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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

National Signing Day; Three More Teens Earn First ATP Points; Ahn, Brady Eliminated from Australian Open Wild Card Race

Today marks the beginning of the Early Signing Period for the 2017-18 school year, with a few major signings revealed today, with many more announcements coming out in the next few weeks.

The Tennis Recruiting Network is the major hub for much of the activity, with a number of juniors announcing their verbal commitments over the past few weeks.  On Monday, a status update on blue chips was posted along with comments from Ryan Seggerman on his commitment to Princeton. Yesterday Blair Henley spoke with nine players about their choices, and today three blue chip announcements were published, with Tatum Rice choosing Arkansas, Kyrylo Tsygura selecting Virginia and Christie Wan deciding on Columbia.

Tweets have been popping up all day and I've checked many of the Division I websites for articles, so here's the first batch, with links to articles first, then links to tweets for those without articles, which are indicated by an asterisk.

Baylor has signed Jazzi Plews of Great Britain (for January 2017).

Florida State has signed Carla Touly of France.

Furman has signed Georgie Walker of Great Britain and Carol Kerman.

Arizona has signed Gitte Heynemans of Belgium.

Georgia has signed Katarina Jokic of Serbia.

Tennessee has signed Chelsea Sawyer.

Iowa has signed Danielle Bauers.

Washington State has signed Michaela Bayerlova of the Czech Republic.

Gabby Andrews, who has been at Tyler Community College, has signed with UCLA*, where she had originally committed two years ago.

In coaching news, Chris Eaton has been named assistant coach at Wake Forest.

This is not an early signing, but one for this coming January, with Fresno State welcoming Henrique Wojciechowski Osorio of Brazil.

Old Dominion has signed Jannik Giesse of Germany.

UCLA has signed Bryce Pereira.*

Georgia Tech has signed Carlos Divar* of Spain.

Purdue has signed Stephan Koenigsfest* of Bolivia.

Oklahoma has signed Ferran Calvo* of Spain.

It was another banner day for first ATP points, with three different 17-year-olds experiencing that milestone today by defeating former college players at the $10,000 Niceville Florida Futures.  Sam Riffice defeated No. 6 seed Nick Chappell(TCU) 7-6(2), 6-2 and Jason Legall, who turns 18 on Friday, beat Patrick Daciek(Virginia Tech) 6-4, 6-3. Alexandre Rotsaert downed Dusty Boyer(Nebraska) 6-1, 7-6(4) and will face No. 4 seed Wil Spencer(Georgia), the only other American still in the draw after the completion of the first round.

In Costa Rica, Danny Thomas, who earned his first ATP singles point yesterday, advanced to the quarterfinals of the $10,000 Futures with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 win over Farzin Danny Amiri. Thomas will face top seed Connor Smith, who beat Thomas earlier this fall in the first round of a Futures in Israel 306, 7-5, 6-3. Smith defeated Brian Cernoch, the other teen who earned his first ATP point this week, 6-2, 6-3 today.

The first round of the $50,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Waco Texas was played today, and two of the remaining five players in the USTA Australian Wild Card Challenge were eliminated.  Jennifer Brady, the No. 3 seed, lost to 16-year-old Canadian Bianca Andreescu 7-5, 6-4 to end her chances, while Grace Min, the No. 6 seed, beat Kristie Ahn 6-1, 6-3 to put Ahn out of the race. Danielle Collins defeated Canadian qualifier Gabriela Dabrowski 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 to stay alive.  Both Collins and Min must win the tournament in order to overtake Kayla Day for the wild card.