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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

JJ Wolf Signs with Topnotch Management; US Open Acceptances Include Nine US Men and 15 US Women; ITF Announces World Tennis Number Project

The question as to whether JJ Wolf would return for his senior year of collegiate competition at Ohio State was answered today, when Topnotch Management announced that Wolf has signed a global representation agreement with the Cleveland based company.

The 20-year-old Wolf, currently 272 in the ATP rankings, won the Columbus Challenger in January and has a 12-6 record on the Challenger level this year. Topnotch, headed by Sam Duvall, has been the agency most prominently associated with college players, with John Isner, Steve Johnson and Cameron Norrie among their clients.

Perhaps related to that announcement, Ohio State released the news that it has signed Justin Boulais of Canada, who will be joining the Buckeyes this fall. Boulais, 17, is the younger brother of Isabelle Boulais, who was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year last season for the Buckeyes.

The US Open men's and women's acceptances were released today, with the cutoff 98 for the men and 102 for the women. The difference is due to the number of men who are using a protected ranking to enter.  The US men in the draw are John Isner, Taylor Fritz, Sam Querrey, Frances Tiafoe, Reilly Opelka, Steve Johnson, Tennys Sandgren, Bradley Klahn and Mackenzie McDonald. The US women number 15, including two using protected rankings: CiCi Bellis and CoCo Vandeweghe. The others are Sloane Stephens, Serena Williams, Madison Keys, Amanda Anisimova, Sonya Kenin, Danielle Collins, Alison Riske, Venus Williams, Lauren Davis, Jennifer Brady, Jessica Pegula, Madison Brengle and Bernarda Pera.

While I was at Wimbledon, the ITF revealed their long-rumored plan to come up with a rating system similar to Universal Tennis Rating. The ITF announcement is here, and the Frequently Asked Questions are here. I'm sure there are political and economic reasons for the ITF undertaking this project, but if you look up reinventing the wheel in the dictionary, you'll see this as the definition.