Monday, July 28, 2014

New USA Career-High Rankings, July 28, 2014

Each week I will endeavor to bring you a list of USAmerican players who have reached a new career-high ranking. This list is not exhaustive but will cover most players in the Top 1000. 

New WTA Career-High Rankings - July 28, 2014 (previous high & date achieved in parentheses)

Grace Min: 109 (111 - 7/21/2014)
Madison Brengle: 128 (135 - 1/27/2014)
Allie Kiick: 138 (141 - 6/16/2014)
Taylor Townsend: 143 (144 - 7/7/2014)
Peggy Porter: 525 (531 - 7/21/2014)
Katerina Stewart: 528 (534 - 7/21/2014)
Josie Kuhlman: 638 (669 - 7/7/2014)
Anamika Bhargava: 651 (654 - 7/21/2014)
Alexa Guarachi: 688 (818 - 7/21/2014)
Tornado Alicia Black: 718 (860 - 7/21/2014)
Karina Kristina Vyrlan: 749 (751 - 7/21/2014)
Alexandria Stiteler: 894 (1026 - 7/21/2014)
Marie Norris: 945 (1016 - 7/21/2014)
Emma Higuchi: 961 (973 - 7/21/2014)
Michaela Gordon: 964 (976 - 7/21/2014)
Rianna Valdes: 974 (985 - 7/21/2014)
Kate Turvy: 1014 (1055 - 7/21/2014)
Nadja Gilchrist: 1030 (1039 - 6/16/2008)
Usue Arconada: 1056 (1070 - 7/21/2014)
Natalie Suk: 1114 (RANKINGS DEBUT!)
Kaitlyn McCarthy: 1166 (1210 - 5/19/2014)
Kelly Chen: 1266 (1271 - 7/21/2014)

This week there are four top-200 women in the New Career-High Rankings list, and then a whole lot of nothing, and then a whole bunch below #500. Interestingly, all but two of the members of this week's list are teenagers or NCAAers (I'm almost certain - please correct me if I'm wrong). The two exceptions are at the top: 20-year-old Grace Min, who didn't play last week but moved up when others didn't defend points, and 24-year-old Madison Brengle. Brengle, of course, is a player most everyone should root for due to her sticktoitiveness (she's run off a remarkable string of 24 consecutive grand slam qualies events in which she has failed to qualify) and it's thrilling for this blog to include her name for the first time in our weekly list. Unfortunately for her, despite beating Nicole Gibbs to win her first-ever $50K tournament (in Lexington), she lost out on the USTA Pro Circuit US Open Wild Card as Gibbs' final and her win last week gave her the margin she needed. It will be interesting to see if the USTA looks kindly upon her and her efforts - a wild card isn't outside the realm of the possible.

Three other significant jumps to bring to your attention: Guarachi, Black, and Stiteler.  Guarachi (a former University of Alabama player) is in thanks to her win a week+ ago at the Vancouver $10K ITF event, her first career singles title, which she won in a third set tiebreak.  Black, the 16-year-old 2013 US Open Junior finalist, is in thanks to her second career title that same week in Evansville, Indiana. She'll be on this list next week, as well, after having qualified for the WTA event in Washington, DC. And Stiteler, with whom this blog was completely unfamiliar prior to checking the rankings last night, reached back-to-back semifinals at $10K tournaments in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Research on the 18-year-old led us to this wonderful article from 2008 by Zoo Tennis on the then 12-year-old reaching the final of the Junior Orange Bowl 12s (she lost to Indy de Vroome). See if you can recognize any current stars in the piece (hint: they include Vicky Duval, Sachia Vickery, Noah Rubin, and Borna Coric)!

New ATP Career-High Rankings - July 28, 2014 (previous high & date achieved in parentheses)

Jack Sock: 60 (69 - 7/14/2014)
Chase Buchanan: 177 (184 - 7/21/2014)
Jared Donaldson: 326 (333 - 7/21/2014)
Dennis Nevolo: 420 (427 - 7/21/2014)
Evan King: 426 (432 - 6/23/2014)
Connor Smith: 506 (570 - 7/21/2014)
Ernesto Escobedo: 514 (515 - 7/21/2014)
Evan Song: 578 (610 - 7/21/2014)
Alexander Sarkissian: 690 (825 - 7/29/2013)
Kyle McMorrow: 708 (721 -7/21/2014)
Raymond Sarmiento: 867 (910 - 7/21/2014)
Spencer Papa: 918 (965 - 7/14/2014)
Ronnie Schneider: 1194 (1197 - 8/5/2013)
Nicolas Podesta: 1572 (1850 - 7/14/2014)
Nathan Ponwith: 1598 (1599 - 7/21/2014)

As much as this blog loves it some Chase Buchanan, no question that the story of this week was #jacksock making it to his second career ATP semifinal, on the heels of his first in Newport.  (He also won the doubles event with Vasek Pospisil, with whom he is undefeated.)  He's got nothing to defend for August, so there's every possibility of a Top 50 debut before the US Open, when he'll have 90 points to defend from last year's 3rd Round appearance. Unfortunately he's got a rough DC draw, with Milos Raonic, the man who beat him at Wimbledon and Miami, as a potential second round opponent.

Donaldson today was within a few points of a Top 300 breakthrough but fell to Ram 7-5 in the third in DC. Still, steady progress for the emotional 17-year-old from Rhode Island. Beyond that the best jumps are for Sarkissian, winner of the Futures event in Vancouver a week or so ago (and recipient of a wild card in the Vancouver Challenger event this week, which will be his challenger main draw debut!), and Smith, who was runner-up to Sarkissian in Vancouver (and who qualified for the Vancouver Challenger event this week, which will be his challenger main draw debut!).

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