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Thursday, October 20, 2016

ITF No. 1s Tsitsipas and Day Lead ITF Abierto Juvenil Grade A Acceptances; Torpegaard Reaches Quarterfinals at Las Vegas Challenger

The acceptance lists are out for the ITF Grade A Abierto Juvenil Mexicano in Mexico City November 14-20, with both ITF junior No. 1s leading the fields.

Boys No. 1 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece has no points to defend there, so he is looking to pad his lead in the race for the title of ITF World Junior Champion in 2016. He currently leads Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada by over 130 points, with the 16-year-old Auger-Aliassime not expected to play any more junior tournaments this year, and perhaps ever.  No. 3 Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia is playing the Grade A Mayor's Osaka Cup this week and has reached the quarterfinals, but Orange Bowl champion is not entered in Mexico.  Although still eligible, last year's champion Genaro Olivieri of Argentina is not entered.

Girls No. 1 Kayla Day told me in Tulsa that she is hoping to finish 2016 as World Junior Champion, and she also does not have any points to defend (except in doubles) there.  She does however have points to defend the following week as the Grade 1 Yucatan champion and she is not playing there. Anastasia Potapova of Russia could take over as girls No. 1 by winning in Osaka this week, and she too is entered in Mexico City.   No. 3 Olesya Pervushina of Russia has entered, and No. 4 Amanda Anisimova will return to defend her title.

In all, seven of the ITF Top 10 girls are entered, including Americans Claire Liu and Usue Arconada.  The boys field has only two ITF Top 10 players entered in Tsitsipas and French Open boys champion Geoffrey Blancaneaux of France.

The US girls who received direct acceptance in additional to Day, Anisimova, Arconada and Liu are:
Taylor Johnson
Caty McNally
Ellie Douglas
Maria Mateas
Natasha Subhash
Morgan Coppoc
Sofia Sewing
Carson Branstine
Hurrican Tyra Black
Victoria Emma
Dalayna Hewitt
Elysia Bolton
Hailey Baptiste

That gives the US 17 of the 46 direct entries, with Ann Li and Alana Smith the second and third players out of the main draw.

As has been the case most of the year, US boys are not as prominent as the US girls at the major junior events.  There are nine US boys among the 46 acceptances:

Trent Bryde
Patrick Kypson
Alexandre Rotsaert
Brian Cernoch
Alafia Ayeni
Kyrylo Tsygura
Danny Thomas
Sebastian Korda
Govind Nanda

Andrew Fenty is second out of the main draw.

Many of the same top US boys who did not play the Pan American Closed Grade B1 in Tulsa are not in the field, with Sam Riffice, Oliver Crawford and Gianni Ross all withdrawing and Vasil Kirkov not entering. There is a USTA Pro Circuit Futures in Pensacola, Florida that week, so perhaps they will be competing there instead.

At the $50,000 ITF Women's Circuit event in Saguenay Canada, two Canadian juniors and four Americans have reached the quarterfinals. Bianca Andreescu will face Harriet Dart of Great Britain and qualifier Charlotte Robillard-Millette meets No. 2 seed Jennifer Brady for a place in the semifinals.  No. 4 seed Sachia Vickery survived a tough match with a third Canadian teen, Katherine Sebov, and will play Maria Sanchez in the quarterfinals.  Top seed CiCi Bellis faces Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada next.

The $50,000 ATP Challenger in Las Vegas has lost all but two of its seeds for Friday's quarterfinals.  Wild card Mikael Torpegaard, the Ohio State junior, advanced to the final eight with a 7-6(6), 6-3 win over Austin Krajicek today. Just two Americans are through to the quarterfinals: Sekou Bangoura and Tennys Sandgren, both unseeded.

At the $25,000 Futures in Harlingen, Texas, qualifier AJ Catanzariti, a junior at Texas A&M, has made his first Futures quarterfinal, beating former Baylor All-American Julian Lenz of Germany 6-2, 6-2 in today's second round.  Unseeded Jared Hiltzik(Illinois) and Wil Spencer(Georgia) are the other Americans in the quarterfinals.

The $25,000 Futures in Berkeley, California has been a good one for Cal wild cards, with seniors Andre Goransson of Sweden and Florian Lakat of France both reaching the quarterfinals. Three unseeded Americans--Marcos Giron, John Lamble and Rhyne Williams--have also advanced to the quarterfinals.