Thursday, January 21, 2021

ITA Kickoff Weekend Begins Friday; Rematch at New Jersey Grade 5 for Boys Title; Top Seed Shnaider Out at Ukraine Grade 1; Brooksby Signs with UOMO

Men's host sites on left, women's host sites on right

The Division I "Road to Indoors" begins Friday, with the ITA Kickoff Weekend scheduled for ten sites across the country. Seven men's teams and seven women's teams will earn their spots in the National Team Indoors, scheduled for next month at Oklahoma State for the women and Illinois for the men. Although the number of participating teams has been cut in half this year, due to the pandemic, the host teams still are receiving an automatic bid. 

After several teams withdrew earlier this week and were replaced, no other withdrawals were announced today. The Iowa women are replacing LSU in the Texas Regional, moving Baylor to the No. 3 seed, while Iowa is now No. 4 and will play host Texas. Baylor's opponent is now No. 2 seed Arizona State.

As you can see from the graphic above, the four teams are hosting both men's and women's competitions: North Carolina, North Carolina State, Texas and Ohio State. 

The ITA has a new page for links to times, rosters, and live scoring. Cracked Racquets has secured rights to provide a NFL-like RedZone on its YouTube channel from several of the locations, with their coverage beginning at noon on Friday. 

The finals are set for the ITF Grade 5 in Medford New Jersey with the boys championship match the same as last week's final in Connecticut. Fourteen-year-old wild card Alexander Razeghi will take on No. 6 seed Louis Cloud for the title, with Razeghi having won his first ITF Junior Circuit title last week with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Cloud. In today's semifinals, Razeghi defeated qualifier Preston Stearns 6-3, 6-4 and Cloud ended the run of lucky loser Kase Schinnerer by a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 score. 

In the girls final, top seed Reese Brantmeier will take on No. 6 seed Elisabeth Jones after Brantmeier rebounded for a 4-6, 7-5(2), 6-1 victory over No. 7 seed Olivia Lincer, and Jones defeated unseeded Maya Joint 7-6(4), 6-2.  Both Cloud and Brantmeier are also through to the doubles finals.

At the Grade 1 in Ukraine, top seed Diana Shnaider of Russia was beaten by unseeded 15-year-old Anastasia Gureva of Russia 6-2, 4-6, 6-0. Gureva will face wild card Mariia Hlahola of Ukraine for a spot in the final. The other semifinal features No. 7 seed Polina Iatcenko of Russia against unseeded Ksenia Zaytseva of Russia. 

Fifteen-year-old Vojtech Petr of the Czech Republic is into the semifinals, where he will play unseeded Mark Lajal of Estonia. No. 8 seed Matthew Donald of the Czech Republic will face No. 2 seed Aleksandr Orlikowski of Poland in the other boys semifinal. 

Brandon Nakashima, the only American competing in this week's ATP Challenger 125 in Istanbul, lost his second round match today to former Texas A&M star Arthur Rinderknech of France 6-7(7), 6-1, 6-4. Italian Lorenzo Musetti, another teenager in the spotlight, also fell in the second round, to Benjamin Bonzi of France. Robert Galloway and Alex Lawson have advanced to the doubles semifinals. 

2018 Kalamazoo 18s champion Jenson Brooksby has signed an endorsement contract with UOMO, a clothing brand based in Los Angeles. The full release from Wednesday:

On this Inauguration Day, UOMO Sport is excited to announce the signing of native Californian and rising American star Jenson Brooksby to a multiyear agreement. Brooksby, coached by Joe Gilbert, turned professional late last year after leaving Baylor University early to make the transition to ATP Tour. Brooksby, the 2018 Kalamazoo 18's Champion, was the #1 recruit nationally for his graduating high school class and has a win over former top 10 player Tomas Berdych when he qualified and won his first round at the 2019 US Open. In 2021, Brooksby played and won the UTR Newport Beach Men’s event without dropping a set en route to the title.

 “I’m excited to join the UOMO family as I make the jump to pros. Steven's [Uomo Founder] vision for the clothes are inspirational and I’m honored to wear his line. He has believed in my game for a long time and I look forward to growing with Uomo on and off the tennis courts”

UOMO, based in California, is a Luxury Italian men's tennis apparel, combining class and innovation fabric for the ultimate performance.  Brooksby joins an elite roster of international players and coaches highlighted by Canadian Brayden Schnur, Germany’s Cedrik Marcel Stebe, Brazil’s Thomas Belucci, grand slam champion coach Brad Stine & legendary coach, announcer and former Wimbledon Champion Pat Cash.  UOMO’s 2021 line is honoring the grand slams and is available at select high end clubs around the world.