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Monday, February 28, 2022

Shao Wins First ITF Junior Circuit Tournament She Enters at Mexico J5, Five More Doubles Titles for US Juniors Last Week; Grade 1 in Russia Postponed; Hovde Awarded Wild Card at Arcadia $60K; Barry Women Claim D-II Team Indoor Championship

In addition to the boys singles and doubles titles won by American boys Nishesh Basavareddy, Cooper Williams and Aidan Kim at the ITF Grade A in Brazil, six more titles were collected by US juniors last week at lower-level tournaments on the Junior Circuit.

The only other singles title came from the J5 in Mexico, where 14-year-old Claire Shao of New Jersey, playing in her first ITF junior tournament, went through qualifying all the way to the championship. Shao won two matches in qualifying and five in the main draw; even though the tournament featured main draws of 64 players she received a walkover into the final, where she met another 14-year-old American, Cleo Hutchinson. Hutchinson, seeded third, won two J5s last summer in Kenya, so she was the more experienced of the two, but Shao pulled out a 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-4 victory.

The unseeded team of Ginger Foster and Adla Lopez prevented a Shao sweep, beating the unseeded Shao and Taly Licht 6-3, 6-7(4), 10-4 in the all-American final.

Ari Cotoulas and his partner Rei Sakamoto of Japan, the No. 2 seeds, won the boys doubles title, beating unseeded Santiago Muhala and his partner Gonzalo Zeitune of Argentina 6-4, 6-3 in the final.

At the J5 in Guatemala, the unseeded American team of Vessa Turley and Naomi Widiaman defeated top seeds Deborah Dominguez Collado of Guatemala and Sarah L'Allier of Canada 7-5, 4-6, 10-6 in the championship match in girls doubles. 

Pavan Uppu won his second consecutive doubles title at the J4 in Rwanda, again with partner Seungmin Park Korea. The unseeded pair defeated No. 4 seeds Rayen Hermassi and Skander Mezouar of Tunisia 6-3, 3-6, 10-3 in the final.

And at the J5 in Senegal, Jelani Sarr and partner Thomas Faurel of France won the doubles title, with the top seeds defeating No. 2 seeds Simon Daune of Belgium and Federico Scotuzzi of Italy 6-4, 6-3 in the final. Faurel defeated Sarr in the singles final 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 the next day. 

With the Grade 1 in Russia postponed this week due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the highest level events remaining are Grade 3s in the Netherlands and Mexico. There are 10 US boys and 21 US girls in the 48-player singles draws in Tampico, no Americans are in the draws in the Netherlands.

After three weeks with no USTA Pro Circuit events for women, there is one tournament this week, in Arcadia California, at the $60,000 level. 

Qualifying began today, with the eight spots in the main draw to be filled with those who get a second win Tuesday. 

With BNP Paribas Open women's qualifying beginning next Monday in Indian Wells, there is no shortage of international players in the main draw, with WTA No. 118 Chloe Pacquet of France the top seed and No. 123 Maddison Inglis of Australia the No. 2 seed.

The seeded Americans in the main draw are Katie Volynets[6] and Robin Anderson[7](UCLA). Wild cards were given to Australian Open girls semifinalist Liv Hovde, Elvina Kalieva, Duke recruit Katie Codd and Raveena Kingsley. Kalieva will face Inglis in the first round, with Hovde drawing No. 3 seed Harriet Dart of Great Britain.

Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic used the ITF's Junior Exemption procedure for her main draw entry.

There are no USTA men's Pro Circuit tournaments this week.

2022 Women's Division II Team Indoor Champions Barry
photo courtesy ITA

A week after Barry's men's team won their ITA Division II Indoor Championship, the women's program has followed suit. The top-ranked Buccaneers defeated No. 3 seed Central Oklahoma in today's Team Indoor final in Edmond Oklahoma 4-0. After not participating in the event last year, Barry took back the title they won in the inaugural tournament in 2020. The box score can be found in this article from the Barry website.

There is just one more ITA Team Indoor Championships to be decided this year, with the Women's Division III tournament scheduled to begin Friday at the Top Seed Tennis Club in Nicholasville Kentucky.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Shang Captures Fourth USTA Pro Circuit Title at Naples $15K; Top Seed Case Western Earns First D-III Men's Team Indoor Title; Ohio State, Texas Women Post Top 10 Wins

Juncheng Jerry Shang won his fourth $15,000 men's USTA Pro Circuit title today in Naples Florida, his first title of 2022. The unseeded 17-year-old from China, who trains at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, defeated unseeded Felix Corwin(Minnesota) 7-6(4), 7-6(1) in two hours and 20 minutes to add to the titles he won last fall in Fayetteville Arkansas, Naples and Vero Beach. 

Shang, who is still using his ITF Junior ranking (currently No. 2) to get into these $15,000 tournaments, should finally break into the ATP Top 600 after this title and is likely to receive another qualifying wild card into the Miami Open next month, after taking Great Britain's Liam Broady to a third set tiebreaker in last year's qualifying. 

Top seed Case Western Reserve won the ITA Men's Division III Team Indoor title today in Mayfield Ohio, defeating No. 6 seed University of Chicago 5-1 in this morning's final. Case Western was clearly the best of the eight-team field, losing only one point in each of their three matches this weekend. The Spartans swept all three doubles points and Ansh Shah at line 3 and Jonathan Powell at line 6 clinched the win for Case Western. Chicago's sole point came from former University of Virginia transfer Christian Alshon at line 2.

It's the first title for Case Western in the 21-year history of the tournament. For more, see this recap from the school's website.

The post-Division I Team Indoor calendar hasn't lacked for great matches, as the top schools continue to seek quality non-conference opponents before the conference seasons begin in earnest. 

There were two Top 10 matchups today on the women's side, with No. 4 Ohio State defeating No. 8 Pepperdine 5-2 in Columbus and No. 5 Texas beating No. 6 Cal 4-3 in Berkeley. 

Ohio State dropped the doubles point in a tiebreaker at line 2, but came back in singles to take five first sets. The Buckeyes closed out three of those matches, with Kolie Allen at line 4, Isabelle Boulais at line 2 and Irina Cantos at line 1 getting straight-sets wins to put Ohio State up 3-1. The other three matches went to third sets, with Pepperdine needing all three, but it was freshman Sydni Ratliff's 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 win that clinched it for the Buckeyes. They played out the final two matches, with Pepperdine winning at 5 and Ohio State at 6. For more on this match, see the Ohio State website.

Cracked Racquets provided RedZone coverage of the Ohio State-Pepperdine match, in the first of their scheduled coverage every Sunday of Big Ten conference dual matches. SEC coverage on Fridays is also anticipated, so check their YouTube channel for updates as we get deep into conference play in the coming weeks.

Texas, who had lost to 5-2 to No. 64 Stanford in Palo Alto Friday,  won the doubles point and got wins from Peyton Stearns at line 1, Vivian Ovrootsky at line 6, with Sabina Zeynalova clinching it for the Longhorns at line 3. Texas had beaten Cal 4-2 in the consolation stage of the Women's Team Indoor two weeks ago.

The most notable result in men's action today was a conference match in the Big 12, with No. 4 Baylor coming from behind to defeat No. 20 Oklahoma 4-3 in Norman. The Sooners took the doubles point and three first sets in singles, then led 2-0 and 3-2, but Baylor got the three-set win they needed from Finn Bass at line 4 to tie it and Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi took the deciding match at line 5 over Justin Schlageter 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3. A recap is available at the Oklahoma website.

A quick note of congratulations to 2013 NCAA doubles champion Kaitlyn Christian of USC, who won her first WTA doubles title today in Guadalajara Mexico. No. 3 seeds Christian and her partner Lidzaya Marozava of Belarus defeated Xinyu Wang and Lin Zhu of China 7-5, 6-3 in this evening's final.

In ATP Challenger action, former University of Virginia standout Alexander Ritschard reached the final of the Challenger 80 in Italy as a qualifier and had four match points in the third set tiebreaker, but lost to Great Britain's Jack Draper 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(8). It's the second Challenger final for Ritschard, who should move into the ATP Top 250 for the first time; Draper, the 2018 Wimbledon boys finalist, has now won back-to-back Challenger titles and will move into the ATP Top 150.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Basavareddy Wins Grade A Banana Bowl; Shang, Corwin Meet Sunday for Naples $15K Title; Ngounoue Captures $15K Doubles Title; Chicago and Case Western Advance to Men's D-III Team Indoor Final

Sixteen-year-old Nishesh Basavareddy has now run his winning streak in Brazil to 13 matches with his 6-1, 6-4 victory today over No. 6 seed Bor Artnak of Slovenia in the final of the ITF Grade A Banana Bowl in Criciuma Brazil. 

The Carmel Indiana resident, who is a senior in high school and has verbally committed to Stanford for the fall, started his winning streak in qualifying at the Grade 1 warmup tournament in Brazil two weeks ago. After three victories to make the main draw, Basavareddy added five more to take that title, and because he was still playing in that event and could not play in qualifying for this week's Grade A, he received a special exemption into the main draw. 

Because he had been sidelined by injuries most of last year, it wouldn't have been a surprise if he had run out of gas by now, after 13 singles and four doubles matches in the past two weeks, but Basavareddy held up physically, which has to give him great confidence for the rest of the spring and summer. With the 500 points he receives for winning this Grade A, he will move into the Top 25, assuring himself a place in the junior slams this summer.

No. 7 seed Lucia Havlickova of the Czech Republic won the girls singles title, defeating No. 8 seed Annabelle Xu of Canada 6-2, 6-2. Havlickova was a late entry, so the 16-year-old had to play qualifying, meaning she won eight matches for the title, all in straight sets.

The finals are set at the $15,000 USTA men's Pro Circuit tournament this week in Naples Florida, with 17-year-old Juncheng Jerry Shang of China taking on Felix Corwin, the former Minnesota star. 

