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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

November Aces; Damm Avenges Losses to Mochizuki at Dominican Republic $15K; Washington Out, Oklahoma State In as ITA Women's Team Indoor Host

Although many tournaments ended up being cancelled in November, there were enough to put my Tennis Recruiting Network monthly Aces column at pre-pandemic numbers. With a collegiate major and ITF and USTA Pro Circuit events on the calendar, 19 current and former college and junior players are featured here.

Although there are no USTA Pro Circuit events remaining in 2020, this week's $15,000 ITF World Tennis Tour event in the Dominican Republic has drawn big contingent of Americans, with 15 in the main draw. The top four seeds are from the US: Nick Chappell(TCU), Alex Rybakov(TCU), Felix Corwin(Minnesota) and Jordi Arconada(Texas A&M). Roy Smith(Baylor) is seeded No. 8.  Chappell won his opening round match today, as did Arconada and Smith.

One of the wild cards went to Dhruva Mulye of the United States, who played former Florida star Oliver Crawford today and lost 6-0, 6-0 in 45 minutes. Crawford won 24 points to Mulye's 6 in each set. Keegan Smith(UCLA) defeated Zeke Clark(Illinois) 6-4, 6-4 and will face Arconada in the second round.  

Eighteen-year-old Zane Khan, who qualified today, has a formidable opponent for his first round match Wednesday in Chile's Nicolas Jarry, who received a wild card. Jarry, whose ATP career-high ranking is 38, is just coming off an 11-month suspension after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs last year.

The first round match I was most interested in was between Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan and Martin Damm. The two 17-year-olds, who have trained together at IMG for years, met in the semifinals of the 2019 Wimbledon Junior Championships, which Mochizuki went on to win, and a few months later in the final of Junior Davis Cup in Lake Nona. Mochizuki won both those matches, but today it was Damm who came out on top 6-3, 6-7(10), 6-3 in just under three hours. Mochizuki had 11 double faults, and his return, which usually spells trouble for Damm, didn't appear to be at his usual level. 

Thanks to a tweet from @College10sRanks, I heard tonight that the ITA Women's Team Indoor, scheduled for February 5-8 in Seattle Washington, will be moved to Oklahoma State, with the University of Washington unable to host. Details will no doubt be forthcoming from the ITA on Wednesday, but I confirmed the news with Chris Young, women's head coach at Oklahoma State. 

"We are thankful for the chance to host the first national team event after having the NCAAs cancelled," Young said in a text. Oklahoma State was set to be the host site for the 2020 NCAA Championships before the pandemic shut down college tennis, and they will now host the NCAA team and individual tournaments in May of 2024. 


Loria Smith said...

OSU has won five of the last six ITA Kick-Off Weekends it has competed in, with its most recent coming in 2020 at home against Virginia and Kansas