Seeds Announced for USTA 18s Spring Nationals: The Koz Plans Daily Show From Mobile; Stephens Wins First WTA Match at Indian Wells and More....
On Friday we head to Mobile for the sixth annual USTA Spring 18s National Championships, which run from Sunday through next Saturday.
Girls top seed Ellen Tsay will be going for her second consecutive national title, having won the Winter Nationals in Scottsdale on New Years Day. Tsay lost in the first round at Mobile last year, to Mary Clayton, so she will be looking to put those bad memories to rest this year.
The top seed in the boys 18s is Gonzales Austin, who won the 16s championship in Kalamazoo last August. Blake Bazarnik is seeded second, followed by Nathan Pasha, Jamin Ball, Justin Shane, Gregory Andrews, Emmett Egger and Robert Verzaal. Spencer Newman, Harrison Richmond and Hunter Harrington are not seeded, but received wild cards into the tournament.
Following Tsay are Lilly Kimbell, Danielle Collins, Emina Bektas, Krista Hardebeck, Whitney Kay, Monica Turewciz and Alexandra Anghelescu. Robin Anderson is seeded ninth, and she will represent a serious challenge to whoever meets her in the round of 16.
For the complete list of seeds, see the TennisLink site. Use the "competitors" tab, select boys or girls singles and the seeds will appear at the top of the list of players entered.
Dave "Koz" Kozlowski just sent me an email letting me know that he would be in Mobile all week, producing videos for his show "Inside Tennis With The Koz" on Indietennis.com. For more on his visit to the Spring Nationals and his daily updates, click here.
Today in Indian Wells, qualifier Sloane Stephens posted her first WTA main draw win with a 7-5(5), 7-6(7) victory over Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic. Stephens served for both sets, at 5-4 in the first and 5-3 in the second, but even though she dropped her serve both times, she fought back. In the second set, she had a match point at 5-3 40-30, but lost that, and was down 6-3 in the second set tiebreaker. Hradecka, ranked 67th in the world, couldn't win one of those three points that would have sent the match to a third set, with Stephens finally converting what I believe was her third match point. Next up for Stephens will be 12th seed and defending champion Vera Zvonareva of Russia.
Another teenage qualifier, Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal, lost her first round match to Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 6-2, 6-2. Recent Fed Cup teammates Petra Martic and Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia met today in the first round with Martic, the qualifier, beating Tomljanovic, the wild card, 7-6 (4), 6-1. Former Illinois star Kevin Anderson, a qualifier, advanced to the second round with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Bjorn Phau of Germany. Ryan Harrison and Taylor Dent are scheduled for later this evening. For results and order of play, see the tournament website.
In college tennis, Baylor's men's team duplicated the feat of the women's team yesterday, downing UCLA 4-3 in Los Angeles. Just as the women had done, the men lost the doubles point to the eighth-ranked Bruins, but the 16th-ranked Bears came back to take four of the next five singles points to earn the win. For more, see the UCLA athletic website.
The Texas A & M student newspaper, the Battalion, spoke with transfer Jeff Dadamo about his reasons for leaving Florida in this feature, entitled "A Fresh Start" that was published today.
In ITF Junior tournaments, Beatrice Capra and Lauren Davis have reached the quarterfinals of the Grade 1 Banana Bowl in Brazil. At the Grade 3 Costa Rica Bowl, Morgan Mays and Mac Styslinger of the U.S. are in opposite semifinals. Three of the four remaining girls are from the U.S.: Gabrielle DeSimone, Kelsey Laurente and Belinda Niu. For more, see the ITF junior website.