Current collegians with shadow ATP points


Hall of Fame
There are 679 players in the world with shadow ATP points (out of 2057 players with 2018 ATP points)-meaning they earned ATP points by reaching finals of $25K futures, qualified for a Challenger, or won Challenger level match or higher. Only 22 of those 679 are current college players. Here are the current collegians (or players who will start in Jan) in shadow ATP order as of 11/19/18: (Italicized didnt play any fall ITA events). I apologize in advance if formatting disappears when I post; I did have these numbers in columns. The important number is the bolded shadow ATP ranking. While the ITF was aiming for the top 700-750 to achieve shadow rankings, it really depends on the level of tourney played. As you can see from the list, there are players with ATPs over 1000 that have shadow rankings. They may not have gone deep in Futures but they qualified for Challengers. Wake Forest leads with 3 players (surprisingly Seraphim on list and not Botzer) while Florida, UNC, OSU have 2 players with a shadow ATP ranking. Still 6 weeks of results to report before 2018 ATP points go away...

College Name Current ATP Shadow ATP Shadow ITF World UTR
Wake GOJO, Borna (CRO) 421 327 405 14.74
Baylor Smith, Roy 415 331 582 14.34

OSU WOLF, Jeffrey John 559 369 673 14.8
Wake CHRYSOCHOS, Petros (CYP )441 379 265 14.44
NC State GALARNEAU, Alexis (CAN) 563 391 641 14.35
UNC BLUMBERG, William 872 444 1122 14.54
Tex A&M KYPSON, Patrick 816 455 681 14.6
Cornell AYENI, Alafia 627 461 422 14.3

TCU RYBAKOV, Alex 540 491 230 14.47
USC Holt, Brandon 738 535 590 14.33
Wake Seraphim, Christian 1099 546 1371 13.79
OSU MCNALLY, John 967 549 1024 13.98
UNC SIGOUIN, Benjamin (CAN) 894 556 799 14.39
Duke ALVAREZ, Nicolas (PER) 532 568 186 14.5
FL State DOUGAZ, Aziz (TUN) 486 572 133 14.3

Illinois Mayo, Keenan 1359 595 1128 13.36
FL Crawford, Oliver 769 603 511 14.59
Stanford GELLER, Axel (ARG) 679 605 397 14.3
UGA BRYDE, Trent 929 627 588 13.87
UCLA ZHU, Evan 667 628 377 14.19
Miss State BORGES, Nuno (POR) 505 642 157 14.7
FL RIFFICE, Sam 730 671 432 14.06

While Wolf only played one ITA tourney-All-Am, he won it while Petros played 2 and won Oracle fall in Nov (PC lost to Jan Z of UGA at Battle of the Bay)

Most if not all of the above have wins at the Challenger or Challenger Quali level. Many received WCs into those events. There are obviously many other college players rated 14+ UTR and above not on this list-maybe they did not get WCs. Several on this list lost in Quali rounds of Futures this summer. It is interesting to see while Alex Brown, Kovacevic, and Zeke Clark have all earned ATP points, it is only the freshmen Illini Mayo that earned ATP points that count for 2019 ATP ranking from qualifying at the Champaign Challenger. However I assume the other 3 will play much higher in the Illini lineup. The biggest story is Roy Smith, 2nd from the top of the list for shadow ATP ranking. He received a WC into the Houston Challenger and reached the finals. Early this summer he failed to qualify in two $15K Futures but he continued to progress making it into some MDs before peaking this fall. With all the 2019 changes, players with a lot of potential like Roy Smith may not have the opportunity to play Futures and Challengers without WCs. There are a lot of names on this list college fans will recognize and others that are not as familar-Florida State's Dougaz, NC State's Galarneau, Cornell's Ayeni, etc.

