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Friday, March 14, 2014

Altamirano, Rubin, Donaldson and Stewart Reach Futures Semifinals; Isner Back in Top 10 After Reaching BNP Paribas Semifinals

It's a travel day for me, as I return to the (still) frozen north for a couple of weeks until heading out to California for the ITF Grade 1 in Carson and the Easter Bowl, but a quick post here to catch up on some of the results in the ITF Men's and Women's circuits and ATP events.

Noah Rubin, who is in France playing Futures there this month, has reached the semifinals of the $15,000 tournament in Poitiers after getting through qualifying.  The 18-year-old New Yorker defeated No. 2 seed and ATP No. 192 Gregoire Burquier of France today 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.  It is Rubin's sixth Futures semifinal, and a win over former University of Georgia standout Sadio Doumbia of France on Saturday would give Rubin his second appearance in a Futures final.

Seventeen-year-old Jared Donaldson, a Kalamazoo finalist in 2013, has reached the second Futures semifinal of his career at a $10,000 tournament in Turkey.  The unseeded Donaldson beat former Ohio State All-American Steven Moneke, the No. 3 seed, in the second round, and today took out No. 5 seed Laslo Djere of Serbia, the 2012 Orange Bowl champion, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.  He will play 18-year-old Maximilian Marterer of Germany, a Wimbledon boys finalist last year, for a place in the final.

Collin Altamirano, who beat Donaldson to win the Kalamazoo 18s title last year, reached his first Futures semifinal after a win today at the $15,000 Futures in Bakersfield, California. The 18-year-old Altamirano defeated doubles partner Deiton Baughman 6-3, 6-1, after having beaten No. 5 seed Michael Shabaz (Virginia) in the first round, and 16-year-old Taylor Fritz in the second.  Altamirano will play Dan Kosakowski(UCLA) in Saturday's semifinal.

At the $10,000 Women's Pro Circuit event in Orlando, Katerina Stewart reached the semifinals for the second straight week, picking up a big win over No. 3 seed Mayo Hibi 5-7, 6-3, 6-0.  Stewart, who lost in the final at last week's Futures in Gainesville, will play qualifier Natalie Suk in Saturday's semifinals. 

At the $125,000 + hospitality Challenger in Irving, Texas, Steve Johnson (Southern Cal) has reached the semifinals, defeating fellow NCAA champion Benjamin Becker (Baylor, 2004), 6-3, 6-1 in today's quarterfinal.  Johnson will play unseeded Tobias Kamke of Germany, who beat Johnson in the first round of the US Open last year.

Unseeded JP Smith (Tennessee) and Michael Venus (LSU) are into the doubles final against top seeds Scott Lipsky (Stanford) and Santiago Gonzalez.

John Isner (Georgia) will return to the ATP Top 10 next week, after reaching the semifinals at the BNP Paribas Open tournament in Indian Wells. Isner defeated Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 7-6(4), 7-6(3), to make the semifinals, where he will meet Novak Djokovic. They met two years ago in the BNP Paribas semifinals, and Isner came away with the win.  For more on Isner's match today with Gulbis, see this Tennis View magazine report.