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Friday, September 16, 2022

Rabman Wins ITF J2 Title in Montreal; USTA Announces Women's Australian Open Wild Card Challenge; New Tennis Facilities at MTSU, VCU; UT-Martin to Drop Tennis; Desdunes New Princeton Assistant; USA Reaches Davis Cup Quarterfinals

Seventeen-year-old Thea Rabman won her second ITF Junior Circuit title today at the J2 in Montreal, with the top seed defeating No. 4 seed Mayu Crossley of Japan 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 in the final. Rabman, a blue chip senior who has verbally committed to North Carolina, now has two J2 titles, both claimed in Canada.  

Unseeded 16-year-old Keegan Rice of Canada won the boys singles title, beating No. 8 seed Roy Horovitz to prevent a sweep of the singles and doubles titles by Americans. The ITF Junior Circuit site for the tournament hasn't been updated, but Tennis Canada did tweet the names and photos of the champions today. [Update: Rice d. Horovitz 6-3, 6-2].

The USTA announced its annual Australian Open Wild Card Challenge for the reciprocal wild card it exchanges with Tennis Australia, with details available right now just for the women's competition. The men's announcement is expected next week.

The women's event begins the week of September 26th and runs for five weeks, through the week of October 24th. The best three results during those five weeks on indoor or outdoor hard courts at the $25,000 level or above, including WTA tournaments, will count in the standings. Below are the USTA Pro Circuit events during those five weeks, although the Challenge is not confined to them.

Two announcements on Division I facility upgrades came out this week, with Middle Tennessee State breaking ground on its $7.1 million eight-court Outdoor Tennis Complex and Virginia Commonwealth revealing an anonymous $2.5 million donation to its Athletics Village tennis facility, which is still in the planning stages, but is expected to feature 12 outdoor and six indoor courts. 

In less positive college tennis news, University of Tennessee-Martin will be dropping its women's tennis program after this season. Caitlyn Williams resigned her position as head coach Monday at the Division I school and an interim coach will be hired for this final season.

I have an interview with new Princeton women's head coach Jamea Jackson coming up next week for the Tennis Recruiting Network; when I talked to her she did not yet have an assistant coach, but she does now. Jean Desdunes, a USTA National Coach from 2005-2020 and before that the men's head coach at Georgia Tech, will reunite with Jackson, with the two working together at the USTA for many years. For more on Desdunes resume, which has to be the most impressive of any assistant in the country, see this article from the Princeton website.

The USA Davis Cup reached November's quarterfinals today without playing, when the Netherlands beat Great Britain 2-1 in Glasgow. The USA and the Netherlands will play tomorrow, but that's simply to decide who will sit atop the group, with both currently 2-0. For more on today's match, see this article from the Davis Cup website.