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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Arconada Faces Anisimova in all-US Porto Alegre Grade A Final, McNally Plays for Boys Title; Paulus Wins Grade 4 in Puerto Rico; Stewart and Min in Orlando $10K Final

Of the thirty-one Americans who took the court in the first round of the ITF Grade A in Porto Alegre Brazil, three still remain in contention for a title with the singles finals set for Sunday.  Top seed and defending champion Usue Arconada will play No. 3 seed Amanada Anisimova in the girls final, while John McNally will face top seed Yosuke Watanuki of Japan in his first appearance in a Grade A final.

Rain interrupted play today, with Anisimova and No. 2 seed Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine tied at 2-2 in the first set. Yastremska was the in-form player, having won a $25,000 ITF Women's Pro Circuit event in Brazil two weeks ago, but it was Anisimova, who hasn't played since winning the Grade 1 Coffee Bowl back in January, who came away with the victory 6-4, 7-5.  Anisimova served for the match at 5-4 in the second set, but a clutch winner at 30-40 gave Yastremska the game. She couldn't hold in the next game, however, and on her second opportunity, the 14-year-old Floridian finished it.

Arconada defeated unseeded Natasha Subhash, another 14-year-old American, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, her second straight three-set victory.

Subhash and Caty McNally fell in the girls doubles final, losing to No. 2 seeds Yastremska and Panna Udvardy of Hungary 7-6(4), 3-6, 13-11.

In the boys semifinals, top seed Watanuki cruised past unseeded Francisco Vittar of Argentina 6-1, 6-1, while McNally, Caty's older brother, took out No. 4 seed and Mexico City Grade A champion Genaro Oliviera of Argentina 6-2, 6-3.  McNally has beaten four seeds in his five wins this week.

The boys doubles title went to unseeded Brian Cernoch and Vasil Kirkov, who defeated top seeds Watanuki and Ulises Blanch 4-6, 6-4, 10-7.

Live streaming is available for Sunday's finals, which begin with the girls at 9 a.m. eastern, at the tournament website.

The ITF Grade 4 in Puerto Rico is complete, with top seed Kate Paulus winning the singles title, the 16-year-old's second career ITF singles title. Paulus, who did not lose a set in her five wins, defeated No. 2 seed Alexandra Agyalosy 6-3, 6-4 in the all-American final.

Doubles titles also went to Americans. Fletcher Scott teamed with Edson Ortiz Tovar of Mexico (who also took the singles title), and the top seeds defeated No. 2 seeds Zummy Bauer and Danny Thomas 6-1, 2-6, 10-4.  Unseeded Meg Kowalski and Adelaide Lavery of Canada won the girls doubles title, beating top seeds Paulus and Angyalosy 6-2, 7-6(8).

Another all-American final will take place in Orlando on Sunday, after the semifinals at the USTA Women's Pro Circuit $10,000 tournament there were also disrupted by rain.  No. 2 seed Katerina Stewart, who won last week in Weston, beat unseeded Julia Wachaczyk of Germany 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 after a long rain delay during the third set.  Grace Min, a qualifier who would have been seeded had she entered on time, beat top seed Jessica Pegula 6-2, 6-3 in the other semifinal, claiming her seventh win in the last seven days.

Jared Donaldson fell to No. 4 seed Aljaz Bedene of Great Britain 6-4, 6-3 in the semifinals of the $125,000 ATP Irving Challenger, and two British men are in the final of the $50,000 Drummondville Challenger in Canada.  Sixteen-year-old wild card Denis Shapovalov was two points from the win against No. 4 seed Dan Evans at 5-5 in the second set tiebreaker, but Evans won the next two points and went on to a 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 win. Lucky loser Ed Corrie, the former Texas Longhorn, defeated Tim Van Rijthoven of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-4 to reach his first Challenger final.

The doubles title went to No. 2 seeds James Cerretani and Max Schnur, both former Ivy Leaguers. Cerretani, who graduated from Brown in 2004 and has been ranked in the ATP Top 50 in doubles, and Schnur, who graduated from Columbia last year, defeated the unseeded team of Evans and Lloyd Glasspool of Great Britain 3-6, 6-3, 11-9.  It was Schnur's first Challenger title after winning six Futures titles since last October.

Alex Sarkissian, the 2014 NCAA finalist while a senior at Pepperdine, reached the semifinals of the $100,000 Guadalajara Challenger with a win last night, and will play for a place in the final tonight against Stephane Robert of France.