For comparison, here are some shadow ATP rankings from recent college grads outside the top ATP 200: Aragone 256 Kwiatkowski 300 Altamarino 313 Torp 335 Jared Hiltzik 351 Ryan Shane 362 Mike Redlicki 410 Rinderknech 431 Tom Fawcett 447 Martin Redlicki 448 Harrison Adams 450 Ronnie Schneider 468 Iradukunda 619 Ritschard 621 Billy Griffith 640 Oosterbahn 655 Corwin 660 Arconada 662. Excuse me if I missed names-report is 133 pages long!

While most of the recent grads with shadow rankings played 1 or 2 on their teams, it is interesting to note that Harrison Adams who played 4 for Texas A&M a few years ago is now ranked at the same level as many former 1S players.
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Hall of Fame
What is a shadow ranking?
A shadow ranking is the ATP ranking a player would have if ITF 2019 rules were already in place for his last rolling 12 months of tournament results. This year a MD win at any round of $15K or $25K tourney earns ATP point(s). Next year ATP points are only earned if players reach $25K final, qualify for a Challenger or win matches at the Challenger match or higher. Currently 2057 players have ATP points; 60-70% of those will lose their ATP points on 1/1/19; points earned at lower rounds will be converted to ITF world ranking points. Bottom line it will be a lot harder to get in Futures in 2019. Players with a single shadow/2019 ATP point will get in tourneys ahead of those with only ITF world ranking points, but $25Ks will reserve 4-5 spots for applicants with the highest ITF world ranking; many players will have both an ATP and and ITF world ranking.


ATP/WTA in 2019 want to have around 800 tour players in total in each tour or 1,600 in total! The ITF circuit are the “transition tour” and will not be considered in the ATP/WTA members anymore!

Tennis Sam

I've been hearing lots about how this change will kill college tennis and junior tennis in the US, and I'm looking for more information as to why.

From what I have researched, it looks like there will now be 2 professional rankings, an ATP or WTA rank (what I'm calling the major leagues) and an ITF World Tour rank (what I'm calling the minor leagues). The total number of ATP or WTA ranked players will be reduced to around 750, but all the other players not having an ATP or WTA rank will have an ITF World Tour rank. So it doesn't seem like they are slashing the number of professionals, they are just including them in the minor leagues instead of the major leagues. Also it doesn't look like they are eliminating all of the minor tournaments at and below $25K, they are just calling them ITF World Tour events. The minor league events will give you minor league points, the major league events will give you major league points, and the ones in-between will give you a little of both. And if you believe the ITF's statements, it will be easier to host an ITF World Tour event than it is today (the standards have been lowered), so it's possible there may be more professional events that currently exist today.

Also (and I can be completely wrong), it seems like they are reserving spots in the minor league events for the minor league players. So if for some reason the best 100 players in the world wanted to go play in some Futures event, right now all of the top players would be accepted. Under the new system, 4 of the spots would be reserved for the top 4 players applying from the ITF World Tour rankings.

Can someone explain to me why exactly this change will be so catastrophic? I am particularly interested in it's impact on US juniors and college tennis. I am open to being completely wrong, but it mostly looks like a rebranding with a new ranking that doesn't exist today and new selection criteria that give you an alternative way to gain entry into events.
Well stated. It maybe a combination of the natural resistance to change, and people who feel they will be losers in the new system .. they already had their plans disrupted by this and it is very annoying, if not infuriating, even though it is necessary for the better of the sport.

The way it is right now has its flaws, namely marginal players can too easily play at being a professional (like going from local baseball leagues right into the majors), inflating the number of ranked pros.


Hall of Fame
I've been hearing lots about how this change will kill college tennis and junior tennis in the US, and I'm looking for more information as to why.

Can someone explain to me why exactly this change will be so catastrophic? I am particularly interested in it's impact on US juniors and college tennis. I am open to being completely wrong, but it mostly looks like a rebranding with a new ranking that doesn't exist today and new selection criteria that give you an alternative way to gain entry into events.

