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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Fields Set for Les Petits As US Playoffs Next Month; Navarro Advances to Charleston $15K Quarterfinals; Semis Set in Austin Grade 5; Fritz Joins Donaldson in Chengdu Quarterfinals

The USTA's method of selecting the four players to travel to the two major 14-and-under tournaments in Europe at the start of each year has varied, with playoffs frequently used, particularly for the boys. This year, two of the berths in the 2018 Les Petits As tournament in Tarbes France will be decided in an official Les Petits As competition, with 16 US girls and 16 US boys competing October 30-November 3 at the Club Med in Port St. Lucie Florida.  Twelve of those participants were chosen via the August 16, 2017 USTA 14s rankings, with four wild cards also selected. 

The girls(wild cards in italics):
Daniella Benabraham
Alexis Blokhina
Reese Brantmeier
Ellee Dryer
Gracie Epps
Rachel Gailis 
Liv Hovde
Rebecca Lynn
Sonya Macavei
Robin Montgomery
Vivian Ovrootsky
Katrina Scott
Daria Smetannikov
Sophia Wang
Katja Wiersholm
Eleana Yu


The boys:
Jackson Armistead
Nishesh Basavareddy
Jonah Braswell
Lucas Brown
Ozan Colak
Aidan Kim
John Kim
John Lasanajak
Herrick Legaspi
Victor Lilov
Hudson Rivera
Jelani Sarr
Evan Wen
Cooper Williams 
Michael Zheng

More details about this inaugural event can be found at the Les Petits As website.


Sixteen-year-old wild card Emma Navarro, who has already verbally committed to Duke, has reached the quarterfinals in singles and the semifinals in doubles of her hometown tournament, the $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Charleston South Carolina.  Navarro, the 2017 16s Easter Bowl champion, won at 90-minute(!) first set over Texas sophomore Bianca Turati of Italy 7-5, then closed out the match with a 50-minute 6-1 set to reach her first pro quarterfinal.  Navarro and Chloe Beck, another accomplished local junior, beat the top-seeded doubles team of Petra Januskova of Canada and Mara Schmidt 7-6(4), 6-3 to advance to the semifinals.  For more on Navarro's win, with comments from her and her coach, see this article from James Beck at The Post and Courier.

The semifinals are set at this week's ITF Grade 5 in Austin Texas, with four seeded boys, including three American 15-year-olds, advancing, while only seed remains among the four American girls still vying for the title.  

Marcus McDaniel[13] will play 17-year-old Yeudy Villar[8] of the Dominican Republic and Hunter Heck[12] will face No. 2 seed Stefan Leustian.

Eighteen-year-old Taylor Gruber[16], who has verbally committed to Missouri, will play 16-year-old Carmen Corley in the top half semifinal, with 13-year-old Elaine Chervinsky facing 15-year-old Savannah Broadus in the bottom half.  

At the ATP 250 in Chengdu China, qualifier Taylor Fritz defeated Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 to move into the quarterfinals, joining Jared Donaldson. Fritz will play Guido Pella of Argentina, who upset top seed Dominic Thiem of Austria 7-6(6), 6-4. For more on Fritz's win, see the ATP website. At the ATP 250 in Shenzhen China, No. 8 seed Donald Young has advanced to the quarterfinals, where he will face No. 2 seed David Goffin of Belgium.

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