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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Wake Forest Men, North Carolina Women Remain No. 1 in ITA Rankings; ITF Transition Tour Notes; Kozlov Downs Second Seed Basic at Oracle Challenger

Both the Men's and Women's Team Indoor Champions remained atop the ITA rankings this week, with Wake Forest, who has not played since taking the men's title in Seattle last Monday and North Carolina, who lost a 4-3 decision to Vanderbilt at home over the weekend still No. 1.  Wake is not scheduled to play as a team again until the start of ACC conference play March 16th at Virginia Tech, with four Pro tournaments filling the gap for the Demon Deacons.

The men's Top 10 didn't change much, although with Michigan and Duke moving up, the Big 10 and ACC now have three teams in the Top 10. The Pac-12 has two, the Ivy one and the SEC one, while the Big-12's highest-ranked program is Oklahoma, at 14.

Men’s ITA Division I Top 10 February 27, 2018

(previous ranking of Feb. 20 in parentheses)

1. Wake Forest (1)

2. Stanford (2)

3. Ohio State (3)

4. UCLA (4)

5. Columbia (8)

6. North Carolina (6)

7. Texas A&M (5)

8. Michigan (12)

9. Illinois (7)

10. Duke (13)

Georgia Tech, who beat Georgia over the weekend, made the biggest move at the top of the women's rankings, going from 12 last week to 3 this week. Duke has moved up to No. 2, giving the ACC the top three this week. The SEC has also three teams in the Top 10: Vanderbilt, Mississippi and Georgia.

Women’s ITA Division I Top 10 February 27, 2018 (previous ranking of Feb. 20 in parentheses)

1. North Carolina (1)

2. Duke (4)

3. Georgia Tech (12)

4. Vanderbilt (7)

5. Illinois (5)

6. Pepperdine (2)

7. Mississippi (3)

8. Texas Tech (8)

9. UCLA (9)

10. Georgia (6)

The ITF's Transition Tour has been the subject of much discussion recently, especially how it relates to college tennis in the United States. As I mentioned in my interview with USTA Director of Collegiate Tennis Stephen Amritraj, the USTA is not yet prepared to release anything official on its response to and participation in the Transition Tour until after next month's annual meeting. But in this memo published today on the ITA's website, the USTA has provided an overview of the issues that will be addressed and finalized at the annual meeting.

Rain has caused delays at the ITF Grade A in Porto Alegre Brazil, keeping the first round from being completed, but US juniors getting first round victories on Monday include Ronan Jachuk, Sangeet Sridhar, Brian Shi, Elli Mandlik[10], Hailey Baptiste[15], Gabby Price[11], Alexa Noel[3] and Kacie Harvey.

Stefan Kozlov hasn't had the best of starts to the year, with just two Australian Open qualifying wins and a first round win at the Newport Beach Challenger on the positive side. Perhaps inspired by friend and fellow 20-year-old Frances Tiafoe, Kozlov came up with a big win today at the $150,000 Oracle Challenger at Indian Wells, beating No. 2 seed and ATP No. 74 Mirza Basic of Bosnia and Herzegovina 7-5, 6-4.  Other US men to advance to the second round are No. 3 seed Taylor Fritz, who beat Noah Rubin 6-3, 6-3, qualifier Christian Harrison who defeated No. 9 seed Yannick Hanfmann of Germany 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, qualifier Marcos Giron, Dennis Novikov and qualifier Mitchell Krueger. Krueger took out wild card Reilly Opelka, who had reached the quarterfinals of the ATP Delray Beach Open last week.

In the WTA 125 at Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Sonya Kenin beat Sachia Vickery and Kristie Ahn defeated Taylor Townsend. Kenin, Ahn and Varvara Lepchenko[2] were the only American women to advance to the second round in Day Two of first round action. 

3 comments:

Lisa Stone said...

As an adjunct to your interview with Stephen Amritraj, I recently interview ITA CEO Tim Russell and former ITF Director of Development Dave Miley for the ParentingAces Podcast. You can find those interviews at http://parentingaces.com/are-we-killing-the-dream/.

314159 xdia said...

I guess you have to publish them but Florida at 34 and Stanford at 40? Are these 2 teams missing stars playing professional tournaments during the spring? I believe that happened before at Stanford and they still won the NC. Not sure why this is allowed during the TEAM portion the schedule.

College Fan said...

Xdia, you have to beat quality teams to earn a higher ranking. In recent years, Stanford women have skipped the indoors. They have 3 quality teams on the schedule prior to the conference season. They lost 2 matches and a 3rd was rained out. If the Stanford women would play the indoors (as their men do), they would have a more accurate ranking.