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Special Feature
Eight Intriguing Questions for 2016
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Another year... and another edition of "Intriguing Questions" from columnist Colette Lewis. In today's article - the eleventh annual installment of this special feature, Colette poses eight queries about junior and college tennis for 2016. You can see last year's questions here.

 

The questions I posed 12 months ago have mostly been answered, so it's on to a new series for a new year.

 

Taylor Fritz (left) and Tommy Paul are among a host of American Young Guns
© ZooTennis
1) Which American teenager is first into the ATP Top 100?

Last year I asked if this was the Golden Age of junior tennis in the United States, and that question was answered with a resounding yes on the boys side, with three different American boys - Tommy Paul, Reilly Opelka and Taylor Fritz - winning junior slams in the same year for the first time in history. At one point, four of the top five boys in the ITF junior world rankings were Americans, and Fritz ended the year as the ITF World Junior Champion.

Fritz has won three Challengers since claiming the US Open boys championship, propelling his ATP ranking from the 600s then to 154 now, so he is an obvious pick as the first to break through. But as Fritz has shown in the last four months, big leaps are possible, and with Frances Tiafoe and Jared Donaldson inside the Top 200, a few good weeks of results could move them ahead of Fritz in the race to the Top 100. And teenagers Tommy Paul, Stefan Kozlov, Deiton Baughman, Noah Rubin, Michael Mmoh and Ernesto Escobedo are all inside the ATP Top 500, ahead of where Fritz was just a few months ago.

 

2) Will a move of the NCAA Individual Championships be proposed?

The possibility of decoupling the NCAA team event from the NCAA individual event, now held back-to-back in late May, has been under consideration for several years, with the physical and mental strain on student-athletes over the current 12-day schedule given as the prime reason. Moving the singles and doubles tournament to the fall would alleviate that problem, but a new place on the calendar could come with a significant drawback. Would the USTA still be inclined to offer its traditional US Open main draw wild card to an American champion, or is making that decision ten months in advance simply too risky?

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Page updated on Monday, November 04, 2019
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