Sunday, 09 April 2017 00:00

USC Blanks Cal & Plenty Of WACtion in Seattle

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A day after USC lost a tough one at Stanford it rebounded and posted a 4-0 shutout over No. 12 Cal. USC's No. 3 team of Rob Bellamy and Jack Jaede broke for a 4-3 lead and they'd close it out a few games later for a 6-4 win. Cal picked up a 6-4 win at No. 2 doubles after Andre Goransson and Billy Griffith came back from a break down to win the final three games. The decider was at No. 1 between a pair of top 10 doubles teams. After 10 consecutive holds, USC's Brandon Holt and Riley Smith broke Cal's Florian Lakat and Filip Bergevi to go up 6-5 and then they'd serve it out to win it 7-5.

Cal came back strong in singles and took four opening sets but USC's Logan Smith and Thibault Forget each closed out their matches in straight sets to make it 3-0. Cal was a game away from wins at No. 1, No. 2, and No. 6 but USC's Jack Jaede got the clincher at No. 4 after coming back from a set down to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 over Filip Bergevi. Each of the remaining matches were abandoned so the final stood at 4-0. 

It may have been wet on the east side of the San Francisco Bay (UCLA/Cal rained out) but on the south side it stayed dry long enough for Stanford to upset No. 5 USC 4-1. Stanford came into the match having lost its last four to USC and after dropping the doubles point it may have thought No. 5 wasn't too far off. Stanford refocused in singles and took all six first sets and then one-by-one it managed to close them out in straight sets. Sameer Kumar tied the match at 1-1 with a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 2 and then David Wilczynski made it 2-1 with a 6-1, 6-4 win at No. 3. Tom Fawcett put the Cardinal within a point of the clinch after winning 6-4, 6-2 at No. 1 and then senior Brandon Sutter closed it out with a 7-6, 6-1 win at No. 5.

The ITA and Universal Tennis have entered into a five-year partnership agreement which will have the UTR name attached to the ITA Summer Circuit plus all Summer Circuit events will utilize the UTR Event Management System. The ITA and Universal Tennis will work together to make the draws at each Summer Circuit event more level-based so I would hope going forward we won't see many instances of a player with a 12.85 UTR taking on a player with a 10.25 UTR in the first round of an event. The announcement about the use of UTR Events will be appreciated by yours truly because I "tried" to cover some of the Summer Circuit events last year but tracking down results from each event was easier said than done. Some host sites used TennisLink, some updated results on their website daily, some updated results after the event was over, and some didn't update at all. The release also mentioned that TCU will host this year's Summer Circuit National Championship after it had been held at Indiana University for as long as I can remember. 

The original release says the ITA will endorse UTR as the official rating system of the ITA however for the time being UTRs won't have any bearing on the actual Oracle/ITA singles and doubles rankings. Below are a few quotes from the release:

The latest USTA Top 25 is out with the Wake Forest men taking over the top spot while the Florida women remain at No. 1. Wake Forest moved up to the top spot after defeating Virginia last Friday which dropped Virginia down to No. 2. Ohio State and North Carolina remain at No. 3 and No. 4 while USC moved up one spot to No. 5. TCU made the biggest jump rising 10 spots from No. 16 to No. 6 while Florida took the biggest tumble falling four spots from No. 13 to No. 17.

On the women's side Ohio State and Stanford moved up one spot each to No. 2 and No. 3 while North Carolina fell two spots from No. 2 to No. 4 after losing to Georgia Tech last Saturday. Mississippi State made the biggest jump coming up three spots to No. 19 while LSU dropped the most at four spots to No. 25.  

The ITA released its latest team, singles, and doubles rankings today with the Wake Forest men and Florida women remaining in the top spots. In the men's team rankings, Ohio State stayed at No. 2, Baylor moved up one spot to No. 3, Virginia dropped one spot to No. 4, and USC remained at No. 5. TCU was the only team to enter the top 10 after picking up wins last week over #7 Texas A&M, #8 Oklahoma State, and #16 Oklahoma. On the women's side, Georgia moved up one spot to No. 2, Ohio State fell one spot to No. 3, North Carolina fell two spots to No. 4, and Texas Tech moved up one spot to No. 5. Georgia Tech made a nice jump up to No. 6 after picking up a win over North Carolina in Chapel Hill last Saturday.  

These team rankings were comprised of each team's eight best wins and all losses but next week it moves to each team's nine best wins and it'll stay at nine up through the selection of the NCAA field.

The next set of ITA rankings will be coming out on Tuesday afternoon and I have the top 40 for you on my rankings tab (premium). There won't be a lot of movement in the men's top 10 but there will be some with a certain team from Texas known for the "Hat" expected to be back in the top 10 for the first time since early in the season. On the women's side I'd expect to see a nice jump for Georgia Tech after its big win at North Carolina plus a team from the Magnolia State will make a big move into a prime position after a pair of weekend wins.  

By Wednesday afternoon I'll have my real-time rankings with each teams nine best wins viewable for College Tennis Today subscribers so if you're want to be ahead of the curve then hop on board and subscribe today!

Over the last several weeks Universal Tennis has been highlighting the top college players by country, as rated by the UTR system. Universal Tennis started with the United States and have progressed through Great Britain, Canada, France, and Germany with several more countries (Spain, Brazil, Australia, etc.) coming up in the next few months. You can view all the articles at this link - if you have any suggestions on countries let me or the folks at UTR know.  

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