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Monday, March 17, 2014

ITF Junior Update

After a quiet month of February, the ITF Junior Circuit is back at full throttle, with two Grade 1s last week and two more this week.

At the Grade 1 in Malaysia top seed Duckhee Lee of Korea took the boys title with a 6-3, 7-6(1) win over No. 2 seed Harry Bourchier of Australia, with unseeded Tami Grende of Indonesia capturing the girls title with a 7-5, 6-3 win over top seed Shilin Xu of China. The best American junior showing there was by unseeded Sameer Kumar, who lost to Bourchier in the quarterfinals.

Usue Arconada of the US won the doubles title at the Grade 1 Asuncion Bowl in Paraguay, partnering Renata Zarazua of Mexico. The No. 2 seeds defeated unseeded Mayuka Aikawa of Japan and Ndindi Mwaruka of the US 4-6, 6-2, 11-9 in the final.

Sixteen-year-old Brazilian Orlando Luz swept the boys titles in Paraguay. The No. 8 seed defeated No. 9 Francisco Bahamonde of Argentina 6-3, 7-6(5) in the final, and didn't lose a set in any of his five victories. He and compatriot Joao Menezes, the No. 2 seeds, beat No. 8 seeds Omar Jasika of Australia and Alexander Sendegeya of Great Britain 6-4, 7-6(4) in the doubles final.

Fanny Stollar of Hungary, the No. 2 seed, beat No. 15 seed Constanza Gorches of Mexico 6-3, 6-1 in the final.

Arconada, seeded fourth, reached the semifinals in singles, losing to Stollar, while Alex Rybakov(10) and Henrik Wiersholm(12) lost to Jaskia(6) and Luz respectively, in the third round.

At the Grade 2 in South Africa, Johnnise Renaud, the top seed, reached the final, but lost to No. 8 seed Maia Lumsden of Great Britain, the 2012 Girls 14s Junior Orange Bowl champion, 6-4, 6-3.

The Grade 4 in Guatemala produced two American winners. Madison Bourguignon, the top seed and a wild card, won the girls singles championship, beating qualifier Alexandra Sabe of New York 6-2, 6-0 in the final. Californian Gui Gomes won the boys doubles with Pedro Platzeck Cavalcante of Brazil, beating Jorge Ortegon of Mexico and Afonso Salgado of Portugal 6-2, 6-2 in a battle of unseeded teams.

2013 Eddie Herr 14s champion Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia, an unseeded wild card, won the boys title, defeating No. 2 seed Christian Cargill of the Bahamas 6-1, 6-3 in the final.

The two Grade 1s this week are again in Southeast Asia and South America. Americans competing in the Philippines Grade 1 are Kumar, Raveena Kingsley(15), Katrine Steffensen(5) and qualifier Samantha Gonzalo.

The Grade 1 Banana Bowl in Brazil has Americans Wiersholm(13) and Rybakov(11) in the field, with Ulises Blanch and lucky loser Myles Schalet already out of singles in the first round. Arconada(12), Australian Open junior quarterfinalist Olivia Hauger(15), Dasha Ivanova(7), Raquel Pedraza(7) and Sofia Kenin(2) are joined in the draw by Nicole Frenkel, who won her first round match today.

Most of the US junior playing outside the US are in Costa Rica however, at the Grade 3 there. In a draw of 32, 17 American girls are competing, including Abi Altick(2), Bourguignon(3), Jenna Friedel(4), Chloe Ouellet-Pizer(5), Sofia Sewing(6), Jessica Golovin(7) and Claudia Wiktorin(8). Five American boys are in the draw, with Alexander Lebedev(6) the only seed.


College Fan said...

Did anyone notice that the NCAA put 4 of the top 8 ranked teams in the same Quarter of the draw? Imagine if that happened in tennis? Everyone would be in an uproar. I used season ending rankings (AP and Coaches). Wichita St., Duke, Michigan and Louisville are all together in the same quarter.
Louisville is ranked #3 in the Coaches poll and #5 in the AP. Yet, they are a #4 seed, which is equivalent to #13-16 seed in a Tennis tournament.

As much as people harp on the rankings for tennis, we would NEVER have such an unbalanced quarter with so many highly ranked teams.
And, even if it did, the coaches and the ITA would completely overhaul the ranking system.

Yes, our system is not perfect, but it seems a lot more accurate than the system used for March Madness.