September Aces; Qualifying Begins Saturday at ITF B1 Pan American Closed; Kozlov into Sacramento Challenger Semis; Two Bruins Reach Final Four at Women's All-American
My review of some of the top performances of September can be found at the Tennis Recruiting Network. I've been compiling this monthly roundup for more than seven years and in researching it, I always learn something new.
Qualifying begins on Saturday for the ITF Grade 1 Pan American Closed here in Tulsa and I'll be reporting from the Michael Case Tennis Center tomorrow. The girls qualifying matches will be held there; the boys are at a local high school. The order of play for Saturday's qualifying is available here.
Stefan Kozlov had received a wild card into the Tulsa tournament, but his 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-4 win over Rhyne Williams today in the quarterfinals of the $100,000 Sacramento Challenger has led to a change of plans. After posting his first Challenger win this week over Ryan Harrison, the 16-year-old Floridian defeated JP Smith and Williams to earn a shot at No. 2 seed Tim Smyczek Saturday and to assure himself a special exemption into next week's $100,000 Tiburon Challenger.
At 3-4 in the third set, Kozlov was serving down 15-40, but he held, broke Williams at love in the next game and closed out the 2 hour and 46 minute match when Williams missed a return at 40-15.
The other Sacramento semifinal will feature top seed Sam Querrey, who beat Jared Donaldson 6-2, 6-1, against Australian John Millman, who defeated Bjorn Fratangelo 6-1, 6-2.
In the $10,000 Pro Circuit women's tournament in Hilton Head, Rianna Valdes has reached the semifinals, a first for the USC recruit. The 18-year-old from Florida has been knocked out in the quarterfinals three times this year, including last week in Amelia Island, but today she defeated No. 7 seed Anamika Bhargava 5-7, 6-2, 6-0. She will play qualifier Natalia Vikhlyantseva of Russia, the 17-year-old you may remember from her second round upset of CiCi Bellis in the US Open Junior Championships last month, in Saturday's semifinal. She defeated Marie Norris 6-1, 6-1 in the quarterfinals today. The other semifinal will feature US Open girls champion Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic against No. 6 seed Laetitia Sarrazin of France.
The finals are set for the ITF Grade 4 in Wichita Falls. Last week's Waco ITF winner Ryan Storrie of Great Britain will play No. 9 seed Sam Riffice for the boys title and Alexandra Sanford and Morgan Coppoc, both unseeded, will meet for the girls singles championship.
The boys doubles title went to last week's champions Joshua Sheehy and Parker Wynn, who defeated Storrie and Sebastian Memersky 6-4, 6-1 in the final. Sheehy and Wynn did not need a match tiebreaker in any of their five victories.
The girls doubles champions are Sanford and Kayla Day. The No. 6 seeds beat unseeded Elysia Bolton and Abigail Chiu 1-6, 6-0, 13-11.
At the Women's ITA All-American Championships, two UCLA Bruins have made the semifinals. No. 6 seed Chanelle Van Nguyen picked up wins over Cal's Zsofi Susanyi and Maegan Manasse to earn a meeting with Florida freshman qualifier Brooke Austin. Robin Anderson won two three-setters in today's second round and quarterfinals, beating Stephanie Wagner of Miami and qualifier Caroline Doyle of Stanford. No. 2 seed Anderson, last year's finalist, will play No. 3 seed Hayley Carter of North Carolina.
Only one round of singles was played Friday (the tournament now ends on Monday, not Sunday as it has in the past) at the Men's ITA All-American Championships, with top seed Julian Lenz of Baylor and No. 2 seed Yannick Hanfmann of Southern Cal advancing in straight sets. No. 3 seed Axel Alvarez Llamas of Oklahoma, No. 4 seed Soren Hess-Olesen of Texas, No. 5 seed Jared Hiltzik of Illinois, No. 6 seed Winston Lin of Columbia and No. 7 seed Gonzales Austin of Vanderbilt all lost. Four qualifiers, four 9-16 seeds and six unseeded players join the top two seeds in the round of 16.