Thursday, September 17, 2015

Oracle Masters Begins Friday in Malibu; US Davis Cup Team Faces Uzbekistan to Stay in World Group

The draws have been released, with some last minute substitutions, for the Oracle Masters event, the new collegiate major being held for the first time this weekend at the Malibu Racquet Club. The three-day event has small fields, with 16-player singles draws and eight-team doubles draws.

Cal's Maegan Manasse, fourth in the preseason rankings, is the top seed in the women's draw, with Stanford's Carol Zhao(1) and Florida's Brooke Austin(2) not entered and Virginia's Julia Elbaba(3) a late withdrawal.  Elbaba was replaced by Mississippi State's Jasmine Lee.

Miami's Stephanie Wagner is the No. 2 seed, Vanderbilt's Sydney Campbell is No. 3 and Virginia's Danielle Collins is No. 4. With all 16 women in the ITA Top 25, upsets will be more technical than actual.

Oklahoma's Axel Alvarez is the top seed in the men's draw, with Virginia's Ryan Shane No. 2, Baylor's Julian Lenz No. 3 and Notre Dame's Quentin Monaghan No. 4.  UCLA's Mackenzie McDonald, ranked fourth nationally, did not enter, and is playing the Claremont Futures this week, where he has reached the quarterfinals.

Illinois' Jared Hiltzik, initially listed as a participant, told me in New York that he is taking the fall off, and he was replaced by Tom Fawcett of Stanford. But Fawcett qualified for the Claremont Futures and today reached the quarterfinals with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 3 seed Jean-Yves Aubone, so Florida State's Benjamin Lock was named to the field.   Fawcett will play McDonald on Friday in Claremont.

Oklahoma's Andrew Harris is also out of the Oracle Masters, with Tulsa's Or Ram-Harel taking his place in the draw.  As with the women, all 16 men are ranked in the ITA preseason Top 25.

Manasse and Denise Starr are the top seeds in women's doubles, with Austin Smith and Ben Wagland No. 1 in the men's doubles draw.

The Oracle Masters digital tournament program is advertising live coverage of the finals on Tennis Channel Sunday, although my Tennis Channel TV schedule shows Davis Cup in that time slot.

Live scoring is available at the ITA tournament page, as well as full draws.

Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim spoke with Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd, a former Baylor player, about the company's support of the tournament and college tennis, the recent format changes and how tennis and business skills intersect in this podcast.

Davis Cup begins for the United States team of Jack Sock, Sam Querrey, Steve Johnson and Donald Young at 1 a.m. Eastern time Friday morning in Uzbekistan, with Johnson taking on Denis Istomin, followed by Sock playing Farrukh Dustov. The US, playing without Isner and the Bryans, must win the tie to stay in the World Group for 2016.

Below is the complete list of Davis Cup ties this weekend. Many former college players are on their countries' rosters, with a current one having the most challenging assignment.  Due to Spain falling out of the World Group, they take on Denmark in Zonal competition, with Ohio State sophomore Mikael Torpegaard facing none other than Rafael Nadal in the opening rubber.

2014 ITF World Junior Champion Andrey Rublev, who helped Russia relegate Spain in July, also has a tough assignment, taking on Italy's Fabio Fognini at No. 2 singles.


Venue: Emirates Arena, Glasgow, GBR (hard - indoor)

Andy Murray (GBR) v Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)
Daniel Evans (GBR) v Bernard Tomic (AUS)
Dominic Inglot/Jamie Murray (GBR) v Samuel Groth/Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)
Andy Murray (GBR) v Bernard Tomic (AUS)
Daniel Evans (GBR) v Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)

Venue: Forest National, Brussels, BEL (hard - indoor)

David Goffin (BEL) v Federico Delbonis (ARG)
Steve Darcis (BEL) v Leonardo Mayer (ARG)
Ruben Bemelmans/Kimmer Coppejans (BEL) v Carlos Berlocq/Diego Schwartzman (ARG)
David Goffin (BEL) v Leonardo Mayer (ARG)
Steve Darcis (BEL) v Federico Delbonis (ARG)


