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  • Writer's pictureMichael Augsberger

Team event in DMV, two winners in Princeton


Lincoln Rawald and Nathaniel Dubin topped one of the closest groups ever to play in Tennis Central's Bethesda tournaments, while in Princeton two 16U champions launched the first USTA events to grace Tennis Central partner Princeton Day School's courts in style.

Daniel Haiduc needed two tiebreaks to make the final of the 16U Boys tournament at PDS, but he pressed his extra time on court to his advantage against Prabhav Allada, 4-0, 4-2, to win the championship.

PDS head coach and Tour director Michael Augsberger took the chair for the boys' final. "It was clear both players had tired after a long day of play," he said. "Allada had the game to match the winner but came out a little tired." Indeed, Allada had enough nerves jangling not to eat during his long layoff, a decision he lamented post-match.

Paige Mattie navigated a hard-hitting opening opponent and then so frustrated the top seed in two tiebreaks that Archisha Ghosh did not finish the match tiebreak at 5-1. Mattie's final win was comprehensive over incoming PDS freshman Arundhati Prabhu, nonetheless impressing her new manager with a tiebreak win in the first round and a swift semifinal victory.

Middle school and incoming varsity PDS players were able to utilize the home turf to their advantage. In addition to finalist Prabhu, seventh grader Michael Zhou went 5-3 against a much older field and eventual semifinalist Arjun Arya.

Back home, team events populated the Holton-Arms courts, as four winning duos emerged. Each team in Rawald and Dubin's 12U Green Group 1 went 1-1, but their combined 2-1 victory over Austin Le and Domini de Guzman set them in first place for the day and the 80 ranking points that go with it.

The USTA team events pitted each duo against another first in singles play, and then together in doubles, for a total of three points to be won. Despite the small groups, the Tour points won from this weekend reflect larger events given the amount and variety of play involved, more similar to Ryder or Davis Cup ties than small brackets.

The other three group champions, one from 12U Green and the others from 10U Orange, firmly stamped their authority on the round robins. None was more dominant than Luna Letica Martinez and Chloe Conradi, who won 73 percent of their games in an unbeaten, 3-0 campaign against coed competition to boot.

Lily Guder and Blake Stephenson won Group 1 for the 10U Orangers, while Theone Jessup-May and Ayan Narang glided past the competition of Group 2 at 12U Green.

Making their debuts in the Tour rankings, the Princeton players reached as high as 42nd, where champion Haiduc begins. Mattie reached No. 58.

Much more movement hit the 10U and 12U Tours. Nathaniel Dubin raced up sixty places to No. 29 on the 12U Tour for the highest finish there. 10U shook up even more, as four players entered the Top 20 for the first time, as Meghan Dorsey led the charge with a three-place improvement to No. 12. Stephenson and Conradi took giant leaps, sixteen and eighteen spots respectively.

But the Top 10s didn't move a muscle this week.

As New Jersey and Pennsylvania players join the Tour rankings, new lists will be published separating the group from the much larger DMV field. For now, these players will be noted by the (P) next to their names.

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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