Sponsored by IMG Academy

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

USTA Girls Team USA Announced; Six Teens Reach $15K Quarterfinals in Virginia; ITA Announces College Alumni Network; ITA Summer Circuit to Feature Prize Money Events

The USTA announced the 2019 Team USA for girls today, with five of its six members earning their places on the team via automatic qualifications. (The boys team was determined back in March). The five that met the criteria for inclusion for the summer travel team are:

Gabby Price, 15
Ashlyn Krueger, 15
Katrina Scott, 15
Robin Montgomery, 14
Connie Ma, 15

The sixth member of the team is Ellie Coleman, 16, who earned her place on the team via a 16-player competition held last week at Lake Nona. The round robin results from that competition are here, and the final playoff results are here.

Three of the girls who participated in the Lake Nona playoff went on to Williamsburg Virginia for this week's $15,000 ITF World Tennis Tour event, and two of those have reached the quarterfinals: wild card Elaine Chervinsky and Kimmi Hance. Chervinsky, 15, and Hance, 16, meet Thursday for a place in the semifinals. Four other teens have advanced to Thursday's quarterfinals: 17-year-old qualifier Vanessa Ong, who beat top seed Emiliana Arango of Colombia 6-3, 6-2 today; 14-year-old wild card Reese Brantmeier; 16-year-old qualifier Jaedan Brown and 17-year-old Natasha Subhash, the No. 3 seed.

At the $100,000 ITF World Tennis Tour tournament in Bonita Springs Florida, the first round is not yet complete, but top seed Madison Brengle is out, losing to wild card Shelby Rogers today 6-3, 7-5. Lauren Davis, the No. 4 seed, kept her outside chance for the USTA's French Open wild card alive by defeating Florida Gulf Coast wild card Sara Kelly 6-4, 6-3, but Whitney Osuigwe is leading the race and Davis must win the title to overtake her. Osuigwe, the No. 6 seed this week, plays Asia Muhammad in the first round tomorrow due to rain this afternoon. Other Americans advancing to the second round are Francesca Di Lorenzo(Ohio State), qualifier Louisa Chirico, wild card Usue Arconada, Ashley Kratzer, Sachia Vickery[5], wild card Ann Li, Robin Anderson(UCLA, who avenged her loss last week to No. 3 Nicole Gibbs), Claire Liu and Taylor Townsend[2].

The men's World Tennis Tour remains in Florida, at the $25,000 tournament in Pensacola Florida. Just five Americans have advanced to the second round: No. 2 seed Harrison Adams(Texas A&M), qualifier Mwendwa Mbithi, Isaiah Strode, Felix Corwin(Minnesota) and Paul Oosterbaan(Georgia).

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association today announced the launch of the College Tennis Alumni Network, which has been described to me as a sort of LinkedIn for former college tennis players.  From the ITA's release:

The online platform, built in partnership with Athlete Network, LLC., is free to join for any current and former college tennis players at the NCAA Division I, II, III, Junior College and NAIA levels, and provides the following benefits:
  • Networking feed that allows alumni to connect with fellow alumni in their area
  • Alumni events (to date, events have been held in Seattle, Chicago, New York and Milwaukee)
  • Job board with full-time employment and internship opportunities
  • Current college tennis news
  • Mentorship program that connects current players and recent graduates with experienced professional is their chosen field of study
The ITA is offering a $500 grant for the first college that signs up 50 members; former USTA president Katrina Adams of Northwestern, WTA Top 100 player Jennifer Brady of UCLA and Stanford alumni John McEnroe have already posted on social media urging their colleagues to join.

Yesterday the ITA announced that 11 of its Summer Circuit Powered by UTR tournaments would be offering prize money this year. This is in addition to August's Summer Circuit National Championships in Fort Worth Texas, which awarded the singles champions $3000 and the finalists $1500 last year, with prize money of $750 for semifinalists and $375 for quarterfinalists. 

The prize money in these 11 designated events* leading up to the Nationals is modest, with just $300 to the winners, $150 to the finalists and $100 to semifinalists, but it does help offset some of the cost for those who travel to these events. And whether players enter these tournaments or opt for the 45 events that are not offering prize money, the Summer Circuit is an outstanding way to get match play during the summer for current college players and juniors who want to test their games against that level of competition.

Registration for the ITA Summer Circuit begins on May 20th, with the June 22nd the first of six consecutive weeks of tournaments throughout the country.

*The following list of institutions will be participating in the prize money events:
• Georgia Gwinnett College
• Georgia Southern University
• Lewis & Clark College
• Millersville University
• North Carolina State University
• Stetson University
• Texas A&M University
• University of Central Florida
• University of Minnesota
• Virginia Polytech Institute
• Wichita State University

The ITA release on the new prize money events is here.