Venue: R.K.Khanna Tennis Stadium, New Delhi, IND (hard - outdoor)

Yuki Bhambri (IND) v Lukas Rosol (CZE)
Somdev Devvarman (IND) v Jiri Vesely (CZE)
Rohan Bopanna/Leander Paes (IND) v Adam Pavlasek/Radek Stepanek (CZE)
Yuki Bhambri (IND) v Jiri Vesely (CZE)
Somdev Devvarman (IND) v Lukas Rosol (CZE)

Venue: Palexpo, Geneva, SUI (hard - indoor)

Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Thiemo de Bakker (NED)
Roger Federer (SUI) v Jesse Huta Galung (NED)
Roger Federer/Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Matwe Middelkoop/Tim Van Rijthoven (NED)
Roger Federer (SUI) v Thiemo de Bakker (NED)
Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Jesse Huta Galung (NED)

Venue: Sports Palace 'Baikal-Arena', Irkutsk, RUS (hard - indoor)

Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) v Simone Bolelli (ITA)
Andrey Rublev (RUS) v Fabio Fognini (ITA)
Evgeny Donskoy/Konstantin Kravchuk (RUS) v Paolo Lorenzi/Andreas Seppi (ITA)
Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) v Fabio Fognini (ITA)
Andrey Rublev (RUS) v Simone Bolelli (ITA)

Venue: Olympic Tennis School, Tashkent, UZB (clay - outdoor)

Denis Istomin (UZB) v Steve Johnson (USA)
Farrukh Dustov (UZB) v Jack Sock (USA)
Farrukh Dustov/Denis Istomin (UZB) v Steve Johnson/Sam Querrey (USA)
Denis Istomin (UZB) v Jack Sock (USA)
Farrukh Dustov (UZB) v Steve Johnson (USA)

Venue: Club Campestre, Pereira, COL (clay - outdoor)

Santiago Giraldo (COL) v Taro Daniel (JPN)
Alejandro Falla (COL) v Kei Nishikori (JPN)
Juan-Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah (COL) v Yoshihito Nishioka/Yasutaka Uchiyama (JPN)
Santiago Giraldo (COL) v Kei Nishikori (JPN)
Alejandro Falla (COL) v Taro Daniel (JPN)

Venue: Centro Nacional De Tenis Parque Del Este, Santo Domingo, DOM (hard - outdoor)

Benjamin Becker (GER) v Victor Estrella Burgos (DOM)
Jose Hernandez-Fernandez (DOM) v Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER)
Roberto Cid/Jose Olivares (DOM) v Dustin Brown/Philipp Petzschner (GER)
Victor Estrella Burgos (DOM) v Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER)
Jose Hernandez-Fernandez (DOM) v Benjamin Becker (GER)

Venue: Costao do Santinho Resort, Florianopolis, BRA (clay - outdoor)

Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) v Mate Delic (CRO)
Joao Souza (BRA) v Borna Coric (CRO)
Marcelo Melo/Bruno Soares (BRA) v Ivan Dodig/Franko Skugor (CRO)
Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) v Borna Coric (CRO)
Joao Souza (BRA) v Mate Delic (CRO)

Venue: Gdynia Arena, Gdynia, POL (hard - indoor)

Michal Przysiezny (POL) v Martin Klizan (SVK)
Jerzy Janowicz (POL) v Norbert Gombos (SVK)
Lukasz Kubot/Marcin Matkowski (POL) v Andrej Martin/Igor Zelenay (SVK)
Jerzy Janowicz (POL) v Martin Klizan (SVK)
Michal Przysiezny (POL) v Norbert Gombos (SVK)


Venue: Odense Idrætshal, DEN (hard - indoor)

Mikael Torpegaard (DEN) v Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Frederik Nielsen (DEN) v David Ferrer (ESP)
Thomas Kromann/Frederik Nielsen (DEN) v Roberto Bautista Agut/Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
Frederik Nielsen (DEN) v Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Mikael Torpegaard (DEN) v David Ferrer (ESP)

