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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Texas Men and North Carolina Women Move to Top Spots in ITA D-I Rankings; USTA Southern's Bill Ozaki Retiring; Jerome Jones Named New Executive Director at First Break Academy


Due to the two big junior events in California, it's been a couple of weeks since I've featured the ITA Division I rankings, but today's rankings are particularly notable, with both the men's and women's No. 1 spots changing hands.  The Texas men have moved to No. 1, displacing Ohio State, which had held the No. 1 spot in the ITA rankings since winning the National Team Indoor title in February.  North Carolina and Georgia have both been No. 1 since they met in the Team Indoor final, with North Carolina back on top this week after Georgia spent the previous two weeks at No. 1.

Not much change in the individual rankings, with JJ Wolf of Ohio State and Katarina Jokic of Georgia continuing to occupy the No. 1 position in singles. To see the complete rankings, click on the headings below.

Men’s ITA Division I Top 10 Team Rankings April 9, 2019
previous week’s rankings in parentheses
1. Texas (4)
2. Ohio State(1)
3. Florida (2)
4. Wake Forest (3)
5. Virginia (5)
6. Baylor (7)
7. Mississippi State (6)
8. Texas A&M (8)
9. North Carolina (11)
10. TCU (10)

Men's Top 10 Singles, April 9, 2019
1. JJ Wolf, Ohio State (1)
2. Nuno Borges, Mississippi State (2)
3. Petros Chrysochos, Wake Forest (3)
4. Alex Rybakov, TCU (4)
5. Carl Soderlund, Virginia (10)
6. Aleks Kovacevic, Illinois (9)
7. Yuya Ito, Texas (5)
8. Christian Sigsgaard, Texas (7)
9. Paul Jubb, South Carolina (6)
10. Thomas Laurent, Oregon (8)

Men's Top 5 doubles, April 9, 2019
1. Sven Lah and Jimmy Bendick, Baylor (1)
2. Henry Patten and Oli Nolan, UNC-Asheville (2)
3. Nuno Borges and Strahinja Rakic, Mississippi State (10)
4. Maxime Cressy and Keegan Smith, UCLA (6)
5. Christian Sigsgaard and Harrison Scott, Texas (3)

Women’s ITA Division I Top 10 Team Rankings, April 9, 2019
1. North Carolina (2)
2. Georgia (1)
3. Stanford (5)
4. Duke (4)
5. South Carolina (3)
6. Texas (7)
7. Vanderbilt (6)
8. Pepperdine (9)
9. NC State (10)
10. UCLA (8)

Women's Top 10 Singles, April 9, 2019
1. Katarina Jokic, Georgia (1)
2. Estela Perez-Somarriba, Miami (2)
3. Kate Fahey, Michigan (3)
4. Ingrid Gamarra Martins, South Carolina (5)
5. Makenna Jones, North Carolina (7)
6. Alexa Graham, North Carolina (6)
7. Fernanda Contreras, Vanderbilt (4)
8. Anna Rogers, NC State (15)
9. Eden Richardson, LSU (10)
10. Ida Jarlskog, Florida (8)

Women's Top 5 Doubles, April 9, 2019
1. Lauren John-Baptiste and Ilze Hattingh, Arizona State (3)
2. Mia Horvit and Ingrid Gamarra Martins, South Carolina (2)
3. Janet Koch and Nina Khmelnitckaia, Kansas  (1)
4. Ashley Lahey and Evgeniya Levashova, Pepperdine (4)
5. Gabby Andrews and Ayan Broomfield, UCLA (7)

One of the most prominent junior development administrators in the United States, Southern's Bill Ozaki, will be retiring from his position in the section at the end of June. I've known Bill for more than a decade, first meeting him when he took a position in the USTA's Player Development area. Since he returned to the Southern section, I have seen him regularly in Mobile, most recently at last month's National Spring Team Championships, and have always enjoyed talking with him about issues relating to junior competition.  His outgoing personality and his institutional knowledge of the USTA will be missed by those in his section as well as those outside it.  For more on Bill's lifelong involvement in tennis, see this article from Ron Cioffi.

The Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson is the home not just to the recently completed ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships, but also First Break Academy, a 501(c)(3) outreach initiative to expose children in the LA area to tennis, with an emphasis on a multi-sport approach.  The academy, founded in 2014, now has a new executive director, with 1984 NCAA doubles champion Jerome Jones (Pepperdine) taking over the position from Peggy Bott, who will remain on the board. For more on Jones' tennis background and the academy, see this press release

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