were released last month, these rankings are the first of two, with the May version likely to include some rearranging as additional players sign for the fall of 2018. 

Dalayna Hewitt will not be appearing on any of these lists in the future with IMG announcing today that it has signed the 17-year-old from Ohio to a representation contract.  Hewitt, who reached the third round of the US Open Junior Championships last September and the quarterfinals of the Australian Open Junior Championships last month, is currently 32 in the ITF junior rankings, her career-high. The 6-foot-2 Hewitt has a powerful pro-style game, but she has not played much on the Pro Circuit, so I expect she'll compete in both top junior events and in low level pro events in the coming months.  I wonder if a qualifying wild card for next month's Miami Open, which is owned and operated by IMG, might be given to Hewitt.

The only pro tennis being played in the United States this week is at the $100,000 ATP Challenger in San Francisco.  The qualifying was completed today, with JC Aragone (Virginia) and Jared Hiltzik (Illinois) the Americans advancing to the main draw, along with former UCLA Bruin Karue Sell of Brazil.  Wild cards went to DJ Thomas, Christopher Eubanks (Georgia Tech), former Cal star Florian Lakat of France and Christian Garin of Chile.

Seeded Americans in the draw are Mackenzie McDonald[2], Michael Mmoh[3], Denis Kudla[4], Bradley Klahn[5] and Noah Rubin[6].  Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan is the top seed.

I neglected to mention the final results of the $15,000 Palm Coast Florida Futures last week, with unseeded 20-year-old Tim Van Rijthoven of the Netherlands claiming his first singles title since 2015. Van Rijthoven defeated top seed Maxime Chazal of France 6-4, 6-4 in the championship match.  Former Cal stars Lakat and Filip Bergevi of Sweden, the No. 4 seeds, won the doubles title, beating top seeds Chazal and Fred Gil of Portugal 6-4, 6-1.

At the ATP 250 tournament in Sofia Bulgaria, Eddie Herr champion Adrian Andreev has received a wild card and will make his ATP main draw debut on Tuesday against Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.