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Thursday, August 4, 2011

18s Play Begins Friday in Kalamazoo; Sock and Withrow Top Doubles Seeds; US Girls Make World Jr Tennis Final; Florida Wins Team Championships

The 11 courts at Stowe Stadium and the 20 at Western Michigan University were full of players practicing this afternoon in Kalamazoo, while the Markin Center at Kalamazoo College was packed with those registering. The stringers were busy, the vendors were getting their booths ready and the young woman charged with hand-lettering the names in the draws was finishing her task.

The schedule of matches for the opening day at the Kalamazoo Nationals is up, and the last of the 64 matches in the 18s division goes on at 10:30 a.m. Two rounds of doubles (only one for the seeded teams and 16 other teams receiving byes) will follow, with the opening ceremonies and exhibition scheduled for 7 p.m.

The No. 1 seeds in boys 18s doubles takes on special meaning at Kalamazoo, because that team competes against the visiting pros in the exhibition. This year Luke and Murphy Jensen will be playing Jack Sock and Jackson Withrow, who received the top seeding this afternoon. The No. 2 seeds are Bjorn Fratangelo and Alexios Halebian, with Shane Vinsant and Spencer Newman No. 3 and Mitchell Kreuger and Dane Webb No. 4. For the complete 18s doubles draws, see ustaboys.com. The match times can be found on the home page of ustaboys.com, directly above the Top Photo headline.

Play in the 16s division begins on Saturday.

At the World Junior Tennis Finals in the Czech Republic today, the top-seeded United States boys were upset by No. 4 Japan 2-0, while the US girls, seeded No. 2, reached the championship match for the fifth consecutive year with a 2-1 win over Slovenia. They will play No. 5 seed Serbia in the final on Saturday. The boys will play No. 2 seed Romania for third place on Saturday, with Japan and third-seeded Korea deciding the boys championship.

Sloane Stephens reached the quarterfinals of the WTA Mercury Insurance Open tournament in San Diego when Tamira Paszek of Austria retired trailing 5-3 in the first set. Stephens will play No. 2 seed Andrea Petkovic of Germany in Friday's quarterfinals.

The Florida section captured the Girls 18s National Team tournament in Claremont, California today, with the No. 4 seeds taking out No. 1 Southern 4-2. Southern won the doubles point, but Florida bounced back in singles, with Danielle Collins, Maci Epstein, Lynn Chi and Natalia Maynetto getting victories. All five of the completed singles matches looked extremely close. The complete results can be found at the TennisLink site