If you listened to the SI podcast, Geoffrey Grant gave the example of one country-France-which has 65 players between the ages of 18-22 who did have ATP rankings or do have ITF World ranking but are not ranked in the top 750. Since it will be harder for those players to get in Future main draws let alone Challengers without a true ATP ranking, those guys may decide to play US college tennis first. They can get those 5 reserved jr world ITF spots until 19, so I will expect a lot of 19 and 20 years olds coming into US universities with 3 years of eligibility. France is just one of many European countries with talented tennis juniors.

Even with the 64 draws at Futures this summer, there were 100+ alternates on the freeze date. At least under new system, players are ordered by ATP points, ITF points, national ranking and then unranked; the ITF world ranking is a better measure than national ranking. In 2018 there were college players as alternates including some 13.5+UTR ordered behind some weak national ranked players. The big problem is how does a player get his foot in the door if he does not already have points and does not go to a university that hosts Futures and gives WCs? Doubtful there will be spots for unranked alternates.

If you looked at the lineup for top 40 D1 universities in May '18, 60% of players were international. Geoff predicts 80%+ international in a few years with the changes. There were probably always be some Americans as with 4.5 scholarships, college coaches cant fund a fully international team-a few do have all internationals in top 6-some of those guys may be getting merit too or their parents may be able to pay more than 10-25%. If you were to look at international recruiting videos many players want a full ride or at least 75% with maybe a budget of $10K or less. If the percentage of international players increases, scholarships will continue to decrease for US players. My expectation is D3 tennis will continue to improve over the next decade as US juniors who love tennis decide they are not going to spend 30+ hours a week (NCAA average based on survey, far more than 20 "countable hours") on tennis for minuscule Power D1 athletic aid, and they will choose better balance and academics at D3.

If US players continue to get less D1 athletic scholarship $, many parents-those who are not extremely wealthy CEO types-will decide they are not going to spend thousands on USTA tournament fees and travel. They will look for cheaper local tournaments which require less missed school, and if UTR can provide those, many talented players will exit the USTA junior scene. Some will quit tennis altogether, and tennis could become a tiered sport-rec adults and a few elite wealthy juniors playing junior iTF around the world with far fewer USTA junior tournaments due to decimated demand.

International players have raised the level of college tennis and most US players enjoy having international teammates but there could be a tipping point that could cause USTA junior tennis to collapse. There will always be opportunities for US players to play college tennis but even now the D3 has the most roster spots for US players.

Tennis Sam

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. There is a lot of food for thought here. I did listen to the podcast, and I thought it was really interesting. The question I kept asking during the discussion, though, was what is the Transition Tour? The whole episode was about the negative impact of the new tour, and it was hard for me to believe that the intent of the ITF is to cull out the most talented junior and college aged players from the professional circuit. So I spent a little while researching it, and it didn't seem nearly as drastic as what I've been hearing or what people have been saying.

I think the introduction of a minor league ranking with minor league points in an of itself is a bad thing. I actually don't think it matters at all. For example, if I said:

1) There will be no changes to the tournament format at all.
2) The $25K and under events will now be called ITF World Tour events.
3) Players in the $25K and under events will be awarded minor league points instead of major league points.
4) Selection into minor league events will not change except there will be reserved spots for minor league players.

I don't think any of these proposals would change much at all. You'd just have 2 pro rankings. One with the top 800 or so players and another with the rest.

The biggest problem, it seems to me, is the requirement that tournaments be run in 7 days vastly reducing the number of qualifier spots. This seems to be the root of all the problems people are talking about. If the only change they were making was to require that tournaments be run in 7 days, this would be much worst than the creation of a second tier professional ranking. You have pointed out some of the benefits of not having the tournaments overlapping, but the negative drawback of much smaller qualifiers far outweighs those benefits.

The other problem I think a lot of people have is based on static analysis. They assume that players will behave the same next year as they did in the past. When the incentive structure changes, so will the players' choices. So the idea that Steve Johnson would have been kept out of the pros is, in my opinion, absurd. If he were playing tennis under this new system, he would have played ITF tournaments as a junior and ITF World Tour events toward the end of his junior career and during college. A lot of the college players already have World Tour points. They will just need to continue participating in these events during their college years, and most of them already do this now.

