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Saturday, September 28, 2013

US Girls Fall to Australia in Junior Fed Cup Semifinals; Westby, DeVine Win Waco ITF Titles; Virginia vs UCLA Again, in Laguna Niguel Futures Final

The United States Junior Fed Cup team saw its quest to repeat as ITF 16-and-under champions end today in San Luis Potosi Mexico, with No. 2 seed Australia defeating the No. 3 seeds 2-1.

Australia took a 1-0 lead with Priscilla Hon's 7-5, 6-4 victory over 14-year-old Michaela Gordon at No. 2 singles, but Katerina Stewart pulled the US even with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Naiktha Bains at No. 1 to send the tie to a deciding doubles match.  Bains and Hon teamed for the victory in that match, beating Stewart and Kaitlyn McCarthy 6-2, 6-3, to earn a place in the final against top seed Russia.  The United States girls will play Hungary for third place Sunday, while the US Junior Davis Cup team, who beat France 2-0 on Friday, will play top seed Russia for fifth place.

In the boys semifinals, No. 7 seed Spain, who took out Russia on Thursday, beat No. 3 seed Germany today, with Jaume Antoni Munar Clar clinching the win with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over ITF World No. 2 Alexander Zverev.  Spain will face No. 2 seed Korea, who defeated No. 6 seeds Australia 2-1 with a straight-set win in the deciding doubles.

For more on the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup, see the ITF Junior website.

At the ITF Grade 5 in Waco, Texas, No. 14 seed Madison Westby won her first ITF singles title, defeating No. 7 seed Jessica Golovin 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Westby, a 17-year-old University of Southern California recruit, didn't drop a set until the final, beating the No. 3, No. 8 and No. 2 seeds in straight sets.  Golovin did pick up the doubles title, with she and Emma Higuchi, the No. 1 seeds, defeating No. 8 seed Jada Hart and Stephanie Hazell 6-7(4), 7-5, 10-3.

The boys champion in Waco, No. 2 seed Jake DeVine, was playing in his first ITF singles final and the Kalamazoo 16s finalist came through with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over top seed Nathan Ponwith.  DeVine had survived his friend Catalin Mateas 7-6 in the third in Friday's semifinal. Ponwith picked up the doubles title, with Reilly Opelka, with the No. 1 seeds defeating second seeds Mateas and Alfredo Perez 6-3, 6-2.

In the Grade 5 taking place in Puerto Rico this week, two more Americans picked up titles. Sixteen-year-old Robert Levine, the top seed, won his first ITF singles title without losing a set, beating unseeded Santiago Salazar of Colombia 6-0, 6-4 in the final.  Andie Daniel, also 16, won her second ITF singles title, with the No. 4 seed beat No. 3 seed Mayuka Aikawa of Japan 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 in the final.
Gui Gomez and Sami Kirberg of the US won the boys doubles, with Erica Braschi of Puerto Rico and Rianna Valdes of the US taking the girls doubles championship.

At the $10,000 Futures in Laguna Niguel, No. 4 seed Jarmere Jenkins, the 2013 NCAA singles finalist and recent Virginia graduate, will play UCLA junior Marcos Giron in Sunday's championship match.  Jenkins defeated Sahak Bazrganian 7-6(3), 6-1 in today's semifinals, with the unseeded Giron downing Noah Rubin for the second time in two weeks, this time by a 6-4, 6-3 score.

Tornado Alicia Black reached her second $10,000 Pro Circuit final, defeating qualifier Alex Cercone of the University of Florida 6-0, 6-4 to advance against No. 2 seed Alexandra Mueller in Amelia Island, Florida. Mueller beat another University of Florida qualifier, Belgium's Sofie Oyen, 6-3, 6-1. Black made her other appearance in a Pro Circuit final in 2012, where she lost to Jamie Loeb at the $10,000 tournament in Buffalo.

Former Ohio State All-American Chase Buchanan has had a great couple of months in South America, picking up three singles titles in Futures tournaments there and making a Challenger semifinal. Buchanan, the top seed, won the $10,000 Bolivia Futures today, beating No. 2 seed Hugo Delien of Bolivia 6-2, 6-3. Buchanan has now won six Futures singles titles, all of them on clay.