Shang, who has won three USTA Pro Circuit $15Ks since losing in the final of the US Open Junior Championships in September, defeated No. 7 seed Timo Stodder (Tennessee) of Germany 6-2, 7-5 in today's semifinals. The unseeded Corwin, who defeated Pedro Boscardin Dias of Brazil 6-2, 6-1 today, is in his first final since he won his only title back in the fall of 2020.

Evan Zhu(UCLA) and Zeke Clark(Illinois) won the doubles title today, with the No. 2 seeds defeating Blu Baker of Great Britain and Jesse Witten(Kentucky), last week's Naples $15K champions, 3-6, 6-3, 10-8. Clarke and Zhu had lost to Baker and Witten in last week's final.

In other doubles results, 15-year-old Clervie Ngounoue won her first ITF World Tennis Tour women's title today in doubles, at the $15,000 tournament in Tunisia. Ngounoue and her partner, 17-year-old Hanne Vandewinkel of Belgium, who received entry as wild cards, defeated fellow teens Mara Guth and Mia Mack of Germany, also unseeded, 6-1, 6-2 in the final. 

Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula won the WTA 1000 doubles title in Doha, with the unseeded pair defeating No. 3 seeds Veronika Kudermetova of Russia and Elise Mertens of Belgium 3-6, 7-5, 10-5 in the final. It's their first title as a team, and the biggest of Gauff's career. The 17-year-old had won three WTA 250 titles with Caty McNally, while also reaching last year's US Open women's final with her. For more on their title, see this recap from the WTA website.

Vanderbilt's Christina Rosca and North Carolina State's Anna Rogers, two former collegians who completed their college eligibility last year, won their second consecutive ITF World Tennis Tour women's $25,000 title today in the Dominican Republic. Rosca and Rogers, who won the doubles title last week in Cancun, defeated Jasmijn Gimbrere and Isabella Haverlag of the Netherlands 6-2, 6-2 in today's final. 

Michael Venus(LSU) of New Zealand and Tim Puetz(Auburn) of Germany won the ATP 500 title in Dubai, saving three match points in a 6-3, 6-7(5), 16-14 win over No. 1 seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic of Croatia. Venus and Puetz now have three ATP titles since teaming up last summer. For more on the final, see this article from the ATP website.

This is a good place to call attention to the work of Chris Halioris of CollegeTennisRanks.com, which has recently provided updated lists of all the current and former collegiate players with ATP and WTA singles and doubles rankings that can be sorted by school. See the rankings tab for the links to the four lists.

Sunday's ITA Men's Division III Team Indoor final is set, with No. 6 seed Chicago facing top seed and host Case Western Reserve. Unlike yesterday, when Chicago eked out a 5-4 win over No. 3 seed Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, they had little trouble in today's semifinals, beating No. 7 seed Washington-St. Louis 8-1. Case Western got its second straight 8-1 win, beating No. 4 seed Trinity in the semifinals. For more on today's matches, see this ITA recap. Live scoring and live streaming links for Sunday's final can be found here.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Ten Questions with Bruno Kuzuhara; Basavareddy Reaches Final at JA Banana Bowl; Shang Beats Top Seed, Advances to Semifinals at Naples $15K; D-I Men's Team Indoor All-Tournament Team; Upsets on First Day of D-III Men's Team Indoor

Bruno Kuzuhara in action at ATP Delray Beach Open

I had an opportunity to talk with Bruno Kuzuhara earlier this month about his Australian Open boys title, his decision to turn pro and his ATP qualifying debut at the Delray Beach Open for this Tennis Recruiting Network article. My first conversation with Kuzuhara was in 2016, when he reached the final of the Junior Orange Bowl B12s (lost to Victor Lilov), so it's been interesting to watch his progress over the past five years, as he has climbed to the top of the junior tennis world and prepares himself for a professional career. Even after his junior slam title the 17-year-old Floridian hadn't ruled out college tennis and he explained his options there and what ultimately informed his decision to turn pro instead. Kuzuhara won a round at this week's $25K in Santo Domingo, and is scheduled to compete in next week's $25K there as well.

Nishesh Basavareddy has played in only two ITF Grade A junior tournaments. The first was at the 2020 Orange Bowl, where he lost in the second round as a 15-year-old old. As a 16-year-old, Basavareddy has now made the final of his second Grade A tournament, defeating unseeded Yaroslav Demin of Russia 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 in the semifinals today at the Banana Bowl in Criciuma Brazil. Basavareddy will face No. 6 seed Bor Artnak of Slovenia, who defeated No. 2 seed Gonzalo Bueno of Peru 6-3, 6-3.

Both US girls semifinalists--Qavia Lopez and Ahmani Guichard--lost today, with No. 8 seed Annabelle Xu of Canada defeating the unseeded Guichard 6-2, 6-2 and No. 7 seed Lucia Havlikcova of the Czech Republic avenging her first round loss at the Australian Open Junior Championships to No. 5 seed Lopez by a 6-2, 7-5 score.

Unseeded Cooper Williams and Aidan Kim won the boys doubles title, defeating No. 2 seed Adolfo Daniel Vallejo and Martin Vergara Del Puerto of Paraguay 6-3, 6-0 in today's final. Williams and Kim didn't come close to losing a set throughout the week's competition. It's the third J1 or above doubles title of the year for Williams, each with a different partner. 

No. 4 seed Irina Balus and Nikola Daubnerova of Slovakia won the girls doubles title, beating the unseeded team of Weronika Ewald of Poland and Vivian Yang of New Zealand 6-1, 6-3 in today's final. 

Juncheng Jerry Shang, a contemporary of Basavareddy's, has reached the semifinals of a USTA Pro Circuit $15,000 tournament for the fourth time since last September, after defeating top seed Darian King of Barbados 6-4, 6-0 in the quarterfinals at the Naples Florida tournament today. The 17-year-old left-hander, who won titles every time he got to the semifinal stage, will face No. 7 seed Timo Stodder(Tennessee) of Germany Saturday. Shang defeated Stodder two weeks ago in the second round of the $15K in Naples; Stodder had beaten him at the $25K in Weston in January.  

In the other semifinal, unseeded Felix Corwin (Minnesota) will take on unseeded teenager Pedro Boscardin Dias of Brazil.

The ITA announced the Division I Men's Team Indoor All-Tournament team today, with TCU's Sander Jong named the Most Outstanding Player. For the results of each player selected, see this article from the ITA.

ITA Men's Division I Team Indoor All Tournament Team:

Singles:
1. Luc Fomba, TCU
2. Johannus Monday, Tennessee
3. Sander Jong, TCU
4. JJ Tracy, Ohio State
5. James Trotter, Ohio State
6. Lui Maxted, TCU

Doubles:
1. Luc Fomba/Jacob Fearnley, TCU
2. Sander Jong/Lui Maxted, TCU
3. Johannus Monday/Mark Wallner, Tennessee

Most Outstanding Player:
Sander Jong, TCU

The ITA Division III Men's Team Indoor Championships opened play today with upsets of the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds. No. 6 seed Chicago defeated No. 3 seed Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 5-4 and No. 7 seed Washington-St. Louis beat No. 2 seed Emory 5-4. 

Top seed and host Case Western Reserve defeated No. 8 seed Gustavus Adolphus 8-1, the only match not decided by a 5-4 score. Trinity, the No. 4 seed, got by Brandeis by the same slim margins that gave Chicago and Washington-St. Louis victories.

For more on today's action, see this article from the ITA.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Lopez and Guichard Take Out Top Two Seeds at Grade A Banana Bowl, Basavareddy Also Reaches Semifinals; New Faces Atop ITA Division I Singles Rankings; Discord Surfaces in BYU Men's Program

No. 5 seed Qavia Lopez and unseeded Ahmani Guichard reached Friday's semifinals at the ITF Grade A Banana Bowl after wins over the top seeds today in Criciuma Brazil. Lopez defeated top seed Kayla Cross of Canada in what looks, from the 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(7) score, to have been a gripping match. Guichard, playing in just her second Grade A tournament, defeated No. 2 seed Victoria Mboko of Canada 6-2, 6-4.  Guichard's ITF junior ranking is 134, Mboko is at a career-high of 13 after winning last week's J1 warmup event in Brazil. Guichard had lost to Mboko 6-1, 6-3 in the second round there.

Lopez will face No. 7 seed Lucia Havlickova of the Czech Republic, who came through qualifying, in the semifinals. Lopez defeated Havlickova in the first round of the Australian Open Junior Championships last month. Guichard's opponent is another Canadian, No. 8 seed Annabelle Xu. 

Unseeded Nishesh Basavareddy, who received a special exemption into the main draw as champion of the J1 last week, extended his winning streak to 11 matches with a 6-1, 6-4 win over unseeded Paul Inchauspe of France in today's quarterfinals. Basavareddy will play unseeded Yaroslav Demin of Russia on Friday. The other boys semifinal will feature No. 2 seed Gonzalo Bueno of Peru and No. 6 seed Bor Artnak of Slovenia. 

Cooper Williams and Aidan Kim will play for the boys doubles title on Friday against the No. 2 seeds Aldolfo Daniel Vallejo and Martin Antonio Vergara del Puerto of Paraguay.  The girls doubles final will feature No. 4 seeds Irina Balus and Nikola Daubnerova of Slovakia against the unseeded team of Weronika Ewald of Poland and Vivian Yang of New Zealand.

The individual rankings for Division I were released today, with two new No. 1s in singles. South Carolina's Sarah Hamner is in the women's top spot, replacing Southern Cal's Eryn Cayetano, while Washington's Clement Chidekh took over No.1, bumping Stanford's Arthur Fery to No. 2.

Below are the Top 10 in singles and Top 5 in doubles, with the full lists available by clicking on the headings.

