USA's Junior Fed Cup Team Receives Top Seed, USA Boys No. 2; Good News for Duval; Lenz Qualifies in Napa; Ho Wins D3 Central Regional
The Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup teams from the United States have been cast in the role of favorites for the competition, which begins tomorrow in San Luis Potosi Mexico. The USA's Junior Fed Cup team of CiCi Bellis, Tornado Alicia Black and Sonya Kenin is seeded No. 1, with Hungary, France and Russia also expected to win their round robin groups and advance to the semifinals. The USA's Junior Davis Cup team of Michael Mmoh, Gianni Ross and William Blumberg is the No. 2 seed, behind France, with Japan and Korea projected to win their groups and reach the semifinals. For more on the seeds, see this article from the ITF junior website.
The competition is also going to be live streamed for the first time, with that option available here.
I mentioned by in the summer that Vicky Duval had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and would be undergoing treatment. She has been tweeting about her treatments and condition for the past two months, and announced over the weekend she is now cancer free. For more, see the WTA website.
The qualifying is complete at the $50,000 Napa Challenger and ITA preseason No. 1 Julian Lenz of Baylor has made the main draw. Lenz won three matches the past three days, all of them in straight sets, beating Mico Santiago 6-2, 6-1 in today's final qualifying round. Live streaming for Napa and for the $50,000 women's event this week in Las Vegas can be found here.
I spent the morning at the Division III women's central regional final, where Washington University-St. Louis sophomore Rebecca Ho defeated University of Chicago freshman Ariana Iranpour 7-5, 6-2 to earn her place in the ITA Small College National Championships next month in Sumter, South Carolina.
Iranapour led 5-3 and had a set point in the first set with Ho serving at 3-5, but Ho held and won the next seven games before Iranapour recovered.
"She's a really tough opponent, so I knew I had to raise my level," said Ho, the No. 4 seed. "And as time went along I was able to do that."
Trailing 3-0 in the second set, Iranpour held and broke, but she couldn't pull even, losing her next service game.
"I started getting really nervous when that happened," said the Santa Clarita, California resident. "She was upping her game too, so I knew I had to really dig in and try really hard the next few games to pull it out."
Ho was playing with the index finger on her left hand wrapped after dislocating it in a fall during a doubles match earlier in the month.
"I thought it was really going to affect my play, but actually there was almost no effect at all," Ho said. "I know that it's there but I knew I had to work around it and I was able to do that."
Ho was not even sure where the Small College National Championships are being held.
"I thought I'd get through this match and then I'll think about it," Ho said.
Iranpour didn't leave Kalamazoo without a title however, as she and Megan Tan won the doubles title on Saturday.
For the complete draws, see the Kalamazoo College website. For an update on other regionals around the country, see the ITA's hub page.
In other college fall tournament news, Wayne Montgomery of Georgia has begun his collegiate career with a bang, winning both the Southern Intercollegiate Championships last weekend and yesterday, the Cajun Classic. He will have to go through qualifying to get into the All-American Championships main draw however, as it doesn't appear any of the freshmen/newcomers received a wild card, as has been granted in the past.
At the men's SEC Classic in Gainesville, all four of the semifinalists were Gators, with sophomore Elliott Orkin taking the title. Orkin, Gordon Watson and Maxx Lipman, two other semifinalists, are all in the qualifying tournament at the All-American Championships. Diego Hidalgo, who Orkin defeated in the finals today, is in prequalifying.