Tuesday, 12 September 2017 12:51

ITA Releases Preseason Individual Rankings Plus Top 10 Freshmen/Newcomers; Oracle ITA Masters Selections Announced

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The Oracle ITA preseason singles and doubles rankings were released today along with the top 10 freshmen newcomers. The singles and doubles rankings are last season's final rankings with all the graduating seniors removed along with those that turned pro or are taking the fall off to play pro events. There are no freshmen included in these initial singles rankings. 

Ohio State senior Mikael Torpegaard and UCLA sophomore Ena Shibahara were No. 1 in the men's and women's singles rankings. Wake Forest seniors Skander Mansouri and Christian Seraphim were the top ranked men's doubles team while Michigan junior Kate Fahey and senior Alex Najarian were the top ranked women's doubles team.

There were several players that would have been ranked but for one reason or another (turned pro, taking the fall off to play pro events, not enrolled in school, name wasn't submitted) they were not. Cameron Norrie and Collin Altamirano turned pro while Georgia Tech's Chris Eubanks, Baylor's Juan Benitez, Alabama's Mazen Osama, and Florida State's Aziz Dougaz are only playing pro events in the fall. Wake's Borna Gojo, SMU's Ronald Slobodchikov, Memphis's Ryan Peniston and Andrew Watson, TCU's Guillermo Nunez, and Washington's Mitch Stewart were also not listed though I'm not 100% sure on the reason for each. I was surprised to see Arkansas's Jose Salazar at No. 27 because he was listed as a senior last year and is not showing on the current roster. Salazar sat out his first year at Oklahoma and then played in his second before transferring to Arkansas for the last two so he may trying to petition for that final year of eligibility. 

Some names absent from the women's rankings are Francesca Di Lorenzo (Ohio State), Astra Sharma (Vanderbilt), Brienne Minor (Michigan), Luisa Stefani (Pepperdine), Ellen Perez (Georgia), Jade Lewis (LSU), Ingrid Neel (Florida), Kennedy Shaffer (Georgia), Sammi Hampton (Arizona State), Borislava Botusharova (Old Dominion), and Giulia Guidetti (Wichita State). Perez, Lewis, and Neel turned pro while Di Lorenzo and Shaffer are taking the fall off to play pro events. 

There are three ranked players that are playing for a different school this year - Jessica Failla (USC to Pepperdine), Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov (Oklahoma State to Florida Atlantic), Ayan Broomfield (Clemson to UCLA).

To see the full list of rankings check out the these links - men & women.  

2017-18 Men's Top 10 Freshmen/Newcomers with UTR
1.  Axel Geller (14.73) - Stanford University
2.  John McNally (14.39) - Ohio State University
3.  Daniel Cukierman (14.34) - USC
4.  Michael Geerts (14.19) - Arizona State University
5.  Oliver Crawford (14.04) - University of Florida
6.  Gabriel Decamps (14.40) - University of Central Florida
7.  Francisco Cerundolo (14.24) - University of South Carolina
8.  Antonioni Fasano (14.12) - Northwestern University
9.  Duarte Vale (14.08) - University of Florida
10. Maxim Tybar (13.97) - Oklahoma State University

Geller (18 yr old/Argentina) is without a doubt one of the most highly touted international juniors to play college tennis in a while. He is currently ranked No. 2 in the latest ITF junior rankings and was the runner-up in the junior draw at both the US Open and Wimbledon. Geller should play No. 1 at Stanford but could be slotted at No. 2 behind Tom Fawcett (14.33). 

McNally (18 yr old/United States) was ranked as high as No. 13 in the ITF junior rankings and probably could have been higher but he stopped playing junior events in 2016 to focus strictly on pro events. McNally is currently ranked No. 918 in the latest ATP rankings and had wins this summer over current Illinois No. 1 Aleks Vukic and former Illinois No. 1 Farris Gosea. McNally also recently took Janko Tipsarevic to a third set tiebreak in the qualifying draw at the Western & Southern in Cincinnati. I'd expect to see McNally and JJ Wolf battling it out for No. 2 this season. 

Cukierman (22 yr old/Israel) has been playing pro events off and on for the last three years while also satisfying his military commitment in Israel. Early this year Cukierman hit a career-high ATP ranking of 525 and he is currently ranked 610. I could see Cukierman playing anywhere from No. 1 to No. 4 in the singles lineup probably starting the year off around No. 3.  

Women's Top 10 Freshmen/Newcomers with UTR
1. Michaela Haet (11.93) - Rice University
2. Michaela Gordon (11.80) - Stanford University
3. Michaela Bayerlova (11.83) - Washington State University
4. Kelly Chen (11.07) - Duke University
5. Sabina Machalova (11.73) - University of Mississippi
6. Alexandra Sanford (11.63) - University of North Carolina
7. Victoria Flores (11.71) - Georgia Tech
8. Ida Jarlskog (11.66) - Georgia Tech
9. Eliza Omirou (10.62) - Wake Forest University
10. Veronica Miroshnichenko (11.58) - Loyola Marymount University 

Haet 18 yr old/Australia) achieved a career-high ITF junior ranking of 70 back in 2016. Her last junior event was the Australian Open (R32) and since then she has played 11 ITF Pro Circuit events and won two of them. Haet currently has a WTA ranking of 530 (CH 521) and she's pretty much a lock to play at No. 1 singles this season. 

