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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Grade 1 Coffee Bowl Quarterfinals Stocked with Americans; Crawford Reaches WTA Brisbane Quarterfinals; Fritz Advances to Quarterfinals in Happy Valley Challenger

The ITF Grade 1 Coffee Bowl will feature plenty of Americans when the quarterfinals are set following tonight's last two matches.

Already advancing to the final eight in the boys draw are No. 2 seed Ulises Blanch, who beat No. 16 seed Trent Bryde today, No. 3 seed Zeke Clark, qualifier Kyrylo Tsygura and No. 10 seed JJ Wolf.  Wolf defeated No. 5 seed Gabriel Decamps of Brazil 6-4, 6-4 in the third round today and will face the winner of tonight's late match between top seed Alberto Lim of the Philippines and No. 15 seed Olukayode Ayeni, while Clark and Tsygura will play for a place in the semifinals.

Girls top seed Amanda Anisimova downed No. 15 seed Victoria Emma 7-5, 6-2 to move into the quarterfinals, with No. 14 seed Ellie Douglas also advancing. Both face unseeded players in the quarterfinals, after Tatiana Pieri, one of two Italians still alive, defeated No. 5 seed Morgan Coppoc 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.  Hurricane Tyra Black, the No. 10 seed, is playing No. 6 seed Maria Jose Portillo of Mexico tonight to decide who will face unseeded Nicole Anderson, who is in her first Grade 1 quarterfinal.  The second Italian, unseeded Maria Viviani, who defeated No. 2 seed Abigail Desiatnikov in the second round Tuesday, will play No. 8 seed Dominique Schaefer of Peru, who defeated wild card Taylor Bridges today.

Live streaming is available, although it is not always clear what matches will be broadcast. I watched Clark's three-set 2nd round win last night, but have frequently encountered an off-air channel message when I was hoping to watch a match.

Draws and the order of play are available at the excellent tournament website.

The $25,000 Futures tournament in Los Angeles has seen two days of rain, with the results of all the main draw matches that were completed, all late Tuesday night, below. No matches were played Wednesday, meaning two matches on Thursday for half the draw, assuming the weather clears.

Tuesday’s First-Round Singles Scores
wc: wild-card; q: qualifier
Sebastian Fanselow, Germany, def. Eric Johnson, U.S., 6-1, 6-1
Evan King, U.S., def. Mackenzie McDonald (8), U.S., 6-2, 6-3
Nicolas Meister (3), U.S., def. Alexios Halebian, U.S., 7-6(4), 7-5
Gianluigi Quinzi, Italy, def. Gonzales Austin (wc), U.S., 7-6(3), 7-5
Dennis Nevolo, U.S., def. Nicolas Barrientos (2), Colombia, 6-4, 7-6(3)
Philip Bester (4), Canada, def. Brandon Holt (wc), U.S., 6-4, 6-3
Edward Corrie, Great Britain, def. Ernesto Escobedo, U.S., 7-6(3), 7-5
Clay Thompson, U.S., def. Eric Quigley (5), U.S., 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4

Stefan Kozlov (6), U.S., def. Jean-Yves Aubone, U.S., 6-0, 7-5

At the WTA Premier event in Brisbane, 2012 US Open girls champion Samantha Crawford,  a qualifier, posted her first WTA Top 20 win, beating No. 14 Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, the 2013 ITF World Junior Champion, 7-5, 7-5 in the second round Wednesday.  Crawford, who beat Bencic in the second round at the US Open Junior Championships en route to the title, sat down with the WTA's Courtney Nguyen to talk about her junior career and her notable recent results. For more on Crawford's past accomplishments (and slumps), see On The Rise blogger Jonathan Kelley's review of her career, published following her USTA AO Wild Card Challenge win this past fall.

Another American US Open junior champion, reigning boys winner Taylor Fritz, is having success this week too. Fritz, who will be competing in the Australian Open men's qualifying next week, has reached the quarterfinals of the $75,000 Happy Valley Challenger in Australia.  On Wednesday, the No. 8 seed defeated 2014 NCAA finalist Alex Sarkissian 6-3, 6-7(0), 7-6(5) and plays unseeded wild card Alex Bolt of Australia Friday in the quarterfinals.  No other US players are still alive in ATP Challenger singles draws.