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Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Wild card Blokhina, Five Qualifiers Advance at Sarasota $25K; NCAA Division II Team Championships Round of 16s Set; UTR Pro Tennis Tour Results, New Ambassadors Named

Last week's $25,000 tournament in Daytona Beach featured an abundance of teenagers, with two of them reaching the final: champion Katrina Scott and runner-up Reese Brantmeier.

This week. at the $25,000 Sarasota tournament, that theme continues, and today's first round action produced six teenage winners, three of whom came through qualifying. Canadian qualifier Cadence Brace, 17, defeated China's YeXin Ma 6-3, 6-2; 16-year-old Sayaka Ishii of Japan came back to defeat fellow qualifier Erica Oosterhout(Harvard) 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(0) in a two hour and 44-minute contest and qualifier Grace Levelston beat fellow 16-year-old Tatum Evans, a wild card, 6-1, 6-4. 

Scott, the No. 6 seed, defeated Connie Hsu(Penn) of Taiwan 6-4, 7-6(2) to extend her winning streak; No. 7 seed Ashlyn Krueger, who recently turned 18, won her first match since early March over qualifier Mara Schmidt(Purdue) 6-3, 6-3, and 17-year-old wild card Alexis Blokhina beat Adriana Reami(NC State) 7-5, 6, 6-2. 

The other qualifiers to advance are Kendra Bunch(Drexel), who beat Vicky Duval 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, and Caroline Lampl(Stanford) who defeated wild card Katherine Hui 6-0, 6-3.

Brantmeier lost her first round match to No. 3 seed Sophie Chang 5-7, 6-1, 6-4; wild card Samantha Crawford took out No. 2 seed Allie Kiick 7-5, 6-0, while top seed Maria Carle(Georgia) of Argentina beat Sina Herrmann of Germany 6-3, 6-1.

The Sweet Sixteens have been determined in the men's and women's Division II NCAA Team Championships, which begin May 17 in Sanlando Park and Altamonte Springs Florida. The top four seeds in the women's team championships, which run through May 21, are: 

1) Barry
2) Central Oklahoma
3) Indianapolis
4) Nova Southeastern

Barry is the defending champion. See the full bracket here.

The top four seeds in the men's team championships, which begin May 18 and run through May 22, are:

1) Columbus State
2) Hawaii Pacific
3) Barry
4) Wayne State

Barry is the defending champion. See the full bracket here.

It's been a couple of months since I've posted results from the UTR Pro Tennis Tour events in the United States, so here's the update from the beginning of March through last week. The January and February results can be found here.


March 7 Bradenton FL
Martin Damm d. Sekou Bangoura 6-4, 6-3

March 21 Boca Raton FL
Sekou Bangoura d. Preston Brown 6-4, 6-2

March 28 Newport Beach CA
Govind Nanda d. Aidan Mayo 6-1, 6-4

April 4 Newport Beach CA
Aidan Mayo d. Jerry Barton 6-1, 6-1

April 25 Atlanta GA
Kiranpal Pannu d. Bjorn Swenson 6-2, 6-4

May 2 Atlanta GA
Kiranpal Pannu d. Bjorn Swenson 3-6, 6-1, 6-2


March 7 Bradenton FL
Johanne Svendsen d. Sophia Graver 6-1, 6-3

March 14 Charleston SC
Alexa Graham d. Kennedy Shaffer 2-6, 6-4, 6-3

March 21 Newport Beach CA
Jessica Hinojosa d. Brandy Walker 6-3, 0-6, 6-1

March 28 Atlanta GA
Victoria Rodriguez d. Ana Sofia Sanchez 6-2, 6-2

April 4 Atlanta GA
Mia Horvit d. Tiphanie Fiquet 7-6(4), 3-6, 7-6(5)

April 25 Newport Beach CA
Anne-Christine Lutkemeyer d. Pamela Montez 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-2

May 2 Newport Beach CA
Aspen Schuman d. Paris Corley 2-6, 7-5, 6-4

The schedule of upcoming PTT tournaments in the Americas Region can be found here.

Universal Tennis announced several new ambassadors today, with the program, initially structured around the Name Image and Likeness legislation that has been passed, now including a coach and a professional player. 

The four college players named Universal Tennis Ambassadors are: Carson Branstine(Texas A&M), Solymar Colling(San Diego), Alex Kotzen(Columbia) and Blake Kasday(San Diego). In addition, pro Li Tu of Australia and former Duke assistant coach Jonathan Stokke, now coaching juniors privately, will also serve as ambassadors for the various Universal Tennis initiatives.

