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Friday, May 20, 2022

No Ranking Points at Wimbledon This Year, Including for Juniors; Hovde, Basavareddy and Tien Reach Semifinals at ITF Grade A in Milan; Fratangelo and Baptiste Qualify for Roland Garros Main Draw; Scholarship to Honor Kevin Minor, Who Died Suddenly This Week

Because the NCAA women's quarterfinals are expected to go late, as the men's did last night, I'm doing two posts today, with this one on all the other news, significant as it is. 

The ATP, WTA and ITF announced today that they would be withholding ranking points from Wimbledon this year, due to the tournament's decision to ban players from Belarus and Russia from competing. In the case of the ITF, that means that the Junior Championships, scheduled to take place from July 2-July 10, will not award points for the singles and doubles competitions.

The entries for the Junior Championships don't close until June 7, so it remains to be seen if this will keep players from signing up, or ultimately participating; those in their final year of juniors who have not played it before may still want the experience, while those that competed last year may decide to compete in lower level tournaments closer to home that do offer ATP and WTA points. As of now, the tournament still appears on the ITF Junior Circuit calendar, but I'm not sure it will remain there.

Wimbledon's response to the announcement from these three entities can be found here.

In more positive junior news, three Americans have advanced to the semifinals of the ITF Grade A in Milan, with Liv Hovde and Nishesh Basavareddy both taking out the No. 2 seeds.

Hovde, the No. 5 seed, defeated Diana Shnaider of Russia 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Tommy Hemp has a detailed report on the match at TennisUnderworld. Hovde's opponent in the semifinals is No. 4 seed Lucie Havlickova of the Czech Republic. The top half semifinal will feature No. 7 seed Celine Naef of Switzerland and No. 3 seed Ksenia Zaytseva of Russia.

No. 10 seed Basavareddy had beaten No. 2 seed Gonzalo Bueno of Peru 6-0, 6-1 in the final of the Grade 1 in Brazil in February; today's match was not as straightforward, but Basavareddy earned the 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-1 victory to move into the semifinals against No. 8 seed Martin Landaluce of Spain.

Unseeded Learner Tien continued his impressive run this week on the Italian red clay, defeating No. 9 seed Lautaro Midon of Argentina 4-6, 6-3, 6-0. Tien will face top seed Daniel Vallejo of Paraguay in Saturday's semifinals.

Hemp also has an analysis of Tien's win, and as a bonus for  college tennis fans, a glowing report on Oklahoma recruit Anastasiya Lopata of Ukraine, who lost today to Zaytseva.

Hovde and Qavia Lopez, the top seeds, lost in the girls doubles semifinals today; Basavareddy and Aidan Kim advanced to Saturday's boys doubles final with a 7-5, 6-0 win over Nicholas Godsick and Ethan Quinn. Basavareddy and Kim, who are unseeded, will face Mika Brunold of Switzerland and Liam Gavrielides of Germany, also unseeded, for the title. 

Two of the 24 Americans who competed in the Roland Garros qualifying have advanced to the main draw: Bjorn Fratangelo and Hailey Baptiste. Fratangelo, who also qualified for the main draw in Paris last year, defeated Nino Serdarusic of Croatia 7-5, 6-4 in today's final round. He has been drawn against No. 11 seed Jannik Sinner of Italy in the first round.

Baptiste, the No. 17 seed in qualifying, defeated 2021 Wimbledon girls finalist Nastasja Schunk of Germany 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 in today's final round of qualifying. Baptiste, who also qualified last year, will play Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine in the first round.  Christina McHale lost to Valentini Grammatikopoulou of Greece 6-3, 6-3.

The Roland Garros men's and women's singles draws feature 16 US women and 15 US men, which prompted this press release from the USTA:

American Tennis Leads All Nations with 31 Players Competing in French Open Singles Main Draws


Seven U.S. Men Seeded is Most for Any Nation at a Major Since 2015


Thirty-one Americans are set to compete in the singles main draws at the French Open beginning next week -- 16 women and 15 men -- leading all nations in total players and seeded players competing on both the men's and women's sides.


The 15 American men in the singles main draw this year is the most since 19 in 1995. This is the third consecutive year 13 or more American men are playing in the French Open singles main draw, the first time for those numbers over a three-year span since 1994-96.


The 16 women marks the eighth year in a row 16 or more Americans have featured in the women's main draw at Roland Garros.


Seven American men and five American women are seeded, both numbers that lead all nations. 


The seven seeded men is the highest number of American seeds in the men's draw at Roland Garros since Grand Slams began seeding 32 players after the 2001 French Open. The previous high was four, set in 2003 and 2017. The last time the French Open actually had seven American men's seeds in singles was 1982, when Grand Slams had 16 seeds.


The seven American men seeded are also the most for any country at a Grand Slam event since seven Spaniards were seeded at 2015 Roland Garros.


This continues the consistent upward trend of American tennis, most recently on the men's side. As of the May 16 ATP rankings, the U.S. led all nations with 13 players ranked in the Top 100 and eight in the Top 50, ahead of Spain's seven. Eight of those Americans in the Top 100 are also age 25 or younger, ahead of Spain's five.


The U.S. continues to lead all nations in players ranked in the WTA Top 100, with 12. 


Said USTA Player and Coach Development GM Martin Blackman: 


"Over the last 13 years, the USTA's Player Development team has worked in a strong and coordinated three-way partnership with the private sector and the 17 USTA Sections. We realized at the beginning of this project back in 2008, that we could only be successful if we worked through this partnership to create a developmental pathway and a cultural unity in Team USA that recognized and respected the critical role that our great American private sector coaches play in junior development.


"In order to do that we relied on the knowledge, expertise and passion of Section staff for Player Development in all 17 Sections. Their leadership ensured that our pathway could be customized at the Sectional and Regional level, recognizing the fact that every city and state is different. It's been an amazing journey and the continuity over the last 13 years is bearing more and more fruit every year."

Kevin Minor, the father of Kristina, Jasmine and Brienne, unexpectedly passed away early this week, with the funeral set for Saturday in Hoffman Estates Illinois. The family has established a scholarship in his name for junior players in the Chicago area. If you would like to donate, please visit the Kevin Minor Legacy Scholarship page at gofundme.com.

For a look at the parental support that surrounded the Minor sisters, all of whom played Division I college tennis, see this recent article, focused on journalist Jasmine, at usta.com.


fan said...

I've said it before but Liv is already a complete player. Already predicted she'll win Nat sooner or later. Will she turn pro outright? Well there's a case of Cici, so who knows.