ITA Women's Division I Singles Top 10, February 24, 2022

1. Sarah Hamner, South Carolina
2. Daria Frayman, Princeton
3. Alexa Noel, Iowa
4. Peyton Stearns, Texas
5. Eryn Cayetano, Southern Cal
6. Irina Cantos Siemers, Ohio State
7. Cameron Morra, North Carolina
8. Kari Miller, Michigan
9. Jaeda Daniel, NC State
10. Reilly Tran, North Carolina

ITA Women's Division I Doubles Top 5

1. Alicia Herrero Linana/Melany Krywoj, Baylor
2. Fiona Crawley/Elizabeth Scotty, North Carolina
3. Jayci Goldsmith/Tatiana Makarova, Texas A&M
4. Carmen Corley/Ivana Corley, Oklahoma
5. Tatsiana Sasnouskaya/Yulia Starodubtseva, Old Dominion

ITA Men's Division I Singles Top 10 February 24, 2022

1. Clement Chidekh, Washington 
2. Arthur Fery, Stanford
3. Ben Shelton, Florida
4. Stefan Dostanic, Southern Cal
5. Matej Vocel, Ohio State,
6. Johannus Monday, Tennessee
7. Alex Kotzen, Columbia
8. August Holmgren, San Diego
9. Gabriel Diallo, Kentucky
10. Cannon Kingsley, Ohio State


1. Robert Cash/Matej Vocel, Ohio State
2. Justin Boulais/James Trotter, Ohio State
3. Lui Maxted/Pedro Vives Marcos, TCU
4. Brian Cernoch/Mac Kiger, North Carolina
5. Jacob Fearnley/Luc Fomba, TCU

The Salt Lake Tribune reported yesterday that several student-athletes on the BYU men's team were going public with what they described as "bullying" and "abuse" by Director of Tennis and Head Coach Dave Porter. That article is behind a subscriber paywall, but this one, by the student newspaper, does provide some details. 

In more positive college tennis news, the University of Florida announced the completion of $650,000 upgrades to its Ring Tennis Complex, which include shade and chair-back seating.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Guichard, Lopez and Basavareddy Reach Quarterfinals of JA Banana Bowl; Tennessee, Not Team Indoor Champion TCU, Moves to No. 1 in First Men's Computer Rankings; North Carolina Women Remain No. 1

The quarterfinals of the ITF Grade A Banana Bowl are set for Thursday in Criciuma Brazil, with three Americans advancing: Ahmani Guichard, No. 5 seed Qavia Lopez and Nishesh Basavareddy.

The 17-year-old Guichard, the only unseeded girl in the quarterfinals, defeated No. 6 seed Luciana Moyano of Argentina 7-5, 6-3 in today's second round. Next up for the blue chip from Florida is No. 2 seed Victoria Mboko of Canada.  No. 5 seed Lopez, who defeated Malwina Rowinska of Poland 6-2, 6-2, faces top seed Kayla Cross of Canada in the quarterfinals. 

Basavareddy, who won eight matches last week to take the title at the J1 warmup event, defeated No. 8 seed Gerard Campana Lee of Korea 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-2. He will face Princeton recruit Paul Inchauspe of France, who beat No. 3 seed Ignacio Buse of Peru 6-2, 6-3.

Leanid Boika, who had taken out No. 1 seed Adolfo Daniel Vallejo of Paraguay in the first round, lost to qualifier Hayato Matsuoka of Japan 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 today and Yaroslav Demin of Russia defeated No. 7 seed Cooper Williams, 6-3, 7-6(6). Basavareddy, Inchauspe, Matsuoka and Demin, all in the top half, are unseeded, while in the bottom half, No. 2 seed Gonzala Bueno of Peru plays No. 5 seed Lautaro Midon of Argentina and No. 6 seed Bor Artnak of Slovenia faces No. 4 seed Peter Privara of Slovakia.

The doubles quarterfinals and semifinals are also on Thursday's schedule. Lopez is the only American girl remaining. She and her partner Chelsea Fontenel of Switzerland are the No. 3 seeds. Basavareddy, with partner Patrick Schoen of Switzerland, will play Alexander Frusina and Jonah Braswell in the quarterfinals. Boika, partnering with Demin, will play the Japanese team of Matsuoka and Kenta Miyoshi. The only seeded team remaining the boys doubles draw after one round of play is Vallejo and his partner Martin Antonio Vergara del Puerto of Paraguay, the No. 2 seeds.

The ITA released its first computer rankings today, and, as usual, they don't look right. Although Women's Team Indoor champions North Carolina managed to stay at the No. 1 spot, there was little else that remained the same in the Top 10, with Oklahoma being replaced at No. 2, despite a win over USC this weekend, by North Carolina State, who beat Texas. Ohio State, 5-3 on the year, moved from 11 in last week's poll to 4, while Oklahoma State went from a T22 in the poll to 10.

ITA Division I Women's Team Top 10 February 23, 2022
(previous ranking from coaches poll in parentheses)
1. UNC (1)
2. North Carolina State (4)
3. Oklahoma (2)
4. Ohio State (11)
5. Texas (3)
6. Cal (7)
7. Texas A&M (9)
8. Pepperdine (T5)
9. Virginia (T5)
10. Oklahoma State (T22)

The men's first computer rankings have the University of Tennessee at No. 1 even though they lost in Monday's Team Indoor final to TCU, which is at No. 2. Tennessee beat TCU last month, in Fort Worth, and because there is no bonus for a more recent win, but there is a bonus for winning a road match, the Volunteers earned the top ranking, by a very small margin. The full rankings, which now extend to 75, can be viewed by clicking on the headings below. The rankings in parentheses are from the Coaches Poll of February 9, the date of the last published ITA rankings for men.

ITA Division I Men's Team Top 10 February 23, 2022
1. Tennessee (2)
2. TCU (4)
3. Ohio State (1)
4. Baylor (3)
5. Southern Cal (11)
6. South Carolina (13)
7. Florida (5)
8. Wake Forest (6)
9. Stanford (8)
10. Kentucky (10)

I was expecting the Men's Team Indoor All-Tournament Team announcement today and new singles and doubles rankings, but as of now, those have not been released.

The USTA/Tennis Channel polls make a lot more sense than this first batch of ITA computer rankings right now. The Top 10 are below; click on the header to see the full list of 25.  Moving out of the Top 10 in the women's poll is Cal; in the men's poll, Texas A&M, Virginia and Georgia drop out of the Top 10. 

1. TCU (4)
2. Tennessee (3)
3. Ohio State (1)
4. Baylor (2)
5. Florida (5)
6. Wake Forest (12)
7. South Carolina (14)
8. Stanford (6)
9. Texas (10)
10. USC (11)

1. North Carolina (1)
2. Oklahoma (2)
3. NC State (3)
4. Texas (4)
5. Pepperdine (5)
6. Virginia (6)
7. Georgia (7)
8. Texas A&M (8)
9. Ohio State (9)
10. Duke (11)

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Boika Ousts Top Seed Vallejo in JA Banana Bowl; Qualifying Complete at Naples $15K; Isner, Kozlov and Brooksby Produce Historically Late Night in Acapulco

Leanid Boika, who was 4-5 in J1 and higher ITF junior events last year and lost in the first round in his junior slam debut in Australia, got the biggest win of his career at the Grade A Banana Bowl in Brazil, defeating top seed and Orange Bowl champion Adolfo Daniel Vallejo of Paraguay 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. Boika, who turned 17 in December, reached the semifinals of the J1 in Paraguay earlier this month. He will face qualifier Hayato Matsuoka of Japan in the second round. 

Americans Cooper Williams[7], last week's J1 champion Nishesh Basavareddy and Jonah Braswell also reached the round of 16 with wins today.(Correction: Braswell lost; the online result last night had the wrong winner). US girls through to the second round are Qavia Lopez[5], Sonya Macavei, Ava Krug and Ahmani Guichard. Krug's 6-3, 6-4 win over Brazilian wild card Bruna Melato is her first at a Grade A tournament

Girls top seed Kayla Cross of Canada defeated Kaitlin Quevedo 6-1, 6-1 in her first round match.

The only professional tennis (dispensing ATP/WTA points) in the United States this week is another $15,000 tournament for men in Naples Florida, with the ATP Tour moving on to Acapulco Mexico, while the WTA is in Guadalajara. (There are also events in Chile and the Middle East). Both of those events have drawn quite a few Americans, as have the $25,000 tournaments in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. 

The ATP 500 in Acapulco, with a Central time zone, starts its matches at 6 in the evening and it was 4:55 a.m. when the three on the schedule for Monday finished. All were over three hours in length and Americans won two of them, with John Isner beating Fernando Verdasco of Spain 7-5, 6-7(4), 7-6(3) and a cramping Stefan Kozlov, who got in as a lucky loser, beating Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 7-6(8), 5-7, 6-3. That match ended after 1 a.m., with Jenson Brooksby and No. 2 seed Alexander Zverev still set to play their first round match, which the German won 3-6, 7-6(10), 6-2, saving two match points in the tiebreaker. The finish is the latest ever for an ATP-level match, surpassing a 4:34 finish at the 2008 Australian Open. Taylor Fritz[7] has advanced to the second round, with qualifier JJ Wolf, Marcos Giron, Tommy Paul and lucky loser Denis Kudla on tonight's schedule.

In Guadalajara, 14-year-old qualifier Brenda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic lost to Sloane Stephens 6-2, 6-2 in Monday's first round action. Qualifier Hailey Baptiste is through to the second round, but No. 2 seed Madison Keys, Lauren Davis, Caty McNally and Katie Volynets all lost their first round matches.

Two Americans made it through qualifying at the Naples $15K, Nathan Ponwith(Arizona State) and Jakub Wojcik(South Florida). Main draw wild cards this week went to Jordan Chiu, Fletcher Scott(Illinois), Sebastian Gorzny and No. 5 seed Ryan Harrison. 

Three entries were via the junior reserved program: Ozan Colak, Nicholas Godsick and China's Jerry Shang. Even though Shang is ranked in the mid-600s, he still can't get into a $15K main draws on his own ranking. Godsick played No. 8 seed Jose Pereira of Brazil, losing 6-1, 6-2, while Shang beat wild card Chiu 6-1, 4-6, 6-2. Darian King of Barbados is the top seed. 

