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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Thirty-Nine American Juniors in Main Draw at ITF Grade 1 Coffee Bowl; $25K Futures Set to Begin in Los Angeles

After a short break post-Orange Bowl, the ITF Junior Circuit is back and kicking off with the Grade 1 in Costa Rica as its major tournament of interest this week.

As is customary, Americans have flocked to the tournament, with 18 boys and 21 girls in the 64-player draws.  Six of the boys are seeded; eight of the girls are seeded.

Ulises Blanch was expected to be the top seed, but Alberto Lim of the Philippines was given a main draw wild card and will be No. 1, followed by Blanch and Zeke Clark, the No. 3 seed.  The other US boys in the main draw: Tristan McCormick, Olukayode Ayeni(15), JJ Wolf(10), Caleb Chakravarthi, Robert Hammond(Q), John Jorgeson(WC), Kyrylo Tsygura(Q), Brian Cernoch, Andrew Fenty, Morgan Dill, Timothy Sah(Q), Nathan Perrone(14), Robert Loeb(WC), Sebastian Mermersky, Sangeet Shridhar and Trent Bryde(16).

Fourteen-year-old Americans Amanda Anisimova and Abigail Desiatnikov are the top two seeds in the girls draw. The other 19 US girls in the main draw are: Victoria Emma(15), Cheyenne Lilienthal(Q), Nicole Conard, Kariann Pierre-Louis(7), Jada Robinson, Mimi Levine, Ellie Douglas(14), Alex Corcoleotes, Morgan Coppoc(5), Julia Goldberg, Alexandra Angyalosy(WC), Hurricane Tyra Black(10), Nicole Anderson, Abi Altick(4), Kianah Motosono, Safiya Carrington, Taylor Bridges(WC), Jimena Rodriguez-Benito and Zoe Hitt(Q).

The tournament has an excellent website and offers live streaming through the local TV station.  The order of play for Monday is here, and the draws are here.

The first Futures tournament of 2016 in the US is at USC in Los Angeles, with the prize money going up this year to $25,000 from $15,000 last year.  This is part of the ITF's plan to bolster prize money at its events; the charts below explain when the changes take effect in the next two years in men's and women's circuits.

As is usual with the first Futures of the year, many of the top college players are participating prior to the start of classes.  Bobby Knight at College Tennis Today is following the results, and has posted all the qualifying scores along with the players' collegiate affiliations.

The draw hasn't been posted as of yet, but here are the projected seeds:

1. Tennys Sandgren
2. Nicolas Barrientos(COL)
3. Nick Meister
4. Philip Bester(CAN)
5. Eric Quigley
6. Robin Stanek(CZE)
7. Stefan Kozlov
8. Deiton Baughman

Wild cards went to Ryan Shane, Gonzales Austin, Brandon Holt and Robbie Bellamy.

In ATP Challenger play this coming week, Connor Smith and Mitchell Krueger are in Noumea for the $75,000+H event there, and Frances Tiafoe, Taylor Fritz(8), Alex Sarkissian, Daniel Nguyen and Bjorn Fratangelo(2) are playing the $75,000 event in Happy Valley Australia. Sekou Bangoura is playing the $50,000 event in Argentina.