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Monday, July 22, 2024

Teams for ITF World Junior Tennis 14U Team Championships Announced; Pareja Extends Winning Streak to 15 with ITF J200 Title in Colombia; Hoo, Ahmad, Budacsek Claim ITF Junior Circuit Titles; Tien's Streak Reaches 26 at Chicago Challenger

The teams for the ITF World Junior Tennis 14-and-under Team Championships were announced today, with the United States teams competing in Prostejov in the Czech Republic next month featuring all five of the Americans who played the Wimbledon 14-and-under tournament two weeks ago.

The US boys team consists of Michael Antonius, Jordan Lee and, the one participant who did not play the Wimbledon event, Teodor Davidov. USTA National Coach Sylvain Guichard is the captain. 

The US girls team is Welles Newman, Maggie Sohns and Raya Kotseva, who recently switched her country representation from Bulgaria to the United States. At Wimbledon, I confirmed with Kotseva, who has lived for years in Las Vegas, that she had recently received her green card. USTA National Coach Thierry Champion is the captain.

There are seven countries that have teams for both boys and girls: Argentina, Czech Republic(hosts), Japan, Korea, Great Britain, Morocco and USA, with 25 countries having at least one team. All four of the boys in the Wimbledon 14U semifinals are competing in Prostejov: champion Takahiro Kawaguchi of Japan, finalist Lee, Donjae Kim of Korea and Stan Put of the Netherlands. Two of the girls semifinalists, champion Jana Kovackova of the Czech Republic and Great Britain's Megan Knight are representing their countries, as are several other boys and girls who did not win their round robin groups.

Fifteen-year-old Julieta Pareja won her first ITF Junior Circuit singles title two weeks ago at a J100 in Medellin Colombia and followed that up last week with the title at the J200 in Bogota, both on clay. With her ITF women's W15 title in Rancho Santa Fe in June, Pareja now has a 15-match winning streak, and she has not lost a set in either of her two ITF Junior Circuit championship runs. In Bogota, the ninth-seeded Pareja beat No. 2 seed Christasha McNeil in the final 6-1, 6-1. She is now at 106 in the ITF junior rankings, up 44 spots from last week.

Calvin Baierl, the No. 3 seed, reached the boys singles final, falling to Luis Guto Miguel of Brazil 7-5, 7-5 in the championship match.

Fifteen-year-old Carrie-Ann Hoo won her third, and biggest, ITF Junior Circuit title of her career at the J100 in the Dominican Republic. Hoo, seeded No. 11, defeated No. 7 seed Isabella Marton of Canada 6-2, 7-5 in the final, while also making the doubles final with Brooke Wallman. All three of Hoo's ITF Junior Circuit singles titles have come in 2024.

At the J30 in El Salvador, 14-year-old Izyan (Zizou) Ahmad won his second consecutive singles title, and his third this year. Seeded No. 3, Ahmad defeated the top seed in the semifinals and then unseeded Jeronimo Duque Salazar of Colombia 6-0, 6-1 in the final. Fifteen-year-old Sophia Budacsek swept the girls titles, with the No. 2 seed winning her first singles title with a 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 victory over top seed Carlota Balseiro of Argentina. Budacsek and Balseiro were on the same side of the net for the doubles final, with the top seeds defeating No. 2 seeds Viktoria Monge of Ecuador and Alison Ramirez of Guatemala 6-2, 6-4 for the title. 

The sixth ITF Junior Circuit title of the week came at the J30 in Jamaica, with 16-year-old Taylor Yarnell winning his second doubles title with Jerry Han of Canada. The top seeds defeated unseeded Mac Goldemberg and Hong Kong's Terry Lau 7-5, 6-1 in the final. 

The final round of qualifying and six first round singles matches were played today at the ATP Challenger 75 in Chicago, with attention again focused on 18-year-old wild card Learner Tien and his winning streak. Tien won his 26th consecutive match this evening, beating No. 2 seed Benjamin Bonzi of France 6-4, 6-4. Tien, who didn't face a break point, broke Bonzi serving at 4-5 in each set. At 133 in the ATP rankings, Bonzi represents the best win of Tien's career. He now faces the winner of Tuesday's match between Juan Pablo Ficovich of Argentina and qualifier Aidan Mayo. 

