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Friday, October 22, 2010

Puig Upset at Osaka Mayor's Cup; Little Mo Nationals; A Correction

Top seed Monica Puig was upset today in the ITF Grade A Mayor's Osaka Cup in Japan, losing in the quarterfinals to No. 7 seed Miho Kowase of Japan 4-6 6-3 7-5. The 15-year-old Kowase, ranked 60th in the current ITF junior rankings, lost in the first round of the U.S. Open juniors to Kyle McPhillips. She was a member of Japan's Junior Fed Cup team, which was seeded 5th, but ended up finishing 13th last month in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Japan was in the USA's group, and in their round robin meeting, Krista Hardebeck defeated Kowase at No. 1 singles. Kowase will play No. 4 seed Daria Salnikova of Russia in one semifinal, while No. 2 seed Saisai Zheng of China takes on No. 3 seed Ilona Kremen of Belarus in the other.

In the boys semifinals, top seed Mate Pavic of Croatia will meet No. 8 seed Sean Berman, who is still listed as representing the USA by the ITF, although he competed as an Australian at the AO Juniors in January, and No. 2 seed Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan will face No. 3 seed Bowen Ouyang of China. For more on Friday's action, see the ITF junior website.

The Little Mo Nationals ended Monday in Austin, Texas, with the following winners (division and age group in parentheses): Zane Khan (B8), Charlotte Owensby(G8), Brandon Nakashima (B9), Josie Frazier (G9), Sangeet Sridha (B10), Nada Dimovska (G10), 1) Jackson Suh (B11) and Anna Bright (G11). For complete results, see the TennisLink site. This year the Little Mo International tournament will be held at the IMG Bollettieri Academy the week after the Eddie Herr, according to this post on the Maureen Connolly Brinker Foundation's website. They are adding a 12s division, but that is now in direct competition with the Nike Junior Masters, which this year is in the Bahamas during that same time period, instead of last year's dates in October. The Nike Junior Tour also has a 14s division.

I also need to make a correction from one of my posts from the Pan American Closed, in which I referred to Francoise Abanda of Canada as the youngest competitor in the field. She was the youngest among the direct entries, but Marie Norris of Kansas, who qualified, is also 13, and actually a few month younger. Norris lost to No. 8 seed Ashley Dai in the first round in Tulsa. I discovered my mistake when I looked at the draws for the current Cincinnati Open, a USTA Level 3 event for 14s. and saw Norris is the second seed there. It occurred to me if she was playing in a 14s event, she could have been the youngest in Tulsa, and so it proved. On a side note, 2009 Nike Masters 12s champion Stefan Kozlov, who is not yet eligible for ITF tournaments, as he won't be 13 until next February, is also playing in Cincinnati, and he too is the No. 2 seed. For complete draws, see the TennisLink site.