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Monday, May 2, 2016

Easter Bowl Videos; Chirico Beats Ivanovic in Madrid; Other Junior, College, Pro Circuit Notes

When I wrote last Friday about my uncertainty regarding the Easter Bowl video processing, I didn't envision the three straight days of horrible spring weather here in Michigan that would give me ample time to complete the task.  Below are both finals of the ITF and 16s divisions, which I was able to film from above the courts. With so much else going on during the 12s and 14s finals on Wednesday, I had to do short individual videos for those eight players, which can be accessed by clicking on the names below.

Max Fardanesh, 12s champion
Samuel Landau, 12s finalist
Alex Lee, 14s champion
Andrew Dale, 14s finalist
Katrina Scott, 12s champion
Nikki Yanez, 12s finalist
Ava Hrastar, 14s champion
Skyler Grishuk, 14s finalist

Louisa Chirico, who turns 20 later this month, picked up one of the biggest wins of her young pro career today in Madrid, beating No. 14 seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 in the second round.  For Chirico, who has always liked and played well on clay, it was a second Top 20 win. Earlier last month, she had beaten Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, then No. 15, on the Har-Tru courts of Charleston. For more on Chirico, see this WTA Insider Q and A, which came out after she qualified for Madrid with wins over Mariana Duque Marino of Colombia and Irina Falconi.  Next up for Chirico, who has yet to crack the WTA Top 100, is Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who at No. 4, is the highest seed still remaining in the tournament.

I missed this last month, but the US representative for the Longines Future Aces competition in Paris later this month has been decided, with Nikki Yanez winning the opportunity to compete with 15 of the best 12-and-under players in the world during the French Open. Yanez, whose video appears above, got revenge for her Easter Bowl loss at the hands of Katrina Scott, beating Scott 6-3, 6-2 in the final, which was contested between the two round robin group winners.  She will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Paris with a parent or guardian to compete in the event. I don't know if the international competition is played with no-ad scoring, but this US qualifying did use that format, plus a match tiebreaker in lieu of a third set. Complete results can be found here.

Playsight, which is now an advertiser on Zootennis, has announced they will be providing their product throughout the USTA's new 102-court campus in Lake Nona, Florida. Playsight has been busy adding streaming and SmartCourt technology at college sites this season, while sponsoring a PlaySight College Match of the Week.  For more on their partnership with the USTA at Lake Nona, see this release.

Speaking of new facilities, the University of Virginia is considering a new site for their outdoor tennis center, according to this article.

Another item I missed last month was University of North Carolina senior Ashley Dai discussing her path to coming out as a gay athlete in this article from Outsports.

A few more signings have been announced recently. Alexandar Lazarov of Bulgaria, who went 7-6 in the third with Norway's Casper Ruud at the Orange Bowl and 7-6 in the third with Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Eddie Herr, will be joining Wake Forest this fall.  Spencer Furman, a blue chip currently No. 8 in the class of 2016, has signed with Duke. Illinois has signed five-star recruit Kris Ortega and Arizona has signed Alejandro Reguant of Spain. Australian Chloe Hule has signed with the Colorado women.

Joey Dillon has written about at former Florida State star Jean-Yves Aubone's career in this article for The Tennis Recruiting Network. Aubone, who announced he will be retiring from pro tennis at the end of the year, is candid about all the ups and downs he has experienced in his years on the lower levels of the professional game.

Qualifying is complete at the $10,000 Tampa Futures, and three teenagers who qualified will be attempting to earn their first ATP points Wednesday: Canada's Victor Krustev, Ecuador's Andres Andrade and Georgia recruit Robert Loeb. Florida recruit Stephen Madonia, who earned his first ATP point last year in Tampa, will attempt to stay in the ATP rankings after qualifying, and two wild cards, 18-year-old Adam Ambrozy, a Columbia recruit who is from nearby St. Petersburg, and Taiwan's Ray Ho, a 16-year-old IMG client, will also be looking for their first ATP point.

Tomorrow is the announcement of the seeds and fields for the NCAA Division I Team Championships, with the women going first at 5 p.m., followed by the men at 5:30.  Again this year, the selection shows will be available at NCAA.com.  But for a sneak peek, check out College Tennis Today, which has projections for both the men's and women's selections.