Ponwith Wins ITF Grade 4 in El Salvador; Notes from Indian Wells, Mexico, Brazil, Arizona, Texas and Florida
Fourteen-year-old Nathan Ponwith won his first ITF junior titles in El Salvador lost week, taking the Grade 4 Copa Gatorade Internacional without dropping a set in singles. Ponwith, the No. 11 seed, defeated top seed Alan Nunez Aguilera of Mexico 7-5, 6-2 in the singles final, after defeating No. 2 seed Ugo Santomenna of France in the semifinals. He and Jack Van Slyke of Canada, seeded fifth, collected the doubles title by the impressive score of 6-4, 3-6, 18-16 over top seeds Nunez Aguilera and Stefan Gonzalez of Guatemala. Ponwith, who reached the semifinals of Teen Tennis, Les Petits As and the Junior Orange Bowl in 2012, is continuing his Central American tour at the Grade 4 in Guatemala this week.
The unseeded American team of Meghan Kelley and Claudia Wiktoren won the girls doubles title in El Salvador without the loss of a set, defeating unseeded Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic and Ialita Devarakonda of Italy 6-1, 6-1 in the final.
The USTA today announced the American juniors participating in the upcoming South American swing, which includes the Grade 2 Copa Milo this week in Chile, the Grade 1 Asuncion Bowl in Paraguay next week, followed by the Grade 1 Banana Bowl and Grade A Copa Gerdau in Brazil in consecutive weeks. For the release, see this document.
Louisa Chirico is one of those mentioned as on the South American trip, but as she just finished a stretch of eight matches to reach the final of the $25,000 Surprise, Arizona Pro Circuit event, losing to Tara Moore of Great Britain 6-3, 6-1 in the final, I suspect she will be arriving later in the trip. In fact, many of those named in the release are not in the draw in Chile this week.
Rounding up the results in Surprise and in the men's Futures in Brownsville, teens Samantha Crawford and Sachia Vickery won the doubles title, defeating Emily Harman of the US and Yi-Fan Xu of China 6-3, 3-6, 10-7 in a final between two unseeded teams. The Brownsville Futures singles title went to veteran Rik De Voest of South Africa, the No. 4 seed, who defeated No. 3 seed James McGee of Ireland 7-6(6), 6-1. The doubles title went to Dennis Nevolo and Jean-Yves Aubone, who defeated Ruben Gonzales of the Philippines and Chris Letcher of Australia 6-3, 6-7(7), 10-6. The Brownsville Herald published this article on the doubles final.
There is no women's tournament in the US this week, while the men are in Harlingen, Texas for another $15,000 Futures. The qualifying is now complete and results and draws are here.
The pre-qualifying for the big WTA/ATP event in Indian Wells is underway, with Samantha Crawford, Sachia Vickery and Mayo Hibi among those vying for a qualifying wild card. The draws for the event, which began today and runs through Saturday, are available here. (Updated draws here: http://www.bnpparibasopen.com/Events/Calendar-of-Events.aspx).
According to information on twitter, Taylor Townsend and Maria Sanchez have received main draw wild cards, although the tournament has not made a formal announcement of its wild cards.
In the WTA events, a few notable American results. Former Penn star Connie Hsu qualified for the main draw in Florianopolis Brazil with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 win over WTA No. 178 Julia Gushko of Israel and was just underway in her main draw match with 16-year-old Brazilian wild card Beatriz Hadad Maia when rain washed out play for the day.
In Acapulco, Grace Min beat Shelby Rogers, Canada's Stephanie Dubois(6) and Austria's Yvonne Meusburger(4) in qualifying to reach the main draw. Reigning Wimbledon girls champion Eugenie Bouchard of Canada, who won the Wimbledon girls doubles title with Min in 2011, also qualified today.
The ATP Delray Beach qualifying was completed today, with Tim Smyczek, Bobby Reynolds, Ernests Gulbis of Latvia and Daniel Munoz-De La Nava of Spain reaching the main draw.