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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Oklahoma's Alvarez, UCLA's Anderson Top Seeds for NCAA Singles Championships; Tiafoe Reaches Tallahassee Challenger Quarterfinals, Stewart Avenges Loss to Chirico in Charlottesville First Round

I've arrived in Boca Raton to cover the qualifying for the North/Central American tournament for spots in the Junior Fed Cup, Junior Davis Cup (16-and-under) and World Junior Tennis (14-and-under) competitions. Round robin play begins at 10 a.m. Thursday and continues through Saturday at the USTA's National Training Center.  I haven't seen the draw yet, but I'll try to post it via twitter if I get it tonight.

The singles and doubles fields for the NCAA Division I individual championships were announced this evening, with UCLA's Robin Anderson and Oklahoma's Axel Alvarez the top seeds.  The 16 seeds are listed below, with all those seeded having secured All-American status regardless of their results in the tournament.

Women's singles seeds:
1. Robin Anderson, UCLA
2. Carol Zhao, Stanford
3. Brooke Austin, Florida
4. Maegan Manasse, Cal
5. Lauren Herring, Georgia
6. Julia Elbaba, Virginia
7. Jamie Loeb, North Carolina
8. Sydney Campbell, Vanderbilt

Hayley Carter, North Carolina
Danielle Collins, Virginia
Joana Eidukonyte, Clemson
Lorraine Guillermo, Pepperdine
Julie Jones, Ole Miss
Josie Kuhlman, Florida
Giuliana Olmos, Southern Cal
Stephanie Wagner, Miami

The women's doubles seeds:
1. Erin Routliffe and Maya Jansen, Alabama
2. Carol Zhao and Taylor Davidson, Stanford
3. Catherine Harrison and Kyle McPhillips, UCLA
4. Beatrice Gumulya and Jessy Rompies, Clemson

Emily Flickinger and Pleun Burgmans, Auburn
Maegan Manasse and Denise Starr, Cal
Zsofi Susanyi and Klara Fabikova, Cal
Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan, Florida

It's great to see Jennifer Brady, after her outstanding results this fall on the professional circuit and an injury-plagued dual match season, among the selections, with Sabrina Santamaria of USC, who missed last year's tournament due to injury, also in the singles draw.  Last year's finalist Lynn Chi of Cal did have the ranking to qualify, but didn't have the required six completed matches this spring--she was 2-1 in dual match play--so was not selected. Players who made the round of 16 last year and are in the field but not seeded this year are Brady, Breaunna Addison of Texas and Duke's Ester Goldfeld. Georgia's Silvia Garcia reached the round of 16 in 2014 but did not make the field this year, with the same true of Duke's Trice Capra.

The complete field can be found at ncaa.com.

The men's singles seeds:
1. Axel Alvarez, Oklahoma
2. Julia Lenz, Baylor
3. Mackenzie McDonald, UCLA
4. Andrew Harris, Oklahoma
5. Sebastian Stiefelmeyer, Louisville
6. Soren Hess-Olesen, Texas
7. Noah Rubin, Wake Forest
8. Ryan Shane, Virginia

Nicolas Alvarez, Duke
Gonzales Austin, Vanderbilt
Romain Bogaerts, Wake Forest
Yannick Hanfmann, Southern Cal
Dominik Koepfer, Tulane
Mikelis Libietis, Tennessee
Quentin Monaghan, Notre Dame
Brayden, Schnur, North Carolina

If you recall in last year's men's tournament, only 3 seeds made the round of 16, all of them 9-16 seeds: Hess-Olesen, champion Marcos Giron of UCLA and Nik Scholtz of Ole Miss.  Players in this year's field who made the round of 16 last year and are not seeded this year are: Scholtz, Denis Nguyen of Harvard, Leandro Toledo of Minnesota, Dane Webb of Oklahoma, Nathan Pasha of Georgia, and Roberto Cid of South Florida.  Cid and Nguyen were quarterfinalists last year. (Correction: Nguyen reached the semifinals). Shane Vinsant of Texas A&M and Andrew Adams of South Carolina made the round of 16 last year, but did not make the field this year.

The men's doubles seeds:
1. Ben Wagland and Austin Smith, Georgia
2. Roberto Quiroz and Yannick Hanfmann, Southern Cal
3. Luca Corinteli and Ryan Shane, Virginia
4. Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese, Tennessee

Julian Lenz and Diego Galeano, Baylor
Julian Cash and Florian Lakat, Mississippi State
Kevin Metka and Ralf Steinbach, Ohio State
Gonzales Austin and Rhys Johnson, Vanderbilt

The complete list of men's selections can be found at ncaa.com

In Pro Circuit action today, Frances Tiafoe defeated former Florida State All-American Jean-Yves Aubone 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinals of the $50,000 Tallahassee Challenger.  Tiafoe had beaten top seed Facundo Bagnis of Argentina 1-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 in the first round yesterday, the 17-year-old from Maryland's first ATP Top 100 win.  Josh Meiseles of the ATP reported it is the first time an American has reached at least the quarterfinals in his first three career Challengers entered since Todd Martin in 1989-90. He will play former Southern Cal star Emilio Gomez Thursday night. Although he remains in the lead for the USTA's Har-Tru wild card, he hasn't increased his lead, since the results are the best two and he already has a quarterfinal (in Sarasota's $100K) and a semifinal last week in Savannah.

At the $50,000 women's tournament in Charlottesville, Katerina Stewart got revenge for her loss in the final of Dothan on Sunday, beating Louisa Chirico 6-2, 0-6, 6-3 in their unfortunate first round encounter today.  Chirico leads in the women's USTA Har-Tru Wild Card Challenge, but obviously can't improve her best two results this week, while Stewart still can. The third tournament is next week's $50K in Indian Harbour Beach, Florida.

In other first round action in Charlottesville, wild card Usue Arconada picked up a win, beating wild card Rianna Valdes 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, qualifier Nicole Frenkel won her first round match, and Julia Boserup ousted top seed Sachia Vickery. Boserup will play Arconada next.