Many of the Americans who were playing in Cancun last week have moved on to the Dominican Republic this week. ITF World No. 1 junior Bruno Kuzuhara used a junior exemption to enter the men's tournament, which is different from the ITF program that Shang, Godsick and Colak used this week in Naples. Junior exemption spots are reserved for those who finish in the Top 10 of the previous year's ITF junior rankings and include $25,000 events, while the junior reserved spots are only for the $15,000 level. Kuzuhara will face wild card Jesse Flores(UCF) of Costa Rica in the first round Wednesday. Victor Lilov, who turned 18 this month, qualified for the main draw and will play No. 4 seed Nick Hardt of the Dominican Republic. 

For reasons I don't understand, but am all for, the women's $25,000 tournament in the Dominican Republic is a 48-player main draw. Seventeen-year-old Olivia Lincer qualified and won her first round match today; other American qualifiers who advanced to the second round: Christina Rosca (Vanderbilt), Jamilah Snells, Hina Inoue and Anna Rogers(NC State).

Monday, February 21, 2022

TCU Captures First National Team Title at ITA Indoor Championships; Stringer Wins Third Straight ITF Junior Circuit Title, An Claims Her First; Grade A Banana Bowl Underway in Brazil

2022 Men's ITA Team Indoor Champions TCU
(photo via TCU Men's Tennis)
TCU had reached its only previous national team final in 1992, losing to Stanford in the ITA Team Indoor Championships. The outcome of the Horned Frogs' second such appearance was more satisfying, with No. 5 seed TCU defeating No. 3 Tennessee 4-1 at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle Washington. 

TCU had suffered their only loss of the year when Tennessee took a 4-3 decision from them in Fort Worth last month. The Horned Frogs had won the doubles point in that match, so they undoubtedly were wary of celebrating too much when they did the same today, getting wins, as they did last month, from their No. 1 and No. 2 teams.

TCU managed four first sets in singles, with the last first set to finish at line 1, with TCU's Luc Fomba taking a tiebreaker from Adam Walton. Tennessee faced an even tougher task once Jacob Fearnley closed out Shunsuke Mitsui  6-1, 6-3 at line 5, making it 2-0 TCU. The Volunteers were up a set and a break at line 2, but the path to four singles wins narrowed even further when TCU's Pedro Vives Marcos earned a split in his match with Angel Diaz at line 4.

Sander Jong, the hero of TCU's 4-3 win over top seed Ohio State in Sunday's semifinal, was up a set but down 3-4 in the second to Emile Hudd. But Jong again stepped up for TCU, breaking, holding and breaking to give the Horned Frogs a 3-1 edge, barely two hours into the match. Johannes Monday had put Tennessee on the board with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Juan Carlos Aguilar at line 2.

At line 6, TCU's Lui Maxted was up a set and had just broken Conor Gannon to take a 5-4 lead in the second set. The freshman from Great Britain served for the championship, but he lost the game without taking a point, giving Tennessee fans hope. Walton was closing in on his second set at line 1 and at 3-3 in the third set at line 4, there was no clear favorite in that match either.

Gannon held at love to force a tiebreaker, then ran away with that 7-1. Maxted had lost his immediate opportunity, but TCU fans could take heart in the fact that they needed only one of the remaining matches.

Vives, who had not played in TCU's loss to Tennessee, with his college career getting underway early this month, broked Diaz at 4-all and it was his turn to try to end it on serve. The 20-year-old from Spain was up to the challenge, playing flawless offensive tennis to build a 40-0 lead. He netted a backhand on his first match point, but hit an ace on his second, although Diaz called it out and was overruled by the chair umpire. The program's first national championship dogpile ensued, although it took former TCU star and current coach David Roditi some time to make his way to the celebration. For more on the title, see this article from the TCU website.

The Division I Team Indoor Championships for 2022 have now concluded with a three-peat for the North Carolina women and a first-ever title for the TCU men. The women's Division II and the men's and women's Division III Team Indoor Championships will be played over the next two weekends.

ITA Men's Division I Team Indoor Final

February 21, 2022

TCU[5] 4, Tennessee[3] 1
Singles
1. Luca Fomba (TCU) vs. Adam Walton (TENN) 7-6(20, 3-6, 3-0, unfinished
2. Johannes Monday (TENN) def. Juan Carlos Aguilar (TCU) 6-4, 6-1
3. Sander Jong (TCU) def. Emile Hudd (TENN) 6-2, 6-4
4. Pedro Vives Marcos (TCU) def. Angel Diaz (TENN) 3-6 6-4, 6-4.
5. Jacob Fearnley (TCU) def. Shunshuke Mitsui (TENN) 6-1, 6-3
6. Conor Gannon (TENN) vs. Lui Maxted (TCU) 4-6, 7-6(1), 2-0, unfinished

Order of Finish: 5,2,3,4

Doubles
1. Luca Fomba/Jacob Fearnley (TCU) def. Emile Hudd/Shunshuke Mitsui (TENN) 6-4
2. Sander Jong/Lui Maxted (TCU def. Pat Harper/Adam Walton (TENN) 6-3
3. Mark Wallner/Johannes Monday (TENN) def. Juan Carlos Aguilar/Tim Ruehl (TCU) 6-3

Order of Finish: 2,3,1
===================================
In addition to the boys singles and doubles titles won by Nishesh Basavareddy and Cooper Williams last week at the J1 in Brazil, six other titles were captured by Americans on the ITF Junior Circuit.

Tristan Stringer won his third consecutive title in Africa; after winning a Grade 4 and a Grade 5 in Kenya the previous two weeks, the 16-year-old Floridian won a Grade 4 in Rwanda last week, running his winning streak to 18 matches (two were in  qualifying for the first tournament). Last week Stringer, seeded No. 5, defeated top seed Hady El Kordy of Egypt 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals and unseeded Pranav Karthik of India 6-2, 7-6(5) in the final. He is now up to 251 in the ITF junior rankings, after starting the year without a ranking.  Seventeen-year-old Pavan Uppu won his first ITF Junior Circuit title in Rwanda in boys doubles. He and partner Seungmin Park of Korea defeated Karthik and Derin Sen of Australia 6-4, 6-1 in the doubles final between two unseeded teams.

Fifteen-year-old Claire An won her first ITF Junior Circuit title last week at the J4 in Guatemala. The unseeded An, who reached the final of a J4 in January, didn't drop a set in her five victories, defeating No. 4 seed Natalia Vela Zangroniz of Guatemala 6-1, 6-1 in the final. An and her partner Haylee Conway lost in the girls doubles final to Morgan McCarthy and her partner Deborah Dominguez Collado of Guatemala 6-7(6), 6-3, 10-1. Neither team was seeded.

At the J4 in Mexico, top seeds Ria Bhakta and Sage Loudon won the girls doubles title, defeating Reya Coe and Sabrina Lin 6-4, 7-6(5) in the all-USA final for their third ITF Junior Circuit doubles title as a team. In the boys doubles final, top seeds Paris Pouatcha and his partner Lucio Ratti of Argentina defeated No. 4 seeds Kane Bonsach Ganley of Spain and Pascal Tylek of Canada 6-3, 6-4. 

This week's big event in junior tennis is the Grade A Banana Bowl in Brazil, where qualifying concluded today and a few first round main draw matches were played.  Nine US boys and six US girls are vying for a title in the 52nd edition of the event, played on clay in the city of Criciuma.

The US boys in the main draw: Leanid Boika, qualifier Alexander Razeghi, Cooper Williams[7], Alexander Frusina, Nishesh Basavareddy, Aidan Kim, Jonah Braswell, Kurt Miller and Yannik Rahman. Frusina, Kim and Rahman lost their first round matches today.

The US girls in the main draw: Kaitlin Quevedo, Qavia Lopez[5], Sonya Macavei, Daniella Ben-Abraham, Ava Krug and Ahmani Guichard.

Orange Bowl champion Alfonso Daniel Vallejo of Paraguay is the top seed in the boys draw, with Kayla Cross of Canada the No. 1 seed in the girls draw. Vallejo is scheduled to play Boika in the first round.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Basavareddy Wins Brazil J1; More Milestones for Fruhvirtova Sisters; TCU Upsets Ohio State, Meets Tennessee in Men's Team Indoor Final; Barry Claims D-II Indoor Title; Norrie Champion at ATP Delray Beach

Qualifier Nishesh Basavareddy didn't look like the competitor who had already played seven matches in eight days Sunday at the J1 in Brazil. The 16-year-old from Indiana won his first Grade 1 title with a 6-0, 6-1 victory in the final over top seed Gonzalo Bueno of Peru, giving him wins over the No. 2, No. 5, No. 6 and No. 1 seeds in the past four days. He lost just one set in his eight victories, in a second set tiebreaker in the quarterfinal match with Cooper Williams.

Fifteen-year-old Victoria Mboko of Canada won her first Grade 1 singles title a day after collecting the doubles title. The No. 2 seed defeated No. 8 seed Mia Kupres, also of Canada 7-6(5), 6-2.

In today's singles final at the $15,000 men's USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Naples, unseeded Evan Zhu fell to No. 5 seed Jonathan Mridha of Sweden 6-2, 7-6(4). 

Fourteen-year-old Brenda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic, who won back-to-back $25,000 ITF Women's Pro Circuit tournaments in Argentina the last two weeks, qualified today for the WTA 250 in Guadalajara Mexico. Fruhvirtova defeated Sara Errani of Italy in the first round 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-2 Saturday and beat Leonie Kung of Switzerland 6-2, 6-1 in the final round of qualifying today. Fruhvirtova will play in her first WTA match above the 125 level against No. 6 seed Sloane Stephens.

Linda Fruhvirtova, two years older, won her third career ITF Women's Pro Circuit title and the first at the $25,000 level this week in Cancun Mexico. Unseeded, she defeated No. 2 seed Rebecca Marino 6-3, 6-4 in today's final.

Keegan Smith (UCLA) won the men's $25K in Cancun today, his second Pro Circuit title and first at the $25,000 level. Smith, who was unseeded, didn't drop a set in his five wins, including a 6-2, 6-4 victory over top seed Geoffrey Blancaneaux of France in the quarterfinals. In today's final, the 23-year-old Californian defeated qualifier Lucas Gerch (Oklahoma State) of Germany 6-4, 6-1.

