The Road to THE TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP 2024
Dec 23 - Blue Glove Open Group A Final
Joining the ranks of the three champions from the previous week---Jake Snow, Alexander Yu, and Finn Koski---and a host of seasonal champions going back to the spring of 2021 when Darius Vedadi defeated Ivy McConarty in the first overall BGO Final, Alexander Toker-Katskee fulfilled a career-long character arc of triumph.
One of the first players to appear on the BGO match sheet and earn an Elo rating, Toker-Katskee grew up to finally claim the overall BGO championship. It took a rematch of one of the most closely contested meetings all season against a fearsome competitor who just could not overcome a wrist injury that had plagued him since the initial encounter.
James Reed brought one of the strongest resumes into a Group A Final with his tournament and previous BGO success. But Toker-Katskee played confidently to win 8-2 and secure his spot in BGO history.
Nowhere was the injury more evident than on the backhand side, where Toker-Katskee tried to keep Reed limited to the slice. The winner also rushed the net aggressively and often to take time away from the challenger, even on second serves in order to defend a relatively lower first-serve percentage.
Their earlier meeting, in October, also went to Toker-Katskee in a dramatic 7-5 finish that aided him to finish the season 4-0. Reed, meanwhile, wrapped up the regular season 1-1. He had qualified for the Final having avenged his loss with an 8-0 defeat of Group B champion Jake Snow.
The extra rest could have benefited Reed, as neither player had played much in the previous few weeks: Reed out because of his injury, and Toker-Katskee's just warming up match with Group C champion Alexander Yu in December. Yet even the final delayed by a month---first by weather, then another week by scheduling---Reed showed courage in coming back possibly sooner than anticipated.
Indeed, Reed had to pull out from the only other match on the docket because of the pain. He had been scheduled to face Yu after the final.
Blue Glove Open Finals & Champions
Group A: Alexander Toker-Katskee def. James Reed, 8-2
Group B: Jake Snow def. Lila Briskin-Watson, 8-3
Group C: Alexander Yu def. Lara Isler, 8-3
Group D: Finn Koski def. Rhett Dove, 8-3
Blue Glove Open - Fall 2023 Standings - Final
The top two players in each group qualify for Championship Weekend finals.
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!