Gordon (18 yr old/United States) achieved a career-high ITF junior ranking of 21 back in 2015. Her last junior event was 2016 Wimbledon (R32) and since then she's played a pretty full schedule of pro events. Gordon currently has a WTA ranking of 482 (CH 478) and she has wins this year over Ena Shibahara (UCLA #1), Jacqueline Cako (former Arizona State #1), Lorraine Guillermo (former Pepperdine #1), Emina Bektas (former Michigan #1), and Ingrid Neel (Florida #2/#3) among others. I'd expect Gordon to play in the top three along with Melissa Lord and Emily Arbuthnott. 

Bayerlova (18 yr old/Czech Republic) achieved a career-high ITF junior ranking of 129 in 2016 and currently has a WTA ranking of 740 (CH 583). Bayerlova won an ITF Pro Circuit event in the Netherlands in late June and just this week in Las Vegas she defeated Rasheeda McAdoo who played No. 1 at Georgia Tech last season. Bayerlova will play No. 1 this season for Washington State. 



The competitors for this year's Oracle ITA Masters in Malibu were revealed with just about every conference having representation. There were a few conferences that did not have a representative so those extra spots went to a few players as at-large selections. I don't remember seeing the actual selection criteria for this year but I believe it was similar to last year's criteria which is available here

Men’s Singles Competitor List (as of September 11, 2017)
Name School Conference
1. August Holmgren University of San Diego At-Large
2. Billy Griffith California At-Large
3. Petros Chrysochos Wake Forest University Atlantic Coast (ACC)
4. Jack Malloy California At-Large
5. Harrison Scott University of Texas Big 12
6. Luka Sucevic St. John’s University Big East
7. Tim Handel Northern Arizona University Big Sky
8. Thibault Cancel University of Alabama At-Large
9. Matic Spec University of Minnesota Big 10
10. Simon Freund UC Santa Barbara Big West
11. Felipe Sarrasague Elon University Colonial
12. Adam Moundir Old Dominion University Conference USA
13. Michael Geerts Arizona State University At-Large
14. Victor Pham Columbia University Ivy League
15. Javier Restrepo Marist College Metro Atlantic
16. Kennosuke Nouchi Western Michigan University Mid-American
17. Dennis Uspensky Pepperdine University Host Site WC
18. Vinny Gillespie Drake University Missouri Valley
19. Alexandr Cozbinov UNLV Mountain West
20. Matt Kuhar Bryant University Northeast
21. Eduardo Mena Tennessee Tech University Ohio Valley
22. Brandon Holt University of Southern California Pac-12
23. William Bushamuka University of Kentucky Southeastern (SEC)
24. Connor Thompson UNC - Greensboro Southern
25. Josh Sheehy Abilene Christian University Southland
26. Benjamin Hannestad Arizona State University At-Large
27. Razvan Grigorescu Univ. of Nebraska, Omaha Summit League
28. Scott Webster Appalachian State University Sun Belt
29. Michael Nguyen Army Patriot League
30. Michail Pervolarkais University of Portland West Coast
31. Christofer Goncalves New Mexico State Western Athletic
32. Johannes Schretter Baylor University Oracle WC

Women’s Singles Competitor List (as of September 11, 2017)
Name School Conference
1. Celia Ruiz East Carolina University American
2. Kaitlyn McCarthy Duke University At-Large
3. Sara Daavetilla University of North Carolina Atlantic Coast (ACC)
4. Viktoriya Dzyuba Lipscomb University Atlantic Sun
5. Lily Miyazaki University of Oklahoma Big 12
6. Jessica Livianu St. John’s University Big East
7. Marianna Petrei University of Idaho Big Sky
8. Lauren Proctor Winthrop University Big South
9. Anna Sanford Ohio State University Big 10
10. Alexandra Sanford University of North Carolina At-Large
11. Madara Straume UNC - Wilmington Colonial
12. Andrea Lazaro Florida International University Conference USA
13. Margita Sunjic Northern Kentucky University Horizon League
14. Kristina Mathis Dartmouth College Ivy League
15. Jennifer Lu Quinnipiac University Metro Atlantic
16. Mayar Ahmed Pepperdine University Host Site WC
17. Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov Florida Atlantic University At-Large
18. Elizabeth Tsvetkov Stony Brook University Missouri Valley
19. Claudia Herrero Garcia University of Nevada, Reno Mountain West
20. Anna Grigoryan LIU Brooklyn Northeast
21. Lidia Yanes Garcia Austin Peay University Ohio Valley
22. Ena Shibahara UCLA Pac-12
23. Veronica Miroshnichenko Loyola Marymount University At-Large
24. Jessica Failla Pepperdine University At-Large
25. Lucile Pothier Abilene Christian University Southland
26. Tyler Smith Jackson State University Southwestern
27. Julia O’Loughlin University of Denver Summit League
28. Alexandria Stiteler South Alabama Sun Belt
29. Remi Ramos Boston University Patriot League
30. Ashley Lahey Pepperdine University West Coast
31. Michelle Liu Seattle University Western Athletic
32. Samantha Harris Duke University Oracle WC 

Read 1711 times Last modified on Wednesday, 13 September 2017 16:00

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