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Monday, February 29, 2016

Easter Bowl to Offer Travel Grants for ITF Grade B1; Shape Invitational Begins Tuesday; Qualifying Complete in Boca Raton, Canada Futures; Another D-I Men's Program Eliminated

The Asics Easter Bowl announced today that it would be providing travel grants for those players in the ITF Grade B1 tournament who reach the late stages of the tournament. From the tournament release:

The $10,000 in travel grants will be awarded evenly in the boys’ and girls’ ITF divisions beginning in the round of 16. The grants will take the form of vouchers for airline travel and hotel expenses.

The travel grants will be awarded as follows:

Winner: $750
Finalist: $750
Semi-finalist: $500
Quarter-finalist: $325
Round of 16: $150

According to tournament director Lorne Kuhle:

“This is not in any way to be construed as prize money. No cash will be distributed to the players. These grants are not based on performance and are based on extended expenses that families and players incur because of rising hotel and return airfare rates that occur when players reach the latter stages of the tournament.”

The complete release can be found here.

The Shape Invitational for 12 American women college players will begin on Tuesday in Charleston, SC, with the prize for the winner a wild card into the main draw of April's WTA Volvo Car Open.  Raveena Kingsley, who would have been a favorite to win, withdrew with an injury suffered last week in the Rancho Santa Fe $25K.

The four round robin groups of 3 are:
Group 1:
Katherine Schofield, College of Charleston
Lauren Herring, University of Georgia
Jacqueline Pelletier, St. Mary's (Calif)
Group 2:
Chloe Gullickson, University of Virginia
Beatrice Capra, Duke
Frances Altick, Vanderbilt
Group 3:
Caroline Dailey, South Carolina
Liza Fieldsend, College of Charleston
Kaitlyn McCarthy, Duke
Group 4:
Makenna Jones, Alabama
Sydney Campbell, Vanderbilt
Paige Cline, South Carolina

Rounds 1 and 2 are Tuesday, and on Wednesday, the final round robin match will be played, as well as the semifinals.  The finals are scheduled for Thursday, with the runner-up getting a qualifying wild card.

The only Pro Circuit event this week in the US is the men's $10,000 Boca Raton Futures, with qualifying completed there today.  Three Americans--Dennis Nevolo, Reilly Opelka and Gonzales Austin--are among the eight qualifiers.  Wil Spencer, Jean-Yves Aubone and Sekou Bangoura(3) received direct entry, while Collin Johns got in as a lucky loser. Local junior Jourdan Kast, Isaiah Strode and Sebastian Korda received wild cards to round out the American presence in the draw. Christian Lindell of Sweden is the top seed.

At the $25,000 ITF Men's Circuit event in Canada, four Americans qualified: Michael Grant, Andrew Carter, Justin Shane and Robert Galloway.  Four Americans are seeded in the main draw: Eric Quigley(3), Stefan Kozlov(4), Evan King(5) and Deiton Baughman(6). King lost his first round match today against Alexios Halebian, while Christian Harrison, receiving entry based on a protected ranking, fell to former Texas star Lloyd Glasspool of Great Britain.  Other Americans in the main draw are Mico Santiago and Alex Kuznetsov. Canadian juniors Denis Shapolalov, who received a wild card, and Felix Auger-Aliassime are also in the draw.  The top seed is Germain Gigouon of Belgium.

In WTA qualifying, two-time NCAA singles champion Nicole Gibbs reached the main draw of this week's tournament in Monterrey, Mexico with three straight-set wins and will play No. 7 seed Danka Kovinic of Montenegro in the first round.  Gibbs is writing a diary for the WTA website now, and her first post can be found here.

It was announced yesterday that Division I University of Southern Illinois-Edwardsville will be dropping its men's tennis (and women's golf) program.  SIE has an impressive history as one of the top Division II tennis schools in the 1980s and is the alma mater of Ken Flach and Robert Seguso, a great US doubles team that won three slam titles. More on the elimination of the two programs is here.


fan said...

Typo(the hazard of auto-complete feature)? Makenna Jones.

Colette Lewis said...

Thanks. That was the spelling in the release I received and I didn't notice that it was incorrect.