Schedule a training visit to the prestigious Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, MD by clicking on the banner above

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Stearns Claims $25K Title in Austin; Brengle and Wallin Go Back-to-Back; Quevedo Earns Second Cancun $15K Title in Three Weeks; ITF JB1 Pan Am Closed Begins Monday, with Slama and Pacheco Top Seeds

Although the two USTA Pro Circuit tournaments in South Carolina were canceled in the middle of last week due to Hurrican Ian, the other three concluded today, with Peyton Stearns, Madison Brengle and Olle Wallin taking the singles titles.

Stearns, the reigning NCAA Division I singles champion, turned pro after leading Texas to its second straight team championship and following it with the singles title in her sophomore year. The 20-year-old from Ohio returned to Austin to play the $25,000 women's tournament there and absolutely dominated the latter stages of the event. Seeded No. 6, Stearns dropped just four games in the quarterfinals and semifinals, and today she defeated wild card Clervie Ngounoue 6-1, 6-0 in 56 minutes to win her second Pro Circuit title and first since turning pro in June. When the points are added a week from tomorrow, Stearns should be in the 250s in the WTA rankings, getting close to Australian Open qualifying territory. 

At the $60,000 women's tournament in Templeton, top seed Madison Brengle won her second straight tournament in California, defeating 18-year-old qualifier Robin Montgomery 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 to run her winning streak to 10 after a first round loss at the US Open. For more on today's final, read tournament media contact Steve Pratt's recap below:

TEMPLETON, Calif. – October 2, 2022 – Madison Brengle won her 10th consecutive singles match and hoisted a trophy for the second straight week as the WTA Tour veteran came back to defeat qualifier and 18-year-old Robin Montgomery, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, on Sunday to win the EPIC Central Coast Tennis Classic at the Templeton Tennis Ranch.


“I’m pretty happy to get these two titles back-to-back,” Brengle said. “I’m a little tired but I’m going to take a couple of days off, and I think it’s well-deserved.”


Brengle has been on a tear since falling in the first round of the US Open to eventual finalist Ons Jabeur dropping just one set over those 10 match wins. Brengle, 32, jumped to No. 51 in the WTA world rankings and by winning 80 more points Sunday she is projected to be in the mid- to low-40s as she attempts to eclipse her career high of No. 35 she attained in 2015.


The 2021 US Open Junior Girls’ singles and doubles champion Montgomery came out strong from the start taking the first set, but let down to start the second set as Brengle broke early for a 3-0 leadt. Montgomery broke Brengle’s serve for 4-5, but couldn’t even it up with a poorly played service game double-faulting twice, including on set point.


Brengle once again got the early break in the third set to go up 2-0 but lost her serve at love to allow Montgomery right back into the match. But the veteran Brengle continued her steady play, forcing Montgomery into a couple of unforced errors at crucial points in the match.


“She has a wonderful game,” Brengle said of Montgomery. “She can come in, has a good serve and she can do a lot with the ball, so I feel like she’s going to keep getting better and better.”


Following her week off, Brengle will play the qualifying at the upcoming San Diego WTA 500 next weekend. 


“I thought I played OK,” said Montgomery, whose No. 313 ranking will climb with the 48 ranking points she earned. “There were times when I had a hard time choosing whether to come into the net or stay back. But overall, I thought it was a good match.” 


Brengle will cash a check for $9,142 and receive 80 WTA ranking points. Montgomery, who was playing her seventh match in seven days, earned $4,886 and 48 points.


In Sunday’s doubles final, the No. 2 seed Nao Hibino from Japan and American Sabrina Santamaria, a former NCAA doubles champion from USC, defeated the top-seeded team of Sophie Chang and Katarzyna Kawa. It was the first time playing as partners for both teams. The winners split $3,344 and the finalists earned $1,672 to split.

Olle Wallin has been the breakout star of collegiate tennis the past two weeks, with the 20-year-old Texas Tech junior running his winning streak to 12 at $15,000 tournaments by claiming the USTA Pro Circuit title in Albuquerque New Mexico today. Wallin, who is from Sweden, qualified for last week's $15K on his home courts in Lubbock; this week he received a special exemption into the main draw and proved last week was no fluke. He defeated top seed Emil Reinberg(Georgia) in three sets in the first round, came from a set down in the quarterfinals and semifinals and today defeated No. 4 seed Maciej Rajski of Poland 7-6(6), 7-5 in the championship match. 

