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Monday, October 17, 2016

Race for ITF No. 1 Moves to Grade A Osaka Mayor's Cup; Three Men's USTA Pro Circuit Events Underway; Bellis Top Seed in Canada $50K; Five ITA Regional Singles Champions Crowned

The race for the year-end ITF world junior championship on the girls side is shaping up to be a good one, with both current No. 1 Kayla Day and current No. 2 Anastasia Potapova of Russia indicating they want that honor (and the direct entry into a WTA $100,000-level event). For more on the perks of the ITF Junior Exempt program, see this document.

Day, who went to Tulsa to defend her title, is playing the next two Grade A tournaments in Mexico City and Plantation, while Potapova is entered this week in the Grade A in Osaka, Japan.  Wimbledon girls champion Potapova can overtake US Open girls champion Day if she wins the title in Japan, but the race will remain close and undecided with the two Grade A tournaments still to be played.

Potapova is, of course, the top seed in Japan and she has already won her first round match. The second seed, Xiyu Wang of China, defeated Potapova soundly in the semifinals of the Grade 1 in College Park in August, so while the fields are not typically strong in this Grade A, Potapova has serious competition for the title.

The boys top seed is US Open finalist Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia, who has not yet played his first round match.

There are four Americans playing in Osaka: Naomi Cheong, who lost her first round match, Mimi Levine, who has not yet played her first round match and Jimena Rodriguez-Benito and Alafia Ayeni, who won their first round matches.  Ayeni will face No. 2 seed Yosuke Watanuki of Japan in his second round match.

While the only USTA Pro Circuit women's tournament this week was cancelled due to Hurricane Matthew, there are three men's events, two $25,000 Futures and a $50,000 Challenger.

The qualifying is complete at the Harlingen Futures, with Ohio State recruit John McNally and Florida recruit Duarte Vale of Portugal advancing to the main draw.  Current collegians reaching the main draw are Texas A&M's Jordi Arconada and AJ Catanzariti, Central Florida's Korey Lovett, and Oklahoma State's Arjun Kadhe and Julian Cash. The top seed is Alessandro Bega of Italy, with the No. 2 seed former Texas star Ed Corrie of Great Britain.

The new Futures in Berkeley, California, part of the USTA Collegiate series, has a only a 32-player qualifying draw with that qualifying just beginning today.  Ruben Bemelmens of Belgium is the top seed in the main draw, with wild cards going to three Cal players--Filip Bergevi, Florian Lakat and Andre Goransson--and Stanford's Michael Genender.

The top seed at the ATP Challenger in Las Vegas is Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic.  Frances Tiafoe has entered in a push to make the main draw of the Australian Open, and is the No. 2 seed.  Wild cards were given to Alejandro Falla of Colombia, Ohio State junior Mikael Torpegaard of Denmark, local resident Evan Song and UNLV senior Jakob Amilon of Sweden.

In the rain-delayed singles final of the $100,000 Fairfield California Challenger, Santiago Giraldo of Colombia defeated Quentin Halys of France 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

The only action in North America for women this week is at the $50,000 tournament in Saguenay, Canada. NCAA champion Danielle Collins was one of four qualifiers, with two Canadian juniors, Charlotte Robillard-Millette and Katherine Sebov, also earning their place in the main draw.  Collins will face No. 4 seed Sachia Vickery in the first round. Vickery beat Collins in the quarterfinals of the $25,000 Redding tournament two weeks ago.

CiCi Bellis is the top seed, with Jennifer Brady seeded No. 2.

The ITA Regional championships for Division 1 began this past weekend with five of them now complete (and just in time for the Cal players to compete in the Berkeley Futures). The winners receive automatic entry into next month's ITA/USTA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in New York.

The singles finals results as of Monday (click on winner's school name for article):

WOMEN:
CENTRAL: Lily Miyazaki(5), Oklahoma def. Carla Tur Mari(9), Oklahoma State 6-3, 6-3.

SOUTHERN: Alizee Michaud(4), Auburn def. Andie Dikosavlijevic(1), Auburn, 6-2, 6-4.

MOUNTAIN: Claudia Herrero Garcia(6), Nevada def. Sheila Morales(17), Nevada 6-0, 7-5.

MEN:
NORTHWEST: Andre Goransson(1), Cal def. Filip Bergevi(5), Cal 6-4, 7-6(3)

SOUTHERN: Nuno Borges(5), Mississippi State def. Constantin Schmitz(5), Tulane 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.

Bobby Knight has links to both the singles and doubles draws for all the regionals at his site College Tennis Today.

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