The others who qualified today are: Great Britain's Jake Fearnley(TCU), who missed today's White House visit by the NCAA champion TCU team; Estonia's Mark Lajal; Michael Zheng(Columbia); Tung-Lin Wu of Taiwan and Japan's James Trotter(Ohio State).

Wild cards were given to Tien, Nishesh Basavareddy(Stanford) and Andrew Fenty(Michigan).

An ATP feature on Tien and his winning streak was published Friday.

Sunday, July 21, 2024

Giron Claims First ATP Title, Shnaider and Borges Make it Three Collegiate WTA/ATP Champions Sunday; Jamrichova Falls in WTA Debut; Bernard and Monday Earn USTA Pro Circuit Championships; Mateas Celebrates Birthday with Granby W75 Title

College tennis continues to expand its influence, with three of six champions in the ATP and WTA tournaments going to players who chose Division I tennis to help prepare them for a professional career.

The oldest of the three, 30-year-old Marcos Giron, won his first ATP title, saving a match point in his 6-7(4), 6-3, 7-5 win over 19-year-old Alex Michelsen in the all-Southern California final at the ATP 250 in Newport Rhode Island. Giron, who won the 2014 NCAA singles final as a junior at UCLA, had lost his previous two ATP finals, in San Diego in 2022 and earlier this year in Dallas. Giron, who will reach a new career-high of 38 with the title, is representing the United States at the Olympics late this month in Paris. For more on the final, see this article from the ATP website.

2024 NCAA doubles champions Robert Cash and JJ Tracy(Ohio State), who received a wild card into the tournament, were beaten in the Newport doubles final by No. 6 seeds Andre Goransson(Cal) of Sweden and Sem Verbeek(Pacific) of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-4.

Giron is not playing the ATP 250 this week in Atlanta, which like Newport, is no longer on the ATP calendar after this year, but there are plenty of other Americans in the draw, with Ben Shelton(Florida) the top seed, Frances Tiafoe No. 3 and Brandon Nakashima(Virginia) No. 7 the seeded Americans. Reilly Opelka, a semifinalist at Newport, received a special exemption into the main draw, and Mackie McDonald(UCLA) and Aleks Kovacevic(Illinois) are direct entries. Two-time Kalamazoo champion Zachary Svajda advanced through qualifying, beating Maxim Cressy(UCLA) 4-6, 7-6(2) 6-4 in today's final round, and recent Georgia Tech graduate Andres Martin received a wild card. Opelka plays Kovacevic and McDonald faces Nakashima in the first round.

Back to today's pro finals, 2019 NCAA singles finalist Nuno Borges(Mississippi State) won the first ATP title of his career, with the 27-year-old from Portugal defeating Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the ATP 250 in Bastad Sweden. Borges, now a career-high 42 in the ATP rankings, is only the second Portuguese man to claim a title on the ATP Tour. For more on his memorable first title, see this article from the ATP website.

And Diana Shnaider of Russia, who 14 months ago was competing in the NCAA team championships for North Carolina State, earned her third WTA title, on a third different surface, today on the clay the 250 in Budapest Hungary. The top seed, Shnaider defeated Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-4, 6-4 in the final, and will move to a career-high WTA ranking of 23. For more on the final, see this article from the WTA website.

Wimbledon girls champion Renata Jamrichova of Slovakia received a wild card into the WTA 250 in Prague, making her WTA main draw debut today. The 17-year-old left-hander dropped a tight match to No. 5 seed Viktoria Tomova of Bulgaria 7-6(3), 6-3. Unlike her performance throughout the Wimbledon junior tournament, Jamrichova's serve was not an overwhelming advantage, as she had eight double faults today.

Two of the three USTA Pro Circuit titles were won by collegians, with Johannus Monday(Tennessee) of Great Britain winning the title at the $25,000 men's tournament in East Lansing Michigan and Ohio State rising junior Alex Bernard taking the title at the $15,000 tournament in Rochester New York. No. 6 seed Monday defeated top seed Aidan McHugh, also of Great Britain, 6-2, 6-2 for his third ITF men's WTT singles title. The unseeded Bernard defeated Tyler Zink(Georgia, Oklahoma State), also unseeded, 6-3, 6-1 for his second career Pro Circuit singles title.

Unseeded Sophie Chang won the USTA Pro Circuit W75 in Evansville Indiana, beating unseeded Mary Stoiana(Texas A&M) 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-3 in today's final. It's the fourth career singles title for the 27-year-old Chang and by far the biggest, with her previous three at the 25 and 15 levels. Stoiana will break into the WTA Top 500 for the first time with her appearance in the final.

Former Duke star Maria Mateas gave herself a welcome 25th birthday present today at the ITF women's World Tennis Tour W75+H tournament in Granby Canada: the biggest title of her career. The top seed, Mateas defeated unseeded 19-year-old Kayla Cross of Canada 6-3, 7-6(3) in just over two hours for her third career ITF WTT women's singles title. Mateas has also assured herself a US Open qualifying spot, with her ranking now up to a career-high of 206 with the cutoff date for entry tomorrow. 

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Three All-US Finals Sunday in Newport, Evansville and Rochester, One All-British Final in Michigan, With Collegians in Each One; Blanch Reaches First ITF Men's Pro Circuit Final

The singles championship match in the last edition of the ATP Hall of Fame Open 250 in Newport Rhode Island was going to feature two Americans after yesterday's quarterfinals, and it is the two Southern Californians who will meet for a first ATP title Sunday, with 19-year-old Alex Michelsen facing 30-year-old Marcos Giron(UCLA).

No. 3 seed Michelsen, who made a surprise run to the Newport final last year, defended those points with a convincing 6-2, 6-0 win over wild card Reilly Opelka. Michelsen went 2-5 on the ATP grass court swing in Europe, but has posted three straight-sets wins this week. Giron, the No. 2 seed, went 5-4 on the pro grass court circuit, and has earned a spot in his third ATP final with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 semfinal win over No. 4 seed Chris Eubanks(Georgia Tech). 

Giron, who won the NCAA singles title in 2014, won't be the only NCAA champion in action in Newport Sunday, with 2024 doubles champions Robert Cash and JJ Tracy of Ohio State advancing to the final as a wild cards.  Cash and Tracy, playing in their first ATP event, defeated Anirudh Chandrasekar and Arjun Kadhe(Oklahoma State) of India 6-4, 6-3 in yesterday's semifinals and will face No. 6 seeds Andre Goransson(Cal) of Sweden and Sem Verbeek(Pacific) of the Netherlands for the title Sunday.

Texas A&M rising senior Mary Stoiana has reached the biggest pro final of her career at the $75,000 USTA women's Pro Circuit event in Evansville Indiana. The 21-year-old from Connecticut defeated 2023 NCAA singles champion Tian Fangran(UCLA) of China 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-5 in a semifinal that took three hours and 21 minutes to determine the winner. Stoiana will face Sophie Chang, who, like Stoiana, is unseeded, with Chang posting a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 semifinal win over Iryna Shymanovich of Belarus. The 27-year-old Chang certainly has the edge in experience, having played 503 Pro Circuit singles matches, compared to 41 for Stoiana.

The quick ascension through the ATP Challenger circuit of Ryan Seggerman and Patrik Trhac and other recent collegians has been widely noted, but former Baylor standouts Melany Krywoj of Argentina and Alicia Herrero Linana of Spain are having similar success on the ITF women's circuit this year, winning their fifth title, and third in succession today in Evansville. The No. 2 seeds defeated the unseeded team of Sahaja Yamalapalli(Sam Houston State) of India and Hiroko Kuwata of Japan 6-2, 6-0 for their second title at a W75 this summer, with a W35 title sandwiched in between.

Recent Tennessee graduate Johannus Monday returned to competition this month after an injury forced him out of the NCAA singles competition in May, and the 22-year-old from Great Britain has quickly rebounded from the layoff. After dropping his first round match at the $25K in Dallas last week, the sixth seed is through to the final this week at the $25K in East Lansing Michigan, defeating Stanford rising sophomore Kyle Kang 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in today's semifinals. He will play compatriot Aidan McHugh, the top seed, who defeated Aidan Kim(Florida, Ohio State) 6-2, 6-3.

Joshua Sheehy(Abliene Christian) and Antigua's Jody Maginley won the doubles titles in East Lansing, with the top seeds beating No. 2 seeds Ben Jones of Great Britain and Duarte Vale(Florida) of Portugal 7-5, 6-2 in the final. It's the fourth title for the pair, and their third this year.

At the $15,000 USTA men's Pro Circuit tournament in Rochester New York, the doubles champions will face off in the singles final, with recent Oklahoma State graduate Tyler Zink playing Ohio State junior Alexander Bernard Sunday. The unseeded Bernard defeated No. 7 seed Samir Banerjee(Stanford) 7-5, 6-4 in today's semifinal, while Zink, also unseeded, reached his first Pro Circuit singles final with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Benjamin George(Western Mich) of Canada.  Zink and Bernard, also unseeded in doubles, defeated No. 2 seeds Benjamin Kittay(UNC) and Laurence Sciglitano(George Washington, Boise State, Montana) of Australia 7-6(0), 7-6(4) in today's doubles final, earning their first title as a team.

Darwin Blanch, who has played exclusively on the Pro Circuit this year, has reached the first pro final of his career at the ITF men's $15,000 World Tennis Tour tournament in Tunisia. The unseeded 16-year-old, who has entered Kalamazoo and is expected to return to the United States to train prior to that tournament, has not dropped a set this week. He will play only his second seeded opponent of the week in the final: No. 2 Eliakim Coulibaly of the Ivory Coast.

Friday, July 19, 2024

Turkey Announced as Host for November's Junior Davis and Billie Jean King Cups; TRN's Recaps of USTA Clay Court Nationals; Seven Americans Reach USTA Pro Circuit Semifinals; All-USA FInal Four at ATP 250 Newport

The location of the 2024 ITF Junior Davis Cup and Junior Billie Jean Cup competitions was announced today, with the two 16-and-under world team championships returning to Turkey after last year's one-off in Spain.  The two tournaments, which are traditionally held at the same venue at the same time, were split last year, but both will be November 11-17 in Antalya Turkey this year.

The fields have yet to be completed, with the European Summer Cups next month determining five of the 16 teams, but the United States has already qualified both its boys and girls teams. Shannon Lam, Thea Frodin and Kristina Penickova were the US girls who played in April's qualifying; Carel Ngounoue, Jack Secord and Keaton Hance were the boys who earned the US a place in the finals. These players may or may not be named to the teams that will compete in Turkey in November. The other six teams that have qualified can be found in today's ITF release.

Tennis Recruiting Network wrapped up its coverage of last week's USTA National Clay Courts Championships with today's recaps of the 18s tournaments, won by Dylan Long and Claire Hill. The links to TRN's eight articles are below.  Harvey Fialkov, a former Sun-Sentinel reporter who lives in Plantation and plays tennis at the Veltri Tennis Center, home of the Girls 14s Clays, filed this in-depth look at Allison Wang's title run for Florida Tennis.

Girls 18s: Hill Stays Confident, Secures First Gold Ball at Girls 18s Clays

Boys 18s: Long Goes the Distance for Gold Ball at Boys 18 Clays

Girls 16s: Traynor Wins First Ball, Captures Gold at USTA Girls 16 Clays

Boys 16s: Grumet Nets First Gold Ball in Familiar Final at Clay Court 16s

The semifinals are set at the three USTA Pro Circuit tournaments this week, with current collegians contending for titles.

At the women's $75,000 tournament in Evansville Indiana, ITA Player of the Year Mary Stoiana(Texas A&M) defeated top seed Sachia Vickery 6-1, 0-6, 5-4 retired to earn the second WTA Top 150 win of her career and a place in the semifinals against 2022 NCAA singles champion Tian Fangran(UCLA).  Tian, who is 15-5 this summer, has beaten Fiona Crawley(UNC), No. 7 seed Liv Hovde and in today's quarterfinals, No. 4 seed Hanna Chang, dropping only 15 games in the process. In the bottom half, unseeded Sophie Chang will face No. 5 seed Iryna Shymanovich of Belarus.

In East Lansing, two unseeded rising sophomores have reached the semifinals of the men's $25,000 tournament, with Aidan Kim(Florida, Ohio State) posting a 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 win over Alex Kotzen(Columbia, Tennessee) and Kyle Kang(Stanford) defeating No. 2 seed Cannon Kingsley(Ohio State) 6-2, 7-6(5).  Kim will face top seed Aidan McHugh of Great Britain, who beat No. 5 seed and hometown favority Ozan Baris(Michigan State) 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, while Kang will face No. 6 seed Johannus Monday  (Tennessee) of Great Britain, who beat Joshua Sheehy(Abilene Christian) 6-2, 6-4.

At the $15,000 men's tournament in Rochester New York, rising Stanford junior Samir Banerjee, seeded No. 7, defeated top seed Colin Sinclair(Cornell) of Northern Mariana Islands 6-2, 6-1 and will play Ohio State rising junior Alex Bernard, who is unseeded. In the bottom half, recent Oklahoma State graduate Tyler Zink beat No. 2 seed Matias Descotte of Argentina 7-5, 6-3 and will face No. 8 seed Benjamin George(Western Michigan) of Canada.

For the first time since 1985, and the last time ever, the ATP 250 Hall of Fame Open in Newport Rhode Island will feature all-USA semifinals. The tournament will leave the ATP calendar after this year and hold a joint event in 2025, consisting of a men's ATP Challenger 125 and a WTA women's tournament at the same level.

In the top half semifinal, wild card Reilly Opelka will face 2023 finalist  and No. 3 seed Alex Michelsen, and in the bottom half, Chris Eubanks(Georgia Tech), seeded No. 4, plays Marcos Giron(UCLA), the No. 2 seed. See this ATP article for more on today's wins by Eubanks and Giron.

Thursday, July 18, 2024

College Tennis News Update: New Format Trial for D-III, Dunlop Named Official Ball for ITA Events, Up-to-date List of ITA Summer Championships Qualifiers, Recent D-I Coaching Hires; Nebraska Challenger Announces Field

Although I spoke with plenty of Division I college coaches last week at the Wimbledon Junior Championships, I haven't had a chance to post all the news that's been released the past several weeks regarding college tennis.

The ITA announced a one-year pilot for Division III tennis, which is basically the same as Division I, with the best of seven points deciding a dual match winner, in contrast to the best of nine points that has been the format for many years. In Division III, each doubles match has been worth a point, rather than the one point for the team that wins two of the three doubles matches (which are just one set of no-ad doubles) in Division I. 

The D-III pilot will have one deviation from D-I in non-conference matches, with all three doubles matches played to conclusion, rather than the D-I play-to-clinch.

It's important to note that this does not apply to conference matches, if the conferences have mandated different rules, and also does not apply to ITA National events.  From the July 16 ITA release:

Conferences and team tournaments (ITA Team Indoor Championships, NCAA Championships, etc.) can still set their own policies related to play-play, clinch-play, or clinch-clinch formats.

Those same stipulations will apply to the July 1 ITA announcement that Dunlop is now the organization's official ball, racquet and accessory brand. Wilson, a longtime sponsor and supporter of the ITA, is the ball of choice for many conferences, so players will be making adjustments to a new ball for ITA events, which is common in pro tennis, but not prevalent in the collegiate game. 

The release states that the change took effect on July 1, with all ITA-sanctioned events using Dunlop tennis balls during competition.

I take that to mean that the switch happened in the midst of the ITA Summer Circuit, which continues for two more weeks, culminating in the ITA Summer Championships August 10-13 at the new Leftwich Tennis Center in Memphis Tennessee.

The latest list of qualifiers for the event can be found in this ITA recap of Week 4 of the ITA Summer Masters series.

In coaching news the past few weeks, Chris Russell announced his retirement from the men's head coaching position at New Mexico, which he had held for three seasons.

Utah has hired RuthAnn Allen as it's women's head coach. A former All-American at Utah and an assistant coach there for 20 years, Allen spent the past five years as head coach at Weber State. Allen replaces Ric Mortera, who led the program for five years.

Elizabeth Begley has been named women's head coach at Princeton, returning to the program where she was an assistant from 2015-2018. Begley, an assistant at USC the past three years, replaces Jamea Jackson, who took the women's head coaching position at Arizona State earlier this summer.

The new UNLV women's head coach is Tetiana Luzhanska, who was elevated to the position after serving as an assistant in Las Vegas since 2018.  She replaces Kevin Cory, who resigned after 25 years leading the program.

Former University of Texas standout Dimi Kutrovsky, who has been the assistant at Alabama for the past five years, has been named men's head coach at Virginia Commonwealth. He replaces Anthony Rossi, who left VCU to be Adam Steinberg's associate head coach at Florida. 

A recent addition to the ATP Challenger calendar is the new 75 event in Lincoln Nebraska, scheduled to take place August 5-11. This tournament is not part of the USTA Pro Circuit, but will count toward the US Open Wild Card Challenge, which concludes that week. ATP No. 58 Dan Evans of Great Britain and Chris Eubanks(Georgia Tech) are two of the notable entrants. Eubanks has reached the quarterfinals of the ATP 250 in Newport this week and will play Aleks Vukic(Illinois) of Australia for a spot in the semifinals. The release announcing Lincoln's field is below:

Evans & Eubanks to highlight the inaugural Lincoln Challenger, ATP Challenger Tour event, player field.

LINCOLN, Neb (July 16, 2024) - The Lincoln Challenger has officially announced the 2024 Main Draw Singles player field. What is considered a strong field for an ATP Challenger 75 event, is highlighted by world No. 58 Daniel Evans, of Great Britain. Evans, who reached a career high of No. 21 last August, has been to the 4th Round of both the Australian Open and the US Open. 

Evans will be joined in Lincoln by American Chris Eubanks. Eubanks, who is currently ranked No. 128 in the world, reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon last year. Eubanks reached his career high of No. 29 last July, on the heels of his run at Wimbledon. 

"We are excited to have such a dynamic player field, for this first year event," said Alex Guthrie, Tournament Director of the Lincoln Challenger. "Between having a player who is top 60 in the world in Dan Evans, having a 2023 Wimbledon Quarterfinalist in Chris Eubanks, and having a lot of young Americans in the field, there will not be a shortage of story lines in Lincoln." 

Other top Americans that will head to Lincoln include No. 113 Zachary Svajda, No. 148 Emilio Nava, No. 187 Mitchell Krueger and No. 188 Martin Damm. 

Full Player List 
Daniel Evans - GBR, No. 58
Luca Van Assche - FRA, No. 104
Zachary Svajda - USA, No. 113
Valentin Vacherot - MCO, No. 115
Harold Mayot - FRA, No. 124
Christopher Eubanks, USA, No. 128
Duje Ajdukovic, CRO, No. 130
Mikhail Kukushkin, KAZ, No. 135
Felipe Meligeni Alves, BRA, No. 144
Emilio Nava, USA, No. 148
Denis Yevseyev, KAZ, No. 160
Yunchaokete Bu, CHN, No. 174
Borna Gojo, CRO, No. 176
Coleman Wang, HKG, No. 179
Mitchell Krueger, USA, No. 187
Martin Damm, USA, No. 188
Tristan Schoolkate, AUS, No. 190
Yosuke Watanuki, JPN, No. 200
Beibit Zhukayev, KAZ, No. 201  
Ozan Baris, USA, No. 629 (ITA Exemption Spot)
Cooper Williams, USA, No. 1057 (ITF Jr Exemption Spot)

For tickets and more information on the Lincoln Challenger, please visit www.lincolnchallenger.com

Inquiries: Alex Guthrie, Tournament Director: alex@topnotchmanagement.com

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Collegians Prominent in This Week's Three USTA Pro Circuit Tournaments, Two 75s in Canada and ATP 250 in Newport; ITF Features Day in Life of Auburn's Angella Okutoyi; GoFundMe Established for Tom Svajda

Action on the USTA Pro Circuit is sparse during Wimbledon, but this week there are two men's tournaments at the 15K and 25K level and a W75 for the women.  In addition, Granby Canada is hosting a joint event, with a Challenger 75 and a W75 this week, which has also attracted a large number of college competitors. The same slant to former collegians is developing at the ATP 250 Hall of Fame Open in Newport Rhode Island, which is holding its last ATP event this week, before converting to a joint WTA 125, ATP Challenger 125 event next year.

In Newport, four of the quarterfinalists are former collegians, along with No. 2 seed Marcos Giron(UCLA) who is yet to finish his second round match with Benoit Paire of France. Those advancing to the quarterfinals include two former Illinois stars, Australian Aleks Vukic and Aleks Kovacevic, Christopher Eubanks(Georgia Tech) and Mackenzie McDonald.  Vukic beat wild card Eliot Spizzirri(Texas) in the round of 16; Kovacevic defeated No. 7 seed Arthur Rinderknech(Texas A&M) of France, and Eubanks got past Ethan Quinn(Georgia) in three sets.

Reilly Opelka returned to ATP main draw competition for the first time since August of 2022, reaching the Newport quarterfinals with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win over top seed and defending champion Andrian Mannarino of France. 

The other American to advance to the quarterfinals is 2023 finalist Alex Michelsen, who beat 2022 Newport champion Maxime Cressy(UCLA).

2024 NCAA doubles champions Robert Cash and JJ Tracy of Ohio State won their first ATP match today, with the wild cards defeating No. 3 seeds JP Smith(Tennessee) of Australia and Diego Hidalgo(Florida) of Ecuador 6-2, 7-5.

The ATP Challenger 75 in Granby has two collegians still alive for a title, including Andy Andrade(Florida) of Ecuador, who upset top seed Adam Walton(Tennessee) in the first round. No. 8 seed Tristan Boyer(Stanford) is the only other collegian still competing, with Hady Habib(Texas A&M) of Lebanon and Justin Boulais(Ohio State) of Canada falling in the second round today.

The ITF women's World Tennis Tour W75+Hospitality in Granby, has seen two recent/current collegians win their first round over a seed: qualifier Ayana Akli(Maryland, South Carolina), who beat No. 4 seed Elvina Kalieva 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, and Canadian wild card Mia Kupres(Texas A&M), who defeated No. 3 seed Ana Sofia Sanchez of Mexico 7-5, 6-3. Carson Branstine(Texas A&M) of Canada is also through to the second round. The top seeds are both Americans: No. 1 Maria Mateas(Duke) and No. 2 Victoria Hu(Princeton). 

Some qualifying matches at the USTA Pro Circuit W75 in Evansville Indiana were played indoors due to heat, as were first round matches, due to rain and thunderstorms. USTA National 18s and 2023 Wimbledon Girls champion Clervie Ngounoue defeated qualifier Alexis Blokhina(Stanford) and Texas A&M rising senior Mary Stoiana also advanced to the second round. 

2023 NCAA champion Fangran Tian(UCLA) of China beat Fioana Crawley(UNC), while 2022 Wimbledon girls champion and No. 7 seed Liv Hovde defeated wild card and 2024 NCAA champion Alex Noel(Iowa, Miami). Fourteen-year-old twins Annika and Kristina Penickova received wild cards, with both losing their opening matches, Annika to fellow wild card and 2017 USTA Girls 18s national champion Ashley Kratzer, who is back competing after a lengthy doping band, and Kristina to No. 5 seed Irina Shymanovic of Belarus. Sachia Vickery and Eli Mandlik are the top two seeds this week in Evansville.

At the men's $25,000 tournament in East Lansing Michigan, the vast majority of the field are collegians, with only top seed Aidan McHugh of Great Britain and Ben Jones, also of Great Britain, the only two players in the round of 16 without a US college affiliation. Cannon Kingsley(Ohio State) is the No. 2 seed, with Michigan State rising junior Ozan Baris the No. 5 seed. It's encouraging to see recent Tennessee graduate Johannus Monday of Great Britain back on court after an injury kept him from competing in singles at NCAAs and during the grass court season. He beat 2024 NCAA singles finalist Michael Zheng(Columbia) 6-3, 6-4 to reach the second round. 

The final USTA Pro Circuit tournament this week is the annual $15K in Rochester New York. Colin Sinclair(Cornell) of the Northern Mariana Islands, is the top seed, with Matias Franco Descotte of Argentina the No. 2 seed. Stanford rising sophomore Nico Godsick pulled off the biggest upset of the first round, beating No. 4 seed Emilio Gomez(USC) of Ecuador 7-6(3), 6-4 this evening.

The ITF has released an episode of its You Tube Day in the Life feature, focusing on Auburn rising junior Angella Okutoyi of Kenya. For more on the 2022 Wimbledon girls doubles champion, see this article from the ITF.

There was distressing news this past weekend concerning Tom Svajda, a renowned coach in San Diego and father of Zachary and Trevor Svajda, who has been diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. A GoFundMe has been set up by Gary Kent to help with medical and other expenses, with Tom unable to work while in treatment. Please consider making contribution if you are able.