Thursday, July 22, 2021

ITA Announces Location for Fall National Championships; All-Collegiate Quarterfinals at Edwardsville $15K; USTA Clay Court 16s Recaps; Olympic Tennis Draws; Nakashima Advances to Los Cabos Quarterfinals

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced the location of its 2021 National Fall Championships, one of the three collegiate "majors" in Division I. After taking place last year at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, this year's tournament will be held at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, from Thursday November 4 through Sunday November 7.

The 32-player draws for both men and women will be filled with ITA regional champions, as well at-large and wild card entries. This will be the fifth year for this event, which replaced the National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships on the calendar. There is no mention of prize money this year, and no mention of the event being open to any non-college players, as it was last year. And speaking of no mentions, Oracle, who had given so much support to the ITA prior to Mark Hurd's death, is no longer listed in the tournament's name.

For more on this year's event, see this release from the ITA (I'm sure the reference to 64 doubles teams is in error and should be 32 doubles teams or 64 doubles players). Alexa Graham of North Carolina and Trey Hilderbrand of Central Florida won the singles titles last year(no doubles were played).

The quarterfinals are set at the men's $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Edwardsville Illinois, with all eight players either current or former college players. 

2019 NCAA champion Paul Jubb(South Carolina) of Great Britain will play No. 6 seed Christian Langmo(Miami), and wild card Eliot Spizzirri(Texas rising junior) will take on No. 3 seed Strong Kirchheimer(Northwestern) in the top half. 

In the bottom half, wild card Cannon Kingsley (Ohio State rising junior) will face qualifier Billy Griffith(Cal). Blaise Bicknell (Florida rising junior) withdrew, giving Rinky Hijikata (North Carolina rising junior) of Australia a walkover into the semifinals. 

Langmo and Bruno Kuzuhara have advanced to the doubles semifinals, where they will face wild cards Nic Meister and South Africa's Siphosothando Montsi (Illinois rising juniors). Meister and Montsi defeated top seeds Evan Zhu(UCLA) and Igor Marcondes of Brazil 6-4, 6-4 today. 

The Tennis Recruiting Network's recaps of the 16s USTA Clay Court Championships are available today, providing details of the titles by Kaitlin Quevedo and Felipe Pinzon, both of whom were seeded outside the Top 16. In a remarkable coincidence, both are playing the ITF J5 this week in Colombia, and both have advanced to the semifinals, Pinzon as the No. 6 seed, Quevedo unseeded.

The Olympics begin Friday in Tokyo and tennis is among the first sports that will take place the first week. 

The draws have been published, with the men representing the US in singles Marcos Giron, Tommy Paul, Frances Tiafoe and Tennys Sandgren.  Sandgren, Tiafoe, Rajeev Ram and Austin Krajicek are the US men in the doubles draw. None are seeded.

The women representing the United States in singles are Jessica Pegula, Jennifer Brady[11] and Alison Riske. Coco Gauff was named to the team, but tested positive for Covid-19. Pegula and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, seeded No. 4, and Riske and Nicole Melichar, seeded No. 8, are the US doubles teams. 

The mixed doubles draw has yet to be released.

It's been difficult to follow the ATP 250 tournament in Los Cabos Mexico with the matches all in the late afternoon/evening three time zones away, but Brandon Nakashima(Virginia) defeated No. 4 seed Sam Querrey 6-3, 6-4 last night to reach his second career ATP quarterfinal. Nakashima will face No. 5 seed Jordan Thompson of Australia later tonight. Steve Johnson and No. 3 seed Taylor Fritz will also play tonight, each other, while No. 2 seed John Isner meets Alex Bolt of Australia. Cameron Norrie(TCU) of Great Britian defeated Ernesto Escobedo 6-1, 6-1 in the first quarterfinal completed today.