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Monday, June 11, 2018

Les Petits As and UTR Announce Partnership; French Open Champion Tseng Takes Over Top Spot in ITF Junior Boys Rankings, Gauff, McNally Move Up; Qualifying Complete at both $25K Men's Futures in US

Les Petits As and UTR Powered by Oracle today announced a partnership, with the prestigious 14-and-under international tournament in Tarbes France using the tennis rating system to "evaluate all players and establish draws." This is an important development which should help both entities, with Les Petits As now having a system that will assist them in evaluating young players in all nations, not just those with strong federations or circuits. I know, from my many years covering the 12s and 14s at Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl, how difficult it is to evaluate the skill levels of players who often don't have many results, and while some federations have a good handle on it, others do not, often because the players in question train outside their country.  This partnership will also help UTR in getting more countries to use their system; with a top international junior tournament now requiring it, they can't afford to ignore it. 

The article on the partnership, with quotes from UTR CEO Mark Leschly and Les Petits As officials, is here.

A recent Les Petits As champion, 2015 boys champion Chun Hsin Tseng of Taiwan, is now the No. 1 in the ITF junior rankings after his title Saturday at the French Open.  Tseng, who also reached the doubles final, replaces Argentina's Sebastian Baez, who lost to Tseng in the French Open boys final.

Girls champion Coco Gauff moved up to No. 3 in the girls rankings, with Whitney Osuigwe staying No. 1, even though she hasn't played a junior event all year.  Her lead is slim now, but all big tournaments she played and won last fall are keeping her at the top.  Singles finalist and doubles champion Caty McNally has moved up 21 spots to No. 15, a career high.  Quarterfinalist Brandon Nakashima also improved his ranking with his results in Paris, and he is now No. 30.  Sebastian Korda(3) and Tristan Boyer(10) remain in the Top 10, as does Alexa Noel(6).

Exactly 20 percent of the top 100 in the ITF junior girls rankings are from the United States this week.

After a long absence, men's action on the USTA Pro Circuit returns this week with two $25,000 Futures, in Buffalo New York, and, in the Collegiate series, at Wake Forest, with qualifying completed today at both events. 

Seventeen-year-old Adam Neff, who has struggled with injuries the past several years, will make his Pro Circuit debut in Buffalo after three qualifying wins. Other Americans qualifying in Buffalo are Easter Bowl champion Jenson Brooksby, a TCU recruit, Jordi Arconada (Texas A&M) and Patrick Daciek (Virginia Tech).  Wild cards were given to junior Eliot Spizzirri, Karl Poling, a Princeton recruit, John McNally (Ohio State) and local pro Marcus Fugate.  The top seed is Matias Descotte of Argentina.

Qualifiers at Wake Forest include Americans Trevor Johnson(TCU), Aleksandar Kovacevic(Illinois), Gage Brymer(UCLA), Michael Redlicki(Arkansas) and Harvard recruit Brian Shi.  Alexander Sarkissian(Pepperdine) is the top seed, with all of the wild cards going to Wake Forest players: Yuval Solomon, Bar Botzer, Julian Zlobinsky and Skander Mansouri.  The last two NCAA singles champions are in the field: 2018's Petros Chrysochos, the Wake Forest rising senior, and 2017's Thai Kwiatkowski, the Virginia graduate.