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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Rain in Arizona Delays Winter Nationals; 61 Americans Competing in Coffee Bowl Grade 1; Devvarman Retires; Aiava Reaches Brisbane Main Draw; Loeb Qualifies for WTA Auckland

Rain this weekend in Arizona has made a mess of the end of the USTA Winter Nationals, with the 12s and 14s in Tucson, which did not play at all on Saturday, being extended through Monday. The semifinals were played today, in what had to be miserable conditions, with temperatures not getting out of the 40s.  Those results:

B12s semifinals:
Jackson Armistead[1] def. Lucas Brown[3] 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
Learner Tien[7]] def. Hudson Rivera[17] 5-7, 6-3, 6-3

B14s semifinals:
Maxwell McKennon[1] def. JJ Tracy[11] 7-5, 6-1
Matthew Robinson[3] def. Aryan Chaudhary[2] 6-1, 7-5

G12s semifinals:
Vivian Ovrootsky[1] def. Nikita Vishwase[10] 6-2, 6-0
Matilyn Wang[2] def. Tsehay Driscoll[3] 6-3, 6-4

G14s semifinals:
Jenna DeFalco[5] def. Kailey Evans[17] 7-5, 6-2
Katja Wiersholm[17] def. Kylie Collins[4] 6-2, 6-4

The weather for the 16s and 18s in Scottsdale was even worse, with none of the semifinal matches played.  Those matches are scheduled for Monday, followed by the finals.  The results of yesterday's quarterfinal matches can be viewed in yesterday's post.

The draws are out for the ITF Grade 1 Coffee Bowl, which begins Monday in Costa Rica.  This year half of those in the girls draw, 32 players, are from the United States, and 29 of the 64 boys are Americans. After the mistake in the draw at the Grade A in Mexico City, where qualifiers from the US ended up playing other Americans (which should not happen in the first round), it's good to see that all 32 girls and 29 boys play someone from another country.

Ellie Douglas is the top girls seed; the other seeded Americans are:
Sofia Sewing[3]
Ashley Lahey[4]
Victoria Emma[5] (WC)
Hurricane Tyra Black[6]
Nicole Mossmer[8]
Elli Mandlik[10]
Alana Smith[11]
Lea Ma[15]

The top boys seed is Francisco Vittar of Argentina, but 11 US boys are seeded:
Sam Riffice[2]
Trent Bryde[3]
Vasil Kirkov[4]
Oliver Crawford[5]
Gianni Ross[6]
Danny Thomas[9]
Patrick Kypson[10]
Alafia Ayeni[11]
Sebastian Korda[12]
Brian Cernoch[13]
Andrew Fenty[14]

See the tournament website for draws, order of play and links to live streaming.

Devvarman addresses the Tulsa crowd after his second straight NCAA singles title 

Somdev Devvarman of India announced his retirement today, at the age of 31.  The two-time NCAA singles champion (2007-8) from the University of Virginia was one of the best Division I college players ever, winning a total of six majors, five individual and one team. In addition to the two NCAA singles titles, Devvarman won the singles and doubles titles at the 2007 ITA Individual Indoors, the doubles title at the 2007 All Americans (both with Treat Huey) and the 2008 National Team Indoor.

Devvarman turned pro after graduating from Virginia in 2008 and reached a high of 62 in the ATP rankings in 2011.  He last played a Pro Circuit match in a Futures tournament in California in March of 2016.
Devvarman did have a variety of injuries in the past few years, yet he also provided other explanations for his retirement in this article from the Press Trust of India.  Devvarman was in the midst of some of the Davis Cup chaos surrounding India's tennis federation in the recent past, and sounds as if he would be interested in fixing some the deficiencies he sees in its personnel and organization.

Professional tennis is back, with just two weeks until the start of the Australian Open.  Two young Australians have already generated some excitement for their country, with 16-year-old Destanee Aiava and 17-year-old Alex De Minaur qualifying for WTA and ATP events in Brisbane. Aiava, who won the Australian 18s Nationals last month and with it an Australian Open wild card, ran through three veteran opponents in the qualifying for the Brisbane Premier level tournament, surrendering only eight games total.  She picked up her first top 100 win in the final round of qualifying over Carina Witthoeft of Germany by a 6-1, 6-1 score. She plays her first WTA main draw match against fellow qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands later tonight.

De Minaur, the 2016 Wimbledon boys finalist, defeated top seed Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan and Frances Tiafoe to qualify for the ATP 250 in Brisbane.  Ernesto Escobedo and Jared Donaldson also qualified for Brisbane.  Donaldson recently announced he would be no long be working with Taylor and Phil Dent, who have moved from Southern California to Austin Texas. Donaldson said Mardy Fish and Jan-Michael Gambill will be part of his team going forward.

At the WTA International level event in Auckland, 2015 NCAA champion Jamie Loeb has advanced to the main draw, beating Taylor Townsend 7-6(3), 6-1. Loeb, who is now 3-0 against Townsend, is looking for her first WTA main draw win, having lost her previous three first-round matches.  She did win a round at the WTA 125 last month in Hawaii, but that is not officially considered a full-fledged WTA tournament from what I understand.


Texastennismom said...

Quite surprised to see the Donaldson-Dent split. He has been with them a long time and it seems he is their main prospect by far - and they seem to have done a great job with him. Also surprised to see them move to TX. The tennis academy market is hyper cpmpetitive in the big cities in TX. Their website says they have moved to Keller, which is north of Fort Worth, not Austin by the way.

Colette Lewis said...

Thanks. I had heard Austin, I thought, but that was some time ago.