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  • Writer's pictureMichael Augsberger

Four events leading up to second major tourney


May 25: USTA 14U and 18U Waterfall

Hamlet Tennis Center in McLean became the fifth site to host a Tennis Central Junior Circuit Event as this weekend the USTA 14 and 18U Waterfalls took the Virginia stage.

Alex Millar and Mikayla Chu put on a show to decide Group A of the 14U Girls tournament, with overall No. 1 seed Millar winning a tight 6-4 set that would be the difference. It is Millar's first Tour title.

Two other groups went at it for titles as well. Lara Isler had little trouble in Group B until meeting Petra Demas, who won 6-2 to maintain a spotless record and with her own first Tour group. That placed Isler second and boosted her even higher in the Tour rankings. 

Isler gained four spots on the 14U Tour to settle just outside the Top 10, as did Alex Yu.

Paisley Fromer needed focus to overcome Leah Williams for the Group C title, 6-3, while Lila Briskin-Watson and Emma Choi played the match of the day at 6-4 to Lila. 

The largest tournament and most compelling champion went to the 14U Boys. Jayden Lee's sternest test arrived early, in the quarterfinals against Akhil Chintameneni, where Lee won 6-4 before cruising through the final 6-0 over Tammadon, who had also dominated as the fourth seed en route to the final. In fact, the only other match that went within two games was in the opening round, when Alex von Heideken defeated Alex Yu.

But that was in the main draw. Alexandru Cana won his consolation in a tiebreak for what was the match of the tournament.

While sixteen contested the 14U boys single elimination bracket, three were pitted in a group stage for the 18U crown. Solomon Ravitz returned to winning form in an unbeaten run.

The path to second place was unusual. Ravitz defeated Josh Babby 6-3 and blanked Sumaer Sarangal to take the title. But Sarangal bounced back to defeat Babby 7-5 and claim the silver outright.

Ravitz hopped two places to land at No. 2 on the 18U Tour after his championship, while Sarangal entered the Top 20 for the first time.

Similar in scope to the boys, the 18U girls tournament found Sritha Adapala winning another title. Each player a tour veteran, she topped the group by virtue of her 6-3 victory against Grace Xiao, who won her other match against Marin Rosenthal to earn second place.

No stranger to the top rankings, Adapala returned after a long hiatus to great acclaim and No. 17 on the Tour.

The Tour heads back to Holton Arms for one of its headline events of the year, the UTR Spring Finals, the second major tournament in 2024. It begins on Sunday, June 2, with two hundred ranking points on the line at the top level of each age group. Seventy-five players, a record for Tennis Central's UTR events, are set to participate.

Others who have hosted are the Landon School, The Beach Tennis & Pool, and Princeton Day School.

2024 Points Change

A change to the points applied to higher-level tournaments from lower levels should reflect ages and skills better from now on. It used to be that all points were halved when applied to a higher age group's rankings. Now, the points are halved each step up the ladder, not just once.

So a player can no longer earn 80 points at 10U and count them as 40 at 16U. They would be halved at 12U (40 points), again at 14U (20 points), then again at 16U (10 points). It provides the incentive without disrupting the older players' earnings too much.

However, a younger player earning points in an older tournament, much as Arnav Nadikatla did in this Tour Championship edition, is still a sure way to rise faster in those rankings.

Remember the newly added feature to the rankings: the Plus / Minus, which will tell you how far up or down the player has moved within the last week.

The full tables now look like this.

Each weekend this spring and summer, Tennis Central is bringing you USTA and UTR tournaments at Holton-Arms School. Earn points for advancing through each round, just like on the pro tours, and qualify for the TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP at season's end.

Bigger events offer more points, with the TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP offering the most, as well as prizes.

Check here for updates each week to the Tennis Central Tour Rankings, a 52-week points system based on the pro tours, as well as recaps of all the action and photos. We'll post the 2024 schedule soon!

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