At the memorial service yesterday for Sean Karl, a video produced by the University of Tennessee provided a look at the impact he had on the lives of those around him, particularly his coaches and teammates. If you knew Sean at all, I urge you watch it, with a box of tissues nearby. The celebration of the beauty of his life can't help but be bittersweet, knowing its impact must now continue without him. The athletic department has also collected the stories and photos of and about Sean posted on Twitter in this post. The video is available here.
At the ITF Grade A in Mexico City, the top two seeds in the girls draw were beaten in today's quarterfinals. No. 6 seed Natalia Vikhlyantseva of Russia defeated US Open girls champion and top seed Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2 and No. 10 seed Dalma Galfi of Hungary downed No. 2 seed Anna Kalinskaya of Russia 5-7, 6-1, 6-0. Vikhlyantseva will play No. 3 seed Fanni Stollar of Hungary and Galfi meets No. 9 seed Anna Blinkova of Russia in Saturday's semifinals.
Four of the top five seeds reached the boys semifinals, with only No. 2 seed Taylor Fritz missing. Top seed Andrey Rublev of Russia defeated No. 12 seed William Blumberg 6-3, 6-3 and will face his fourth straight American opponent Saturday in No. 3 seed Michael Mmoh. Mmoh defeated No. 10 seed Mate Valkusz of Hungary 7-6(2), 6-4. The other semifinal features No. 4 seed Seong Chan Hong of Korea against No. 5 seed Mikael Ymer of Sweden. Hong beat No. 9 seed Alejandro Tabilo of Canada 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 and Ymer eliminated the last unseeded player, taking down Fabian Fallert of Germany 6-4, 6-4. The match between Rublev and Mmoh will be streamed not before 2:30 Eastern time in the US here. The girls semifinal between Galfi and Blinkova will be streamed starting at 11 a.m. Eastern.
The doubles quarterfinals were completed today, with three US players still in contention. Ulises Blanch, playing with Ymer and seeded No. 6 is in one boys semifinal and Fritz, playing with Rublev and the top seeds, are in the other. Ingrid Neel, playing with Great Britain's Maia Lumsden and unseeded, is the only US girl still competing in Mexico City.
At the $10,000 Pensacola Futures, Tommy Paul lost to fellow 17-year-old Theo Fournerie of France 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. No. 6 seed Fournerie joins three former collegians in the semifinals, with former Virginia All-American Michael Shabaz his next opponent. Unseeded Justin Shane, another former Cavalier, defeated No. 3 seed Daniel Garza of Mexico and will be playing in his first Futures semifinal against former Cal star Ben McLachlan of New Zealand. McLachlan and Shane won the doubles title today, defeating current Mississippi State teammates Julian Cash and Florian Lakat 7-6(2), 6-2. The unseeded pair, both 22-year-old who recently completed their eligibility, did not drop a set in the tournament.
At the $15,000 Futures in Mexico, Marcos Giron and Daniel Nguyen have advanced to the semifinals. The unseeded Giron beat Andre Dome 7-5, 7-5, and No. 3 seed Nguyen defeated No. 8 seed Fritz Wolmarans of South Africa 6-2, 6-2. Nguyen faces unseeded Tigre Hank of Mexico in one semifinal and Giron plays No. 4 seed Darian King of Barbados.
In Australia, top seed Jarmere Jenkins has reached the finals of a $15,000 Futures and will face unseeded Jose Statham of New Zealand in the final. Jenkins is 29-4 in Futures and Challenger play since mid-September.
At the Challenger Tour Finals in Sao Paulo Brazil, Blaz Rola lost to wild card Guilherme Clezar of Brazil 6-4, 6-3, a result which kept the 2013 NCAA champion from advancing to the semifinal stage. Clezar, Diego Schwartzman and Rola all went 2-1 in the round robin group, and Rola could have advanced by winning just one set, but Clezar ended up with the better sets won percentage to move on.