Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Four Americans Reach Quarterfinals at Grade 1 in Paraguay; Few Changes in ITA Division I Team Rankings; Pro Circuit Update

The third Grade 1 of the ITF Junior South American swing is in Paraguay this week, and four Americans, three girls and a boy, have reach the quarterfinals at the Asuncion Bowl.

Danny Thomas, the No. 6 seed, defeated unseeded Franco Ribero of Argentina 6-4, 6-4 in today's round of 16 and will face another Argentinian, No. 4 seed Sebastian Baez, in the quarterfinals. The top boys seed in the tournament is Yuta Shimizu of Japan.

Thomas and Brian Cernoch, the No. 2 seeds, are the only Americans remaining in doubles, with the semifinals scheduled for Thursday.

Junior Orange Bowl 14s champion Alexa Noel qualified and reached the final eight when No. 3 seed Irina Cantos Siemers of Germany retired after losing the first set 6-4. Noel plays unseeded Draginja Vukovic of Serbia next.  Unseeded Whitney Osuigwe advanced with a 6-2, 6-0 win over No. 4 seed Shelly Krolitzky of Israel and will face qualifier Giulia Morlet of France. Hailey Baptiste reached the quarterfinals by defeating Nathalia Wolf Gasparin of Brazil 6-1, 6-4 after taking out No. 2 seed Maria Jose Portillo Ramirez of Mexico 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the first round. Eddie Herr champion Maria Lourdes Carle of Argentina is the girls top seed.

The weekly ITA Division I rankings were released today, with no changes in the women's Top 10 for the second straight week, a bit surprising given that the ITA Kickoff Weekend was played since the last poll. The only change in the men's Top 10 had Texas and Northwestern switching places. Georgia Tech and Ole Miss moved into the men's Top 25, while the Ole Miss women were the only new team in the Top 25. Bobby Knight has more on the team rankings at College Tennis Today. Individual rankings will come out next Wednesday, February 8.

Men's Team Top 10 (previous ranking in parentheses)
1. Virginia (1)
2. Wake Forest (2)
3. Ohio State (3)
4. Cal (4)
5. Georgia (5)
6. UCLA (6)
7. North Carolina (7)
8. USC (8)
9. Northwestern (10)
10. Texas (9)

Women's Team Top 10 (previous ranking in parentheses)
1. Florida (1)
2. North Carolina (2)
3. Pepperdine (3)
4. Stanford (4)
5. Oklahoma State (5)
6. Georgia (6)
7. Ohio State (7)
8. California (8)
9. Vanderbilt (9)
10. Duke (10)

The first round of the $15,000 Palm Coast Futures is complete, with five Americans advancing: top seed Tommy Paul, Jared Hiltzik, qualifier Mico Santiago and wild cards Vasil Kirkov and Winston Lin.

Not much has gone according to form at the $100,000 Dow Tennis Classic in Midland. Last night former Arizona State star Jacqueline Cako defeated top seed Madison Brengle 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. In Wednesday's first round action 18-year-old Canadian Katherine Sebov defeated No. 7 seed Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in a three-hour marathon and qualifier Valeria Savinykh of Russia took out No. 9 seed Samantha Crawford 6-1, 6-1. Qualifier Allie Sanford fell to Catalina Pella of Argentina 6-2, 7-6(4), Sonya Kenin lost to No. 5 seed and 2015 champion Tatjana Maria of Germany 6-0, 6-3, wild card Raveena Kingsley went out 6-2, 6-1 to Anna-Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia, and wild card Usue Arconada was beaten by No. 8 seed Julia Boserup. No. 4 seed Irina Falconi and Danielle Lao, who defeated Ellie Halbauer, were the only other Americans to win today.

Two more matches featuring four Americans are still on the schedule for tonight at the $125,000 ATP Challenger in Dallas, with No. 2 seed Taylor Fritz against Marcos Giron and No. 7 seed Rajeev Ram against Reilly Opelka.  In other matches today, top seed Ryan Harrison defeated wild card Mackenzie McDonald 6-2, 7-6(10), Frances Tiafoe(4) beat Di Wu of China 6-2, 7-6(5) and Denis Kudla(6) downed Austin Krajicek 7-6(4), 6-3.