Shaffer and Kumar Win ITF Grade 4 Titles in Atlanta; Xu and Chung Take ITF B1 Asian Closed Championships; Eddie Herr Acceptances
The National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships mark the end of the fall college tennis season, so in the next couple of months my focus will be on the juniors and Pro Circuit.(An Indoor Tennis Recruiting recap, plus slideshow and videos, will be posted next week however.) On Tuesday, I'll catch up on the Pro Circuit results from last week and this week's events, but today, I'll stick with ITF junior results and news.
At the ITF Grade 4 in Atlanta, 16-year-old Midwesterners Kennedy Shaffer and Sameer Kumar collected their first ITF junior titles, with Shaffer having the distinction of winning the first ITF junior event she played. I saw Shaffer win the 18s National Open here in Kalamazoo in July and was impressed with her power and the confidence she said she has gained since moving to the Ivan Lendl Academy in Hilton Head, South Carolina. You can read about the Ohio native's National Open win in the Tennis Recruiting Network recap I wrote in July (subscription required.)
In Atlanta, Shaffer won when top seed CiCi Bellis retired with an injury trailing 3-1 in the opening set. Shaffer, a qualifier, beat three other seeds--Nos. 9, 8 and 11-- en route to the final and did not lose a set. The girls doubles title went to unseeded Caroline Lampl and Ndindi Ndunda who beat No. 6 seeds Sophie Chang and Andie Daniell 6-7(4), 6-4, 10-8.
Indiana's Kumar has slightly more ITF experience than Shaffer, but all of it in the United States, and all of his ITF 18s tournaments this year. Kumar, unseeded, beat top seed Anudeep Kodali 6-1, 6-4 in the final. Kumar also claimed the doubles title, with Kalman Boyd. The unseeded pair defeated No. 5 seeds Walker Duncan and Emil Reinberg 5-7, 6-3, 10-5 in the final.
At the Seogwipo Asia Oceania International, the fall ITF Grade B1 in that part of the world, 15-year-olds Shilin Xu of China and Yunseong Chung of Korea were the singles champions, with Xu also winning the girls doubles title.
Xu, seeded No. 2, beat top seed Ziyue Sun, also of China, 6-4, 6-4 in the final. She and Xiaodi You of China, the top seeds, beat No. 2 seeds Dabin Kim of Korea and Sara Tomic of Australia 6-2, 7-6(1) in the final.
The unseeded Chung beat five seeds in his six victories, taking out No. 3 seed and Osaka Mayor's Cup finalist Jumpei Yamasaki of Japan 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-3 in the final. The doubles championship went to No. 3 seeds Seong chan Hong and Chan-yeong Oh of Korea, who beat Wei-de Lin and Shao-chi Yang of Taiwan 6-1, 6-2 in the final.
The acceptances for the ITF Grade 1 Eddie Herr were released last week, with, as usual, similar fields to the Orange Bowl. World No. 1 Alexander Zverev of Germany and No. 3 Gianluigi Quinzi of Italy top the boys field. US boys in the main draw are: Stefan Kozlov, Michael Mmoh, Francis Tiafoe, Martin Redlicki, Spencer Papa, Danny Kerznerman, Dennis Uspensky and Kumar, who is receiving a US 16-exempt entry.
Russia's Varvara Flink, Serbia's Ivana Jorovic (who won a $10,000 ITF event last week in Egypt) and Tornado Alicia Black head the girls field. US girls in the main draw are: Christina Makarova, Katrine Steffensen, Johnnise Renaud, Dasha Ivanova, Michaela Gordon, Usue Arconada, Rianna Valdes, Kaitlyn McCarthy, Madison Bourguignon and Chloe Ouellet-Pizer, who received the US 16-exempt entry. CiCi Bellis had entered, but has withdrawn.
When I checked last week, Karen Khachanov of Russia, who has made such a big splash in two ATP events this fall, was still on the Orange Bowl entry list, but he has since withdrawn.