With respect to US juniors, I do think a lot of them will be forced to play ITF events once they're old enough instead of USTA 18&Under events. I think the European juniors play Tennis Europe aged events up until they are 17 and then shift over to ITF. That's probably what'll end up happening here too. It is surprising that the USTA didn't put up a bigger objection to this change, but whether juniors play USTA or ITF when they are 17 or 18 is not all that big of a deal to me.

The net result of the change may be negative, but I don't see it as the end of the tennis world. I think statements like that are a bit over the top. And I really hope they are hyperbole because I want college tennis to thrive.
Would they ever try to make the qualifiers shorter like no ad or fast four to fit more in? That might be against regs but would be better than nothing


Hall of Fame
But how do those french players with ATP points not rank in the top 750 of their country? Seems hard to believe.
The French players did not rank in ATP 750 so they were not in top 750 in the world. In 2018 2100 players had ATP rankings. I think about 675 will have ATP rankings at the start of 2019. That means there are 1400 players who could get in any Quali of a Future in 2018 who may not be able to get in Qualis this year. Out of those 1400 players who are international age 17-22 ( or maybe even older in the case of Israel), a higher % may decide to play US college. Included in that 1400 are current US and international college players but many more could join them.
The fact of the matter is there are simply going to be less playing spots across the entire futures board. An insane amount less.

The number of futures events in the United States for 2019 is going to be about 1/4th of 2018 and Canada has completely gotten rid of futures events altogether. I dont follow Canada tennis to know exactly what in the hell they are going to do about that problem. Ditto many other countries. I dont even see how a person could get their start in Canada at all now.

In these new futures events qualifying draws that would be up to 128 people deep are going to be capped down to 24 with a 32 person main draw. Thats a pretty damn big difference in number of people. Now remember that the number of futures events are WAY less now.

The biggest problem I see is now the USTA and their tentacles are going to be way more into deciding who gets the opportunity to chase the dream. Its already one of the more sketchy and downright vile places in sports when you get into things like certain three letter tennis academies just southwest of Tampa bartering (or hanging things over the head of more appropriately) with people at the USTA to give their lesser players wild cards into events leaving out deserving players. For example the US Open Juniors has more than a few eyebrow raising entries these years that come out of certain three letter tennis academies just southwest of Tampa and you think hmmm that person is 800 in the ITF worlds and got a wild card over a player that was 40 in the ITF worlds that is not at certain three letter tennis academies just southwest of Tampa, how strange and coincidental that was. Now think about that at every single Futures and Challengers. The politics of the situation just amplified with fewer spots.

As for college my thought process is that there are extremely few to zero players that are good enough to end up breaking the transition barrier that are completely disconnected from contacts or watching eyes of people that can enter them into a futures event. Not to mention that the USTA has in fact set aside a number of spots into futures events and challengers for college players (and juniors/adults not ranked) who win certain events or attain certain rankings. You can play yourself into the tour as a college player without politics or knowing anyone. It is now harder though.

This one is brief. If you are a random person off the street you may just be screwed. They used to have Wild Card tournaments many futures and practically all in Florida and California that allowed anyone that showed up the chance to get into the qualifying of a futures event. I no longer see these listed on tennislink under the adult open section like they were.

So to sort of conclude. I dont think any Roger Federer's are going to be left behind the barrier. I don't think any top 100 players are going to be left behind the barrier. I think there is a very small but possible chance a couple people out in the world that could have maybe found themselves to be solid challenger level players are absolutely going to be lost in the wind. The biggest issue is a sport that is all about "getting people out there to play" decided to severely limit the opportunities for people to play. If it was all about too many people being an ATP ranked player (which there was I mean I knew a couple players that got essentially free couple points so in that regard it is a joke at the tail end) I am not sure why slaughtering the futures circuit was somehow the answer.
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