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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Georgia's Jokic, Virginia's Soderlund Top ITA Division I Preseason Rankings; US Junior Fed Cup and Junior Davis Cup Team Named


The ITA has released its Oracle preseason rankings for Division I, with Georgia's Katarina Jokic and Virginia's Carl Soderlund at the top of the lists. This is also the only time for rankings that assess the players who are beginning their college careers this fall.  The men's rankings are all included in this document; the women's rankings are here.

Men’s Division I Top 10 Singles:
1. Carl Soderlund, Virginia
2. Christian Sigsgaard, Texas
3. Oliver Crawford, Florida
4. Yuya Ito, Texas
5. Brandon Holt, USC
6. Aleks Kovacevic, Illinois
7. Axel Geller, Stanford
8. Daniel Cukierman, USC
9. Jack Lin, Columbia
10. Sam Riffice, Florida

Men’s Division I Top 5 Doubles:
1. Carlos Aguilar and Barnaby Smith, Texas A&M
2. Parker Wynn and Bjorn Thomson, Texas Tech
3. Trey Hilderbrand and Bogdan Pavel, Central Florida
4. Johannes Ingildsen and Brian Berdusco, Florida
5. Marius Frosa and Murkel Dellien, Wichita State

Freshmen/Newcomers:
1. Ondrej Styler, Michigan
2. Liam Draxl, Kentucky
3. Tadeas Paroulek, TCU
4. Cannon Kingsley, Ohio State
5. Rinky Hijikata, North Carolina
6. Taha Baadi, Wake Forest
7. Drew Baird, UCLA
8. Baptiste Anselmo, Georgia
9. Andres Martin, Georgia Tech
10. Marcus Walters, Florida State

Women’s Division I Top 10 Singles:
1. Katarina Jokic, Georgia
2. Estela Perez-Somarriba, Miami
3. Makenna Jones, North Carolina
4. Alexa Graham, North Carolina
5. Kelly Chen, Duke
6. Michaela Gordon, Stanford
7. Sara Daavettila, North Carolina
8. Anna Rogers, NC State
9. Jada Hart, UCLA
10. Kenya Jones, Georgia Tech

Women’s Division I Top 5 Doubles:
1. Anna Rogers and Alana Smith, NC State
2. Ilze Hattingh and Lauryn John-Baptiste, Arizona State
3. Makenna Jones and Cameron Morra, North Carolina
4. Jada Hart and Elysia Bolton, UCLA
5. Martina Okalova and Vera Ploner, Tulsa

Freshmen/Newcomers:
1. Natasha Subhash, Virginia
2. Carson Branstine, USC
3. Shalimar Talbi, Old Dominion
4. Abigail Forbes, UCLA
5. Lea Ma, Georgia
6. Layne Sleeth, Florida
7. Ayumi Miyamoto, Oklahoma State
8. Angelica Blake, Stanford
9. Daria Frayman, Princeton
10. Erin Richardson, California

The Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup, the ITF sanctioned competitions for 16-and-under players, begin a week from today at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona Florida.

The teams for the 16 boys and 16 girls teams coming there from around the globe should be revealed in the next several days, but the US teams have been selected, with Robin Montgomery, Katrina Scott and Connie Ma comprising the Junior Fed Cup team and Martin Damm, Toby Kodat and Dali Blanch comprising the Junior Davis Cup team.

These teams are not quite the same as those who played in for the US in the North/Central American qualifying this spring, with Kodat replacing Alexander Bernard on the boys team. Montgomery is the only holdover from the girls qualifying team, with Charlotte Owensby and Ellie Coleman being replaced by Scott and Ma. 

It's a good problem to have that players as accomplished as those who played in the qualifying, along with Aidan Mayo, Reese Brantmeier and Alexandra Yepifanova (not to mention Coco Gauff, who was not expected to play) are left off the teams, which are limited to just three players.

I will be in Orlando to cover the final event for the first time (I did cover the qualifying back in 2015, when it was in Boca Raton) beginning next Wednesday and I'm really excited to have the opportunity to watch and report on what is the ultimate team competition in junior tennis. 

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