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Friday, October 21, 2016

My Article on Bolton's Commitment to UCLA; Top Seeds Potapova, Kecmanovic Reach Osaka Semifinals; Andreescu Joins Three Americans in $50K Semis in Canada

While I was in Tulsa for the ITF Grade B1 Pan American Closed, I had an opportunity to talk with quarterfinalist Elysia Bolton about her recent commitment to UCLA in this article for the Tennis Recruiting Network.  Bolton, a 16-year-old blue chip, is not entering college until September of 2018, but said getting that decision made helps free her to concentrate on her tennis in the next two years.

The singles semifinals and doubles finals of the Grade A Osaka Mayor's Cup will be played overnight in Japan, with top girls seed Anastasia Potapova of Russia and top boys seed Miomir Kecmanovic still on course for a title in both singles and doubles.   No. 2 seed Xiyu Wang of China, who had beaten Potapova this summer, is out however, losing to No. 5 seed Ayumi Miyamoto of Japan. Miyamoto plays defending champion Mai Hontama of Japan, the No. 4 seed, while Potapova faces No. 13 seed En Shuo Liang of Taiwan.  Kecmanovic defeated No. 6 seed Liam Caruana of Italy, who went from Tulsa one week to Osaka the next, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and will play No. 10 seed Yu Hsiou Hsu of Taiwan in the semifinals. No. 2 seed Yosuke Watanuki of Japan and No. 3 seed Nicola Kuhn of Germany will face off in the other boys semifinal.

Sixteen-year-old Bianca Andreescu of Canada, who has already won a $25,000 Women's ITF tournament in the past three months, has reached the semifinals of this week's $50,000 tournament in Saguenay, Canada.  Andreescu, currently No. 7 in the ITF Junior rankings, defeated Harriet Dart of Great Britain 7-6(4), 6-4 to advance to the semifinals, joining three seeded Americans.   No. 2 seed Jennifer Brady eliminated Canadian teen qualifier Charlotte Robillard-Millette 6-3, 7-6(5) and will face Andreescu in the semifinals.  The other semifinal features top seed CiCi Bellis against  No. 4 seed Sachia Vickery.  Bellis downed Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada 6-2, 6-4, while Vickery defeated Maria Sanchez  6-1, 7-6(0).

Just one American remains at the $50,000 ATP Challenger this week in Las Vegas: unseeded Sekou Bangoura. Bangoura defeated Bryden Klein of Great Britain 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 and will face Sam Groth of Australia in the semifinals. Groth took out Tennys Sandgren 7-6(2), 7-5. 

All three American men in the quarterfinals of the $25,000 Futures in Harlingen, Texas lost today.  One of the semifinals will have No. 6 Luke Bambridge of Great Britain facing No. 8 seed and former Florida State star Benjamin Lock of South Africa. The other semifinal is between former and current college players. Tulane alum Dominik Koepfer of Germany will play University of Texas-Arlington sophomore Guanarteme Nuez Delgado of Spain, a qualifier. The 19-year-old Nuez had no ATP ranking and had not won a main draw Futures match until this week; he lost to Koepfer in the second round qualifying last week in Houston.

Eighteen-year-olds John McNally and Evan Zhu have reached the doubles final in Harlingen, with the unseeded pair facing top seeds Bambridge and Evan King.

At the $25,000 Futures in Berkeley, California, 2014 NCAA champion Marcos Giron defeated Rhyne Williams to reach the semifinals, where he will face top seed Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium.  Wild card Andre Goransson of Cal continued his fine play; after winning the ITA Northwest Regional title on Monday, the senior from Sweden, who hadn't won a Futures match since 2012, has won three, all in straight sets, beating two seeds in the process. He will play No. 6 seed Lucas Gomez of Mexico in the semifinals.  Goransson has also reached the doubles final with Sem Verbeek of the Netherlands.  The pair, who received entry as alternates, will face top seeds Williams and Connor Smith on Saturday