It's time to turn the focus back to juniors today, with a grab bag of items of note.
Eighteen-year-old Borna Coric of Croatia, a lucky loser in the ATP tournament in Dubai, already has claimed a win over Rafael Nadal, beating him last fall. Today Coric cruised past No. 3 seed Andy Murray 6-1, 6-3 to reach the semifinals, where he'll get his shot at a third member of the Big 4, No. 2 seed Roger Federer. The ATP's account of the match is here.
Yesterday qualifier Ryan Harrison got his first win over a Top 10 player, beating defending champion and No. 3 seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria at the ATP event in Acapulco 7-5, 4-6, 6-0. Harrison was 0-22 against Top 10 players prior to that win. For more, see this ATP article.
|Tiafoe and Kozlov are practice partners for the US Davis Cup team|
In ITF junior play, three Americans have reached the semifinals at the Grade 2 in Argentina, Ulises Blanch, Nathan Ponwith and Sofia Sewing.
Blanch, the top seed, will play No. 8 seed Alex Di Minaur of Australia and Ponwith, the No. 6 seed will play No. 2 seed Manuel Pena Lopez of Argentina. Ponwith and Liam Caruana will meet Blanch and Pena Lopez in the doubles final. Sewing, a qualifier again this week, but seeded No. 11, will play top seed Julieta Estable of Argentina in the semifinals.
At the Grade 4 in El Salvador, Chase Colton(15) and Ally Miller Krasilnikov(1) have reached the semifinals, with Miller also through to the doubles final.
An American finalist is assured at the Grade 4 in Norway, with qualifier Roscoe Bellamy, who turned 15 last month, facing No. 7 seed Sebastian Mermersky, who will be 16 in April in the semifinals. In just the second ITF main draw Bellamy has played, he defeated the No. 2 seed in the opening round and the No. 8 seed in today's quarterfinals. Mermersky is the only seeded player remaining in the boys draw.
In the Pro Circuit event in Sunrise, Florida, 18-year-old wild card Dennis Uspensky reached his first career Futures quarterfinal, defeating Wil Spencer(Georgia) 6-2, 6-4. Uspensky had lost his second round match in his previous three Futures, but he has been winning a lot of qualifying matches, and today he broke through to the final eight. He will play former Florida State star Jean-Yves Aubone on Friday. No. 3 seed Connor Smith is the only other American in the quarterfinals. He will play former Clemson star Yannick Madden of Germany, the No. 6 seed.
At the $25,000 women's Pro Circuit tournament Rancho Santa Fe, Maria Sanchez, Bernarda Pera and last week's finalist Sanaz Marand all advanced to the quarterfinals. The match between CiCi Bellis and Usue Arconada was still in progress, but I will update later and tweet the result when I have it. (UPDATE: Bellis won 6-4, 6-4).
Draws for the BNP Paribas Open pre-qualifying tournament in Indian Wells have been released, with Chase Buchanan and Melanie Oudin the top seeds. This tournament, which starts Monday, gives the winner a spot in the qualifying draw.
The BNP Paribas Showdown, an exhibition in New York next month featuring Roger Federer and Grigor Dimitrov, will also showcase the talents of two young Americans. Ten-year-old Cori Gauff and 11-year-old Gabby Price have been invited to be a part of the festivities. Last year Francis Tiafoe and Reilly Opelka were the featured juniors. For more on Gauff and Price, see this release.
Rosemary Campanella, a high school freshman in Maine, is seeking signatures for her petition to correct an inequity in playing status for those student-athletes who do not have a tennis team of their own to compete on. You can read her explanation here and sign the petition to support her, with a meeting to address the issue coming up March 5th.