Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Oracle ITA Masters Moves to San Diego for 2020; Additional Indictments in Georgetown's Varsity Blues Scandal; Sock, Withrow Take Volunteer Assistant Positions; Musetti Beats Wawrinka at Italian Open

The ITA announced today its Oracle Masters, an individual tournament that had been held in Malibu during the fall season, will take place October 9-11, 2020, but in a new location, the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego.

The Masters, which had been a field with representatives from all Division I conferences, will have different entry standards this year, with so many conferences canceling fall tennis competition. According to the ITA release:

The singles-only field is open to collegiate, professional, and high-performance juniors and will be selected based on UTR. In total, four wild cards will be given by the ITA, USTA Southern California, and Barnes Tennis Center. All players will be guaranteed at least three matches throughout the tournament.

The men's and womens's singles finals will air on ESPNU at 2 p.m. Pacific, with the winners receiving wild cards into the ITA Fall National Championships. Details on that event have yet to be released, but the fact that a wild card is being offered for it is a positive indication that it will proceed.

The ITA release on the Oracle Masters, with information on entry and deadlines, can be found here.

While I was covering the US Open remotely I wasn't able to post several articles about college tennis that I want to pass along now.

The Varsity Blues scandal is by no means in the past, with new indictments being issued earlier this month in Boston. Georgetown continues to be in the thick of the tennis-related charges, with a Palm Beach parent charged for using fraud and bribery to gain admission to Georgetown for his daughter. Former Georgetown coach Gordon Ernest, who had already been charged at the outset of the scandal, had additional charges added recently, including filing false tax returns. 

Although unrelated to this college admissions investigation, the Los Angeles Times recently looked at the relationship of controversial US Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the Duke athletic department. DeJoy's son was a member of the Duke men's tennis team from 2014-16. 

Jack Sock and Jackson Withrow, the 2011 USTA Boys 18s National Doubles champions, who have played as a team on the ATP Tour, and most recently at the US Open, are both joining college teams this fall as volunteer assistants. Sock, who has recently moved to the area, will coach at Davidson, while Withrow, who graduated from Texas A&M, has joined the coaching staff at Nebraska. I assume this means they will not be playing on the ATP tour for the remainder of the year, but will look to resume their professional careers in 2021. 

Lorenzo Musetti, US Open Juniors 2018

At the Italian Open, the big news of the day was 18-year-old qualifying wild card Lorenzo Musetti's 6-0, 7-6(2) win over No. 10 seed and three-time slam champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland. Italy's Musetti, who reached the 2018 US Open boys final and won the Australian Open boys final in 2019, is the first male born in 2002 to win an ATP level match. 

There are no US men remaining in the Italian Open draw, but four US women are still in contention. Coco Gauff won the battle of the former French Open girls champions today, beating Ons Jabeur of Tunisia 6-4, 6-3. Amanda Anisimova won her first round match Monday, beating No. 16 seed Donna Vekic of Croatia 7-6(4), 7-6(6). No. 3 seed Sofia Kenin received a first round bye, and wild card Venus Williams plays her first round match, against US Open finalist Victoria Azarenka, Wednesday, with the winner getting Kenin in the second round. The order of play for Wednesday is here.


Jack Mennis said...

Why is their a link to the LA Times investigation of the DeJoys? Andrew DeJoy played for Duke including playing in a dual match against North Carolina. Don’t we have enough politics in sports without Zoo telling us The Times is investigating a Republican?

Interesting read said...

@Jack - At least to me, the link is there because it appears to have some similarities to the Varsity Blues scandal that's also mentioned in the post, and it appeared in a large newspaper. I'll take your word for it re: playing against UNC, but from what I could find he played very little. Regardless of party, I think it's an interesting and disturbing article. And I can say, without hesitation, I'd feel the same way if it was about a Democrat.

Alex Ho said...

Duke has a history of admitting students who lower academics with parents who are ultra wealthy with an expectation of donating, this also happens at in the Ivy League. The Kohlers (Mars candy bar family) and Wrigley kids attended Duke and donated heavily. Duke actively recruited wealthy families to increase fund raising, and it effects admissions (great book, The price of Admission). It seems The Andrew Dejoy actually was on the team for 3 years during a few tournaments and against weak teams, and maybe they leveraged his participation into big donation for athletic department?

Seminole, many prep schools have elite basketball teams (famously Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, Brewster Academy...) they are funded by shoe companies that pay them hundreds of thousands of dollars to sponsor and help steer kids to colleges that are also supported by same shoe company. These schools take the top kids on scholarship and some are post grads without enough credits to qualify for NCAA. Carmello Anthony did post grad at Oak Hill.

Interesting read said...

Good points @Alex....Also points out the hypocrisy involved in (parts of) the Varsity Blues scandal and perception these rogue coaches were acting alone and doing something unheard of. Large donations to help a child get into college have been happening for years and likely most of the time didn't involve athletics.