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Monday, October 17, 2011

Top Seed Allgurin Upset in Osaka Grade A; Pan American Games Tennis Competiton Underway; Gardiner Wins Michigan D-I High School Title

The first round of the ITF Grade A Osaka Mayor's Cup is still in progress, but the top girls seed, Ellen Allgurin of Sweden, is already out of the competition. Allgurin lost to wild card Yukako Noi of Japan 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the opening day of competition today.

Top seed boys seed Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic was tested, but escaped with a 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-1 win over Kazuma Kawachi of Japan. An article about the first day's results, which has an odd headline given the score, can be found at the ITF junior website.

The tennis competition at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara Mexico began today, with only Irina Falconi, the No. 2 seed, scheduled to compete yet this evening. Christina McHale, the top seed, has a bye, as do seeds Denis Kudla(11), Greg Ouellette(14) and Nick Monroe(15). The USTA's Tom Gullikson and Dustin Taylor arethe women's and men's coaches respectively.

I've had trouble getting the Pan American Games website to load throughout the day, but there is a wikipedia page with links to the various draws that has worked for me. Falconi is doing her blog for usta.com this week, and it is always an entertaining read. Tips for playing in the altitude are included.

The Daytona Beach News Journal spoke with Ouellette, the former Florida All-American, about his career and his selection for the PanAm Games for this article.

Other former or current NCAA Division I players competing at the games are:

Jose Hernandez, Dominican Republic, University of North Carolina
Marcelo Arevalo, El Salvador, University of Tulsa
Alex Llompart, Puerto Rico, Pepperdine University
Valeria Pulido, Mexico, University of Southern California
Olivier Sajous, Haiti, University of Texas
Chris Klingemann, Canada, Ohio State University
Nick Monroe, US, University of North Carolina
Robert Farah, Colombia, University of Southern California
Irinia Falconi, US, Georgia Tech

Junior competing are:
Patricia Ku Flores, Peru
Monica Puig, Puerto Rico
Domenica Gonzalez, Ecuador

If I've missed anyone in these categories, please post the additions in a comment.

The Michigan boys high school state championships were held over the weekend, and Tyler Gardiner of Northville won the Division I No.1 singles title indoors at the Midland Community Tennis Center. (The weather was cold, windy and wet most of the weekend here in Michigan). Gardiner, a quarterfinalist in the 16s at Kalamazoo in 2010, was the top seed in the tournament. Playing high school tennis for the first time as a junior, Gardiner beat No. 2 seed Andrew Cahn of West Bloomfield, 6-3, 5-7, 7-5, coming back from a break down in the final set.

For more on the match and the high school Division I tournament, see this article from the Detroit News.

And finally, a note that Ken Thomas of radiotennis.com is in Mansfield, Texas for the $15,000 Futures there and is doing webcasts of matches this week. I listened to his call of Illinois' Dennis Nevolo's win over the No. 1 seed in the qualifying, Gilad Ben Zvi of Israel, today.

2011 Pan American Closed champion Mitchell Krueger and 2010 Pan American Closed finalist Shane Vinsant both received wild cards into the main draw and are up against veteran seeds. Krueger, who is now at No. 15 in the ITF world junior rankings, plays No. 4 seed Jesse Levine, and Vinsant meets No. 8 seed Blake Strode. There are many current and former college players in the field, but wild card Mikhail Vaks of Russia is the only other junior in the draw. The complete draw is here.