The first four collegiate ambassadors--Peyton Stearns(Texas), Taylor Johnson(UCLA), Tristan Boyer(Stanford) and Carolyn Ansari(Auburn) were announced last December.


Brent said...

Does anyone know anything about this worldtennisnumber coming out from the ITF and seemingly endorsed by the USTA as well? Seems like an obvious attempt to copy UTR and given the organizations involved, I'm very skeptical it will be an improvement. But interested if anyone has studied it, differences versus UTR, etc.?

Colette Lewis said...

Here's some more information from the USTA on the WTN as it pertains to juniors.


Colin said...

Main disclosed difference appears to be that UTR is calculated at the level of games won and lost, and WTN calculated at the level of sets won and lost. For example, WTN website says, "if your match ends 2 sets to 1 in your favour, then the system will update your Number with two set ‘wins’ and one set ‘loss’."

The UTR site does hint at some more information than does the WTN website. For instance, we know that UTR only counts matches that are within two points (unless you beat someone >2 points higher), and that it weights matches against opponents within one point more than it does those that are 1-2 points in difference.

Beyond that the differences will likely be based on how many scores are counted, and how they're weighted/degraded in weight over time. UTR says it gives more weight to matches "within the last few months" and provides a last-3-month UTR, which suggests three may be what they mean by "a few", but that's just guessing. I suppose we also don't know if WTN will retroactively adjust your score as past opponents' WTN goes up, as is the case with UTR. Because those decisions will be just as proprietary and black-box for WTN as they are for UTR, it'll be just as much a mystery as UTR to all who are affected by these systems.

SeminoleG said...

WTN UTR etc, until they reward progress in a Tournament these ratings mean little. UTR will not differentiate the level of Tournament and how far the player progresses. That is a Major Flaw. UTR also penalizes losses more than rewarding wins. If you beat an Opponent with 2.0 higher your UTR moves very little but lose to an opponent within 2 and you take a hit. Personally to compare a jr with a 10 UTR with a Pro with a 10 is apples and oranges. WTN is suppose to reward the level of event and progress in tournaments. These rating system's seem to assume you beat anyone who's level is below yours, and that is not how tennis tournaments turn out.

Colin said...

"WTN is suppose to reward the level of event and progress in tournaments."

Is this true? I don't think I've seen anything about that in the WTN's limited disclosures about their algorithm. Their summary says nothing about tournament type or round:

When you compete, we analyze your pre-match rating and your opponent’s. Our algorithm then predicts what it thinks the outcome of your match will be. Your Number changes depending on your score and how it compares to our prediction
Match results are analysed at set level, meaning our algorithm takes into account each individual set as its own result. Simply, if your match ends 2 sets to 1 in your favour, then the system will update your Number with two set ‘wins’ and one set ‘loss’. Even if you don’t win the overall match any sets you have won will count towards your Number.

Do they address round/tournament elsewhere? I don't claim that my attempts to understand WTN have been comprehensive, so I've likely missed some stuff. Of course, playing a higher level event will allow you to move up by playing higher-level players, but that's no different from how UTR works.

I've found UTR to be useful in a limited way - when my kid plays within his section UTR seems to hold pretty well. The problem is that the algorithm is simplistic, and doesn't deal well with data where there isn't much crossover between populations. And so as much as it claims to be "universal", it's really not. You can see that as, say, 12-year-olds who dominate other 12-year-olds take a hit when they move into the 14s, or when an 11 UTR junior moves into college play and sees his rating drop. When my kid was a high-9 UTR I'd see him practicing next to high-9 college women and there was no way his game was comparable to theirs. There are transitions in the game that are qualitative in nature, and UTR doesn't capture those qualitative changes. If WTN captures a broader data set than does UTR (which is, for instance, uneven in its college data) then it might work a bit better in benchmarking between qualitatively different levels of play, but I won't hold my breath on that.

With that said, though, if WTN is not capturing scores within sets, that'll be a step back from UTR. While I think UTR should acknowledge some value to actually being able to win a set or a match, if WTN is treating a 76 76 win the same as a 60 60 win, that's tough.

Colin said...

Oops, if I'd just scrolled down a bit more on the WTN page I'd have seen the following:

Different match formats and grades of competition will affect your Number differently. Each match format will be weighted to ensure that your Number is adjusted after each match to reflect your ability.

So, yeah, ignore much of what I said above :-)