University of New Mexico teammates Alexander Maggs of Great Britain and Jan Pucalka of the Czech Republic won the doubles title, with the wild cards defeating the unseeded Texas Tech pairing of Demetris Azoides of Greece and Franco Ribero of Argentina 7-5, 7-5 in the final.

Since losing in the first round of the US Open Junior Championships to eventual semifinalist Victoria Mboko, 16-year-old Kaitlin Quevedo has gone 13-1 in three $15,000 tournaments in Cancun. Quevedo picked up her second title there today, defeating 19-year-old Mika Dagan Fruchtman of Israel, the No. 4 seed, 6-2, 6-3 in the final. Quevedo, who lost in the semifinals last week after winning her first pro title the previous week, dropped only one set in taking her second title, in the quarterfinals to fellow 16-year-old Mayu Crossley of Japan. 

Quevedo was expected to compete in this coming week's ITF JB1 Pan American Closed tournament in Nicholasville Kentucky, but she withdrew Friday, no doubt due to all her success in Cancun.

Qualifying was completed today at the Top Seed Tennis Club, and those six boys and six girls will be in action again Monday, with play beginning at 9 a.m. The 16 seeds in the 48-player draws do not play until Tuesday.

The boys seeds:
1. Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez(MEX)
2. Leanid Boika(USA)
3. Yannik Rahman(USA)
4. Luis Carlos Alvarez Valdes(MEX)
5. Kaylan Bigun(USA)
6. Meecah Bigun(USA)
7. Alexander Razeghi(USA)
8. Duncan Chan(CAN)
9. Preston Stearns(USA)
10. Felipe Pinson Moreno
11. Marko Mesarovic(USA)
12. Keegan Rice(CAN)
13. Armando Sotelo(MEX)
14. Roy Horovitz(USA)
15. Adithya Ganesan(USA)
16. Evan Wen(USA)

The girls seeds:
1. Mia Slama(USA)
2. Tatum Evans(USA)
3. Valeria Ray(USA)
4. Iva Jovic(USA)
5. Gabriella Broadfoot(RSA)
6. Ariana Pursoo(USA)
7. Martyna Ostrzygalo(CAN)
8. Natalia Perez(PUR)
9. Ashton Bowers(USA)
10. Alexia Harmon(USA)
11. Maya Iyengar(USA)
12. May Joint(USA)
13. Martina Marica(USA)
14. Scarlett Nicholson(CAN)
15. Ria Bhakta(USA)
16. Arina Oreshchenkova(USA)

I will be providing on-site coverage of the tournament beginning Monday.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Montgomery Faces Brengle for Templeton $60K Title; Ngounoue and Stearns Meet in Austin $25K Final; Nguyen and Patil Win Corpus Christi J4 Titles; Sherif Makes History with First WTA Title in Italy

Eighteen-year-old Robin Montgomery will play for the second Pro Circuit title of her career Sunday at the $60,000 women's tournament in Templeton California, after defeating fellow qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine 6-3, 6-1 today in the semifinals. Montgomery will play top seed Madison Brengle, who defeated unseeded Sophie Chang 6-2, 6-3.  Montgomery has faced eight WTA Top 100 players prior to tomorrow's match with No. 51 Brengle and she is 0-8 in those matches, but regardless of the outcome of Sunday's final, she will move into the WTA Top 300 for the first time.  More from Templeton media contact Steve Pratt:

TEMPLETON, Calif. – October 1, 2022 – Eighteen-year-old Robin Montgomery let out a huge “Come On!” as fellow qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko from Ukraine hit a forehand wide putting an exclamation point on the Washington D.C. native’s first career semifinal victory at a USTA Pro Circuit $60,000-level tournament. 


Montgomery’s 6-3, 6-1 score was the same as her quarterfinal win on Friday as she continued to dominate with her big lefty serve and all-court game. Montgomery will face top-seeded Madison Brengle in Sunday’s EPIC Central Coast Tennis Classic taking place this week at the Templeton Tennis Ranch.


It’s been a tough couple of months for Montgomery, who has been sidelined with a wrist injury since June forcing her to miss the summer season and a chance to play at the USTA National Hardcourts in San Diego, as well as the US Open.  


“It was a bummer to miss San Diego and the US Open,” said Montgomery, who made her return last week at Berkeley and won two qualifying matches and one in the main draw. “But health comes first.”


