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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Wolf Reaches Semifinals of Santa Croce Grade 1; Four US Juniors in $25K Naples Quarterfinals; Big 12 Conference Awards Announced

JJ Wolf has reached the semifinals of the ITF Grade 1 in Santa Croce, Italy, defeating unseeded Artem Dubrivnyy of Russia 6-4, 6-4 in Thursday's quarterfinals. Wolf, the No. 3 seed, will play wild card Jacopo Berrettini of Italy, who beat No. 2 seed Jurij Rodionov of Austria 6-4, 6-3.  Berrettini, who, like Wolf, will turn 18 this year, is something of a surprise semifinalist. Until this week, he had never gotten to a Grade 1 quarterfinal before, and has played singles in only one Futures, winning a total of two qualifying matches at that level back in February.

With his win today, Wolf now has four semifinal appearances in Grade 1s, and he has reached the final in those previous three tournaments, winning one.

In the other boys semifinal, No. 13 seed Tung-lin Wu of Taiwan will play No. 4 seed Alexei Popyrin of Australia.

The boys doubles champions will be from the United States, with No. 5 seeds Brandon Holt and Vasil Kirkov facing unseeded Oliver Crawford and Patrick Kypson in Friday's final.  Holt and Kirkov defeated Sebastian Arcila of Puerto Rico and Zizou Bergs of Belgium 6-3, 6-7(6), 10-8. while Crawford and Kypson advanced to the final with a 7-6(2), 7-5 win over No. 2 seeds Youssef Hossam of Egypt and Pavel Kotov of Russia.

The last of the US girls in Santa Croce, Taylor Johnson, lost a tough one today. The No. 13 seed led No. 7 seed Tatiana Pieri of Italy 4-2 in the final set, but dropped the final four games of the match, with Pieri posting a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 victory. Pieri faces No. 16 seed Eva Guerrero Alvarez of Spain in one semifinal; the other features No. 6 seed Emily Appleton of Great Britain against No. 15 seed Iga Swiatek of Poland.

The order of play, live scoring and live streaming can be found at the tournament website.

Not all the US teenagers are competing on Italian clay this month, with four of those under 18 in the quarterfinals of the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Naples.

Seventeen-year-old wild card Caroline Dolehide, who was out from Wimbledon until the Orange Bowl last year with an ankle injury, is beginning to find the form that saw her climb to 16 in the ITF junior rankings last year.  Today, she defeated Zuzana Zlochova of Slovakia 6-2, 6-2.  Dolehide will take on No. 8 seed Sonya Kenin, another 17-year-old, in the quarterfinals after Kenin downed qualifier Angelina Zhuravleva of Russia 6-3, 6-3.

Sixteen-year-old Kayla Day defeated No. 5 seed Gabriela Ce of Brazil 7-5, 6-4 and she will play No. 2 seed Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal.  No. 4 seed CiCi Bellis, now 17, beat 18-year-old Ellie Halbauer 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals, where she'll meet No. 6 seed Olga Ianchuk of Ukraine.

The NCAA Division I Championships begin on Friday at sites across the country, although many of the men's regionals don't begin until Saturday.  Bobby Knight has previews of all the men's regionals up at College Tennis Today, and he is predicting every match as well.  To see who is playing at what time, see his live scoring link page.

The NCAA draws, where results will be updated, are here:



The Big 12 got their conference tournament awards in just under the wire, announcing them today (Pac-12 men's awards will not come out until after NCAAs).  Unlike the other Power 5 conferences, they have two separate awards, one for Newcomer and one for Freshman.

Player of the Year: Breaunna Addison, Texas
Freshman of the Year: Anastasiya Rychagova, Kansas
Newcomer of the Year: Olaya Garrido-Rivas, TCU
Coach of the Year: Chris Young, Oklahoma State

The all-conference teams can be found here.

Player of the Year: Julian Lenz, Baylor
Freshman of the Year: Alex Rybakov, TCU
Newcomer of the Year: Julian Cash, Oklahoma State
Coach of the Year: Brett Massi, Texas Tech and David Roditi, TCU

The all-conference teams can be found here.


Give Me A Break said...

What a joke - explain to me how Lenz can be the Big12 player of the year with a dismal conference winning record. Maybe it's to compensate Baylor for their "unnammed" player charged with sexual assault - see article here: http://m.wacotrib.com/news/higher_education/former-baylor-tennis-player-named-as-suspect-in-alleged-sexual/article_9048fbc1-0949-5b75-bc20-76db1d94e479.html?mode=jqm