Wednesday, July 22, 2020

ITF Announces Resumption of Junior Calendar on August 31; Tennis Europe Also Sets August 31st Start Date; Blue Chip Ben Shelton Will Join Florida Early, Plus More Top Junior Commitments; UMES Suspends Women's Tennis

The International Tennis Federation has finally released a statement regarding its junior circuit calendar, with tournaments resuming beginning the week of August 31st. Unfortunately, the calendar on the junior website has not been updated to reflect the cancellations of events before that, so it remains to be seen which of the tournaments will actually happen. Currently the first ITF junior tournaments scheduled in the US are a Grade 4 and a Grade 5 in Texas in late September. The ITF's statement also makes no reference to any ranking adjustments.

The ITF World Tennis Tour men's and women's tournaments are set to resume the week of August 17, although all of those events in the United States have been canceled through August, with just a few $15K tournaments currently on the US Pro Circuit calendar in September.

Tennis Europe also announced that resumption of play for juniors there will begin August 31st, but there is much more detail in their release, including a ranking adjustment. The European championships, held each summer for the 14s, 16s and 18s, are being canceled for the first time in 45 years, and no Super category or Category 1 events will be held, with only 2s and 3s for the 14s and 16s age groups. Draws will be cut to 32 players and there will be no overlap between qualifying and main draw and no spectators are allowed. There is also this on rankings: From the resumption of competition and until 14 March 2021, an Extended Ranking Period (24 months/104 weeks) will come into place. More details will be online in due course.

The University of Florida announced today that blue chip Ben Shelton, who was expected to join the Gators in 2021, has completed his senior year early and will start at Florida this fall. The 17-year-old left-hander is the son of head coach Bryan Shelton, and was featured in this Tennis Recruiting article as one of several juniors who would be playing for their fathers.

Shelton is one of several top juniors who have made news on the recruiting front the past several days. According to Parsa Nemati, blue chip Jenna DeFalco has verbally committed to LSU for 2021, blue chip Sydney Ratliff has verbally committed to Ohio State for 2021, and

Nemati is also reporting that Christian Alshon is transferring from Virginia after this freshman year to Division III Chicago.

In addition to providing these updates, Nemati is also preparing a valuable list of the top 2020 freshmen by their UTR. Part 1 shows the men from 51-100 and the women from 51-75. I have no doubt I'll be referring to this often once college tennis resumes.

Division I University of Maryland Eastern Shore has suspended its women's tennis program beginning with the 2020-21 season. From the release:
"We will take the next three years to perform an assessment of the program's needs," Hawk Athletic Director Keith Davidson said. "During this suspension, a number of areas will be reviewed and evaluated. Current practice and match facilities, scholarships, equipment, coaching staff and other expenses that continue to impact our ability to offer a quality program for our young women will all be looked at."
 In addition, the university will initiate a fundraising campaign that will be dedicated to supporting the tennis program and returning our ladies to the court as well as reinstating the men's program, which was suspended beginning with the 2017-18 academic year.


Once a Tennis Fan said...

For the tennis world to come down on Collins concerning her leaving the Greenbrier Site of WTT, means tennis doesn't have enough news going on. No one is really watching the WTT, and it's not like news of Lebron leaving Cleveland and going to Miami. Leave Danielle be...maybe she thought Andy Jackson was coaching the WTT team ( she left UF years ago because they didn't appreciate her talents). Who cares if she left the team. There are more WTA Tournaments coming up in the next weeks. Maybe she left for personal reasons and it's none of our business. For God Sakes, put a Sub in and be done with it! I don't think anyone gives a rats about the outcome of the WTT matches. If she left for personal reasons then leave it private. Talk to her in person and not thru ESPN! The Media is INSANE!

Correction said...

ROLAND THORNQVIST is the Womens Tennis Coach at University of Florida, and was the coach during Danielle's short stay at Florida. Andy Jackson was the men's coach at UF.

Brent said...

She signed up for the rules. She broke the rules. She got caught. If she had a reason to leave the bubble, she could have notified the WTT and her team that she had to leave. She apparently chose not to do that. I don't know that I've seen the tennis world 'coming down' on her. Most of what I've seen is just a reporting of the news. Agreed that this isn't the end of the world, but fair to say that she could have handled it better?

Pookie said...

Diva Collins deserves all negative comments she receives on Social Media. She was the one that blasted Djokovic for not following protocol during his special tour party. She wasn't performing very well in WTT so maybe this was her way of getting out of having to put on a good show.

WCB said...

To counter your point on the WTT, I am really enjoying WTT this year. Love the format, love they are playing each day and there are some pretty good players. I am working from home and have the afternoon match on in the background each day. I like the daily nature of it and I know where to find it on TV. Some of the players I had never heard of or didn't know much about, but when you see them 2, 3 or 4 days in a row you start to follow them a bit more.

In some ways I enjoy this format as much or more than a regular tournament. Not saying the grand slams should do this, but it is a great change of pace.

Perhaps I am on the only one watching!!! ! but I have really enjoyed.