In Canberra Australia, Asia Muhammad won her second $25K title in as many weeks, with the No. 2 seed defeating top seed (and doubles partner) Arina Rodionova of Australia 6-1, 7-6(7) in the final. The pair have won the doubles titles the past two weeks as well.

Clervie Ngounoue, 15, reached the doubles final of the $15,000 ITF Women's Pro Circuit tournament in Tunisia with fellow junior Sofia Costoulas of Belgium, the Australian Open girls finalist.

The finals are set for the ITA Men's Division I Team Indoor Championships after the top two seeds were eliminated in Sunday's semifinals.

Ohio State came into Seattle as the heavy favorite with four top 10 wins in Columbus the previous two weekends, but it was No. 5 TCU who will be playing for the title Monday, with the Horned Frogs taking a 4-3 victory in the afternoon semifinal. 

TCU won the doubles point, which had been a strength of the Buckeyes, with the top two doubles in the country playing at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. But after Ohio State lost the doubles point to Washington on Friday, some of the aura dissipated, and TCU took wins at those two spots to take the lead.

The teams split first sets, meaning that the Buckeyes would need to force a three-setter to have a chance to win. Ohio State's JJ Tracy, Cannon Kingsley and James Trotter all closed out their matches in routine fashion to give Ohio State a 3-1 lead, but TCU's Luc Fomba and Lui Maxted finished their matches without incident to make it 3-3. That left the match on the racquets of Ohio State's Jake Van Emburgh and TCU's Sander Jong at line 3, with Van Emburgh needing to force a third set after dropping the first. Serving at 5-6 in the second, Jong saved a set point on a deciding point to force the tiebreaker, but Van Emburgh kept the pressure on in that final game, getting the first mini-break to go up 4-3 and winning the next three points.

After serving well and making no errors in the tiebreaker, Van Emburgh looked like he was going to be able to transfer that level to the third set when he went up 15-40 on Jong's serve. But Jong held, then broke, winning both deciding points and that was the end of the drama, with Jong quickly closing out the 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-0 win.

TCU is into the Team Indoor final for just the second time in program history and the first time since 1992.

In the evening semifinal, No. 3 seed Tennessee took out No. 2 Baylor 4-2, with a similar pattern to TCU's win over Ohio State.

Baylor was up a break in all three doubles matches, but it was Tennessee that came back to take the point. Each team won three first sets in singles, and all five matches that finished were won in straight sets. Baylor's chance to get the third set they needed fell to Sven Lah at line 3. Lah had lost the first set to Emile Hudd 6-4 and they were deep in the second set with Tennessee up 3-1. Baylor had a set-and-a-break leads at both 2 and 6, so those two points looked safe, leaving Lah with task of winning the second set. He led 5-3 and had two set points, but Hudd came back to tie it, then forced a tiebreaker. The first 14 points of the tiebreaker went to the server, with Lah saving a match point at 5-6 and Hudd saving set points at 7-6 and 8-7. Lah double faulted to give Hudd another match point, but Hudd couldn't convert that one, only to be the beneficiary of another Lah double fault serving at 9-10. Baylor's Matias Soto had two match points at line 2 in his match with Johannus Monday, so it was as close to a 4-3 decision as possible without being that.

Tennessee dealt TCU its only loss of the season last month in Fort Worth, by a 4-3 score. It's the Volunteers first trip to the Team Indoor final since they made back-to-back finals in 2010 and 2011.

The final is scheduled for 3 p.m. Eastern time Monday. Cracked Racquets will be providing RedZone coverage via their YouTube Channel.

Men's Team Indoor Division I Semifinals February 20, 2022

TCU [5] 4, Ohio State[1] 3
Singles
1. Luc Fomba (TCU) def. Matej Vocel (OSU) 6-4, 6-42. Cannon Kingsley (OSU) def. Juan Carlos Aguilar (TCU) 6-4, 6-0
3. Sander Jong (TCU) def. Jake Van Emburgh (OSU) 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-0
4. JJ Tracy (OSU) def. Pedro Vives Marcos (TCU) 6-0, 6-2
5. James Trotter(OSU) def. Jacob Fearnley (TCU) 6-3, 6-4
6. Lui Maxted (TCU) def. Robert Cash (OSU) 7-5, 6-2

Order of Finish: 4,2,5,6,1,3

Doubles
1. Luc Fomba/Jacob Fearnley (TCU) def. Matej Vocel/Robert Cash 6-4 (OSU)
2. Sander Jong/Lui Maxted (TCU) def. Justin Boulais/James Trotter (OSU) 6-2
3. Cannon Kingsley/JJ Tracy (OSU) def. Juan Carlos Aguilar/Tim Reuehl (TCU) 6-3

Order of Finish: 2,3,1

====================================
Tennessee[3] 4, Baylor[2] 2
Singles
1. Adrian Boitan (BAY) def. Adam Walton (TENN) 6-3, 6-2
2. Matias Soto (BAY) vs. Johannus Monday (TENN) 7-6(7), 5-4, unfinished3. Emile Hudd (TENNIS def. Sven Lah (BAY) 6-4, 7-6(9)
4. Angel Diaz (TENN) def. Finn Bass (BAY) 6-4, 6-4
5. Shunsuke Mitsui (TENN) def. Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi (BAY) 6-4, 6-0
6. Tadeas Paroulek (BAY) def. Connor Gannon (TENN) 7-6(5), 6-2

Order of Finish: 5,1,4,6,3

Doubles
1. Emile Hudd/Shunsuke Mitsui (TENN) vs Sven Lah/Finn Bass (BAY) 6-6(5-5), unfinished
2. Pat Harper/Adam Walton (TENN) def. Matias Soto/Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi (BAY) 6-4
3. Mark Wallner/Johannes Monday (TENN) def. Adrian Boitan/Tadeas Paroulek (BAY) 7-5

Order of Finish: 2,3
The finals of the Men's Division II Team Indoor Championships today in Indianapolis saw top seed Barry defeat No. 2 seed Columbus State 4-3. For more on that exciting final, see this article from the ITA.

Another highlight of the day for TCU was the title for former Horned Frogs star Cameron Norrie at the ATP 250 in Delray Beach Florida. Reilly Opelka plays a lot of tiebreakers and wins most of them, but not today, with the top-seeded Norrie earning his third career ATP title with a 7-6(1), 7-6(4) decision over the No. 2 seed. For more on Norrie's win today, see this article from the ATP website.


Saturday, February 19, 2022

GoFundMe Established for David Filer; Qualifier Basavareddy Advances to Brazil J1 Final; Zhu Reaches Final at Naples $15K; Top Teams Advance at D-I Men's Team Indoor Championships

There was heartbreaking news this week that 15-year-old David Filer, one of the top players in his age group, has been diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme, a malignant brain cancer, after falling ill at the L2 in Scottsdale last weekend. A GoFundMe campaign has been organized for the family of the blue chip from South Bend; please consider donating to show your support for David and his family as they face these difficult days ahead.

Nishesh Basavareddy had played two ITF Grade B1s in the US the past three years, but this year, after a long layoff due to injury, the 16-year-old from Indiana played his first J1s outside the country, and in his third one this week in Brazil, has advanced to the final. After three qualifying wins, Basavareddy has won seven matches this week, defeating the No. 2 seed in the second round, the No. 5 seed in the quarterfinals, and today taking down No. 6 seed Gerard Campana Lee of Korea 6-4, 6-1 in the semifinals. In Sunday's final, Basavareddy will face top seed Gonzalo Bueno of Peru, who defeated No. 3 seed Peter Privara of Slovakia 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.

The girls final will be an all-Canadian affair with No. 8 seed Mia Kupres playing No. 2 seed Victoria Mboko. Kupres defeated unseeded Luciana Moyano of Argentina 6-1, 6-2 and Mboko got past fellow Canadian Annabelle Xu, the No. 7 seed 7-5, 7-6(5).

Cooper Williams and Russia's Yaroslav Demin, the No. 2 seeds, won the doubles title today, defeating No. 3 seeds Paul Inchauspe of France and Ivan Sodan of Croatia 6-4, 7-5 in the final.  Williams also won the doubles title at the Coffee Bowl in Costa Rica earlier this year, with Michael Zheng. 

Mboko and Kayla Cross, the No. 1 seeds, defeated No. 2 seeds Irina Balus and Nikola Daubnerova of Slovakia 6-2, 6-3 in the girls final, their sixth title as a team in the past eleven months. 

Evan Zhu will be playing for his first title in over three years Sunday at the $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Naples Florida after defeating qualifier Khololwam Montsi of South Africa 6-0, 6-2 in today's semifinals. The former UCLA Bruin has beaten a lucky loser, two qualifiers and the No. 2 seed en route to his first final since he won a $25K in Texas in October of 2018. Zhu will face No. 5 seed Jonathan Mridha of Sweden in the final.  

Zhu and Zeke Clark(Illinois) lost in the doubles final today, with the No. 3 seeds falling to unseeded Blu Baker of Great Britain and Jesse Witten(Kentucky) 6-7(4), 6-4, 13-11. Witten, 39, is primarily a coach in the Naples area now, but he plays several tournaments a year in both singles and doubles. This is his first doubles title since 2010, when he won a Challenger. He last won a singles title on the Pro Circuit in 2013.

After a tense first day Friday, with more 4-3 matches than shutouts and two notable upsets, the quarterfinals of the ITA Division I Men's Team Indoor Championships Saturday were much less dramatic, at least until the nightcap featuring Baylor and Kentucky. No. 5 seed TCU started out the day with a 4-0 win over No. 13 Texas, in just over two hours, after Texas had taken out No. 4 Florida 4-3 on Friday. No. 3 seed Tennessee was pushed, and hard, by No. 11 South Carolina, before the Volunteers rebounded for a 4-2 victory. After Tennessee took the doubles point, South Carolina won five first sets in singles, but only Jake Beasley at line 6 managed to avoid a third set, closing out his win to tie it at 1. When Johannes Monday came back to beat Toby Samuel in three sets at line 2, giving the Vols the 2-1 lead, prospects were still looking good for the Gamecocks. But when Angel Diaz came from 4-0 down in the third set to win the next six games and the match at line 4, that was the turning point and Emile Hudd clinched it for Tennessee at line 3.

