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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Eddie Herr ITF Acceptances; Qualifying Complete in Waco and Knoxville $50Ks; Emory Players Top Division III Individual Rankings, with Emory Women and Bowdoin Men No. 1 Teams

I'm late on this, but the acceptances for the Eddie Herr ITF Grade 1, which starts on Monday, November 28th, have been posted. (The acceptances for the other three age divisions can be viewed here.)

The top two boys in the ITF junior rankings, Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia, are entered.  Tsitsipas has pulled out of next week's Grade A Abierto Juvenil Mexicano in Mexico City (he is part of a group of junior boys at the ATP World Tour Finals in London instead) and the Grade 1 Yucatan Cup the week after, so he and Kecmanovic will decide the ITF year-end World Junior Champion in Florida, where they met twice last year.  Tsitsipas defeated Kecmanovic, who trains at the IMG Academy, in the quarterfinals of the Eddie Herr, then lost to him in the final of the Metropolia Orange Bowl the following week.

With Tsitsipas and French Open boys champion Geoffrey Blancaneaux of France withdrawing from the Mexico City Grade A, there are no Top 10 players in the boys field, with No. 12 Benjamin Sigouin of Canada now the highest ranked player.  The Yucatan Cup has no Top 25 players among the boys acceptances, with No. 30 Yshai Oliel of Israel the highest ranked.  With four consecutive weeks of tournaments, playing them all is rare, with most players taking off either the week of the Yucatan Cup or the Eddie Herr.

One player who did play all four last year was Kayla Day, who is entered in three this year.  The world No. 2 is defending champion at the Yucatan Cup, and her rival for the World Junior Champion title, No. 1 Anastasia Potapova of Russia, is also entered in Mexico City, the Yucatan Cup and the Orange Bowl.  Fourth-ranked Amanda Anisimova, the Mexico City defending champion, is entered in all four events. She is the only Top 10 girls in the Eddie Herr field.  The other US girls entered at the Eddie Herr are: Taylor Johnson, Ellie Douglas, Maria Mateas, Natasha Subhash, Morgan Coppoc, Sofia Sewing, Ashley Lahey and Hurricane Tyra Black. Carson Branstine is still showing as USA, but all reports have her as playing for Canada now.  Elysia Bolton is first out of the main draw.

US boys in the main draw of the Eddie Herr are Sam Riffice, Gianni Ross, Trent Bryde, Oliver Crawford, Vasil Kirkov, Patrick Kypson, Alexandre Rotsaert, Brian Cernoch and Christian Alshon.

Speaking of Cernoch, he and Danny Thomas, who is in qualifying for the Eddie Herr, earned their first ATP singles points yesterday at the $10,000 Costa Rica Futures after getting through qualifying.  Cernoch, 17, defeated wild card Pablo Nunez of Costa Rica 7-6(5), 6-3 and Thomas, 16, defeated Mauricio Astorga of Mexico 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4). Cernoch will play top seed Connor Smith in the second round, while Thomas will face fellow US qualifier Farzin Danny Amiri.

At the Niceville Florida $10,000 Futures, juniors Riffice, Crawford, Rotsaert and Jason Legall were among the qualifiers and will play their first round matches on Wednesday.  Kirkov, who had direct entry, and Kypson and Ross, who received wild cards, lost their first round matches today. Two French players, Maxime Chazal and Gianni Mina, are the top seeds.

Qualifying was completed today at the $50,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Waco Texas, with Americans Caitlin Whoriskey and Chanelle Van Nguyen reaching the main draw and Ashley Weinhold getting in as a lucky loser. All sixteen first round matches will be played Wednesday. Samantha Crawford and Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay are the top two seeds, with wild cards going to Danielle Collins, Ellie Halbauer, Usue Arconada and Baylor's Blair Shankle.

The only American to qualify at the $50,000 ATP Challenger in Knoxville Tennessee is Jared Hiltzik.  Last week's Charlottesville Challenger champion Reilly Opelka pulled out due to a sore shoulder. In first round action today, Jared Donaldson(3), Noah Rubin, Stefan Kozlov(8), Dennis Novikov and Rhyne Williams posted victories. The top two seeds are Dan Evans of Great Britain and Frances Tiafoe, with wild cards given to Mikelis Libeitis of Latvia, Mackenzie McDonald, Raymond Sarmiento and Williams.

The ITA's Division III rankings have been released, and are the only such rankings until March. The team rankings have 2016 NCAA champions Emory women and Bowdoin men as No. 1.  Emory players top both the men's and women's singles lists, with Bridget Harding and Aman Manji, who won the Division III Oracle Cup titles this fall, No. 1. It should be noted that 2016 NCAA finalists Eudice Chong of Wesleyan, who has won back-to-back NCAA titles, and Juli Raventos of Williams did not participate in the Oracle Cup. Links to the full ranking lists are in the team headings below.

Women's Team Top 10:
1. Emory
2. Williams
3. Middlebury
4. Bowdoin
5. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
6. Pomona-Pitzer
7. Amherst
8. Wesleyan
9. Tufts
10. Chicago

Women's singles Top 10:
1. Bridget Harding, Emory
2. Juli Raventos, Williams
3. Eudice Chong, Wesleyan
4. Rebecca Ho, Washington-St. Louis
5. Megan Humphreys, Wisconsin-Whitewater
6. Caroline Casper, Pomona-Pitzer
7. Ashnaa Rao, Johns Hopkins
8. Brooke Donnelly, Washington & Lee
9. Kathy Joseph, UT-Dallas
10. Vickie Ip, Amherst

Men's Team Top 10:
1. Bowdoin
2. Emory
3. Middlebury
4. Washington-St. Louis
5. Chicago
6. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
7. Carnegie Mellon
8. Case Western
9. Pomona-Pitzer
10. Wesleyan

Men's singles Top 10:
1. Aman Manji, Emory
2. Lubomir Cuba, Middlebury
3. Mohanad Alhouni, Gustavus Adolphus
4. Michael Rozenvasser, Carnegie Mellon
5. Kai Yuen Leung, Skidmore
6. David Liu, Chicago
7. Daniel Morkovine, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
8. Nicolas Parodi, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
9. Arthur Fagundes, Texas-Tyler
10. Jonathan Jemison, Emory

The No. 1 ranking in men's and women's doubles also goes to Emory. Jemison and David Omsky, the Oracle Cup champions, are the top men's team after fall play, with Harding and Katarina Su, also Oracle Cup champions, the women's No. 1.