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Thursday, April 21, 2011

USTA Announces Teams for ITF Qualifying; Falconi vs. Boserup and Young vs. Smyczek for French WC; USTA National Girls Team Beats Cal

There's a lot of news from the USTA today, starting with the names of the players representing the United States in the qualifying for the ITF team championships. In Merida, Mexico, the round robin regional qualifying is April 29th through May 1, for the Junior Fed and Junior Davis Cup teams (16-and-under), as well as the World Junior Tennis team competition (14-and-under). Last year, the competitions were held in Boca Raton, Fla., with three U.S. teams qualifying; the Junior Davis Cup team fell to Canada, failing to qualify for the 16-team world group. The U.S. Junior Fed Cup team finished fourth, the U.S. boys World Junior Tennis team finished eighth and the girls World Junior Tennis team won, for an unprecendented fourth consecutive year.

This year's teams for the qualifying are:

Junior Davis Cup
Luca Corinteli
Nikko Madregallejo
Spencer Papa
Coach: Dustin Taylor

Junior Fed Cup
Gabrielle Andrews
Brooke Austin
Taylor Townsend
Coach: Kathy Rinaldi

World Junior Tennis boys:
Stefan Kozlov
Frances Tiafoe
Henrik Wiersholm
Coach: Michael Sell

World Junior Tennis girls:
Jessica Ho
Julia O’Loughlin
Maria Smith
Coach: Troy Hahn

Should the U.S. teams qualify next weekend, the makeup of the teams sent to the WJT event in August and the JDC and JFC in September could change, as they did last year. It depends on the health, schedule and form of the players in the months ahead. It is interesting to note that this year's Junior Fed Cup qualifying team is made up entirely of the 1996 birth year players, who won the WJT last year. Two the members of the 2009 championship team--Sachia Vickery and Vicky Duval--who would be expected to be part of the team--are not competing, possibly due to health issues. Brooke Austin was the third member of the 2009 championship team. I assume Samantha Crawford has now worked her way into consideration as well. Last year Krista Hardebeck was not named to the qualifying team, but she played in the World Group finals in Mexico. The complete release can be found at usta.com.

In today's matches at the USTA French wild card tournament, top seed Irina Falconi defeated No. 4 seed Grace Min 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 to advance to Friday's final, where she will meet Julia Boserup. Boserup, the No. 3 seed, beat No. 2 seed Beatrice Capra 6-1, 7-6(5). The men's reciprocal wild card will go to the winner of the Donald Young - Timothy Smyczek match. According to the ATP site, the two have played eight times, all on hard courts, with Young winning six of those matches. I suspect they may have played in a USTA wild card playoff before, but they didn't meet in the past three events the USTA has held for that purpose. Smyczek won the U.S. Open wild card playoff last year.

In the first of two matches between the USTA Junior National girls team and two top college teams, the USTA girls came out on top over the eighth-ranked Cal-Berkeley women. There were a total of 11 matches played, with the USTA girls winning 8 of them. Here are the results:

1. Taylor Townsend/Gabby Andrews(USTA) def. Jana Juricova/Mari Andersson 8-3
2. Annie Goransson/Anett Schutting(CAL) def. Krista Hardebeck/Jennifer Brady 8-5
3. Marina Cossou/Tayler Davis(CAL) def. Mia King/Alyssa Smith 8-6
4. Caroline Doyle/Yuki Chiang(USTA) def. Alice Duranteau/Stephany Chang 8-0

1. Hardebeck(USTA) def. Andersson 1-6, 6-2, 6-2
2. Andrews(USTA) def. Schutting 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
3. Townsend(USTA) def. Goransson 6-3, 6-3
4. Davis(CAL) def. King 6-3, 6-1
5. Brady(USTA) def. Duranteau 2-6, 6-0, 6-2
6. Smith(USTA) def. Chang 6-4, 6-3
7. Doyle(USTA) def. Catie Visico 6-0, 6-0

Tomorrow at 1:30 PDT, the USTA girls will face top-ranked Stanford. There is live streaming available on the Stanford athletics website.