Top seed Ohio State, who had beaten Wake Forest 7-0 just six days ago in Columbus, didn't stumble in the rematch today, and will face TCU in the semifinals. No. 2 seed Baylor won the doubles point from No. 7 Kentucky, but dropped singles matches at lines 3 and 2, so will need a comeback if they are to reach the semifinals. Baylor did get the turnaround they needed after dropping four first sets in singles, with Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi clinching the win for the Bears with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 decision over Yasha Zemel at line 6. Kentucky played without their star Liam Draxl, who was injured.

QUARTERFINALS
Saturday February 19, 2022

TCU[5] 4, Texas[13] 0
Singles
1. Luc Fomba (TCU) vs. Micah Braswell (TEX) 6-4, 3-6, 3-3, unfinished
2. Juan Carlos Aguilar (TCU) def. Pierre-Yves Bailly (TEX) 6-4, 6-4
3. Sander Jong (TCU) def. Richard Ciamarra (TEX) 6-3, 7-6(5)
4. Pedro Vives Marcos (TCU) def. Eliot Spizzirri (TEX) 6-3 6-3
5. Jacob Fearnley (TCU) vs. Siem Woldeab (TEX) 6-1, 6-7(5), 2-3, unfinished
6. Cleeve Harper (TEX) vs. Tomas Jirousek (TCU) 7-6(2), 4-1

Order of Finish: 4,3,2

Doubles
1. Luc Fomba/Jacob Fearnley (TCU) def. Richard Ciamarra/Cleeve Harper (TEX) 6-2
2. Sander Jong/Lui Maxted (TCU) def. Pierre-Yves Bailly/Siem Woldeab TEX) 6-3
3. Micah Braswell/Chih Chi Huang (TEX) vs. Juan Carlos Aguilar/Tim Ruehl (TCU) 5-2, unfinished

Order of Finish: 2,1

==========================
Tennessee[3] 4, South Carolina[11] 2
Singles
1. Adam Walton (TENN) vs. Daniel Radrigues (SCAR) 6-7(2), 6-3, 4-1, unfinished
2. Johannus Monday (TENN) def. Toby Samuel (SCAR) 5-7, 6-3, 6-1
3. Emile Hudd (TENN) def. Connor Thomson (SCAR) 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
4. Angel Diaz (TENN) def. Raphael Lambling (SCAR) 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-4 
5. James Story (SCAR) def. Shunsuke Mitsui (TENN) 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-3
6. Jake Beasley (SCAR) def. Mark Wallner (TENN) 7-6(2), 6-0

Order of Finish: 6,2,5,4,3

Doubles 
1. Daniel Rodrigues/Connor Thomson (SCAR) vs. Emile Hudd/Shunsuke Mitsui (TENN) 4-5, unfinished
2. Adam Walton/Pat Harper (TENN) def. Toby Samuel/Jake Beasley (SCAR) 6-1
3. Mark Wallner/Johannes Monday (TENN) def. James Story/Rafael Lambling (SCAR) 6-3

Order of Finish: 2,3

==========================
Ohio State[1] 4, Wake Forest 0
Singles
1. Matej Vocel (OSU) vs. Jurabek Karimov (WAKE) 6-2, 6-3
2. Cannon Kingsley (OSU) vs. Eduardo Nava (WAKE) 6-4, 5-5, unfinished
3. Jake Van Emburgh (OSU) vs. Filippo Moroni (WAKE) 7-5, 4-4, unfinished
4. JJ Tracy (OSU) def. Taha Baadi (WAKE) 7-5, 6-0
5. Jakob Schnaitter (WAKE) vs. James Trotter (OSU) vs. 7-6(5), 3-2, unfinished
6. Robert Cash (OSU) def. Sid Banthia (WAKE) 6-2, 6-4

Order of Finish: 6,1,4

Doubles
1. Matej Vocel/Robert Cash (OSU) def. Sid Banthia/Jakob Schnaitter (WAKE) 6-3
2. Justin Boulais/James Trotter (OSU) vs. Eduardo Nava/Filippo Moroni (WAKE)
3. Cannon Kingsley/JJ Tracy(OSU) vs. Robert Maciag/Ben Draper (WAKE) 6-2

Order of Finish: 3,1

============================
Baylor[2] 4, Kentucky[7] 3
Singles
1. Adrian Boitan (BAY) def. Millen Hurrion (UK) 6-4, 6-3
2. Gabriel Diallo (UK) def. Matias Soto (BAY)  6-1, 6-4
3. Francoise Musitelli (UK) def. Sven Lah (BAY) 6-2, 6-1
4. Josh Lapadat (UK) def. Marko Miladinovic (BAY) 6-2, 7-6(3)
5. Finn Bass (BAY) def. JJ Mercer (UK) 7-6(5), 6-1
6. Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi (BAY) def. Yasha Zemel (UK) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
 
Order of Finish: 3,2,1,5,4,6
Doubles
1. Millen Hurrion/Gabriel Diallo (UK) vs Finn Bass/Sven Lah (BAY) 4-5, unfinished
2. Matias Soto/Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi (BAY) def. Josh Lapadat/JJ Mercer (UK) 6-3
3. Adrian Boitan/Tadeas Paroulek (BAY) def. Yasha Zemel/Francoise Musitelli (UK) 6-4

Order of Finish: 2,3

Friday, February 18, 2022

My Coverage of Monday's USTA B14s Level 2; Texas, South Carolina Earn Upset Wins at Men's Team Indoor; Basavareddy Moves into Semis of ITF J1 in Brazil

I have been watching a lot of tennis on streams the past six weeks, but on Monday I had an opportunity to see live tennis again at the USTA Level 2 Boys 14s tournament in Grand Rapids. It was great to cover the final from courtside, as well as put some faces with names I've seen in draws in the past year. My article on top seed Jack Secord's win over Sean Grosman is available now at the Tennis Recruiting Network. Former WTA stars Lindsay Davenport (Jagger Leach) and Mary Joe Fernandez (Nicholas Godsick) have sons who are having great success in junior tennis; adding to that cohort is Linda Harvey Wild, Jack Secord's mother, who reached 23 in the WTA rankings in 1996. 

A photo gallery from the final day of that tournament is available here.

Qualifier Nishesh Basavareddy avenged his quarterfinal loss to Cooper Williams in last month's J1 Coffee Bowl in Costa Rica, beating the No. 5 seed 6-0, 6-7(3), 7-5 today in the quarterfinals of the J1 in Brazil. Basavareddy will face No. 6 seed Gerard Campana Lee of Korea in the semifinals. Top seed Gonzalo Bueno of Peru will face No. 3 seed Peter Privara of Slovakia in the other semifinal. 

With the win today, Basavareddy should receive a special exemption into the main draw of next week's Grade A Banana Bowl.  

Williams did advance to the doubles final, with partner Yaroslav Demin of Russia. The No. 2 seeds will face No. 3 seeds Paul Inchauspe of France and Ivan Sodan of Croatia for the title. 

Sonya Macavei lost her quarterfinal match to Canada's Mia Kupres, the No. 8 seed, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-2. Kupres, one of three Canadians to reach the semifinals, will play unseeded Luciana Moyano of Argentina next. Anabelle Xu and Victoria Mboko will meet in the other girls semifinal.  Kupres and Macavei lost 6-2, 6-2 to top seeds to Mboko and Kayla Cross in today's doubles semifinals.

The first day of the ITA Men's Division I Team Indoor is still going, with top two seeds Ohio State and Baylor trailing 1-0 in their round of 16 matches in Seattle. There was no shortage of excitement in the first six matches, with three of them ending 4-3 and two Top 8 seeds being eliminated from title contention.

No. 6 Stanford lost to No. 11 South Carolina 4-3 in probably the biggest surprise of the day. The previously undefeated Cardinal dropped the doubles point, but got four first sets in singles, giving them a path to a comeback. They won three of those matches, but the Gamecocks' James Story took a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 win over Sangeet Sridhar at line 5 to clinch the match for South Carolina.

No. 13 seed Texas defeated No. 4 seed and 2021 NCAA champion Florida 4-3, reversing the result of their meeting last month in Austin. This time Texas won the doubles point, and freshman Pierre-Yves Bailly reversed the result of his match with Ben Shelton, with that match being the clincher in both contests.

The other 4-3 match was more expected, with No. 8 Wake Forest  defeating No. 9 Georgia by that score, as they had done less than two weeks ago. This time, the Bulldogs won the doubles point, but the Demon Deacons got wins at lines 2, 3, 4 and 6 to advance to the quarterfinals.

No. 5 TCU's 4-2 win over No. 12 Virginia also came after the loss of the doubles point; No. 7 Kentucky earned a surprisingly  straightforward 4-0 victory over No. 10 Southern Cal; No. 3 seed Tennessee looked formidable in a shutout of No. 14 Texas A&M. I'll update the results from the late matches Saturday morning.

