Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Krueger and Govortsova Top Seeds at Florida $25Ks; Cleveland Hosts First 2021 US Challenger Next Month; Division II Men's and Women's Indoor Championships Begin Friday in Oklahoma

Qualifying is complete at the two $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournaments this week in Florida, with the women moving to Boca Raton and the men playing a second straight week in Naples. 

Mitchell Krueger is the top seed in Naples, with Bjorn Fratangelo the No. 2 seed. Darian King of Barbados played qualifying, but is seeded No. 3 in the main draw now that he made it through qualifying. 

Americans qualifying for the main draw are Dennis Novikov(UCLA), Evan Zhu(UCLA) and Christian Langmo(Miami). The wild cards, all of whom are in the top quarter of the draw, went to Govind Nanda(UCLA), Fletcher Scott(Illinois), Jesse Witten(Kentucky) and Zane Khan. Martin Damm entered with as a junior exempt and last week's champion Clement Tabur of France received a special exemption into the main draw.

Olga Govortsova is the top seed in Boca Raton, with Caroline Dolehide, who has returned from competing in Australia, the No. 2 seed.  

Americans qualifying for the main draw are Maria Mateas(Duke), Jamie Loeb(North Carolina), Catherine Harrison(UCLA) and Katie Volynets. 

Wild cards were awarded to Ashlyn Krueger, Elli Mandlik, Gabby Price and Hailey Baptiste. Baptiste played the only main draw match on Tuesday's schedule, beating No. 7 seed Varvara Flink of Russia 6-1, 4-6, 7-6(5).

Robin Montgomery used her option for a junior exempt for entry, and last week's Orlando champion Katie Swan of Great Britain is the main draw with a special exempt entry. 

The USTA released a new men's Pro Circuit calendar yesterday, and has been the case since last August's return to competition, opportunities remain sparse. Hopefully more events will be added, but as of now, there is nothing on the $15,000 or $25,000 level after this week until May 17th.

There are three ATP Challenger 80s scheduled, with the first one in the United States this year set for Cleveland March 15-20. For more on the Cleveland Challenger, which will be restricting access to the event, see this recent release.  JJ Wolf, who would normally be on the entry list for the event in his home state, is currently out with an injury and is not expected to compete.

The other two Challengers are both in Florida, in Orlando the week of April 12th and in Tallahassee the week of April 19th.

The women's USTA Pro Circuit calendar, released earlier this month, shows another $25K next week in California, but nothing else until mid April after that. Currently, there are no $15,000 tournaments on the schedule until June. A couple of $60Ks and two $100Ks in April and May are the spring highlights for women.

The ITA Division II Team Indoor Championships were introduced last year, and thank goodness, because in less than two weeks the entire season was sunk by the pandemic. The tournaments are again in Oklahoma, with the men's event hosted by Midwestern State University in Oklahoma City and the women's event hosted by University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond

Barry, the women's defending champions, is not competing this year, with the University of Indianapolis the top seed and Columbus State No. 2.  The schedule for Friday:

8:00 AM CT – (3) University of West Florida vs. (6) Angelo State University
11:15 AM CT – (2) Columbus State University vs. (7) Southwest Baptist University
2:30 PM CT – (1) University of Indianapolis vs. (8) Midwestern State University
5:45 PM CT – (4) University of Central Oklahoma vs. (5) Flagler College

Columbus State is defending its men's title as the top seed, with the University of West Florida seeded second. The men's schedule for Friday:

8:00 AM CT – (3) Flagler College vs. (6) University of Indianapolis
11:15 AM CT – (2) University of West Florida vs. (7) Delta State University
2:30 PM CT – (4) Drury University vs. (5) Concordia University Irvine
5:45 PM CT – (1) Columbus State University vs. (8) Midwestern State University

The ITA announced two weeks ago that Division III would not be having Team Indoor Championships this year.


Brent said...

I know others on the site have complained about how wild cards get awarded in the past. And I have been skeptical that they are awarded off of something other than a generally merit-based approach (with obvious judgment involved). But then how do you explain Fletcher Scott getting a main draw wild card two weeks in a row? Not sure if he'll play top 6 for Illinois and lost 0 & 0 to Baylor's #5 guy in his previous ITF tournament to this one. Meanwhile, Brandon Holt, and a long list of others, are in qualifying?