Venue: Siemens Arena, Vilnius, LTU (hard - indoor)

Ricardas Berankis (LTU) v Vladyslav Manafov (UKR)
Laurynas Grigelis (LTU) v Illya Marchenko (UKR)
Lukas Mugevicius/Dovydas Sakinis (LTU) v Marat Deviatiarov/Denys Molchanov (UKR)
Ricardas Berankis (LTU) v Illya Marchenko (UKR)
Laurynas Grigelis (LTU) v Vladyslav Manafov (UKR)


Venue: The National Tennis Development Centre, Nonthaburi, THA (hard - outdoor)

Warit Sornbutnark (THA) v Ze Zhang (CHN)
Pruchya Isarow (THA) v Di Wu (CHN)
Sanchai Ratiwatana/Sonchat Ratiwatana (THA) v Mao-Xin Gong/Zhe Li (CHN)
Pruchya Isarow (THA) v Ze Zhang (CHN)
Warit Sornbutnark (THA) v Di Wu (CHN)


Venue: National Tennis Centre, St. Michael, BAR (hard - outdoor)

Darian King (BAR) v Ivan Endara (ECU)
Haydn Lewis (BAR) v Emilio Gomez (ECU)
Darian King/Haydn Lewis (BAR) v Gonzalo Escobar/Emilio Gomez (ECU)
Darian King (BAR) v Emilio Gomez (ECU)
Haydn Lewis (BAR) v Ivan Endara (ECU)


Venue: Clube de Ténis de Viana, Viana do Castelo, POR (clay - outdoor)

Joao Sousa (POR) v Egor Gerasimov (BLR)
Gastao Elias (POR) v Uladzimir Ignatik (BLR)
Gastao Elias/Joao Sousa (POR) v Sergey Betov/Max Mirnyi (BLR)
Joao Sousa (POR) v Uladzimir Ignatik (BLR)
Gastao Elias (POR) v Egor Gerasimov (BLR)

Venue: Bulgarian National Tennis Center, Sofia, BUL (clay - outdoor)

Dimitar Kutrovsky (BUL) v Peter Nagy (HUN)
Dimitar Kuzmanov (BUL) v Marton Fucsovics (HUN)
Tihomir Grozdanov/Aleksandar Lazov (BUL) v Marton Fucsovics/Levente Godry (HUN)
Dimitar Kutrovsky (BUL) v Marton Fucsovics (HUN)
Dimitar Kuzmanov (BUL) v Peter Nagy (HUN)


Venue: Ulusal Tenis Egitim Merkezi Tennis Club, Izmir, TUR (hard - outdoor)

Aqeel Khan (PAK) v Jui-Chen Hung (TPE)
Samir Iftikhar (PAK) v Jimmy Wang (TPE)
Mohammad Abid Ali Khan Akbar/Aisam Qureshi (PAK) v Chieh-Fu Wang/Cheng-Yu Yu (TPE)
Aqeel Khan (PAK) v Jimmy Wang (TPE)
Samir Iftikhar (PAK) v Jui-Chen Hung (TPE)


Venue: Club Palestino, Santiago, CHI (clay - outdoor)

Gonzalo Lama (CHI) v Ricardo Rodriguez (VEN)
Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (CHI) v Jordi Munoz-Abreu (VEN)
Christian Garin/Luis David Martinez (CHI) v Jordi Munoz-Abreu/Juan Carlos Saez (VEN)
Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (CHI) v Ricardo Rodriguez (VEN)

Juan Carlos Saez (CHI) v Jordi Munoz-Abreu (VEN)


AGE 20 - FRESHMAN - Freshman Mazen Osama was selected as the top newcomer in the Oracle/ITA Division I Men's National Newcomer/Freshman Rankings said...

Cairo, Egypt native, Osama has been ranked as high as No. 473 ATP singles and No. 813 doubles … reached the semifinals or better in 8 singles and 8 doubles ITF Futures tournaments … achieved a No. 24 ITF world junior ranking and competed at the 2013 Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon Junior Championships … reached the singles quarterfinals at the 2012 Yucatan Cup, the singles and doubles semifinal of the 2012 Eddie Herr Championships and was a singles finalist at the 2013 ITF African Closed Junior 18 & Under Championships.

