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Friday, October 24, 2014

Coric Defeats Nadal in Basel; Mmoh vs Baughman in Brownsville Semis; Finals Set in 16s at USTA Masters

Seventeen-year-old Borna Coric defeated Rafael Nadal today in Basel 6-2, 7-6(4), assuring himself a place in the ATP Top 100 next week.  Coric has put together a great year--reaching two ATP quarterfinals, qualifying and winning a round at the US Open, taking a big Challenger title last month--but with this win he has put himself in a rare place.  Just how rare Jeff Sackmann of Tennis Abstract details in his tweets this afternoon.

After the match Nadal, who admittedly played poorly, particularly in the opening set and in the last few points of the tiebreaker, announced he would not be playing any more this year, missing the Paris Masters and the World Tour Finals in London.

In the semifinals, the Croatian will play David Goffin of Belgium, who has lost all of two matches since Wimbledon and today beat No. 4 seed Milos Raonic of Canada 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4.  For more on how Coric, an emotional player as a junior, handled his nerves and the pressure of today's match, see this analysis from the Tennis Island website. Additional coverage is available on the ATP website.

Coric, of course, won a US Open junior singles title last year, as did his compatriot Ana Konjuh. The now 16-year-old Konjuh had her signature win back in January, when she beat top seed and WTA No. 14 Roberta Vinci in the first round of the Auckland tournament, and she has also posted three other Top 50 wins this year. She added to that total today, defeating top seed and No. 50 Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland 6-4, 7-6(3) in the quarterfinals of the $100,000 Challenger in Poitiers, France. Ranked 101 right now, Konjuh is most likely to already be in the main draw of the Australian Open, where she qualified last year, but her performance this week will move her well into the Top 100.

At the Brownsville $15,000 Futures, both Deiton Baughman and Michael Mmoh advanced to the semifinals, where they will play each other. Mmoh, who reached the semifinals last week in Mansfield, defeated qualifier Vullnet Tashi of Switzerland 6-1, 7-5 after trailing 4-1 and 5-3 in the second set.  Baughman defeated qualifier Tom Jomby(Kentucky) 6-4, 6-1 to reach the first semifinal of his pro career.  The top half of the draw has gone according to form, with top seed Henrique Cunha(Duke) facing No. 3 seed Dennis Novikov(UCLA) in that semifinal. 

At the Macon $50,000 tournament, Irina Falconi(Georgia Tech) and Grace Min picked up wins today, beating Madison Brengle and Sanaz Marand(UNC) respectively, and will play each other in Saturday's semifinal.  Min is close to qualifying for the main draw in Australia ranked 117, so with her play this week could get in without having to rely on the USTA's wild card, which is based on performances in two of three tournaments, the first of which is Macon.

Nicole Frenkel has reached her first ITF women's circuit final in the $10,000 ITF Women's tournament in Colombia.  The 16-year-old left-hander, a qualifier, beat No. 3 seed Victoria Bosio of Argentina 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in the semifinals and will play top seed Andrea Koch-Benvenuto of Chile in the final.

No. 4 seed Taylor Fritz is the sole American junior remaining in the draw at the ITF Grade A Osaka Mayor's Cup. He will play both his quarterfinal and semifinal singles matches on Saturday.  Top seed Duck Hee Lee of Korea was upset in the third round by Corentin Moutet of France. Fritz beat No. 13 seed Makoto Ochi of Japan 6-3, 7-5.

At the USTA's Masters event in Boca Raton, Blake Croyder and Whitney Osuigwe(a late addition) won the 14s and were given a place in the 16s draw.  Osuigwe beat top 16s seed Grace Joyce, but lost to Ally Bojczuk in the second round. Victoria Flores also reached the 18s draw.  Croyder also won his first 16s match, but then fell to JJ Wolf, who earned his way into the 18s draw by reaching the 16s final.  The 18s draws haven't been posted yet, but will be at the TennisLink site.