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Thursday, September 27, 2012

US Teams Both Make Semifinals at Junior Davis, Fed Cup in Barcelona; Vanderbilt Women's Team Disciplined for Hazing; Osaka Sisters Reach Quarterfinals in Amelia Island

Both the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup teams from the United States advanced to the semifinals Friday with 3-0 wins over their No. 7 seeded opponents.  Taylor Townsend and Louisa Chirico stayed perfect in singles against Egypt, and Townsend and Gabby Andrews didn't all the Egyptian doubles team a game today, to also go 3-0 in round robin play. 

Next for the top-seeded US girls is No. 3 seed Brazil, who beat No. 5 seed Italy to take their round robin group with a 2-1 record, the same as Italy's but with Brazil's direct win over Italy, they move on.  In the other girls semifinal, No. 2 Russia will face No. 6 Australia. Australia beat No. 4 Latvia to finish first with a 2-1 record, which is the same record as Paraguay in that division, but Australia had won their head-to-head on opening day, so they advance to the semifinals.

The top four boys seeds advanced to the finals, with the No. 1 seeded US boys also going undefeated in their round robin group. Stefan Kozlov and Noah Rubin got singles wins and Kozlov and Jared Donaldson took another three-set doubles match from Russia to set up their meeting Friday with No. 3 Australia. Like the other top seeds, Australia also was undefeated in their round robin group, beating No. 6 Argentina 3-0. The other semifinal has No. 2 Italy versus No. 4 France, after they beat No. 8 Sweden and No. 5 Korea 2-1 respectively.

Sandy Harwitt has more at the ITF junior website and at tennishorts.com. Complete results from all three days can be found here.

Thanks to a reader, I heard about this disciplinary action against the Vanderbilt women's tennis team for violating the school's hazing policy.  After many high-profile news stories about hazing on college campuses, some involving serious injury and even death, this obviously doesn't rise to anything approaching that level, but you can hardly blame the school for wanting to emphasize the danger of anything that could be construed that way.  This report is from the Vanderbilt student newspaper. This article from The Tennessean, quotes head coach Geoff Macdonald.

I mentioned yesterday the wins by juniors Jamie Loeb, Maria Shishkina, Kelsey Laurente and Katerina Stewart at the $10,000 Pro Circuit event in Amelia Island, and they all won again today, reaching the quarterfinals. Two girls I didn't mention, wild cards Mari and Naomi Osaka, also are worthy of notice. The sisters--Mari is 16 and Naomi will be 15 next month--won their wild cards in a tournament, according to this USTA Florida post (and did the same for the upcoming $10,000 in Gainesville). USTA Florida says they are from Pembroke Pines, Florida, although their ITF nationality is listed as Japan.  If both win on Friday, they could face each other in the semifinals.