Born February 9, 1995 … son of Osama & Hanan … General Studies major in Human Environmental Science

Freshman Mazen Osama was selected as the top newcomer in the Oracle/ITA Division I Men's National Newcomer/Freshman Rankings,


Rory said...

Yep, and this freshman will turn 21 during his freshman year.

Another freshman that turns 21 freshman year is on that list. said...

SOMMER, EnzoAge:20 (01 May 1995)

3 Freshman that turn 21 freshman year -Oracle/ITA Division I Men's National Newcomer/Freshmen Rankings said...

FAVROT, AlexandreAge:20 (24 Feb 1995)

whoops. Make that 4 freshman on that list that turn 21 freshman year. said...

DI FEO, HugoAge:20 (18 Apr 1995)

40% of the freshman turn 21 during their freshman year. All foreigners.
Oracle/ITA Division I Men's National Newcomer/Freshmen Rankings
Administered by the ITA
NCAA Division I Tennis
September 15, 2015

ClarkC said...

Most schools list newcomers as Freshmen when they show up, but that does not mean they have four years of NCAA eligibility. Peter Lucassen was a freshman at USC, then the next year he was a senior, then he was finished with his eligibility after two years.

If you follow these players for the next few years, you will not see any of them playing for four years. So, this is no different from an American player trying the Futures circuit for a year, then going to college, being listed as a Freshman but only having three years of eligibility (or playing two years, having even less eligibility).

Yes you will said...

PL aside, many of them do come in older and do play four years, it is the way it has always been with the foreign players. Many graduate at 24 or 25 after playing four years. It happens. New NCAA regulations in 2012 were supposed to curb it, but that hasn't been totally successful.

ClarkC said...

What examples do you have of foreign players coming in to NCAA D-1 after August of 2012 and playing for four years despite their age? Given that it has only been three years since August of 2012, I would not think there are too many examples yet.

We see said...

Players and those that actually have players in the college tennis system know how this works and how teams work around it. There are still 24-25 year old foreign players graduating every year having played all four years. Some have an agenda to push foreign players regardless of the cost to American players. They are blind to reality, because they choose to be and/or don't have the experience of ever being within the system to know better. Pushing an agenda only works in forums of the uninformed.

ClarkC said...

"We see said" : You still did not answer my question with examples. Your agenda only works in forums of the uninformed.

For what it's worth said...

Clark, it seems like 23 is the limit for most players now. Just a handful of examples. Baylor's Lenz will be 23 this year. Galeano was a 23 year old senior last year. Oklahoma's Alvarez will be a 23 year old senior. Bragusi was a 21 year old Fr./Soph his first year. He will be a 22 year old Jr and then a 23 year old Senior, who will be nearly 24 when the NCAA tourney finishes his last year. Americans typically still have a disadvantage since each guy only has 6 months after graduation to start school. Unless they were held back in school, and how many tennis guys are--they are generally looking for as little school as possible, nearly all Americans are going to school and turning 19 their freshman year instead of 20, like a number of foreigners.

Alex Ho said...

I thought they fixed the issue with older foreign tennis players before 2012? For whatever reason, Americans rarely if ever take year off between college to play tour, than go to college to play.

ClarkC said...

For what it's worth: Which of these players entered after August of 2012 and played four years?

For What it's Worth said...

ClarkC, No one, since August 2012 was only 3 years ago.

That being said, I haven't looked closely enough to see who might be eligible. As you have mentioned, nearly all of the older foreigners do not actually come as Freshmen anymore, hence the addition of the "newcomer" tag in the initial ITA rankings.

Tennis5 said...

Clark, this is an old conversation from years ago from TT . Boy/Men only question.

First some American seniors ( talking boys here only)
do enter college at age 17 ( yes, not every state has the same age cutoff for Kindergarten).
Regardless, you have college freshman that either turn 18 that fall, or turn 19 that fall or spring.
Americans are all held to the same rule for D1, the six month rule.

