Friday, July 31, 2020

ITA National Summer Championships Acceptances Include Wild Card for Krajicek; George Washington to Drop Men's Tennis; WTA Palermo Starts Saturday with Qualifying; W&S Open, USO Update

The ITA Summer Circuit National Championships, which begin next Friday at Texas A&M, announced its acceptances this week, and one of the participants is certainly unexpected, with former Aggie Austin Krajicek listed as a wild card recipient. The selection criteria mentions two Texas A&M wild cards, but the only one currently showing is Krajicek, who won the NCAA doubles title in 2011.

The 30-year-old, who is currently 47 in the ATP doubles rankings, played World Team Tennis the past three weeks, but his team, the Orange County Breakers, did not make the playoffs, so his WTT season is over.

The men's field is a strong one, with five players having UTR ratings of over 13.50: Hady Habib(Texas A&M), Alex Brown(Illinois), Vazha Shubladze(Georgia State), Zeke Clark(Illinois) and Noah Schachter(Texas A&M).  The women's field has two entries with UTRs over 11.00: Jessica Failla(Pepperdine) and Adriana Reami(North Carolina State).

While conferences continue to postpone fall sports or push back starting dates, news came today of another Division I program being cut. George Washington, which has both men's and women's teams, announced today that the men's team would be reduced to club status after this season.

The non-NCAA sports of men's rowing, sailing, men's and women's squash, and the NCAA sports of men's indoor track, men's tennis and women's water polo will have the opportunity to compete in their upcoming 2020-21 seasons, if it becomes safe to do so, but they will be discontinued at the conclusion of their respective seasons.

George Washington, located in Washington DC, will have 20 varsity sports after these seven teams go to club level.  This has to particularly disturbing to International Tennis Federation president David Haggerty, who played No. 1 singles for George Washington in the late 70s and is in their Hall of Fame.

Aliona Bolsova
Tomorrow marks the official resumption of the professional tours, with qualifying scheduled for the WTA International Palermo Ladies Open in  Italy. The qualifying field has seven Italians, including all four wild cards. No Americans are competing there, with the WTA in Kentucky taking place the following week. Varvara Gracheva of Russia is the top seed in qualifying; former Florida Atlantic star Aliona Bolsova of Spain is the No. 2 seed.  For more on the qualifying field, see this article from the WTA.

I'm not sure what prompted it, but today the USTA sent out another brief update on the status of the Western & Southern Open and the US Open.

The USTA continues its plans to stage the US Open and host both the US Open and the Western Southern Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. We remain confident that our top priority, the health and safety of all involved in both tournaments, remains on track. Working with our Medical Advisory Group and security team and the State of New York, we have developed a strong health and safety plan to mitigate the risk of infection within the contained environment comprised of the tournament site and player hotels. New York State continues to be one of the safest places in the country as it relates to the COVID-19 virus. Details of this health and safety plan will be released at a later date closer to the tournaments. In all aspects of health and safety, and the viability of travel to the New York area, the USTA has worked collaboratively with the WTA and the ATP.