Smith, Ghosh make moves at 10U
The Road to THE TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP 2024
Oct 15: USTA 10U Coed Green & Orange
The two biggest movers and shakers of the weekend at the Tennis Central Junior Circuit were Ayaan Ghosh and Milan Smith, champions at their respective 10U tournaments. Ghosh broke into the Top 10 in style, defeating his closest rival Vincent Finisdore 4-2, dispatching the group's silver medalist Kamsiyonna Odejiofor 4-0, and going 16-3 in games.
Smith, however, navigated the toughest group of the day and earned the championship in dramatic fashion. His exploits land him at No. 15 this week, twenty-five places higher than his second place performance on August 27 brought him. Smith went 4-2 against Hanye Odejiofor to bring him within touching distance of unbeaten Blake Stephenson.
Smith won the deciding set between them 4-3 to take the head-to-head honors. The group outcome depends on the tiebreaking criteria, and so Stephenson has an incredible amount to be proud of. With the two leaders tied at 2-1 in record and sets, at many other events Stephenson's 11-9 game record would have boosted him over the 10-9 Smith. It was, actually, fourth-place Thurgood Hicks who handed Smith his only loss.
With ten months to the Tour Championship, anything can happen, and these two champions sit in a good spot despite being just outside top six qualifying spots. But for the Fall UTR Finals in December, they're in a commanding position. With automatic spots in the Fall UTR Finals going to the top earners from just the Fall 2024, Ghosh and Smith lead the pack.
Danila Lidzar provided the most dominant performance, winning the group without dropping a single game, while the second Orange group produced fireworks. Noah Jordan entered the last match 1-2 facing the already crowned Noah Inaba. Like Rocky Balboa he took the champ the distance in a match some had already preordained. Inaba pulled it out 4-3, and rumor was he told Jordan, "Ain't gonna be no rematch."
The fifth champion of the day was repeat winner Shiloh Auzoux, who extended his lead over both the 10U and 12U fields. At 10U he's unassailably ahead by almost two hundred points; however, the same crew is chasing him at 12U and it's much closer.
Siena Auzoux popped ahead of Deniz Ozenci in the 12U race by just one point thanks to her second place finish. She's also second at 10U and had been there for some time.
Inaba, Lidzar, and Kate LeBlanc, by virtue of her previous performances at higher tournaments, debut on the 10U circuit in the mid-30s. Finisdore boosted himself nine spots to just outside the Top 20. But there was little movement elsewhere on the Tour, save for Serena Provinse, who joined the 16U Top 10, and Diego Levi, who did likewise at 18U, both as a result of Benjamin Kaufman's dropped points from a year ago.
In the Blue Glove Open flexible UTR league, Alexander Toker-Katskee went 2-0 in the earlygoing with a tense 7-5 victory over James Reed, who himself had just blanked Jake Snow to position himself in second place. Toker-Katskee earned the Player of the Week honor for his trouble.
Finn Koski backed up his own Player of the Week performance with a similar one---another one-game victory, this time 4-3 against Allison Tran to lead the younger group.
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 Green: Danila Lidzar, Shiloh Auzoux, Ayaan Ghosh
10U Orange: Milan Smith, Noah Inaba
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.
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 - Tenniscentral.us Cup