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Monday, February 22, 2021

Changes to May's NCAA Division I Championships; ITF Grade 1 in Brazil Underway; Strode Wins UTR $25K in Newport Beach; More UTR Pro Tennis Tour Events Added

The NCAA Division I men's and women's tennis committee met(virtually) earlier this month and made some adjustments to this year's tournament at the USTA's National Campus in Lake Nona. 

In 2019, a new format was introduced, with Super Regionals played on campuses, with those eight winning teams advancing to the finals site. That has been changed for this year, with the tournament going back to 16 men's and 16 women's teams at the finals site. From the NCAA committee report:

The proposed format change helps to minimize preliminary-round sites and reduces responsibilities for campuses that otherwise would host. By eliminating the 16 super-regional round locations, the committee will be able to provide the most effective and efficient competition as it relates to health and safety, given the increased restrictions in testing and gathering protocols.

This means starting competition at the finals site with round of 16 matches Sunday May 16th(women) and Monday May 17th(men).  With that change, the quarterfinals have been moved up a day to Wednesday May 19th(women) and Thursday May 20th(men) from when they were originally scheduled. Tuesday May 18th is an off day for everyone and it will serve as a rain day if the round of 16 matches cannot be played. As the release notes:

There are only six indoor courts available in Orlando. In the event of a complete rainout, eight matches cannot be completed indoors in one day with six courts. The advancing teams from the super-regional round [round of 16] have two days of rest before their next match in the quarterfinals.

The 2018 tournament was played at the National Campus and miraculously did not feature any rain, but the committee appears to recognize that it will be unlikely to be so lucky this year. 

The team finals will now be on Saturday, rather than Sunday, and the individual tournament will begin on Sunday and run through Friday, rather than as originally scheduled Monday through Saturday. 

Tennis Channel is mentioned as covering the team event from the quarterfinals on (which is good news for most, but I no longer have access to it).

The recommendation also moves the start of the quarterfinal round up one day to accommodate available television windows for the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals of the team tournament on the Tennis Channel.

The third consecutive South American Grade 1 is underway in Porto Alegre Brazil, with five American girls and seven American boys in the 32-player singles fields. The US boys are qualifier Aidan Kim, Dali Blanch[1], Bruno Kuzuhara[3], Alexander Bernard[4], Jack Anthrop[7], Victor Lilov and Ozan Colak. The US girls are Alexia Harmon, Madison Sieg[3], Ellie Coleman[5], Rebecca Lynn and Alexis Blokhina.

For the third straight week, top seed Blanch hasn't gotten to the quarterfinals; today he lost to Viacheslav Bielinskyi of Ukraine 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.  Colak, Coleman and Harmon also lost their first round matches today, with Sieg, Blokhina and Bernard getting victories; the others will play their first round matches Tuesday.

Isaiah Strode won last week's UTR $25K Pro Tennis Tour tournament in Newport Beach California, beating former USC Trojan Connor Farren 6-1, 5-7, 6-1 in the final. Strode takes home $4000 and Farren $2200 for their week's work.

Several more UTR $25K tournaments have been added in the United States and Mexico for this spring, with several in the Atlanta area and Cancun in March and April, and in Bradenton Florida in late May and June. See the complete schedule here.


fan said...
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fan said...

Even an INDOOR TEAM sport like women volleyball(Stanford) played this month so dunno what is the matter with tennis, no info whatsoever. Hopefully Taube match against SCU is played.

fan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.