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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Collins, Mmoh Advance at Miami Open; Eastern Michigan Cuts Women's Tennis: Barry Men, Hawaii Pacific Women Top ITA Division II Rankings; Johnson Verbally Commits to UCLA

Danielle Collins broke into the WTA Top 100 this week, after reaching the fourth round at the BNP Parbias Open.  Although she has a long history of training at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, the two-time NCAA singles champion from St. Petersburg Florida did not receive a wild card into the Miami Open (owned by IMG), so she had to make her way through qualifying. She defeated Tereza Smitkova of the Czech Republic and Jana Cepelova of Slovakia in straight sets to reach the main draw, and in today's first round match, her third in three days, she breezed past Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania, ranked 37th, 6-1, 6-1. Currently ranked 93, Collins, who didn't face a break point in the match, will play No. 16 seed CoCo Vandeweghe next.

Michael Mmoh, now 20 years old, earned his first ATP Masters 1000 win today, beating wild card Chris Eubanks 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Mmoh, an IMG client, had received a main draw wild card the past two years but had to qualify this year. He didn't drop a set in his wins over Ramkumar Ramanathan of India and Mirza Basic of Bosnia.  Mmoh will play No. 12 seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain in the second round.

Other Americans winning first round matches today include Varvara Lepchenko, Alison Riske, Sonya Kenin and Jared Donaldson.

Division I Eastern Michigan University announced on Tuesday that it was cutting four sports, including women's tennis. The MAC school, located in Ypsilanti, cut men's tennis back in 2000.  This Detroit News provides details on the funding levels, not including scholarships, for each of the four sports, with the tennis number the lowest.

The ITA's Division II rankings are out, with the computer responsible beginning today and for the rest of the season.  The Barry men and Hawaii Pacific women are No. 1 in the team rankings.  In singles, Sonja Larsen of Barry tops the women's rankings and Thomas Grinberg of St. Leo tops the men's rankings.

The USTA weekly poll continues to have the Wake Forest men and North Carolina women at the No. 1 spot. There are few changes in the Top 10s.

USTA Team Top 10 Men:
1. Wake Forest (1)
2. UCLA (2)
3. Stanford (3)
4. Texas A&M (4)
5. Ohio State (5)
6. North Carolina (6)
7. USC  (7)
8. Illinois (10)
9. Florida State (11)
10. Texas (9)

USTA Team Top 10 Women:
1. North Carolina(1)
2. Pepperdine (2)
3. Duke (4)
4. Vanderbilt (3)
5. Georgia Tech (7)
6. Georgia (6)
7. Oklahoma State (9)
8. South Carolina (T11)
9. Texas Tech (5)
10. Florida (8)

The entire Top 25 poll is available at here.

Rain in Southern California has washed out play at the $25,000 Futures in Calabasas, and likely has disrupted the schedule at the ITF Grade 4 in Newport Beach.

Southern Californian Taylor Johnson announced on twitter a few days ago that she has verbally committed to UCLA for 2019.  Johnson, who's been as high as 8 in the ITF junior rankings, has been out with an injury since last September. She has withdrawn from both the Easter Bowl and the ISC in Carson.