ITF Grade 1 ISC-Carson Wild Cards; Fritz, Paul Among Seven US Qualifiers in Miami; North Carolina Men, Cal Women Top This Week's ITA DI Rankings
The two major ITF spring tournaments in the United States begin next week with the Grade 1 International Spring Championships in Carson, followed by the Grade B1 Easter Bowl in Indian Wells. The main draw wild cards for Carson are:
Mae Fmar Canete
Christine Inah Canete
Typically the tournament saves 18s wild cards for players who go deep in the ITF Grade 4 this week because there is no special exemption from qualifying when Grades 4 and 1 are involved.
The complete list of competitors for the 16s division can be found at the tournament's website.
Qualifying is complete at the Miami Open, and five US men and two US women won their way into the main draw. A sixth US man, Jared Donaldson, lost his final round qualifying match but reached the main draw as a lucky loser.
Top seed Taylor Fritz defeated Alex Kuznetsov 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 and Tommy Paul will make his Masters 1000 debut after beating No. 10 seed Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil 6-2, 6-3, giving the US four teenagers in the main draw, with Michael Mmoh receiving a wild card. Bjorn Fratangelo qualified for his second straight Masters 1000 event, Dennis Novikov qualified for a Masters 1000 for the second time in his career and No. 11 seed Tim Smyczek earned an opportunity to duplicate last year's second round showing.
Fritz will play Simone Bolelli of Italy, Novikov has drawn Dusan Lajovic of Serbia, Smyczek and Paul will play each other, with the winner getting No. 13 seed John Isner, Fratangelo plays fellow qualifier Marcel Granollers of Spain and Donaldson will face qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan.
Samantha Crawford and Anna Tatishvili advanced to the main draw, with Crawford beating wild card Katie Swan of Great Britain 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 and Tatishvili defeating Sesil Karatantcheva of Bulgaria 6-2, 6-2. Crawford will play CoCo Vandeweghe and Tatishvili has drawn Timea Babos of Hungary.
In women's main draw action, wild card Nicole Gibbs continued her excellent form, beating Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-2 and Madison Brengle advanced to the second round with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Camila Giorgi of Italy.
Draws and Wednesday's order of play can be found at the tournament website.
At the $25,000 Women's Pro Circuit event on the other side of the state, Jamie Loeb was the only American to qualify. She defeated fellow former Tar Heel Sanaz Marand 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 today. All 16 first round main draw matches will be played on Wednesday, with teens Ingrid Neel, Victoria Emma, Kayla Day and Ali Collins of Great Britain among the competitors. Collins, who trains at the Naples Sanchez-Casal Academy where the tournament is being played, as well as Emma and Neel, are wild cards. Day used a junior exemption for main draw entry. Asia Muhammad received the fourth wild card.
This week's ranking have another change at the top for the men, with North Carolina returning to No. 1, replacing Virginia. Undefeated Cal remained at No. 1 in the women's rankings. There was no change in the individual singles rankings, with North Carolina's Hayley Carter and Tulane's Dominik Koepfer staying at No. 1. Carter and Whitney Kay kept their No. 1 ranking in women's doubles, while Gordon Watson and Diego Hidalgo of Florida returned to the No. 1 spot in the men's doubles rankings. Complete rankings lists can be found by clicking on the headers below.
The NAIA individual rankings for men were released yesterday, with Kevin Konfederak of Georgia Gwinnett No. 1 in men's singles. The women's NAIA individual rankings have not yet been posted.