And yes, many of these foreigners do not have 4 years of eligibility. Everyone is on board with those facts I believe.

Newcomer freshman ranking -
7 out of 10 are FOREIGNERS. 70%.
4 out of 10 will turn 21 this year. ( yes, yes, got the eligibility understanding, down).

How is it fair to Americans to have D1 tennis at almost 70% foreign rate.
These are American universities we are talking about, many of them state.

Forget that the foreigners are better. I agree, hands down, they are. And yes, coaches want to win.

And why would a coach want to take a 17/18 year old freshman when he can take a 20 year old foreigner with 2 years of eligibility left. I've seen this over and over again, they just keep taking older freshman.

I should add I am not opposed to foreigners, nice hard working young men.
But, a state university team that is all foreign?

A cap across the board of 2 men a team. Would even it out.

The question that will start to be asked more frequently by American parents is why would they want to pay an exorbitant amount of money in the raising of a tennis player when most of the scholarship money and spots will go to foreigners.

The trend only increases each year...

Will be a 25 senior when he graduates. said...


Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Ramnicu Valcea, Romania

Currently 22, turns 23 in June of this year - sophomore
23, turns 24 junior year
24 , turns 25 when he graduates.

ClarkC said...

"Will be a 25 senior ..." : Two questions for you. Did Bragusi arrive before August of 2012? (2) Are you sure he had four years of eligibility when he arrived? Please review the conversation so far. This repetition is getting tiresome.

Check SoonerSports.com said...

Will be, OU's tennis site now lists the 14-15 season as Bragusi's Sophomore year. Soonersports.com

Bigger picture said...

Some just can't lose an argument. No question being allowed to come in older is an advantage for foreign players whether they stay one year or four years. The big issue is the negative impact to U.S. tennis overall with so many of them taking scholarships, again, whether it is for a year or four years. It is creating a steady but sure drain on the desire of U.S. tennis families to pursue tennis at all, particularly on the men's side with limited scholarships. No one can argue that. It would never happen in another sport, schools and organizations wouldn't let it.

Pro Tennis Player Dad said...

In my opinion, the main reason the top Junior boys are turning pro straight out of High School and foregoing collegiate tennis is due to the myriad of plain stupid NCAA rules and restrictions levied on players, including limits on personal coaching time, practice sessions and competitions (not to mention the shortened match formats). Allegedly, these rules have been implemented solely for the "best interest" of the student-athlete. That's a piece of crap. These restrictions severely impact a top-player's development so I can't blame them for going down the pro route, provided of course they are mature enough to handle the pressures associated with playing professional tennis.

Realistic Dad said...

@Pro Tennis Dad - Yeah, it's ridiculous that they have rules intact that make sure they have time to be college students and experience college life. Classic how you put "best interest" in quotes,too.
Realize that maybe 5 (I'm being generous) players in college tennis have the potential to be top 100 pros. Another 10-20 in college will be able to get by for a few years playing futures, etc. So throw out the rule book so these 5-20 can train and play all they want?
For the 2500 others the prize now is a degree and a great experience balancing a sport and academics.
It's great that players not interested in the full college experience have another option.

Alex Ho said...

I think having older foreign players is good for top U.S. Juniors to compete against, and practice with at college level, many of these players are futures and challenger level. Unfortunately like realistic dad said, there are only a few players in college (U.S. And foreign) who really have a shot to be top 200 in the world, and these older foreign players take to many spots from Americans who could develop as freshman and sophomores. When you throw in the fact that there are only 4.5 scholarships, junior tennis is just not a smart investment for boys. Just one more reason why my boys play team sports for way less expense, easy carpools, and just play tennis recreationally.

I don't believe that no ad has anything to do with stunting development. When I played in junior and college tennis, we did both no add and regular scoring, and it wasn't a big deal. The fact that top college players are able to play futures and challengers during the fall is also great for their development, but doesn't seem great for academic side.