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Friday, January 14, 2011

My Eight Intriguing Questions for 2011; Lauren Davis Turns Pro; College Tennis Action This Weekend

In my weekly column for the Tennis Recruiting Network, I look ahead at some of the intriguing questions for 2011. It's my seventh installment of one of journalism's most well-worn formats, but I always find it fun to do, and I always learn something in the process of composing it. Tennis Recruiting Network has the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 articles in their archives (for Recruiting Advantage members only). My first foray, back when I was just starting the website, and before TR Net existed, can be found here. Anyone know what Jessica Kirkland is doing now?

Yesterday the news regarding Lauren Davis was her drawing of Samantha Stosur in the first round of the Australian Open, today comes word that she has signed with CAA, an entertainment management company with a growing sports representation division. The release announcing the news was not from CAA, but from the International Tennis Club of the United States of America, which apparently provided Davis with a scholarship to attend the Evert Academy in Boca Raton. I was not familiar with the Eugene Scott Junior Excellence scholarship fund, but the release explains its purpose and mentions the academies associated with these scholarships. The complete release is here:

Young American Tennis Prospect Lauren Davis Turns Pro at 2011 Australian Open

There's lots of college action this weekend around the country, although most of it is still the individual variety, not dual matches. The SEC Indoor Championships are underway at the new Goodfriend Tennis Center at the University of Tennessee. Top-ranked Rhyne Williams is not in the draw, but there is a good field, as expected in the SEC. Eric Quigley of Kentucky is the top seed, with the Top 8 seeds beginning play on Saturday. Defending champion Boris Conkic, a No. 9 seed, was defeated by Georgia's Ignacio Taboada in a third set tiebreaker. Tennessee SID Amanda Pruitt is doing her usual outstanding job, and although there is no live scoring, she hosts a live blog during play, which is becoming a destination for all college tennis fans, not just those of the Volunteers. She also updates the @volstennis and @secindoors2011 twitter accounts. For today's results, see utsports.com.

The Sherwood Cup regularly draws the top Pac-10 men to the Thousand Oaks, California club, and this year UCLA, USC and Stanford have many of their top players competing. Trojan Steve Johnson is the top seed, with Cardinal Bradley Klahn No. 2. For the complete draw, see uclabruins.com. You can also follow @uclatennis on twitter for live scores. Right now I'm keeping an eye on twitter for reports on the very close second round match between Johnson and UCLA freshman Dan Kosakowski.

The eighth-ranked University of Michigan women are hosting three other Top 25 teams this weekend: No. 13 Tennessee, No. 16 Georgia Tech and No. 23 Washington. This is an individual tournament with team scoring, which is explained in this release at mgoblue.com. There is live streaming and live scoring of the event beginning Saturday at 10 a.m.