High-ranked matchups launch new season
The Road to THE TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP 2024
Sept 17: USTA 10U Coed Green & Orange
Like the old Roman Empire's civil wars, the Tour triumvirate's spots atop the pyramid were whittled down to two by competition and conquest. Atlee Hilliard ended the 2023 campaign with two championships in the 16U and 18U rankings and a major at the Tour Championship. She was surpassed in a week's time by Jon Ozenci with his 80-point performance and 10-3 tiebreak victory over Millen Singh at the Holton Varsity Open.
The result is that Ozenci now leads the 14, 16, and 18U Tours, as he did so much of last year. Hilliard, whose Tour Championship victory propelled her to the No. 1 rankings in the top two age groups, now trails by just eight and twelve points in those two races.
Shiloh Auzoux didn't just sit back and watch the fireworks from the beach. He did his part to maintain his firm grip on the 10U and 12U rankings---leads of 150 and 30 points over his closest rivals, respectively---winning the likely Group of Death featuring the highest-ranked matchup in the 10U Green Ball USTA event last weekend.
He had to contend with Lara Dabney, fourth on the Tour, as well as Charlie Poliakoff, who took him to 4-2 in their set.
Meanwhile, in the other toughest group at 10U, Nicolas Kidd faced Kamsiyonna Udejiofor, separated by exactly zero spots in the Top 25. When Kidd took the match 4-1, he moved up to 7th, while Udejiofor's silver medal means 11th on the Tour this week.
Henry Lilly won a second group at the 10U level, another crown to pair with his August 20 title.
On the UTR side, three champions took center stage. In addition to Ozenci, the 14U tournament provided a Group B opportunity for Aidan Zhang to win the lesser title, dropping only five games over three matches and winning from a qualifying position. The final
Classic matches at the 14U included Serena Provinse outlasting Avee Chahal in two tight sets, the first of which went 5-3 overtime, and Carter Mills's semifinal with Singh, a match featuring two tiebreaks. Singh won both, 11-9 and 10-6, to enter the final.
Evan Hogue, in his Tour debut, won the highest honors of the weekend at the 18U. He overcame Tour veteran Zachary Amehraye in a tiebreak to win the semis and then dispatched Braden Walter 4-2, 4-2. Each contest in the Anguilla Service Trips Amateur 18 proved close.
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.
10U USTA Green Ball: Nicolas Kidd, Shiloh Auzoux, Roger Ye, Aubrey Kim, Vincent Finisdore, Henry
10U USTA Orange Ball: Ayaan Ghosh, Austin Johnson
14U UTR: Jon Ozenci, Aidan Zhang
18U UTR: Evan Hogue
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.
Sept 24: 16U UTR - Tenniscentral.us Cup
Oct 15: USTA 10U Coed Green & Orange
Oct 21: USTA 10U Coed Green & Orange
Oct 22: 16U UTR - Yann Auzoux Open
Oct 28: 12U & 16U UTR - Halloween Open
Nov 19: 16U UTR
Dec 9: UTR Fall Finals (200-point Major)