Montgomery, who in July moved to Orlando to be closer to the USTA National Campus, was watched by her mother Gabrielle Montgomery and her coach Eric Nunez, a former USTA National Coach who is traveling with Montgomery this week as he said he still works with the USTA on a part-time basis.


Montgomery will next face the 32-year-old Brengle, who was just as dominant in her 6-2, 6-3 semifinal win over fellow American unseeded Sophie Chang.


In Sunday’s doubles final that will kick off play at 12 noon, top-seeded Sophie Chang and Katarzyna Kawa will take on the No. 2 seed Nao Hibino from Japan and American Sabrina Santamaria, a former NCAA doubles champion from USC. In Saturday’s semis, Chang and Kawa took out No. 3 Arianne Hartono (Netherlands) and Astra Sharma (Australia), 6-7 (5), 6-0, 10-8.


Clervie Ngounoue, who is also coming back from an injury that derailed her summer, will be playing for her first Pro Circuit singles title Sunday at the $25,000 women's tournament in Austin Texas. The 16-year-old from Washington DC, who reached her first ITF women's singles final this March right before a foot injury caused her to miss the next four months, defeated No. 2 seed and WTA No. 211 Yuki Naito of Japan 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 in today's semifinals.  Ngounoue will face 2022 NCAA singles champion Peyton Stearns(Texas), the No. 6 seed, who defeated unseeded University of Texas freshman Nicole Khirin of Israel 6-1, 6-2. Stearns will be playing in her fourth Pro Circuit final, all at the $25K level; she has one title, last year in South Carolina.

No. 2 seeds Elysia Bolton(UCLA), who is now representing Australia, and Jamie Loeb(North Carolina) won the doubles title in Austin, beating unseeded Martyna Kubka of Poland and Ashley Lahey(Pepperdine) 6-3, 6-3 in today's final. Bolton now has three pro doubles titles and Loeb 10, but it's their first together.

In Corpus Christi, the ITF J4 concluded today, with 14-year-old Alexis Nguyen and 18-year-old Ritesh Patil winning their first titles on the ITF Junior Circuit, with both champions unseeded. Nguyen defeated unseeded Kayla Chung 6-3, 6-3 in the final, after beating No. 2 seed Erica Jessel in the third round and losing only one set in her six victories.

Patil, a Texas A&M recruit, advanced to the final when top seed Cooper Woestendick retired trailing 6-1, 3-2 in the semifinals. Today he defeated No. 11 seed Linus Lagerbohm of Finland 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-2 for his eighth victory of the week, after winning two matches to qualify.

Unseeded Andrew Ena and Aditya Vyas won the boys doubles title via walkover from Woestendick and Brendan Boland, the No. 4 seeds.

No. 4 seeds Jessica Bernales and Riley Crowder won the girls doubles title, defeating Chung and Kayla Schefke 6-7(6), 6-3, 10-8. 

Former Pepperdine All-American Mayar Sherif continues to make history on the WTA Tour; with two wins today at the Parma Italy 250, in the semifinals and finals, the 26-year-old became the first Egyptian to capture a WTA title. Sherif defeated Ana Bogdan of Romania 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in nearly three hours in the semifinals, then took out top seed Maria Sakkari of Greece 7-5, 6-3 in the final for her first WTA Top 10 victory.  For more on Sherif's latest entry in the WTA history books, see this article from the WTA.

Both Americans in the semifinals of the ATP 250 in Seoul Korea lost early this morning, with Jenson Brooksby(Baylor) dropping a 7-5, 6-4 decision to Denis Shapovalov of Canada and lucky loser Aleks Kovacevic(Illinois) losing to Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. 

Friday, September 30, 2022

September Aces; ITF JB1 Pan American Closed Qualifying Begins Saturday; ITA All-American Pre-Qualifying Starts Without Top Women's Newcomers; Ngounoue and Montgomery Reach Semifinals at Austin $25K, Templeton $60K; Kovacevic Through to ATP Seoul Semis

You may have seen my coverage earlier this month of five US Open Championships featured in my September Aces column for the Tennis Recruiting Network, but while you were following that you may have missed the five titles won by teenagers from the Czech Republic. There were also quite a few first titles for former collegians, and you can read all about them here.

