I have been preoccupied with things for the past few weeks and I apologize, but with schools opening their door these past weeks, it is time to get back to business.
I am currently in NYC attending the USTA Semi-Annual Meetings and U.S Open. Upon arriving, I checked in, then raced out to the USTABJKTC to try and catch some of the junior qualies. I arrived as Texan Mitchell Krueger was taking the court against fifth-seeded Tristan-Samuel Weissborn of Austria. Krueger is growing and playing some good tennis, but he was just muscled off the court today. There was a bit of wind and Weissborn’s groundstrokes forced Krueger to force the issue, which didn’t go well. Weissborn eventually won 63 63. Krueger is only 15 (Jan 12 – shares my youngest brother’s bday) and has plenty of time ahead of him.
The match everyone was talking about was Nathan Pasha’s 46 64 75 win over sixth-seeded John Morrisey of Ireland. All reports spoke of Pasha’s gritty performance despite suffering from some physical issues late in the match that last about three hours.
Another match I caught some of was the Alexios (Alex) Halebian against 13th-seed Ahmed El Menshawy of Great Britain. Halebian, who just turned 15 in June, won the first set 61, but fell behind 5-2 in the second. He showed some real grit, winning the final five games and the match. He now plays third-seeded Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan.
ITA Rankings Released
There were a ton of coaches out there today watching the play and eagerly awaiting the main draw. While they were chatting, the ITA was releasing its new rankings for the upcoming season. Here’s some of the release:
The nation’s top collegiate tennis players are slated to compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) first national events of the 2009-10 season, as selections for the D’Novo/ITA Men’s All-American Championships and the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships, have been announced by the ITA. Many of the events’ top seeds are also featured in the Campbell/ITA preseason singles and doubles rankings.
Both tournaments include six rounds of prequalifying and qualifying matches beginning Saturday, October 3, 2009. The Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships are hosted by the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. for the 25th consecutive year while the D’Novo/ITA Men’s All-American Championships, are hosted by the University of Tulsa, in Tulsa, Okla. for the third straight year.
Highlighting this year’s men’s singles field is top seed and 2008 Runner-Up, Oleksandr Nedovyesov of Oklahoma State. The 2009 Campbell/ITA National Men’s Player of the Year resumes his spot atop the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings where last year he became the first OSU player to top the ITA rankings since Pavel Kudrnac in 1998. The senior compiled a 35-7 singles record in 2008-09 while playing a ranked opponent in every match except three. The ITA National Men’s Player to Watch won his second consecutive Big 12 Player of the Year award and advanced to the NCAA Singles Championship Round of 16 for the second straight year.
Also highlighting this year’s men’s field and rounding out the top 10 of the Campbell/ITA men’s singles preseason rankings (in order): John-Patrick Smith of Tennessee, Robert Farah of USC, Nate Schnugg of Georgia, Guillermo Gomez of Georgia Tech, Dimitar Kutrovsky of Texas, Alex Clayton of Stanford, Jean-Yves Aubone of Florida State, Sanam Singh of Virginia and Saketh Myneni of Alabama.
The doubles field includes Tennessee’s top-ranked duo, Davey Sandgren and John-Patrick Smith, who were named the 2009 ITA Men’s Doubles Team of the Year.
Headlining this year’s Riviera All-American field is Northwestern’s Maria Mosolova. The 2008 ITA National Women’s Player to Watch also started out atop of the 2009 spring rankings and ended the year ranked No. 2. With 2009 Campbell/ITA National Women’s Player of the Year, Mallory Cecil, having left the college game early to join the pro circuit, Mosolova has reclaimed the top spot in the Campbell/ITA women’s rankings. Rounding out the top 10: Chelsey Gullickson of Georgia, Marritt Boonstra of Florida, Jana Juricova of California, Hilary Barte of Stanford, Laura Vallverdu of Miami (FL), Kelcy McKenna of Arizona State, Irina Falconi of Georgia Tech, Josipa Bek of Clemson and Fani Chifchieva of Auburn.
The doubles field includes 2009 ITA Women’s Doubles Team of the Year, Renata Kucerkova and Anastasia Petukhova of Fresno State. The duo captured the doubles title at the 2008 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships.