Thursday, November 12, 2020

USTA Posts Shadow Rankings in Anticipation of 2021 Junior Changes; Torpegaard Defeats Top Seed at Cary Challenger; Yepifanova Advances at Orlando $25K

The USTA has provided its shadow rankings in anticipation of the new junior competition system coming at the first of the year, which moves to one national ranking, with seven levels of points standardized across all sections.  Because USTA rankings have seemed less relevant to me than some of the other rankings available to juniors: the ITF system, which intersects with the ATP and WTA rankings; the UTR system, which uses a broader competitive community; and Tennis Recruiting Network, which is based, as is UTR, on an algorithm--I am not able to provide any fair critique of this step. With the USTA rankings confined to USTA tournaments, and based mostly on a points per round system, I don't find them as predictive as the others, but they are important, especially for those just beginning to take the sport seriously and testing themselves at the sectional and national levels.

So, rather than try to analyze what these rankings mean, I'll just offer links to USTA information, as well as one to Parenting Aces, where Lisa has posted a number of questions and answers now that the shadow rankings have been released(membership required).

Shadow Rankings

What are Junior Shadow Rankings?

Junior Shadow Rankings FAQ

USTA Junior Tournament Structure for 2021

Junior Ranking System for 2021

Questions can be directed to this email address: shadowrankings@usta.com

More rain in Cary North Carolina sent the ATP Challenger 100 matches there indoors for the day, with four singles and four doubles match on the schedule. Former Ohio State star Mikael Torpegaard of Denmark took out top seed Thiago Monteiro of Brazil 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the second round, while Brandon Nakashima(Virginia) defeated wild card Alexis Galarneau of North Carolina State 6-3, 6-2. Torpegaard and Nakashima will play on Friday for a spot in the semifinals. The other Americans in the quarterfinals are Christopher Eubanks and No. 2 seed Denis Kudla, who had the day off. Jack Sock lost in today's second round action to No. 4 seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India 6-7(3), 6-2, 7-6(5) in just under three hours.

At the $25,000 Women's Pro Circuit tournament in Orlando, Stanford recruit Alexandra Yepifanova, the 2019 US Open girls finalist, has advanced to the second round, defeating qualifier Jessica Failla(Pepperdine) 6-4, 6-2. Yepifanova, a wild card, was initially scheduled to play top seed Anna Kalinskaya of Russia in the first round, but Kalinskaya apparently withdrew after the draw was made, and her spot was given to a qualifier or lucky loser. Yepifanova will face another qualifier, Hurricane Tyra Black, in the second round Friday. Qualifier Alycia Parks defeated No. 7 seed Kyoka Okamura of Japan 6-1, 6-3, while qualifier Katarina Jokic(Georgia) of Serbia beat No. 5 seed and former ITF World Junior No. 1 and 2019 US Open girls champion Maria Camila Osorio Serrano of Colombia 6-3, 6-4. The schedule is not yet out for Friday, but I would expect both the second round and the quarterfinals to be played, weather permitting.