Qualifying for the ITF Grade B1 Pan American Closed begins tomorrow morning at the Top Seed Tennis Club in Nicholasville Kentucky. As is always the case for this event, the qualifying draws do not fill, and this year there are 30 girls and 25 boys in the qualifying draws. 

It appears as if the eight boys at the top of the qualifying list moved into the main draw; I know that Mitchell Lee and Rudy Quan received main draw wild cards should they need them. Also receiving a main draw wild card is Canada's Keegan Rice, who won the J2 in Montreal and was a finalist in the J3 in Quebec City earlier this month. 

Kaitlin Quevedo, who has reached the semifinals of the $15,000 women's ITF World Tennis Tour event in Cancun today(she is featured as an Ace this month), withdrew from the tournament, leaving ITF junior No. 53 Mia Slama as the top seed.  Tatum Evans, who lost today in the quarterfinals of the $25,000 tournament in Austin, is still in, and because this is a 48-draw and she will be seeded, Evans won't play her first match until Tuesday. 

Girls receiving main draw wild cards are Capucine Jauffret and Riley Crowder.

As John Parson pointed out in a tweet earlier today, only one of the women's Division I Top 10 Newcomers is playing the ITA All-American Championships, which begins with pre-qualifying Saturday in Cary North Carolina. Diana Shnaider, the No. 1 newcomer, was not given a main draw or even a qualifying draw wild card; the fact that the top freshmen face the prospect of playing 11 matches to win the title no doubt is a factor in this lack of participation. Oklahoma State's Raquel Gonzalez, No. 7 on the Newcomer list, is the only one in the pre-qualifying draw.

The men's ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa Oklahoma are in direct contrast to the women's, with draws twice the size and nine of the 10 Newcomers scheduled to participate. Sebastian Gorzny of TCU, who has been struggling with a shoulder injury this summer, is the only one not expected to compete in the tournament, with eight newcomers in the qualifying draw, not pre-qualifying, and No. 1 Ethan Quinn of Georgia with a wild card into the main draw.

Once the pre-qualifying and qualifying are complete and the main draw begins next Wednesday, Cracked Racquets will be providing its CrossCourt Cast for both the men's and women's tournaments at their YouTube Channel.

Wild card Clervie Ngounoue has advanced to the semifinals at the Austin $25K, with the 16-year-old from Washington DC defeating  19-year-old Jana Kolodynska of Belarus 7-5, 6-3. Ngounoue will play No. 2 seed Yuki Naito of Japan, who beat No. 5 seed Jamie Loeb(North Carolina) 6-4, 6-3. 

The other semifinal in Austin will feature the past and the future of the University of Texas women's team. No. 6 seed Peyton Stearns, who led the Longhorns to two team titles and won the singles title before turning pro this summer, will play Texas freshman (and No. 4 ITA Newcomer) Nicole Khirin of Israel for a place in the final. Stearns beat Ashley Lahey(Pepperdine) 6-0, 6-1 and Khirin defeated Evans 6-3, 6-2.

At the $60,000 women's Pro Circuit tournament in Templeton California, qualifier Robin Montgomery is through to the semifinals after defeating No. 7 seed Katarzyna Kawa of Poland 6-3, 6-1. Montgomery, who turned 18 this month, will be playing in her first semifinal at the $60K level Saturday when she faces fellow qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine, who at 36 is twice Montgomery's age. Bondarenko defeated No. 2 seed Yue Yuan of China 7-6(5), 6-4 today. The other semifinal will feature top seed Madison Brengle, who beat No. 5 seed Nao Hibino of Japan 6-1, 6-2, against unseeded Sophie Chang. Chang defeated Marcela Zacarias of Mexico 6-2, 7-5.

Ken Thomas is providing coverage of the Templeton matches at radiotennis.com.

Former Illinois star Aleks Kovacevic lost in the final round of qualifying at the ATP San Diego Open last week and in the final round of qualifying at this week's ATP 250 in Seoul Korea. He didn't get into San Diego, but he did get a lucky loser spot in Korea, and the 24-year-old from New York has made the most of it, reaching the semifinals with wins over ATP Top 100 players Miromir Kecmanovic of Serbia, Chun-Hsin Tseng of Taiwan and, in the quarterfinals, Mackenzie McDonald(UCLA). Kovacevic, who had never played in an ATP main draw before this week, will play unseeded Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan for a place in the final. The other semifinal early Saturday morning features Jenson Brooksby(Baylor) and Denis Shapovalov of Canada. For more on Kovacevic's college and Challenger experiences, see this ATP article.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Hurricane Ian Cancels Charleston Challenger, Hilton Head $15K; Evans and Ngounoue Reach Austin $25K Quarterfinals; Montgomery Advances at Templeton $60K

When the state of South Carolina declared a state of emergency in advance of Hurricane Ian, the chances of the two USTA Pro Circuits in progress being completed went to zero, with the ATP announcing last night that its Challenger 80 in Charleston had been canceled. The tournament did not get as far as the quarterfinals, with only the top half playing two rounds; the bottom half had completed just one.

