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Friday, March 30, 2012

USTA Junior Competition FAQs; Three Unseeded Players in Claremont ITF Finals; Family Circle Qualifying Starts Sat; NorCal Junior Advocate Manning Dies

The USTA has posted documentation of the recently passed junior competition tournament restructuring, including an Frequently Asked Questions section. Please take note of the 2014 sample calendar, which has been revised to remove the extra 14s and 16s tournament that was showing in the March/April time frame. I expect there will be a few more clarifications and changes in the months to come as sanctions are applied for and new tournaments organized.

The ITF Grade 4 in Claremont, California is down to the singles finals, with three unseeded players among the four finalists. Two unseeded 15-year-olds from Southern California, Logan Smith and Deiton Baughman, have reached the final. Baughman defeated doubles partner Brendan McClain 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 in today's semifinal, while Smith beat Nicholas Crystal 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. None of the semifinalists were seeded. Baughman received a wild card into the Grade 1 International Spring Championships in Carson next week, but Logan was still on the alternate list at the freeze date, so I hope they are able to find a wild card for him in the main draw. (NOTE: Smith is entered in the 16s, so I assume he will play that age division next week.)

Julia Elbaba, the No. 2 seed, will play unseeded Mayo Hibi in the girls final. Hibi beat unseeded Jana McCord today 6-1, 6-0. McCord had beaten top seed Gabby Andrews in a third set tiebreaker in the quarterfinals. Elbaba, who will be joining the University of Virginia this fall, got past No. 3 seed Denise Starr 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.

The boys doubles title went to Robbie Bellamy and Gregory Garcia, who beat Baughman and McClain 7-6(3), 3-6, 10-1 in a battle on unseeded Southern Californians. Zoe Katz and Maegan Manasse, who finished fourth at the recent Spring Nationals in Mobile, won the girls doubles, beating Andrews and Elizabeth Profit 6-1, 1-6, 10-7 in another final featuring unseeded Southern Californians. Complete draws can be found at the tournament page.

Qualifying for the ISC begins Saturday. The draws should be posted soon at the tournament page.

Qualifying for the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina begins tomorrow, with many juniors and college players in the draw. Syracuse senior Emily Harman received a wild card, as did former Syracuse player Simone Kalhorn. USC grad Maria Sanchez also received a wild card, as did Shelby Rogers. Hayley Carter won her qualifying wild card in a Southern sectional tournament last month. Grace Min did not need her wild card, and she will play No. 19 seed Camila Giorgi of Italy in the opening round. Min has beaten Giorgi twice in straight sets, in back-to- back tournaments last fall, but both victories came on hard courts, not Har-Tru, the Family Circle Cup surface.

The draw and order of play can be found here.

I had the sad news relayed to me today that Mark Manning, a dedicated junior tennis advocate in the Northern California section, has died. His death brought an immediate outpouring from many in the section, and many of those that worked with Manning, who was the first African-American President of a USTA section's board, spoke about his contributions and their loss in this article on the section's website. Manning was also featured in this USTA Black History article from 2008.


Miguel said...

I am shocked and saddened by the passing of Mark Manning. As a junior and one of the very few Latino players in the NorCal section in the last 30 years I was very familiar with Mr. Manning and his work. He really made a difference in the lives of many folks. When he was in charge of the Oakland Open at Davie Tennis Stadium the experience for the players was always very positive. We've lost a good man.