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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Another WTA Top 100 Win for McNally at Indian Wells 125 Tournament; Few Changes in USTA Division I Rankings; ITF Prohibits Live Scoring at Junior Circuit Events

Wild card Caty McNally picked up her third WTA Top 100 win this month in the second round of the Oracle Indian Wells Challenger, a WTA 125 event.

The 17-year-old from Cincinnati won the $100,000 Dow Tennis Classic at the beginning of the month with a run that included wins over WTA 80 Madison Brengle and WTA 57 Rebecca Peterson, and today she beat No. 3 seed Vera Lapko of Belarus, currently ranked No. 63, 6-2, 6-4. All three of McNally's WTA Top 100 wins have been secured in straight sets.

McNally lost her first round match last week at the $25,000 Rancho Santa Fe tournament to finalist Kristie Ahn, but rebounded with a first round win in Indian Wells over Sesil Karantacheva of Bulgaria to set up today's contest.  McNally, who is getting very close to a ranking that would allow her to compete in the French Open women's qualifying, will face No. 14 seed Victorija Golubic of Switzerland next. Golubic defeated Jamie Loeb 6-3, 6-2 today.

Loeb was one of the few American women to lose today, with six others joining McNally in the third round with wins today. (Jennifer Brady[UCLA] and Taylor Townsend[9] also reached the round of 16 with wins Tuesday.)

Former Ohio State Buckeye Francesca Di Lorenzo, who I spoke with recently at the Dow Tennis Classic for this Tennis Recruiting Network article, defeated No. 15 seed Lin Zhu of China 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. Claire Liu beat No. 13 seed Mandy Minella of Luxembourg 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 and will play top seed and WTA No. 18 Qiang Wang of China on Thursday. Kristie Ahn(Stanford) beat No. 16 seed Sorana Cirstea of Romania 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3 and Nicole Gibbs(Stanford), coming off her title at Rancho Santa Fe, beat No. 5 seed Evgeniya Rodina of Russia 7-5, 6-3.  The other two American winners were seeded players, with No. 10 seed Jessica Pegula beating Asia Muhammad 6-3, 6-0 and No. 2 seed Alison Riske outlasting Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.  Riske will face Brady next, with Townsend taking on Gibbs in the two all-US third round matches.

For more on Riske's win over Wickmayer, see this article from the tournament website.

The Oracle tournament website announced today that Pegula had already secured one of the two BNP Paribas Open wild cards that are stake this week, based on her previous results at the three other events in the series.

The 125 ATP Challenger in Indian Wells has not been as kind to the American men, with only two advancing to the round of 16, lucky loser Martin Redlicki(UCLA) and unseeded Donald Young.

The USTA/Tennis Channel rankings were released today, with very little change among the Top 10s and both the Georgia women and Ohio State men retaining their No. 1 positions. The complete lists of the Top 25 can be found in this USTA release.

D-I USTA/Tennis Channel Top 10 Feb. 27 (previous week in parentheses):

1.  Ohio State (1)
2.  Wake Forest (2)
3.  Texas (3)
4.  North Carolina (4)
5.  Virginia (5)
6.  Stanford (6)
7.  TCU (7)
8.  Florida (8)
9.  Columbia (9)
10. Baylor (11)

D-I USTA/Tennis Channel Women’s Top 10 Feb. 27:
1. Georgia (1)
2. North Carolina (2)
3. Stanford (3)
4. Duke (4)
5. UCLA (5)
6. Vanderbilt (6)
7. Texas (7)
8. South Carolina (8)
9. Michigan (9)
10. Ohio State (10)

Jon Wertheim at Sports Illustrated (and the Tennis Channel) has been following the disruptions of the introduction of the ITF's World Tennis Tour for several months now, and in his weekly mailbag he provides some of the reasons why it has proven so unpopular.  The data/live scoring/integrity problem has now reached the ITF Junior Circuit level, where live scoring is no longer allowed by the ITF, presumably because they are not making any money off what they feel is a corruption risk. I've asked the ITF for a statement on the reasons for their decision to ban live scoring at junior events, but I have yet to receive a response. In the US, this impacts the ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships in Carson, and the ITF Grade A Orange Bowl in Plantation, who have had live scoring for many years.  I assume it will have no impact on the junior slams, as that live scoring is integrated with the other slam events.


M. Collins, Esq. said...

I will take it as a win that live scores are now prohibited at Junior ITF level. Hopefully this is one step in expanding the qualies even beyond the recent concession of 8 more to 32. Gonna be a long slog.