The formal announcement regarding the $15,000 women's tournament on Hilton Head was posted on the USTA's Women's Pro Circuit site. They did get through the first two rounds of singles and managed to get as far as the finals in doubles yesterday, but that was the extent of play for the week. 

Texas Tech junior Olle Wallin of Sweden has continued his run after winning the $15K last week in Lubbock as a qualifier, with a special exemption into the main draw in Albuquerque. He defeated top seed Emil Reinberg in the first round and is through to the quarterfinals after beating Warren Wood(CMS) 6-4, 6-3 today. Sixteen-year-old Rei Sakamoto of Japan is also through to the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Cal fifth year and No. 8 seed Yuta Kikuchi of Japan. 

Teens Clervie Ngounoue and Tatum Evans are through to the quarterfinals in Austin, with 16-year-old Ngounoue beating 19-year-old USC freshman Madison Sieg 6-1, 7-6(0). Wild card Ngounoue, who also reached a $25K quarterfinal in Texas in July, will face another 19-year-old, Jana Kolodynska of Belarus, who beat Samantha Crawford 4-6, 7-6(9), 6-2. 

Seventeen-year-old Evans, a qualifier, took out No. 4 seed Justina Mikulskyte(Kentucky) of Lithuania 6-3, 6-4 today and will play University of Texas freshman Nicole Khirin of Israel in the quarterfinals Friday. Khirin defeated Aldila Sutjiadi(Kentucky) of Indonesia 7-6(9), 2-6, 7-5.  

Former Pepperdine All-American Ashley Lahey was leading top seed Fernanda Contreras(Vanderbilt) of Mexico 6-2, 4-3 when Contreras retired. Lahey will play No. 6 seed and NCAA singles champion Peyton Stearns(Texas), who beat Martyna Kubka of Poland 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. 

In Templeton, 2022 US Open girls champion Alexandra Eala of the Philippines, who received a wild card, lost to No. 7 seed Katarzyna Kawa of Poland 2-6, 6-4, 6-0 in today's second round. Next for Kawa will be the 2021 US Open girls champion, Robin Montgomery. The 18-year-old Montgomery, a qualifier, beat wild card Vicky Duval 6-1, 6-2.

Top seeds Madison Brengle and Yue Yuan of China, who made last week's final in Berkeley, continued to have success, with Brengle beating qualifier Janice Tjen(Pepperdine) of Indonesia 6-1, 6-4 and Yuan taking out Astra Sharma(Vanderbilt) of Australia 6-3, 6-2.

Ken Thomas of radiotennis.com is providing match commentary for the Templeton tournament.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

ITA All-American Championships Feature Most of Preseason Top Ten; Svajda Advances at Charleston Challenger; Ngounoue Beats Hovde, Sieg Upsets Harrison at Austin $25K; Junior Orange Bowl Announces New Presenting Sponsor

The ITA All-American championships begin this weekend when prequalifying begins, with the men in Tulsa, as usual, and the women playing in Cary North Carolina for the first time. 

The deadline for withdrawals is tonight, but both acceptances lists now have posted the 24 participants in the women's main draw  and the 48 participants in the men's main draw.

Two of the women's Top 10 are not competing in Cary next week, with No. 1 Eryn Cayetano of Southern California out and No. 7 Connie Ma of Stanford, the 2022 NCAA finalist, withdrawing recently. That leaves Sarah Hamner of South Carolina, Daria Frayman of Princeton, Layne Sleeth of Oklahoma, Chloe Beck, Cameron Morra and Georgia Drummy of Duke, Carson Branstine of Texas A&M and Irina Cantos Siemers of Ohio State as the likely Top 8 seeds.