February 18, 2022
ITA Men's Division I Team Indoor Round of 16

South Carolina[11] def. Stanford[6] 4-3
Singles
1. Arthur Fery (STAN) def. Daniel Rodrigues (SCAR) 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
2. Toby Samuel (SCAR) def. Alex Rotsaert (STAN) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
3. Connor Thomson (SCAR) def. Axel Geller (STAN) 6-4, 3-6, 7-5
4. Max Basing (STAN) def. Raphael Lambling (SCAR) 6-2, 6-3
5. James Story (SCAR) def. Sangeet Sridhar (STAN) 7-5, 6-4, 6-4
6. Timothy Sah (STAN) def. Jake Beasley (SCAR) 6-3, 6-4

Order of Finish: 6,4,1,2,3,5

Doubles
1. Arthur Fery/Axel Geller (STAN) vs. Daniel Rodrigues/Connor Thomson (SCAR) 5-4, unfinished
2. Jake Beasley/Toby Samuel (SCAR) def. Alex Rotsaert/Sangeet Sridhar (STAN) 6-2
3. Raphael Lambling/James Story (SCAR) def. Tomas Kopczynski/Timothy Sah (STAN) 6-4

Order of Finish: 2,3

=========================
TCU[5] def. Virginia[12] 4-2
Singles
1. Luc Fomba (TCU) vs. Inaki Montes (UVA) 5-7, 6-3, 5-3, unfinished
2. Juan Carlos Aguilar (TCU) def. Chris Rodesch (UVA)  6-3, 5-7, 6-4
3. Jeffrey Von Der Schulenburg (UVA) def. Sander Jong (TCU) 7-6(3), 6-2
4. Pedro Vives Marcos (TCU) def. Bar Botzer (UVA) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
5. Jacob Fearnley (TCU) def. Ryan Goetz (UVA) 6-3, 6-3
6. Lui Maxted (TCU) def. Gianni Ross (UVA) 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-1

Order of Finish: 5,3,4,6,2

Doubles
1. Bar Botzer/Chris Rodesch (UVA) def. Luc Fomba/Jacob Fearnley (TCU) 6-3
2. Inaki Montes/Jeffrey Von Der Schulenburg (UVA) def. Sander Jong/Lui Maxted (TCU) 6-0
3. Juan Carlos Aguilar/Tim Ruehl (TCU) def. William Woodall/Ryan Goetz (UVA) 6-2 

Order of Finish: 2,3,1

========================
Tennessee[3] 4, Texas A&M[14] 0
Singles
1. Adam Walton (TENN) def. Noah Schachter (TAMU) 6-2, 6-0
2. Johannus Monday (TENN) def. Pierce Rollins (TAMU) 6-2, 6-2
3. Emile Hudd (TENN) vs. Raphael Perot (TAMU) 6-4, 1-2, unfinished
4. Matthis Ross (TAMU) vs. Angel Diaz (TENN) 6-3, 2-2, unfinished
5. Shunsuke Mitsui (TENN) def. Guido Marson (TAMU) 6-1, 6-0
6. Guilio Perego (TAMU) vs. Pat Harper (TENN) 6-3, 3-1, unfinished

Order of Finish: 2,1,5

Doubles
1. Shunsuke Mitsui/Emile Hudd (TENN) def. Noah Schachter/Austin Abbrat (TAMU) 7-5
2. Pat Harper/Adam Walton (TENN) vs. Pierce Rollins/Matthis Ross (TAMU) 6-6 (3-1), unfinished
3. Johannus Monday/Mark Wallner (TENN) def. Raphael Perot/Guilio Perego (TAMU) 6-4

Order of Finish: 3,1

==============================
Texas[13] 4, Florida[4] 3
Singles
1. Micah Braswell (TEX)  def. Sam Riffice (UF) 7-5, 7-5
2. Pierre-Yves Bailly (TEX) def. Ben Shelton (UF) 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2
3. Richard Ciamarra (TEX)  def. Duarte Vale (UF) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 
4. Andy Andrade (UF) def. Eliot Spizzirri (TEX) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
5. Mattias Siimar (UF) def. Siem Woldeab (TEX) 6-1, 7-6(4)
6. Josh Goodger (UF) def. Cleeve Harper (TEX) 2-6, 6-2, 7-6(5)

Order of Finish: 5,1,4,3,6,2

Doubles 
1. Richard Ciamarra/Cleeve Harper (TEX) def. Sam Riffice/Ben Shelton ((UF) 6-4
2. Siem Woldeab/Pierre-Yves Bailly (TEX) def. Andy Andrade/Mattias Siimar (UF) 6-2
3. Chih Chi Huang/Micah Braswell (TEX) vs. Duarte Vale/Abedallah Shelbayh (UF) 4-4, unfinished

Order of Finish: 2,1

=========================
Kentucky[7] 4, Southern Cal[10] 0
Singles
1. Liam Draxl (UK) vs. Stefan Dostanic (USC) 5-7, 6-4, 2-3, unfinished
2. Millen Hurrion (UK) vs. Wojtek Marek (USC) 6-7(4), 5-5, unfinished
3. Gabriel Diallo (UK) def. Bradley Frye (USC) 6-3, 6-2
4. Francoise Musitelli (UK) vs. Peter Makk (USC) 7-5, 6-6 (1-3), unfinished
5. Josh Lapadat (UK) def. Lodewijk Weststrate (USC) 6-3, 7-6(3)
6. Yasha Zemel (UK) def. Ryan Colby (USC) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3

Order of Finish: 3,5,6

Doubles
1. Stefan Dostanic/Bradley Frye (USC) vs. Liam Draxl/Millen Hurrion (UK) 6-5, unfinished
2. Josh Lapadat/JJ Mercer (UK) def. Peter Makk/Wojciech Marek (USC) 6-1
3. Yasha Zemel/Francoise Musitelli (UK) def. Ryan Colby/Paul Barretto (USC) 6-3

Order of Finish: 2,3

==========================
Wake Forest[9] 4, Georgia[8] 3 
Singles
1. Hamish Stewart (UGA) def. Melios Efstathiou (WAKE) 7-6(7), 6-4
2. Jurabek Karimov (WAKE) def. Philip Henning (UGA) 7-6(3), 6-2
3. Eduardo Nava (WAKE) def. Tristan McCormick (UGA) 6-3, 6-2
4. Filippo Moroni (WAKE) def. Trent Bryde (UGA) 6-3, 6-7(1), 6-3
5. Blake Croyder (UGA) d. Taha Baadi (WAKE) 6-1, 7-5 
6. Jacob Schnaitter (WAKE) def. Erik Grevelius (UGA) 6-3, 6-1

Order of Finish: 6,5,3,1,2,4

Doubles
1,  Tristan McCormick/Hamish Stewart (UGA) def. Sid Banthia/Jakob Schnaitter (WAKE) 6-4
2. Eduardo Nava/Filippo Moroni (WAKE) def. Trent Bryde/Philip Henning (UGA) 6-3
3. Blake Croyder/Erik Grevelius (UGA) def. Ben Draper/Robert Maciag (WAKE) 6-4

Order of Finish: 2,3,1

=====================
Baylor[2] 4, Mississippi[15] 1
Singles
1. Adrian Boitan (BU) vs. Nikola Slavic (MISS) 7-5, 2-4, unfinished
2. Matias Soto (BU) def. Finn Reynolds (MISS) 6-3, 6-3
3. Sven Lah (BU) def. John Hallquist Lithen (MISS) 6-2, 6-4
4. Marko Miladinovic (BU) vs. Lukas Engelhardt (MISS) 7-6(3), 3-0, unfinished
5. Finn Bass (BU) def. Simon Junk (MISS) 6-1, 6-1
6. Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi (BU) def. Jan Soren Hain (MISS) 6-4, 6-4

Order of Finish: 5,2,6,3
Order of Finish:

Doubles
1. Finn Reynolds/Lukas Engelhardt (MISS) def. Finn Bass/Sven Lah (BU) 7-5 
2. Matias Soto/Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi (BU) def. Simon Junk/Jan Soren Hain (MISS) 6-4
3. Nikola Slavic/John Hallquist Lithen (MISS) def. Adrian Boitan/Tadeas Paroulek (BU) 7-5 

Order of Finish: 2,1,3

============================
Ohio State[1] 4, Washington[16] 1
Singles
1. Matej Vocel (OSU) vs. Clement Chidekh (WASH) 6-7(5), 5-5, unfinished
2. Cannon Kingsley (OSU) def. Ewen Lumsden (WASH) 6-4, 6-4
3. Jake Van Emburgh (OSU) def. Jack Davis (WASH) 1-6, 7-5, 6-1
4. JJ Tracy (OSU) def. Han-Chih Lin (WASH) 6-1, 6-2
5. James Trotter (OSU) def. Nedim Suko (WASH) 6-1, 6-2
6. Robert Cash (OSU) vs. Cesar Bouchelaghem (WASH) 6-0, 4-6, 2-4, unfinished

Order of Finish: 4,5,2,3

Doubles
1. Jack Davis/Brandon Wong (WASH) def. Matej Vocel/Robert Cash (OSU) 6-3 
2. Clement Chidekh/Nedim Suko (WASH) def. James Trotter/Justin Boulais (OSU) 7-6(2)
3. Cannon Kingsley/JJ Tracy (OSU) def. Cesar Bouchelaghem/Ewen Lumsden (WASH) 6-1

Order of Finish: 3,1,2

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Williams and Macavei Win, Basavareddy Ousts No. 2 Seed to Reach Brazil J1 Quarterfinals; Bernard Advances to Naples $15K Quarterfinals; Men's National Team Indoor Starts Friday; ITA Division II Team Rankings

The United States, Europe and Australia have mostly returned to normal draw sizes for major ITF junior events, but that has definitely not been the case in South America, with draws cut from 64 to 48 or 32 across the board, including next week's Grade A in Brazil. This week's J1 warmup in Brazil was also reduced to a 32 draw, and with a Monday start and a Sunday finish, both the first and second rounds were played over two days, so it's Thursday before we know the quarterfinalists.

The big second round win today came from qualifier Nishesh Basavareddy, who defeated No. 2 seed Ignacio Buse of Peru 6-2, 7-6(4). Basavareddy, who has been coming back from injury, has had to qualify in both the J1s he's played this year (no protected ranking in juniors), while receiving a wild card into the J1 in Costa Rica. Including picking up his first ATP point last month, the 16-year-old from Indiana is 12-3 this year. He'll play the only other American boy in the draw, No. 5 seed Cooper Williams, in the quarterfinals. Williams, who beat Basavareddy 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-2 in the quarterfinals in Costa Rica, defeated Tiago Pires of France 6-3, 6-3 today. 

Sonya Macavei, who won her first Grade 1 in Costa Rica, is into the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 7-5 win over No. 3 Nikola Daubnerova of Slovakia. The Vanderbilt recruit will play No. 8 seed Mia Kupres of Canada, her doubles partner. The unseeded pair have advanced to the semifinals of doubles, where they'll face top seeds Kayla Cross and Victoria Mboko. 

