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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ITF Top-ranked Juniors Rublev, Bellis Lead Entries to Mexican Grade A; Coric Defeats Gulbis; Zverev Feature; Former Collegians on Wall Street

The acceptance lists for the ITF Grade A Abierto Juvenil Mexicano, which moved from January to November and onto clay were released today and both No. 1s--CiCi Bellis and Andrey Rublev of Russia--have entered.

The tournament in Mexico City, which begins Nov. 17, is the first of four consecutive weeks of major clay court events on the ITF junior circuit, with the Grade 1 Yucatan Cup, the Grade 1 Eddie Herr and the Grade A Orange Bowl following it. With the Orange Bowl, the last tournament of the year, ending on December 14th and the first Grade 1 of 2015 not until January 5th, this actually provides something like an off-season, even if only three weeks, and an opportunity to be home for the holidays. Previously, the Abierto Juvenil began around Christmas even though the points counted for the following year.

This year's US entries in the girls main draw are: Bellis, Usue Arconada, Michaela Gordon, Olivia Hauger, Jessica Ho, Mia Horvit, Raquel Pedraza and Kelly Chen.

US boys in the main draw are: Michael Mmoh, Taylor Fritz, Alex Rybakov, Sameer Kumar, William Blumberg, Kalman Boyd, Ulises Blanch, Nathan Ponwith, Robert Levine, Catalin Mateas and Anudeep Kodali.

The complete lists can be found at the ITF junior website.

At the current ITF Grade A in Osaka, Japan, rain disrupted the schedule for Wednesday, but No. 4 seed Taylor Fritz did advance to the third round.  No. 14 seed Mia Horvit, who did not play her second round match, is the only other American with a chance to reach the third round.

Seventeen-year-old wild card Borna Coric of Croatia defeated No. 6 seed Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 7-6(2), 6-3 in the first round of the ATP 500 tournament in Basel, making him the first 17-year-old to win matches in three different tour events in the same year since Rafael Nadal did it in 2003.  Coric will play Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan Thursday for an opportunity to face No. 2 seed Nadal in the quarterfinals. For more on Coric's win, see the ATP website.

The ATP website provided a feature on 2014 Australian Open boys champion Alexander Zverev of Germany, who lost today in Basel to No. 5 seed Grigor Dimitrov 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.  Zverev, also 17, is expected to join Coric in the next generation of ATP stars, and in the article, Andy Murray and John Isner give their views on his potential.

Business Insider regularly updates its readers on who plays tennis with whom on Wall Street, and I believe I posted a link to this article from last year (since updated) on the many former college stars now working in finance in the area.  There's another such article today, with video of James Blake, rumored to be in contention for the USTA's General Manager of Player Development vacancy. I missed earlier that former Notre Dame standout Stephen Bass is now a professional poker player and am still trying to determine who is the "extremely tall 22-year-old, who was a former top-ranked NCAA doubles player with a 4.0 GPA at a southern university more known for its football" who has captured investment banker Jeffrey Appel's attention.  Any ideas?