Several new women have appeared recently in the main draw: Kylie Collins of LSU, who came from the alternate list; Jessica Alsola of Cal; Solymar Colling of San Diego and Emma Jackson of Duke. Lisa Zaar of Pepperdine also withdrew recently.

The men's draw features nine of the Top 10, with only No. 2 Gabriel Diallo of Kentucky missing. The other top 10 players are Stefan Dostanic of Southern California, Cannon Kingsley and JJ Tracy of Ohio State, Inaki Montes de la Torre and Chris Rodesch of Virginia, Luc Fomba of TCU, Nikola Slavic of Mississippi, Tyler Stice of Auburn and Alex Kotzen of Columbia.

Harris Walker of Harvard and Peter Maak of Southern California have moved from the alternate list into the main draw recently. Francois Le Tallec of Old Dominion withdrew recently. 

The ITA published a preview that features introductions to the top five seeds in singles and the top three seeds in doubles for both men and women.

Two-time Kalamazoo 18s champion Zachary Svajda, still just 19, reached his fourth ATP Challenger quarterfinal today, beating No. 4 seed Juan Pablo Ficovich of Argentina 6-3, 7-5 in Charleston South Carolina. Svajda, who is trying to get back to his ATP career-high ranking of 306 after he won a match at the US Open as the Kalamazoo wild card last September, will play another two-time Kalamazoo 18s champion in the quarterfinals: Donald Young, who won in 2005 and 2006. Young's ranking has fallen to 628 and he had to qualify for the main draw this week. He has beaten lucky losers Omni Kumar(Duke) and Govind Nanda(UCLA) to get the quarterfinals.

Georgia freshman Ethan Quinn gave top seed Jordan Thompson of Australia a stern test in today's second round, but Thompson got the only break of the third set with a perfect lob on his third break point with Quinn serving at 3-4 and finished with a love hold for a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 victory. Quinn, who won his first Challenger match Monday, received a wild card into the main draw of the All-Americans in Tulsa.

Several notable results from the USTA women's $25,000 Pro Circuit tournament in Austin Texas today, with wild card Clervie Ngounoue defeating doubles partner Liv Hovde 7-5, 6-3 in first round action. The 16-year-old will face Southern California freshman Madison Sieg, who took out No. 3 seed Catherine Harrison(UCLA) 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(2) in three hours and three minutes. Seventeen-year-old qualifier Tatum Evans got her first win above the $15K level today, beating Rasheeda McAdoo(Georgia Tech) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.

The 61st edition of the Junior Orange Bowl for the 12s and 14s age groups is scheduled to take place December 11-20, 2022 Miami area sites. Registration is now open and closes on October 17. The tournament has a new presenting sponsor, Laurel Springs School.

The recent release from the tournament is below:

MIAMI, Fla. — The Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships returns to Miami for its 61st year in December and will once again showcase the most talented 12-and 14-and-under tennis players in the world.

The prestigious junior tournament that boasted 66 former players in the recent US Open, including semifinalist Frances Tiafoe and finalist Casper Ruud, will have a new presenting sponsor in Laurel Springs School, an online private school in New Jersey that offers a challenging K-12 academic program renowned for its flexibility and college preparatory experience.

"Our student-first academic approach nurtures personal and academic growth, providing student-athletes ownership of their educational journey while they pursue their passions,” said Laurel Springs School President Arra G. Yerganian. “Student-athletes can greatly benefit from our flexibility and recruitment support while extensive, college-preparatory course offerings aid student-athletes in their academic development, giving them limitless learning opportunities.”

Laurel Springs encourages students to pursue their interests and talents outside of the classroom — as evidenced by Alejandro Arcila, winner of the boys' 14s in last year’s Jr. Orange Bowl.

This annual tennis tournament has featured future No. 1s including Chris Evert, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati, Justine Henin, Jimmy Connors, and Andy Murray. Delray Beach favorite Coco Gauff, currently ranked in the Top 10, won the Jr. OB 12s in 2016. Pembroke Pines resident Sofia Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion, also competed in this tournament, as did recently retired legend Roger Federer. Both went on to win the Orange Bowls 18s.

The tournament will be held Dec. 11-20, at various sites in the Miami area, including the Biltmore Hotel, Crandon Park Tennis Center and Salvadore Park.

