The USA F16A Futures of the ITF Pro Circuit begins today at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex in Winston-Salem. The 64 player qualifying draw did not fill, so basically everyone who entered the tournament and signed in on site got in. Consequently, there is a range of players in the qualies from top-seeded Hunter Harrington (ATP ranking #1196), who just graduated from Clemson where he played #1 singles, to some young local junior players. This should make for some interesting competition.
I was interested to see some of the players who withdrew from the tournament. The name Michael Shabaz stood out. A Wimbledon Junior doubles and two time NCAA Division 1 doubles champion at the University of Virginia, Shabaz is currently ranked #1082 on the ATP Tour. He has won 1 main draw match in 7 Futures events in 2015. Also, Greg Ouellette, a five time All-American at the University of Florida (class of 2008), who was as high as #269 in the world at the end of 2011, is currently outside the top 800.
On the stringing side, yesterday was a pretty good day. I started stringing just before 2pm and finished up just before 10pm, stringing 20 rackets during that time, including the 4 Tecnifibre T-Fight 320s with Tecnifibre Red Code pictured above. I also held over 4 rackets to string this morning.
Never having strung at a professional event at this level, I do not know what to expect in terms of racket flow. I thought I might get some pre-match rackets this morning, but not so far. Perhaps those who win their first round matches today will turn in later today for tomorrow. Here’s hoping for a long night. Stay tuned.