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Friday, March 18, 2016

USTA Team Championships Recap; Three US Girls Reach Porto Alegre Grade A Semifinals, McNally Makes Boys Final Four; Donaldson into Irving Challenger Semis, Mmoh Advances in Bakersfield Futures

My recap of last week's USTA National Spring Team Championships is up today at the Tennis Recruiting Network.  After three years, the format is slated to change for 2017, with the 12s division no longer a part of the tournament. They will have their own team event at another site during the same week, while the three age groups remaining will allow the Mobile tournament to better replicate the collegiate format.

The Grade A tournament in Porto Alegre Brazil will feature three US girls in the semifinals, with top seed Usue Arconada, No. 3 seed Amanda Anisimova and unseeded Natasha Subhash advancing with wins today. Arconada came back to defeat Banana Bowl champion Panna Udvardy of Hungary, the No. 10 seed 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 to set up a meeting with Subhash. The 14-year-old from Virginia defeated No. 9 seed Lara Escauriza of Paraguay, whom she had lost to in the quarterfinals of the Banana Bowl last week, 6-3, 6-2 and will face Arconada next. Anisimova earned her semifinal berth with a 6-3, 6-1 win over No. 11 seed Ayumi Miyamoto of Japan and will play No. 2 seed Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine, who at 15, is the older of the two. Yastremska beat No. 5 seed Maria Mateas 6-2, 6-2.

Unseeded Caty McNally and Subhash have reached the doubles final, beating top seeds Arconada and Mateas 7-6(7), 6-2.  Their opponents for the title will be No. 2 seeds Udvardy and Yastremska.

John McNally kept hope alive for an American boys title with a win today. McNally defeated No. 14 seed Duarte Vale of Portugal 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to reach his first Grade A semifinal.  He will play No. 4 seed Genaro Olivieri of Argentina next. The other boys semifinal will feature Japan's Yosuke Watanuki, the top seed, against unseeded Francisco Vittar of Argentina. Watanuki ended the run of unseeded Vasil Kirkov 6-4, 6-2.

Live streaming is available at the tournament website.

Kirkov is still in the hunt for a title however, as he and Brian Cernoch have reached the doubles final after beating No. 2 seeds Tomas Etcheverry and Manuel Pena Lopez of Argentina 6-3, 1-6, 10-8. They will play top seeds Ulises Blanch and Watanuki, who won the Banana Bowl title last week, in the final.

At the $125,000+Hospitality ATP Challenger in Irving Texas, Jared Donaldson advanced to the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-1 win over fellow teenager Andrey Rublev of Russia. There won't be an all-American semifinal however, as Frances Tiafoe fell to No. 4 seed Aljaz Bedene of Great Britain 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(4).  Tiafoe got the only break of the third set to serve for the match at 6-5, but his serve let him down. Getting only one first serve in, Tiafoe lost the game to 15 and again had serving difficulty in the tiebreaker, getting only two of six first serves in.

At the $50,000 Drummondville Challenger in Canada, Denis Shapovalov advanced to the semifinals when No. 5 seed Renzo Olivo of Argentina retired at 6-6 in the first set.  The 16-year-old Shapovalov will play No. 4 seed Dan Evans of Great Britain next. The other semifinal will feature lucky loser Ed Corrie of Great Britain against 18-year-old qualifier Tim Van Rijthoven of the Netherlands.

The $10,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit tournament in Orlando has three Americans in the semifinals, with No. 1 seed Jessica Pegula playing qualifier Grace Min and No. 2 seed Katerina Stewart facing unseeded Julia Wachaczyk of Germany.

It's been difficult to provide updates at the $25,000 Bakersfield Futures due to matches being scheduled for very late at night, but all the Americans are playing earlier today.  Dennis Nevolo reached his first Futures semifinal of the year with a 7-6(7), 4-6, 6-3 win over No. 4 seed Nick Meister, in a three-hour and 19 minute grind.  He will play 17-year-old Casper Ruud of Norway, who received entry based on a junior exemption. Ruud defeated Mico Santiago 6-3, 7-5.  Michael Mmoh, the No. 8 seed, advanced to the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-4 win over unseeded Jan Choinski of Germany.  Mmoh will play the winner of tonight's match between top seed Somdev Devvarman of India and Sebastian Fanselow of Germany.