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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

My Conversation with French Open Champion Whitney Osuigwe; Qualifiers Carter, Corwin Upset Seeds on USTA Pro Circuit; Ahn into WTA Quarterfinals; Spencer Named NC State Men's Coach

My article this week for the Tennis Recruiting Network is based on a phone interview I did with French Open girls champion Whitney Osuigwe Monday, after she returned to the United States. I've been watching the 15-year-old play since she was 11 and have talked to her often during that time after her big wins or titles, so I'm happy I was able to do so again, even if I couldn't be in Paris for the final.  As with all girls who win a junior slam early, Osuigwe can't move directly into pro tennis, due to the age restrictions the WTA imposes based on age. With the limits on the number of pro events she can play, Osuigwe probably will continue to compete in some major junior events next year, and she is planning to play both Wimbledon and US Open Junior Championships this year.

The upsets keep on coming in the $25,000 Futures in Winston-Salem. A day after top seed Filip Peliwo of Canada and No. 2 seed Dominik Koepfer of Germany were eliminated in the first round, No. 4 seed Tommy Paul was beaten by qualifier Felix Corwin, a rising senior at Minnesota, 6-4, 6-4.  Corwin, the son of former Kalamazoo Nationals tournament director Timon Corwin, was 1-4 in main draw matches at the Futures level last summer, with that one win over Darian King of Barbados, who is now ranked 113.  Paul, who has been ranked as high as 191 back in April of last year, is currently 399 in the ATP rankings.

Qualifier Brandon Holt, the USC rising sophomore, also took out a seed today, beating No. 7 seed and 2015 NCAA champion Ryan Shane 7-5, 6-2.

Hayley Carter, the 2016 NCAA singles finalist and the ACC's all-time leader in singles wins, started her pro career by dropping just three games in three qualifying matches to move into the main draw at the $25,000 tournament in Sumter South Carolina.  In her first round match today, the first she's played on the USTA Pro Circuit since last September, Carter defeated top seed Olivia Rogowska of Australia 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.  Rogowska's current WTA ranking is 233. Carter's best win by ranking before today was back in 2013, when she defeated Ashley Weinhold, then ranked 377.

Carter was one of three qualifiers to advance to the second round, with Stanford recruit Michaela Gordon and Vanderbilt's Astra Sharma of Australia also posting wins.  Carter's teammate Sara Daavettila, who received a wild card, beat Sabrina Santamaria 6-1, 6-4.

At the WTA International tournament in Nottingham, former Stanford star Kristie Ahn defeated Magda Linette of Poland 6-1, 6-3 to reach her first WTA quarterfinal.  The 24-year-old from New Jersey, who qualified this week and is currently ranked a career-high 131, moves closer to the Top 100 with every victory. She will play the winner of Thursday's match between Alison Riske[4] and Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia.

North Carolina State named Kyle Spencer to head its men's program today. The former University of Maryland head coach, who also was an assistant at USC and Baylor, was most recently an assistant for the men's program at SMU.  He takes over from Jon Choboy, who stepped down in May after his 15th season.

That leaves the Minnesota women's program as the sole Power Five conference job still vacant.

The ITA announced its College All-Star Team today, which includes players from all five Divisions: I, II, III, NAIA and Junior College. The complete list, with the accomplishments of all those named to the team, is available in the ITA's release.