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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pro Circuit, ITF Junior Update

We're heading to New York tomorrow for Thursday's USTA/ITA Intercollegiate Indoor, so I'll be devoting most of my waking hours to that tournament until next Monday. But there are several tournaments of interest going on this week, in both ITF junior and pro circuits, so tonight I'll do a quick overview of those.

As I mentioned on Sunday, there are two men's Pro Circuit events this week, a $10,000 Futures in Niceville, Florida on clay and a $50,000 Challenger indoors in Charlottesville, Virginia. The latter has, in the past two years, caused something of a dilemma for University of Virginia players who have qualified for the ITA Indoor. Last year qualifier Sanam Singh's run to the Challenger quarterfinals required he withdraw from the Indoor, and this year Michael Shabaz is facing the same circumstance. Shabaz received a wild card into qualifying, won three matches and today won his opening match in the main draw over Giovanni Lapentti of Ecuador. On Wednesday he will face Ryan Harrison, who beat No. 3 seed Ryan Sweeting today, for a spot in the quarterfinals. I'm sure John Peers of Baylor, who is the first alternate for the Indoor, will be watching that result with special interest.

In Niceville, Denis Kudla and Jordan Cox won first round matches today. No. 6 seed Kudla beat wild card Dennis Novikov 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, while No. 8 seed Cox defeated former Small College Super Bowl champion Mislav Hisak of Embry-Riddle 6-3, 7-5. Mitchell Frank was beaten by former Ole Miss star Erling Tveit, the fourth seed, 6-3, 6-3. Cox could face Jack Sock in the second round if Sock gets by Canadian junior qualifier Pavel Krainik. Andrea Collarini will play qualfier Bjorn Fratangelo tomorrow, and Dane Webb, who got in the main draw as a lucky loser, will also play his opening match Wednesday.

In the women's $50,000 Pro Circuit event in Grapevine, Texas, rain kept the final round of qualifying from finishing. Krista Hardebeck, the top seed in qualifying, is a game away from securing her spot in the main draw. Grace Min, Chloe Jones and Ashley Weinhold received wild cards into the main draw. Beatrice Capra, who was scheduled to compete, withdrew last week.

For draws and results, see the Pro Circuit page at usta.com.

I neglected to mention on Sunday the $50,000 women's Challenger in Toronto, which also features many young Americans. After one day of main draw competition, two of the top four seeds are already out at the hands of recent Orange Bowl champions. 2008 Orange Bowl champion Julia Boserup defeated No. 4 seed Corina Dentonni of Italy 6-4, 6-0, and 2009 Orange Bowl champion Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada upset No. 2 seed Christina McHale 6-3, 6-4. No. 1 seed Rebecca Marino and No. 3 seed Alison Riske could be on a collision course, as both are on 15-match win streaks, with Riske's last loss coming to Marino in a third set tiebreaker in September. Sloane Stephens and Heather Watson are in the draw, and 15-year-old Jan Abaza of Florida qualified and won her first round match against wild card Katarina Paliivets of Canada.

For complete draws, see the ITF Women's Circuit website. I'm sure as the tournament progresses, the Montreal Gazette's Stephanie Myles will be following the results closely on her blog.

In the junior world, there is a big B1, the Asia Oceania Closed, underway in Korea. Bowen Ouyang of China is the top-seeded boy, and Japan's Miho Kowase is the top-seeded girl. Complete draws can be found at the ITF junior site.

At the Grade 4 in Lexington, South Carolina, Alexander Petrone is the No. 1 seed in the boys draw and Kyle McPhillips is the No. 1 seed in the girls draw. For complete draws, see the ITF junior site.