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Friday, October 9, 2015

ITF Grade B1 Pan American Closed Wild Cards Include Arconada; Welcome to New Sponsor John McEnroe Tennis Academy; Tennis On Campus Invitational Underway

An early post today, with a recap of the ITA All American Championships coming much later tonight, after two rounds of play have been completed in California, with Saturday's semifinalist decided. There has been rain in Tulsa, so the men are also running behind schedule in their second round matches.

Qualifying for the ITF Grade B1 Pan American Closed in Tulsa begins tomorrow and below are the main draw wild cards. Typically several are held back for those in the Wichita Falls Grade 4 ITF this week, as there is no provision for special exemptions with Grades that far apart.

Sean Huynh (CAN)
Ryan Mueller (GUA)
Brandon Holt
Sebastian Korda
Keenan Mayo 
Danny Thomas

Rut Galindo (GUA)
Layne Sleeth (CAN)
Usue Arconada
Ellie Douglas
Annette Goulak
Dalayna Hewitt

Fifteen-year-old Ellie Douglas, who won last week's Grade 5 in Austin and is in the final this week against Sofia Sewing in Wichita Falls, moved into the main draw on her own ranking, so she will not need her wild card.  The big news is that No. 9 ITF junior Usue Arconada has accepted a wild card. She and Kayla Day are the only Top 50 ITF juniors in the field on the girls side; there are no Top 50 boys entered.

I'm not sure what's responsible for the drop in highly ranked entries this year, but last year Michael Mmoh, William Blumberg, Tommy Paul, Reilly Opelka and Taylor Fritz all were entered, with Mmoh and Blumberg just having returned from winning the Junior Davis Cup in Mexico. Neither Denis Shapovalov nor Felix Auger Aliassime of Canada, this year's Junior Davis Cup champions, are entered, nor is the girls third place Junior Fed Cup team from Canada represented.

For reasons of geography, there's rarely any cross play in this event and the Grade A Osaka Cup, although occasionally they fall on different weeks as they did last year, when Fritz went from Tulsa to Osaka, winning the latter.  This year the tournaments are the same week, with just three Americans, all girls, in Japan: Raquel Pedraza, Emma Higuchi and Nada Dimovska.

I'll have on-site coverage of the ITF Pan American Closed for the ninth consecutive year, beginning with the first round of main draw on Monday.

Zootennis.com is happy to welcome a new sponsor, the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, where 2015 NCAA singles finalist Noah Rubin and 2015 NCAA singles champion Jamie Loeb train. For more on the New York academy's locations and philosophy, click on the banner in the left sidebar or call the number that appears there.

The USTA's Tennis On Campus fall invitational is underway at Hilton Head Island. I hear great things about this program for those who want to continue to play competitive tennis in college, but in a more social, recreational form than that of varsity tennis.  Media assistant Steve Pratt has passed along this list of teams participating with results available here.