Tuesday, July 28, 2020

ITA Summer Circuit Week 6 Concludes Monday; Winthrop Continues Effort to Save Tennis Teams; WTA Event in Tokyo Canceled; Dimitrov, Tiafoe No Longer Positive for Covid-19

The ITA Summer Circuit will head into its home stretch this weekend, with the final four events in Week 7 beginning on Saturday. Then it's on to the ITA National Summer Championships, starting a week from Friday in College Station, with $15,000 in prize money offered. Week 6 was a busy one, with nine events taking place across the country. I reviewed two of them on Sunday, four of them yesterday, and recaps of the other three follow.

At the University of Minnesota event, Ohio State rising junior Kolie Allen, the No. 2 seed, defeated top seed Nandini Das, who will return to Florida State for a fifth year, 7-6(5), 6-0 to take the women's title.

Top seed Gavin Young, a blue chip who is the son of Minnesota head coach Geoff Young and will play for his father next season, won the men's title. He defeated four-star rising junior Mujtaba Ali-Khan, the No. 2 seed, 6-1, 6-2 in the final.

In Raleigh North Carolina, top seed Abigail Forbes, a rising sophomore at UCLA, won the women's top flight, defeating Vanderbilt rising sophomore Anna Ross 7-5, 6-0 in the final. 

In another rare, all-college final, two Liberty rising sophomores squared off, with No. 5 seed Goncalo Ferreira defeating Rafael Da Silva 6-4, 6-4 for the men's top flight championship.

The College Station tournament also featured a final between teammates, with Texas A&M rising junior Guido Marson, the No. 1 seed, beating No. 2 seed Austin Abbrat, also a rising junior,  6-4, 6-2 for the men's top flight championship. 

Top seed Savannah Broadus, a blue-chip rising senior who has committed to Pepperdine, defeated five-star rising senior Jeannette Mireles 2-6, 6-3, 10-4 in the women's top flight final.

ESPN published an article today on the Winthrop tennis teams' effort to save their programs, which has benefitted from a similar push by the Eastern Carolina swimming and diving teams. The article mentions Billy Rinehart, a University of North Carolina Wilmington alumnus who had helped save its swim programs, is working on a resource guide for those trying to save programs.

Speaking of swimming and diving, a new twist to the current athletic department response to the Covid-19 implications for Olympic sports is this from Arizona State, where the entire men's and women's swimming and diving teams are taking a redshirt year in 2020-21. For more on this approach, see this Sports Illustrated article.

It's a rare day when a cancellation isn't featured in my post, and it won't be today, with the WTA Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, which had been moved from September to November, now canceled. The cancellation of this Premier event leaves just one tournament in Asia still on the schedule for 2020, the October International event in Korea.

Grigor Dimitrov, one of several top players who have contracted the Covid-19 virus, spoke about his recovery, and his uncertainty as to how it would ultimately affect him physically and mentally in the short term. Although he played in the UTS exhibition in France last week, he expresses doubt about flying again to return to the United States for the Western & Southern and US Open.

Frances Tiafoe, who contracted the virus while playing the Atlanta exhibition, announced today on twitter that he was now negative and was beginning training again.