Registration for the Junior Orange Bowl is open and will close at 11:59 a.m. on Oct. 17. All players, including international players, must have a USTA number to enter. For additional information, go to jrorangebowl.com

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

USTA Men's Australian Open Wild Card Challenge Begins in Late October; Qualifying Complete at Three Women's USTA Pro Circuit Events, Men's $15K in Albuquerque

The USTA's Australian Open Wild Card Challenge for women begins this week and extends through the week of October 24th, as announced earlier this month. The USTA Australian Open Wild Card Challenge for men was just announced, with its first week October 24th and its last week November 14th, which is a four-week stretch, while the women's is five weeks. For both genders, it's the best three results in the designated weeks from any events at the $25,000 level and above on hard courts, indoor and out. The men's Challenge also includes any tournaments on carpet. Although there is no restriction on country--ATP and WTA points earned at any tournament in the world count--below I've included a table of the men's tournaments in the United States during that four-week stretch. There are also two Challengers in Canada the last two weeks.

Last week there were three men's and two women's events on the USTA Pro Circuit; this week those numbers are reversed. The men have the ATP Challenger 80 in Charleston South Carolina and a $15,000 tournament in Albuquerque New Mexico; the women have a $60,000 tournament in Templeton California, a $25,000 tournament in Austin Texas and a $15,000 tournament in Hilton Head South Carolina.

Although there usually isn't much in the way of pro tennis in New Mexico, or perhaps because of that, the qualifying draws were full in Albuquerque. Americans advancing to the main draw: Max McKennon(Arizona State), Chad Kissell(Valparaiso), Michael Shabaz(Virginia) and Ryan Dickerson(Duke/Baylor). Wild cards were given to Jaycer Lyeons(Tyler JC) and three New Mexico players: senior Rafael Abdul Salam of Venezuela and sophomores Ryoma Matsushita of Japan and Arda Azkara of Turkey.  Emil Reinberg(Georgia) is the top seed.

The only Americans to qualify in Templeton were 18-year-old Robin Montgomery and 33-year-old Alexa Glatch. Pepperdine junior Janice Tjen of Indonesia, who received a qualifying wild card, reached the main draw with a 6-3, 6-0 win over No. 7 seed Urszula Radwanska of Poland. 

US Open girls champion Alexandra Eala of the Philippines received a main draw wild card, as did Maria Mateas(Duke), Whitney Osuigwe and Vicky Duval. Madison Brengle, who won last week's $60K in Berkeley, is the No. 1 seed again this week, and Yue Yuan of China, the runner-up in Berkeley, is again the No. 2 seed.

Three Americans qualified for the main draw at the Austin $25K: former University of Texas star Kylie Collins, now at LSU; Eryn Cayetano, a senior at USC, and 17-year-old Tatum Evans. The other five qualifiers are all currently on D-I rosters: Baylor sophomore Anita Sahdiieva of Ukraine, Baylor freshman Vanda Vargova of Slovakia, UCF sophomore Noel Saidenova of Russia, UCF freshman Jantje Tilbuerger of Germany and USC sophomore Snow Han of China.

Three of the wild cards went to current Texas players: junior Malaika Rapolu, who won the Texas Regional title on Monday; sophomore Sabina Zeynalova of Ukraine and freshman Nicole Rivkin of Germany. 

US Open girls quarterfinalist Clervie Ngounoue received the fourth wild card and will play fellow 16-year-old Liv Hovde, the reigning girls Wimbledon champion, who received a special exemption into the main draw after winning the $15K in Lubbock Sunday. They are playing doubles together this week and won their first round match today.

2022 NCAA champion Peyton Stearns returns to Austin as the No. 6 seed; Fernanda Contreras(Vanderbilt) of Mexico is the top seed. 

The qualifying at the Hilton Head $15K was completed yesterday, and the first round was played today. Top seed and University of Georgia sophomore Mell Reasco of Ecuador advanced with no problem, as did Georgia freshman Anastasiya Lopata of Ukraine, who received entry via the ITF Junior Reserve program. 

Wild cards were given to Mia Horvit(South Carolina), Kelly Keller(Arkansas), high school junior Madison Hill and high school sophomore Mia Yamakita. Keller beat Hill in the first round, Horvit got past 17-year-old Qavia Lopez 6-2, 1-6, 7-5 and Yamakita lost to No. 4 seed Paris Corley(LSU) 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. UCLA recruit Ahmani Guichard, a Junior Reserve entry, lost to qualifier Tenika McGiffin(Tennessee) of Australia 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.