Williams has also advanced to Friday's doubles semifinals, with partner Yaroslav Demin of Russia.

At the USTA Men's $15,000 Pro Circuit tournament in Naples Florida, Ohio State recruit Alexander Bernard has advanced to the quarterfinals. Bernard, a wild card, defeated Ozan Colak 6-4, 7-5 and will play qualifier Khololwam of South Africa next. There are no seeds remaining in the bottom half, after Evan Zhu(UCLA) defeated No. 2 seed Cristian Rodriguez of Colombia 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. The other American in the quarterfinals is No. 7 Strong Kirchheimer(Northwestern).

The ITA Men's Division I Team Indoor Championships kick off Friday in Seattle, with the University of Washington serving as the host. Top seed Ohio State is the favorite coming in, but Buckeye fans in Columbus will be up late watching their team face the host Huskies at 6:30 p.m. Pacific time. The schedule is below. 

9AM
Stanford[6] vs. South Carolina[11]
TCU[5] vs. Virginia[12]

NOON
Tennessee[3] vs. Texas A&M[14]
Florida[4] vs. Texas[13]

3:30PM
Kentucky[7] vs. Southern Cal[10]
Wake Forest[8] vs. Georgia[8]

6:30PM
Baylor[2] vs. Ole Miss[15]
Ohio State[1] vs. Washington[16]

Cracked Racquets will be providing RedZone coverage, with Alex Gruskin and Mark Bey, at its YouTube channel.

I missed the first iteration of the ITA Division II team rankings last month, but below are the newest rankings. The women's rankings didn't change much (previous rankings in parentheses), but some major shuffling took place in the men's rankings. These rankings are from a coaches poll. The Top 25 lists can be viewed by clicking on the headings.

ITA Women's Division II Top 10 February 17, 2022
1. Barry (1)
2. Indianapolis (2)
3. Central Oklahoma (3)
4. Nova Southeastern (4)
5. Columbus State (T7)
6. West Alabama (5)
7. Hawaii Pacific (13)
8. Saint Leo (9)
9. Flagler (6)
10. Lynn (10)

ITA Men's Division II Top 10 February 17, 2022
1. Columbus State (2)
2. Valdosta State (5)
3. Lynn (13)
4. Hawaii Pacific (9)
5. Barry (1)
6. West Florida (6)
7. Embry-Riddle (15)
8. Indianapolis (7)
9. Saint Leo (3)
10. Lander (8)

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Women's Indoor Champion North Carolina Rises to No. 1, Ohio State Stays Atop Men's Rankings; Women's Team D-I Indoor All-Tournament Team; Bernard, Colak, Zheng Advance at Naples $15K

The latest Division I women's rankings are out and as is customary, the ITA Women's Team Indoor champion North Carolina has moved into the top spot, with finalist Oklahoma going from No. 8 to No. 2. 

The ITA rankings are still being determined by a poll of 12 coaches, but there aren't significant differences between them and the other poll of college tennis experts conducted by the USTA, which was also released today. The only teams not in both Top 10s are Southern Cal and Ohio State.

Below are the Top 10 in the women's rankings this week; click on the headings to see the entire Top 25.

ITA Women's Division I Top 10 February 16, 2022 (previous ranking in parentheses)

1. North Carolina (2)
2. Oklahoma (8)
3. Texas (1)
4. NC State (6)
T5. Pepperdine (5)
T5. Virginia (7)
7. Cal (4)
8. Georgia (3)
9. Texas A&M (8)
10. Southern Cal (10)


1. North Carolina (2)
2. Oklahoma (8)
3. NC State (3)
4. Texas (1)
5. Pepperdine (6)
6. Virginia (7)
7. Georgia (5)
8. Texas A&M (9)
9. Ohio State (10)
10. Cal (4)

The only men's poll this week is from the USTA/Tennis Channel, with the ITA not publishing a poll due to this weekend's Team Indoor Championships. The top 5 is the same as last week; Virginia dropped a bit due to their two losses to Baylor and TCU. If you compare this list to the Top 8 seeds at the Men's Team Indoor, you'll see the USTA voters not as high on Kentucky and Wake Forest, who received the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds for this weekend's competition, while they are 12 and 13 in the USTA poll.


1. Ohio State (1)
2. Baylor (2)
3. Tennessee (3)
4. TCU (4)
5. Florida (5)
6. Stanford (7)
7. Texas A&M (9)
8. Virginia (6)
9. Georgia (11)
10. Texas (10)

Women's Team Indoor Most Outstanding Player Ivana Corley
(photo courtesy ITA)

The All-Tournament team was released today by the ITA, and in something of a departure, the Most Outstanding Player was not from the champions. Ivana Corley of Oklahoma went 8-0, winning all four of her singles and all four of her doubles matches (with sister Carmen) to receive that honor. 

Women's Team Indoor All Tournament Team:
No. 1 singles: Peyton Stearns, Texas
No. 2 singles: Elizabeth Scotty, North Carolina
No. 3 singles: Ivana Corley, Oklahoma
No. 4 singles: Fiona Crawley North Carolina
No. 5 singles: Carson Tanguilig, North Carolina
No. 6 singles: Anika Yarlagadda, North Carolina

No. 1 doubles: Carmen Corley/Ivana Corley, Oklahoma
No. 2 doubles: Jaeda Daniel/Nell Miller, NC State
No. 3 doubles: Alle Sanford/Reilly Tran, North Carolina

Most Outstanding Player: Ivana Corley, Oklahoma

For more on the results from each player/team selected, see this article from the ITA.

In today's first round action at the USTA Men's $15,000 Pro Circuit tournament in Naples Florida, three juniors advanced: wild card Alex Bernard and junior reserved entrants Ozan Colak and Michael Zheng. Bernard defeated Murkel Dellien of Bolivia 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, while Colak denied 18-year-old qualifier Sebastian Gorzny his first ATP point with a 6-3, 6-4 victory. Bernard and Colak will play in Thursday's second round, with Bernard holding a 2-0 edge in recent meetings. Bernard defeated Colak in the fourth round at Kalamazoo last August and in the third round of the ITF JB1 Pan American Closed in 2019. 

Zheng defeated Alexander Cozbinov(UNLV) of Moldova 6-2, 6-4 to set up a second round meeting with No. 7 seed Strong Kirchheimer(Northwestern).  Top seed Yu Hsiou Hsu of Taiwan bowed out after retiring from his match with qualifier Kiranpal Pannu(Columbus State) of New Zealand at 4-4 in the first set.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Ohio State Heads Field for ITA Division I Men's Team Indoor; USTA Announces Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge; Gorzny Advances to Main Draw at Naples $15K; ATP Delray Beach Update

With North Carolina's third straight ITA Women's Team Indoor Championship now in the books, this weekend's Men's Team Indoor takes center stage, with the draw released today. Top-ranked Ohio State, who has defeated four top 10 teams in the last two weeks, is the favorite going into the tournament and they are, of course the No. 1 seed. Baylor is seeded No. 2, followed by Tennessee at 3 and Florida at 4. Florida lost to TCU last month in Fort Worth, but is back ahead of the Horned Frogs, at least for this week.  Unlike the women's field, which had just eight seeds, the men are seeded 1-16. Friday's first round matchups:

Men's Team Indoor Round of 16, Friday February 18:

Ohio State[1] vs. Washington[16]
Baylor[2] vs. Mississippi[15]
Tennessee[3] vs Texas A&M[14]
Florida[4] vs. Texas[13]
TCU[5] vs Virginia[12]
Stanford[6] vs. South Carolina[11]
Kentucky[7] vs Southern Cal[10]
Wake Forest[8] vs. Georgia[9]

With the tournament in Seattle, coverage of the 6:30 PM Pacific time matches won't be feasible for me, but Cracked Racquets will again be onsite for their RedZone coverage at their YouTube Channel. They will also have a preview of the tournament in a live broadcast on their weekly Deciding Point show Thursday.

Yesterday the USTA announced it was reestablishing its Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. 

Both the men's and women's wild cards will be awarded to the Americans with the most ranking points earned at a maximum of three clay-court tournaments during a five-week window for the women and a four-week window for the men. All red-clay and Har-Tru events at the 25 level and above, including WTA and ATP Tour events, will be included in the Challenge.

 

The men's and women's challenges begin with tournaments on the week of April 4. The last week of the men's challenge is April 25. The last week of the women's challenge is May 2.

The full USTA press release is available here.

It's another week with two men's events in the United States--an ATP 250 and a Pro Circuit $15K--and no women's tournaments.

Qualifying concluded today at the $15,000 tournament in Naples Florida, with TCU recruit Sebastian Gorzny earning his way into the main draw in his first Pro Circuit tournament. The 18-year-old, who won his first ITF Grade 1 tournament last month in Costa Rica, will play Ozan Colak in the first round Wednesday. The 17-year-old Colak, who recently committed to Michigan State, received entry via the ITF's junior reserved program, as did Columbia recruit Michael Zheng. Wild cards were given to Alexander Bernard, an Ohio State recruit, Fletcher Scott(Illinois), Aidan Mayo and No. 2 seed Cristian Rodriguez of Colombia. The tournament's top seed is Yu Hsiou Hsu of Taiwan.

The first round of the Delray Beach Open will wrap up tonight, with wild card Jack Sock taking on Daniel Altmaier of Germany. So far, eight Americans are through to the second round, including No. 2 seed and last week's Dallas Open champion Reilly Opelka, who received a bye. Tommy Paul, who took a wild card into the tournament, is the No. 4 seed, and also has a bye into the second round. Jenson Brooksby, the Dallas Open finalist who would have been seeded No. 6, withdrew due to illness. Lucky loser Emilio Gomez(USC) of Ecuador took his place; qualifier Stefan Kozlov defeated Gomez 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 today. Other Americans advancing to the second round: No. 5 seed Sebastian Korda, Steve Johnson(USC), qualifier Mitchell Krueger, Brandon Nakashima(Virginia) and Marcos Giron(UCLA).

Former TCU All-American Cameron Norrie of Great Britain is the top seed; he will face Oscar Otte of Germany in the second round.