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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Novikov v. Giron and Wiersholm v. Kozlov Highlight Monday's First Round at International Spring Championships

Carson, CA--

After a long day of travel, I don't have much time to study the draws for the ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships, but a few of the matches scheduled for Monday are certainly in the "must-see" category. In the boys 18s, No. 5 seed Dennis Novikov has drawn Marcos Giron, who won the Grade 4 title yesterday in Claremont. Novikov hasn't played since the Australian Open juniors, while Giron has been very active on the Pro Circuit this winter. Top seed Bjorn Fratangelo plays qualifer Ernesto Escobedo, also of the US.

Claremont finalist Monica Turewicz, the 7th seed, is up against Sabrina Santamaria in one of the best girls 18s matches on the the lengthy Monday schedule, which features a total of 105 matches. Hannah King, the No. 11 seed, plays Kyle McPhillips, who was seeded 1 in Mobile and No. 3 in Claremont, but is unseeded here. Claremont winner Gabrielle Andrews is not seeded, and it was No. 16 seed Jennifer Brady who had the misfortune of drawing the 14-year-old Southern Californian in the first round. Top seed Vicky Duval will play Ha-Young Ji of Korea in her opening match on Monday.

In the boys 16s, Les Petits As winner Henrik Wiersholm will play Teen Tennis champion Stefan Kozlov again, but this time in the first round of a tournament, not in the late stages, where they usually meet. Kozlov, 13, beat Wiersholm, 14, in the semifinals of the Winter National 14s and also beat him in the finals of the Aegon Teen Tennis tournament in England just a few weeks later. Wiersholm then went on to claim the Les Petits As title, with Kozlov losing in the quarterfinals there. Luca Corinteli is the top seed in the boys 16s, and he plays Dylan Brown on Monday.

The top seed in the girls 16s is Katrine Steffensen, who plays Conner Calabro on Monday.

The weather forecast for the week is excellent, with 60s and low 70s for temperatures and little in the way of rain. Monday will be a very long and busy day, with seven matches scheduled on each of the 15 courts at the Home Depot Center/USTA Training Center West, but I hope to catch at least some of the matches I mentioned above.

For the complete draws and order of play, see the tournament page at usta.com.