Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Davis Beats Kenin, Gauff and McNally Advance at Volvo Car Open; French Open Expected to Delay One Week; ITA Releases New D-I Team Computer and Poll Rankings

Doubles partners Caty McNally and Coco Gauff advanced to Thursday's Round of 16 at the WTA 500 Volvo Car Open with wins today.

McNally trailed WTA No. 47 Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 4-2 in the third set, but won the final four games of the match to claim a 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-4 victory. Gauff, seeded No. 14, also went three sets, beating Liudmila Samsonova of Russia 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.  Three other US teenagers lost in today's second round: lucky loser Whitney Osuigwe, who took the place of No. 9 seed Marketa Vondrousova, 6-1, 6-4 to Kurumi Nara; wild card Hailey Baptiste, 6-3, 6-3 to No. 12 seed Ons Jabeur and wild card Emma Navarro, 6-4, 6-4 to No. 15 seed Veronika Kudermetova.

 Two of the three all-US matches are tonight, with Shelby Rogers playing No. 13 seed Amanda Anisimova and Sloane Stephens facing No. 8 seed Madison Keys. In the third, this afternoon, Lauren Davis upset No. 2 seed Sofia Kenin 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Gauff will play Davis Thursday, while McNally meets Paula Badosa of Spain, who defeated No. 5 seed Belinda Bencic today.

While Navarro lost her singles match, she advanced in doubles, with Caroline Dolehide. The wild cards defeated No. 3 seeds Yifan Xu and Shuai Zhang of China 6-1, 6-4 this afternoon.

According to this article from Reuters, French sports daily L’Equipe is reporting that the French Open will be delayed by one week this year, starting on May 30, rather than May 23, which is the date still on the Roland Garros website for the start of the main draw, with qualifying the week before that.

What this may mean for the Roland Garros Junior Championships is not clear; the ITF Junior Circuit website s still showing the dates of May 30-June 5, which would put it in the first week of the tournament, not the second, a schedule that is not feasible given the number of matches played the first week. Once an official announcement is made by the French Tennis Federation, I am sure the ITF will change the dates to the second week; how this might impact the cutoff date for entries, which is currently Tuesday April 20, is unclear.

As I wrote Tuesday, the ITA delayed the release of its Division I team rankings to today, and is now providing both the computer rankings and the coaches poll. (If you would like yet another poll, the USTA is also now releasing a weekly team ranking). From the tone of the ITA's post yesterday, I thought the discrepancies between its two sets of rankings might be large, but, at least in the top 10, that's not the case. I've put the two rankings of the Top 10 side by side for comparison purposes, with the computer rankings the ones with an average; you can see the disagreements are minor, with the Top 3 women's teams and the Top 5 men's team the same in both.

Men's Division I Top 10 April 7, 2021

Women's Division I Top 10 April 7, 2021

The complete women's rankings are here; the complete men's ranking are here.