Friday, October 31, 2014

Brady Reaches Semifinals in New Braunfels $50K; Doubles Champions Townsend and Sanchez Meet in Toronto $50K Semis; Finals Set at Atlanta ITF

UCLA sophomore Jennifer Brady has been winning with regularity on the USTA Pro Circuit this fall after deciding not to attend school during that time.  After winning a $25,000 tournament in Redding last month and reaching the quarterfinals of the $50,000 tournament in Las Vegas, Brady has advanced to the semifinals of the $50,000 event in New Braunfels Texas.  The unseeded 19-year-old defeated No. 2 seed Grace Min 7-5, 6-2 today and will play 18-year-old Mayo Hibi of Japan, also unseeded, in the semifinals.  Brady lost in the first round in Macon last week, so she had no points in the USTA's Australian Open wild card challenge coming into this week, but she can put herself in the conversation with a victory tomorrow.  Min leads the race, with Irina Falconi second and Julia Boserup tied for third.  Falconi and Boserup play in the other semifinal Saturday.  The final tournament with results counting for the wild card challenge (for women) is next week in Florida.

There's another $50,000 tournament in North America with US semifinalists in Toronto, where 18-year-old Taylor Townsend and former USC All-American Maria Sanchez meet on Saturday for a place in the final.  Townsend, the top seed, beat No. 5 seed Julia Glushko of Israel 6-1, 6-1 today, while the unseeded Sanchez advanced to the semifinals when No. 3 seed Romina Oprandi of Switzerland retired trailing 6-2.  Sanchez and Townsend have met once, last year on grass, with Sanchez posting a 6-3, 6-3 victory.

US Open girls champion Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic, who qualified, fell in the quarterfinals today, losing to Tatiana Maria of Germany 6-4, 6-4. Maria will play No. 8 seed Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada, who defeated Caitlin Whoriskey(Tennessee) 7-6(6), 6-3.

All four singles semifinalists were featured in the doubles final today, with No. 2 seeds Townsend and Sanchez beating No. 1 seeds Dabrowski and Maria 7-5, 4-6, 15-13. It's Townsend's third doubles title on the ITF Women's Circuit, the previous two with Asia Muhammad in $50,000 tournaments earlier this year.

At the $50,000 ATP Challenger in Traralgon Australia, three former college stars have reached the final four, with Tennessee's JP Smith facing Stanford's Bradley Klahn in one semifinal and Virginia's Jarmere Jenkins taking on Hiroki Moriya of Japan.  Jenkins and Mitchell Krueger have also advanced to the doubles final.

The finals are set for the ITF Grade 4 in Atlanta with 2013 champion Kennedy Shaffer facing 13-year-old Abigail Desiatnikov for the girls title and Sam Riffice meeting McClain Kessler for the boys title.

Kessler, the No. 14 seed, beat top seed Emil Reinberg 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-3 after losing to Reinberg in three sets last week in the USTA Masters semifinals. Riffice, the No. 3 seed beat fellow 15-year-old Vasil Kirkov the No. 9 seed, 6-3, 6-3 in today's semifinals.  Riffice is looking for his second ITF Grade 4 title, after winning Wichita Falls earlier this month. Kessler had not gone past the quarterfinals in an ITF event before this week.

The unseeded Shaffer defeated current Les Petits As champion Bianca Andreescu of Canada, also unseeded, 6-1, 7-5 in today's semifinal. No. 15 seed Desiatnikov outlasted No. 5 seed Alexandra Sanford 2-6, 6-2, 7-5. Desiatnikov reached the final of the Waco ITF in September, losing to Kylie McKenzie.

At an ITF Grade 5 in Bolivia, two young Americans made the trip to La Paz, which, at over 11,000 feet, is one of the highest altitudes in the world for any habitation and certainly for a tennis tournament. Fourteen-year-old Brian Shi made the quarterfinals and 15-year-old Katie LaFrance reached the doubles final while coping with conditions they are not likely to encounter again.