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Thursday, August 4, 2016

USA Girls Reach Final of ITF U14 World Junior Tennis Competition; Mmoh and Ponwith Top Seeds in Kalamazoo 18s Doubles; Butorac Joins USTA

The USA team of Alexa Noel, Whitney Osuigwe and Vanessa Wong advanced to the final of the ITF 14-and-under World Junior Tennis team event in the Czech Republic, beating No. 4 seed Russia 2-1 in today's semifinals. The No. 2 seeded US team started out with a loss in No. 2 singles, with Noel falling to Alina Charaeva 7-6(4), 7-5. Osuigwe, who is undefeated in the tournament, brought the US even with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Daria Frayman at No. 1 singles.  In the deciding doubles point, Noel and Osuigwe defeated Frayman and Avelina Sayfetdinova 1-6, 7-5, 10-8 to earn a place in Saturday's final. The USA team who also played in the final last year, will face top seeds Ukraine, who defeated the No. 4 seeded Czech Republic 3-0.

The sixth-seeded US boys fell in the semifinal 2-1 to No. 3 seed China, with the deciding doubles point going against the US team for the first time in three matches.  Zane Khan started off with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Xiao Fei Wang at No. 2 singles, but Chaokete Buyun defeated Stefan Leustian 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 at No. 1 singles to even it for China.  Wang and Buyun completed the comeback with a 6-2, 6-7(4), 10-4 win in the doubles over Khan and Leustian.  China will play No. 5 seed Argentina for the boys title, with Argentina beating Korean(7) 3-0 in the semifinals.

Complete results can be found at the tournament website.

The 18s doubles seeds have been announced, with two rounds scheduled for Friday.  The Opening Ceremonies and Exhibition, which will feature Michael Russell and Marcus Willis, are Saturday night this year.  The draws will be up later this evening at ustaboys.com.

1. Michael Mmoh and Nathan Ponwith
2. Vasil Kirkov and Sebastian Korda
3. Oliver Crawford and Patrick Kypson
4. John McNally and JJ Wolf
5. Richard Ciamarra and Peter Conklin
6. David Goulak and Ivan Thamma
7. Bryce Pereira and Keegan Smith
8. Brian Cernoch and Gianni Ross
9. Timothy Sah and Ryan Seggerman
10. Anudeep Kodali and Sam Riffice
11. William Genesen and Johnathan Small
12. Alexander Brown and Brady Draheim
13. Trent Bryde and Zeke Clark
14. Sebastian Arcila and Jake Van Emburgh
15. Payam Ahmadi and David Horneffer
16. Adam Ambrozy and Bennett Crane

The USTA announced yesterday that Eric Butorac, the veteran ATP doubles player, recent ATP Council President and 2003 NCAA Division III singles and doubles champion, will join the organization as Director, Professional Tennis Operations and Player Relations.  According to the USTA release:

"In this newly created role, Butorac will be responsible for enhancing player relations year-round across all of the USTA’s professional tennis events, including the US Open, and he will work closely with both professional tours.  Additionally, he will assist USTA Player Development with doubles coaching and mentoring and will work with Player Development and Professional Tennis Operations on enhancing the USTA Pro Circuit, among other duties.

Butorac is planning to retire from professional tennis after the US Open, and is scheduled to start with the USTA October 1.  The complete USTA release can be found here.