Thursday, February 28, 2019

Brady, Gibbs, Di Lorenzo Advance at WTA 125 in Indian Wells; ITF Expands WTT Qualifying Draws; D-III Women's Team Indoor Championships Begin Friday

An unseeded trio of former American college stars advanced to the quarterfinals with impressive victories today at the WTA 125 event being held this week in Indian Wells

Jennifer Brady(UCLA) defeated No. 2 seed Alison Riske 6-3, 7-6(4), while Nicole Gibbs(Stanford) ousted No. 9 seed Taylor Townsend 6-1, 6-1 in under an hour. Gibbs and Brady will play Friday for a spot in the semifinals. Di Lorenzo, who has recently returned from a foot injury, didn't beat a seed, but for the second day in a row, the former Ohio State Buckeye dropped the first set 6-1, yet fought back for the win. Today it was former WTA No. 9 Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland who was unable to hold off Di Lorenzo in a nearly three hour contest, 1-6, 6-2, 7-6(4).  Di Lorenzo will face No. 11 seed Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals. Seventeen-year-old wild card Caty McNally lost her third round match to No. 14 seed Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland 7-6(4), 6-1. Claire Liu, Kristie Ahn and Jessica Pegula[10] also fell in today's third round.

In the men's ATP Challenger 125 in Indian Wells, both remaining Americans were defeated, with Donald Young losing to No. 5 seed Lloyd Harris of South Africa 6-4, 6-2 and lucky loser Martin Redlicki losing to Salvatore Caruso of Italy 7-6(8), 2-6, 7-6(1).  Despite his loss today, Donald Young has earned one of the main draw wild cards into next week's BNP Paribas Open, according this article from the tournament website.

Former University of Michigan star Jason Jung of Taiwan, the No. 14 seed, advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-5, 6-3 win over No. 2 seed and ATP 77 Filip Krajinovic of Serbia. Former Clemson star Yannick Maden of Germany, the No. 8 seed, also moved into the quarterfinals, where he'll play top seed Kyle Edmund of Great Britain.

The ITF announced on Wednesday that it was expanding the number of players the qualifying draws of its World Tennis Tour events from 24 to 32, with eight players reaching the main draw, rather than the current six.  This change is scheduled to take effect at the beginning of April.  Jackie Nesbitt, the ITF's Executive Director of ITF Circuit's is quoted in the release as follows:

"Clearly, just eight weeks in to the new Tour, we need to be patient and gather more data evidence before we can make objective conclusions on its overall impact. However, we did note from the evidence and feedback we have so far that expanding qualifying draws to 32 players would fit within the existing structure of the Tour, while delivering greater opportunities for players; and we did not hesitate to make that adjustment."

Why this wouldn't have been the appropriate structure from the beginning is not addressed in Nesbitt's comments.

The last of the Team Indoor Championships begins tomorrow in Nashville, with Sewanee, The University of The South, as the host of the Women's Division III tournament. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is the top seed, with Emory, the No. 2 seed and two-time defending champions. 

1. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
2. Emory University
3. Pomona-Pitzer College
4. MIT
5. University of Chicago
6. Carnegie Mellon
7. Sewanee-The University of The South
8. Washington University-St. Louis

The quarterfinal matchups are 1 v. 8, 2 v. 7, 3 v. 6 and 4 v. 5.

Slam Tennis has the bracket and the links to live scoring and live streaming.  The ITA preview is here.


Ken Johnson said...

The reason the World Tennis Tour draws were started at 24 and then moved to 32 by the ITF is because they knew what was coming. They knew that all the players who never made any money in the lower ranks of tennis and whose parents kept footing the bills so they could pretend to be pros would yell and complain. The ITF kept the move to 32 in their quiver, playing chess while the screamers are playing checkers. Thus now the ITF appears to have compromised and increased the qualifiers.

I, and many others, are glad the ITF changed the rules. It got old having people say their kid was the 851st or 982nd ranked tennis player when all they did was fly them around the world looking for easy futures draws. Tennis was the only professional sport where players could lose again and again and keep buying their way into professional tournaments when they never made any money by winning. I am glad that ridiculous part of tennis is now in the past.

Max Ho said...

Why do you care if parents say their kid is top 1000 and a tennis pro? Even if you chase points it is very hard to reach that level, going to a circuit in the Mid East and picking up 1 point will only get you to 2000 level, it takes about 25 points to get to 800 which is not easy. Obviously if you have resources you can go to places where points are easier, but those points come off each year, so you have to make another trip the next year to keep the ranking.

I have been amazed at how long players will hang on between the 700-1200 level, when you have points that come off each year its very hard to continue to move up. I guess people don't want to move on and get a real job, which is pretty understandable :-).

You can say the same thing about ITF junior rankings, now you can't just play a tournament in California or Florida anymore, where the level is comparable to grade 3 or below.

Amazed said...

Sometimes I’m amazed at some of the idiotic comments from people who have no concept of what the tennis industry encompasses. The journey is far more memorable than the destination on the tour. The ITF is starting to rank up there with FIFA and the IOC for corruption.

Chasing the Dream said...

In response to Ken Johnson's comment: "It got old having people say their kid was the 851st or 982nd ranked tennis player." It's been my experience that people who make judgemental comments like this are often jealous people who could never accomplish much as a player themselves and/or whose kids couldn't even make it as a Division 1 college player.

Being a top 900 ranked player on the pro tour is a great accomplishment and can't be achieved by merely flying around the world; there are no easy draws in Futures level tournaments anymore in any location. It's unfortunate that the prize money is insufficient at that level, but that's true of most professional sports for those who haven't broken through to the very elite levels. For example, top minor league baseball players are lucky to make minimum wage. But this is called chasing one's dream rather than quitting at the first sign of adversity.

Ken Johnson said...

It is not the point that the 900th best tennis player is still good. So is the 100000 best basketball player but the sport can not support that many players on the pro level. Any player not good enough to make a profit from tennis after 2 years is not a professional, they are a recreational player. Tennis was the only professional sport where someone could simply pay an entry fee and call themselves a pro. That was a joke. Players are still free to play open tournaments to play for a few bucks.

Like I said, glad the old system is gone. Its not coming back despite petitions, etc.