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  • Writer's pictureMichael Augsberger

Ye leads group of seven champions

The Road to THE TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP 2024



Roger Ye took care of business in a straightforward 10U Tennis Central Foundation Cup to win the only true final of last Sunday's tournaments, but the USTA round robins produced six more winners as well as the bulk of the weekend drama.


Ye outlasted Shannon Bu in the final, 4-2, 4-2, moving him up to 12th on the 10U Tour. Bu herself gained two spots to crack the Top 5.


Returning after a hiatus, Ilan Faraci counted himself among the undefeated champions after winning 6-3 over newcomer Jason Gong in the tightest match of Group 2 in the Boys 14U USTA event. Other victors included Jon Ozenci, who closes within twenty points of overall 16U No. 1 Atlee Hilliard. He needed a 6-4 opener against eventual silver medalist Janak Vasisht, improving in his second tournament after 12 points in his first.


Hilliard also still leads Ozenci by a larger margin in the 18U race, but Ozenci maintains top spot in the 14U with a 135 point lead on Carter Mills.


The Boys' Group 3 championship went down to the wire in a 6-4 contest late in the day between Nathanial Gong and Ethan Puente. Gong prevailed to win a first title in his first attempt.


At the girls' tournament Ema Kuburovic debuted to an enthralled audience, winning 12 of 13 games to claim the title going away. Another debutante, Kira Komlodi, had more trouble with seasoned veteran Annie Lippard before emerging 6-3 in the match that decided Group 2.


And in Group 3, it turned out that Lara Isler's opening match proved the most influential, when she edged Tour Championship winner Bridget Zimmermann 6-4. Taking the group moved Isler up 29 spots to 38th on the 14U Tour, while Zimmermann grabbed a spot in the Top 10.


However, despite all the maneuvering on the tour ranking lists, the match of the weekend belonged to the participants in the Third Place Playoff at the Tennis Central Foundation Cup. Adam Soulimani and Rhett Dove dug deep to grind out a tense third-set tiebreaker, which Soulimani won 10-6 to take the extra points and bronze medal.


In the Blue Glove Open league, Jake Snow his doubleheader with a win in the first match before falling to Beatriz Pilotti in the second. The 7-3 win gives Pilotti her first of the season and kick starts her rise toward the Group C title match. It also names Pilotti the Player of the Week.


Snow was able to overcome Vincent Finisdore 8-3 in the opener, an opponent who has been on quite a run lately. He's in the Top 10 at the 10U level and in the Top 20 at the 12U level, and sits at 1-2 in the Group C standings below.


With the win, a 4-4 Snow looks poised to meet Lila Briskin-Watson in the final while each has significant leads over the other competitors.


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.


Champions

UTR 10U: Roger Ye

USTA 14U Boys: Jon Ozenci, Ilan Faraci, Nathaniel Gong

USTA 14U Girls: Lara Isler, Ema Kuburovic, Kira Komlodi


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.


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