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Wednesday, January 4, 2023

First ITA Coaches Poll Taps NCAA Champions Virginia Men and Texas Women as No. 1s; More Rain for Malibu $25Ks; Ngounoue, Quevedo Out of Australian Open Junior Championships; USA Advances to United Cup Semifinals

The first ITA Division I team rankings of 2023 have been released, with the 12 coaches with votes selecting reigning NCAA champions Virginia men and Texas women as No. 1. 
The Virginia men were unanimous, but the women's vote was nearly evenly divided with Texas getting seven votes and North Carolina getting five. 

I'm listing the entire Top 25 as the season begins, more as a reference than anything else; the coaches poll will be the source of rankings, sponsored by Tennis-Point, for the next seven weeks, with the computer taking over on February 21st, after both the men and women have determined their National Indoor champions. The ITA's ranking schedule for the year is here.

I'm not sure if the USTA is also doing rankings again this year, but the Cracked Racquets' Great Shot Podcast has been providing in-depth episodes on their preseaon Top 10s in men's and women's, with some notable deviations from the coaches. For example, CR doesn't have Texas A&M women in their Top 10, with the coaches putting the Aggies at 5, and CR has Stanford men at 7, with the coaches slotting the Cardinal at 12. 

Division I Coaches Poll
January 4, 2023
(first place votes in parentheses)

1. Texas (7)
2. North Carolina (5)
3. NC State
4. Oklahoma
5. Texas A&M
6. Duke
7. Virginia
T8. Georgia
T8. Stanford
10. Pepperdine
11. Miami
12. California
13. Oklahoma State
14. Southern California
15. Auburn
16. UCLA
17. Ohio State
18. Florida
19. Arizona State
T20. Michigan
T20. Vanderbilt
22. Iowa State
23. Central Florida
24. Tennessee
25. Georgia Tech

1. Virginia (12)
2. Ohio State
3. TCU
4. Kentucky
5. Michigan
6. Tennessee
7. Georgia
8. Texas
9. Southern Cal
10. South Carolina
11. Baylor
12. Stanford
13. Florida
14. Wake Forest
15. Arizona
T16. Florida State
T16. Harvard
18. North Carolina
19. NC State
T20. Pepperdine
T20. Duke
22. Columbia
23. Texas A&M
24. Auburn
25. Middle Tennessee

Rain has continued to be an issue in Malibu, where the $25,000 SoCal Pro Series is kicking off the USTA Pro Circuit for both men and women in 2023. The qualifying did finish yesterday, and a few matches main draw matches were played, but play was called today at noon Pacific time and there are 13 first round and eight second round women's matches on the schedule for Thursday. Ten men's first round matches and eight second round matches on the schedule for Thursday, but unfortunately, the weather forecast calls for more rain.  One of the few players who completed a first round match was 18-year-old Stanford recruit Hudson Rivera, who defeated former USC standout Connor Farren 6-7(7), 6-4, 10-6 (short scoring is already being implemented and likely to continue). 

Steve Pratt spoke to Rivera about his junior career, which features some impressive mentors, and about his success on the USTA SoCal Pro Circuit this summer, in this article from yesterday.

The acceptances for the J300 (formerly Grade 1) in Costa Rica were released today, with several girls opting to compete there rather than traveling to Melbourne for the Australian Open Junior Championships.

Kaitlin Quevedo, Iva Jovic, Mia Slama and Valeria Ray are on the acceptance list for Costa Rica and have withdrawn from the Australian Open Junior Championships. Ariana Pursoo is on both acceptance lists, and will need to withdraw from one or the other, as they are basically being played at the same time. Kaitlyn Rolls is the sixth American girl receiving direct acceptance; the draws for tournament appear to be permanently reduced to 32, after being 64-player draws prior to the pandemic.

Since the initial acceptances, Ashton Bowers, Ava Krug and Ahmani Guichard have moved into the main draw, joining Qavia Lopez, Tatum Evans, Pursoo and Theadora Rabman in the main draw. Clervie Ngounoue, who was planning to play as of last month at the Orange Bowl, withdrew today.

There has been no change in number of US boys competing in Australia; as of today, Cooper Williams, Learner Tien, Alexander Frusina, Kyle Kang and Kaylan Bigun are planning to play in Melbourne.  

The top-ranked US boy playing Costa Rica is Alexander Razeghi. Other American boys directly in are Adhithya Ganesan, Roy Horovitz, Quang Dong, Tristan Stringer and Darwin Blanch.

The team from the United States defeated Great Britain 4-1 in the Sydney city final to advance to the semifinals of the United Cup. The US got singles victories from Madison Keys, Jessica Pegula and Frances Tiafoe to seal the win. They will face Poland in the semifinals Friday, with Greece taking on Italy in the other semifinal. For more on the USA's win over Great Britain and the matchups for Friday, see this article.


Last Year, This Year said...

Are UVA Men & Texas Women really the early favorites and the best team in the country this year or is this simply they both won the NCAA last year so lets vote them both #1 this year?

fan said...

UT's loss is grievous(4 players left the team) but freshman Khirin just lost to Loeb by 46, 64, 8-10 at Pepperdine it seems