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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Four US Juniors Reach Quarterfinals in ITF Grade A in Brazil; Carson Preview; College Match Day Streaming Features Georgia - Texas A&M Men Friday

The quarterfinals are set for the ITF's first Grade A of 2014, with two US boys and two US girls winning their third round matches today in Brazil.

Usue Arconada, the No. 8 seed, and Dasha Ivanova, the No. 10 seed, advanced in straight sets, with Ivanova defeating No. 7 seed Renata Zarazua of Mexico, who was a finalist at last week's Banana Bowl, 7-6(4), 6-4. Arconada beat unseeded Luisa Stefani, who was the last Brazilian girl in the singles draw, 7-5, 6-4.  Americans Madison Bourguignon, Olivia Hauger and Sofia Kenin lost their third round matches today.

Also out is top seed Fanny Stollar of Hungary, the winner of the Grade 1 Asuncion Bowl in Paraguay earlier this month. Stollar, 15, was beaten 6-0, 6-3 by No. 13 seed Jil Teichmann of Switzerland, who is 16 years old.

Henrik Wiersholm and Alex Rybakov of the US have been in South America for three tournaments, but this is the first time either has made the quarterfinals in singles.  Rybakov, the No. 13 seed, beat Peru's Nicolas Alvarez, the No. 4 seed, 7-5, 2-6, 6-1.  Wiersholm, the No. 14 seed, beat unseeded Gian Marco Moroni of Italy 6-4, 6-2.

The ITF junior website has been publishing daily stories from the Campeonato Internacional, but the draws haven't yet been updated. The singles results from today, from the tournament website, are below:

Quentin Halys (FRA/1) v. Mirko Cutuli (ITA) 6/1 6/3
Omar Jasika (AUS/12) v. Matias Zukas (ARG/5) 6/1 7/5
Henrik Wiersholm (USA/14) v. Gian Marco Moroni (ITA) 6/4 6/2
Clement Geens (BEL/9) v. João Menezes (BRA/8) 6/4 6/4
Marcelo Zormann (BRA/10) v. Naoki Nakagawa (JPN/7) 6/3 4/6 7/6 (2)
Alex Rybakov (USA/13) v. Nicolas Alvarez (PER/4) 7/5 2/6 6/1
Orlando Luz (BRA/6) v. Francisco Bahamonde (ARG/11) 5/7 6/4 7/5
Johan Tatlot (FRA/2) v. Osni Júnior (BRA) 6/0 6/2

Jil Teichmann (SUI/13) v. Fanny Stollar (HUN/1) 6/0 6/3
Usue Arconada (USA/8) v. Luisa Stefani (BRA) 7/5 6/4
Priscilla Hon (AUS/3) v. Olivia Hauger (USA/16) 6/3 6/2
Dasha Ivanova (USA/10) v. Renata Zarazua (MEX/7) 7/6 (4) 6/4
Bianca Turati (ITA) v. Katherine Sebov (CAN) 7/6 (3) 6/4
Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov (ESP/14) v. Sofia Kenin (USA/4) 6/3 6/2
Anna Bondar (HUN/5) v. Madison Bourguignon (USA) 6/1/6 6/2
Fiona Ferro (FRA/2) v. Verena Hofer (ITA) 6/1 2/6 6/2

Steve Pratt, who is the longtime media liaison at the ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships in Carson, has provided a preview of the tournament, which begins with qualifying on Saturday, and main draw action on Monday.  All four of the US players still playing in Brazil are in the field, as is Orange Bowl champion Francis Tiafoe, who did not travel to South America this month, but will be the No. 1 seed in Carson.  Taylor Fritz and Deiton Baughman, who have been winning matches on the Futures circuit this year, strengthen the boys field, as does Naoki Nakagawa of Japan, a semifinalist last year.

Eddie Herr finalist Sandra Samir of Egypt, who trains at the Advantage Tennis Academy in Irvine, is the girls top seed. Christina Makarova, a semifinalist last year, will be one of the favorites this year, although she has not played any junior events this year and her ranking has fallen from the Top 30 down to 169 now.

The complete release can be found here.

The last two College Match Day contests to be streamed on ESPN3 are this weekend, with the Georgia men traveling to College Station to play Texas A&M on Friday, and the Missouri women playing the Georgia women in Athens on Sunday.  The link for the Georgia - Texas A&M match, which begins at 7 p.m. Eastern, is here.

There is also a big match in Columbus Ohio tomorrow night, with the Ohio State men attempting to set a new NCAA Division I record for consecutive home victories in any sport.  Currently tied with the Stanford women at 184, the Buckeyes will host Northwestern Friday at 6 pm.  If Ohio State, ranked No. 2 currently, should establish the record, they will face a tough task of extending it, with No. 10 Illinois on the schedule for Sunday.  For more on the streak, here's my Tennis Recruiting Network article on it after the end of the 2013 season, and here's the current status on the Ohio State website.