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Monday, February 3, 2014

Florida Women's Recruiting Class Unanimous Choice for Number One; Pro Circuit Update; Pac-12 Sweeps SEC

Florida's head coach Roland Thornqvist
The Tennis Recruiting Network published its winter women's recruiting class rankings today, and the University of Florida got all 26 votes for No. 1.  Blue chips Brooke Austin, Peggy Porter and Josie Kuhlman are undoubtedly an impressive trio, but they will replace seniors Alex Cercone, Olivia Janowicz and Sofie Oyen, all of whom played integral roles in the Gators two NCAA team titles in 2011 and 2012.  With the transfer of Danielle Collins to Virginia, Florida currently has only seven players on the roster, and as I mentioned a few days ago, six of them, including all three of the seniors, are ranked in the ITA Top 40 nationally.

Last spring's top women's recruiting class was Stanford's, but the Cardinal, with two seniors on the team this year, have not announced any early signings and do not appear in the recruiting class rankings.

The rained-plagued Futures in Palm Coast, Florida managed to finish despite two and a half days of rain, but no Americans made it past the quarterfinals in the singles.  Orange Bowl champion Francis Tiafoe lost at that stage, as did Greg Ouellette(Florida) and Eric Quigley(Kentucky). No. 8 seed Gianni Mina of France, who won the Orange Bowl back in 2009, ended up claiming the soggy title, his first Futures title since 2011, beating unseeded Isak Arvidsson of Sweden 6-2, 6-0 in the final.

Unseeded teenagers Martin Redlicki and Taylor Fritz reached the doubles final, losing to top seeds Markus Eriksson and Milos Sekulic of Sweden 6-1, 6-1 in the championship match late Saturday night.

There were two Challengers on the calendar last week, with Wayne Odesnik of the United States winning the $40,000+hospitality tournament in Panama. The third seed, Odesnik overcame No. 5 seed Jimmy Wang of Taiwan 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in the final.  Former UCLA Bruin Dan Kosakowski reached the semifinals before losing to Wang.

Juan Spir and Kevin King(Georgia Tech), who will be featured in my upcoming January Aces this week for Tennis Recruiting, won the doubles title in Panama, their second Challenger title. The unseeded pair defeated Puerto Rico's Alex Llompart(Pepperdine) and Mateo Martinez of Argentina, also unseeded, 7-6(5), 6-4 in the final.

In Burnie Australia, Matt Reid of Australian swept the titles, with the No. 5 seed taking the singles over No. 4 seed Hiroki Moriya of Japan 6-3, 6-2 in the final, and teaming with JP Smith(Tennessee) for the doubles, defeating Japan's Toshihide Matsui(BYU-Hawaii) and Thailand's Danai Udomchoke 6-4, 6-2. Smith and Reid were the top seeds, Matsui and Udomchoke were unseeded.  Jarmere Jenkins(Virginia) reached the semifinals, where he lost to Moriya. Jenkins is now up to a ATP career ranking high of 278.  Jenkins is one of the featured players in the Challenger Tennis blog's W.A.T.C.H. list this week.

It's Fed Cup week for the women, so there are no WTA tournaments, and no Pro Circuit events in the US either, with the Midland $100,000 Challenger and a $25,000 tournament in Rancho Santa Fe beginning next week. 

The men have three Challengers, with the $100,000 tournament in Dallas drawing the most Americans.  Qualifying was completed today, with Nick Meister(UCLA), Evan King(Michigan), Dennis Nevolo(Illinois) and Virginia senior Justin Shane advancing to the main draw.  Top seed in the tournament is Michael Russell(Miami). Wild cards went to Jared Donaldson (who lost to Sam Groth in the first round today), Jean Anderson(Texas), who beat Tennys Sandgren(Tennessee) in the first round today, John Mee, who will be joining Texas in the fall and lost to James Magee(NC State) in the first round today, and UCLA's Clay Thompson, who will play Steve Johnson(USC) in the first round Tuesday.

There is a $50,000 Challenger in Chennai India, where Somdev Devvarman(Virginia) is the top seed, and a $50,000 Challenger in Australia, where Bradley Klahn(Stanford) is the top seed.  See the ATP Challenger site for complete draws.

UCLA beat Georgia 4-3, and USC blanked Florida 4-0 Sunday in Los Angeles, to give the two Pac-12 schools a sweep over their SEC opponents over the weeken.  See the UCLA and USC websites for more on the matches, with the Georgia - UCLA match coming down to the final set of the final match.


wi tennis said...

What a great match with Georgia and UCLA! and 3 hour match time! In the old scoring, that is 4 hours. Fans will stay for that. In the old system, doubles takes an hour and a half and a lot of people leave after that. Doubles was probably 45 minutes and people hopefully stayed for singles. Once that gets going people would hopefully stay until the end. If people stay, it makes it a lot more fun for the players.

lovethegame said...

Totally agree. Changing the scoring format will have more upsets, that is why you hear the coaches from the top teams complaining. It is similar to pro tennis.....3-5 set matches are mostly won by the best players. Upsets can happen in smaller events bc lesser players only have to win 2 sets. Shorter matches are better for players long term bc less time on court means they will be healthier.