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Friday, September 22, 2017

US Teams Reach Semifinals of Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup; Hilderbrand, Subhash Win ITF Grade 2 Titles in Canada; Duval Reaches Lubbock $25K Final, Seven Americans Advance to Semis in Laguna Niguel and Albuquerque

A long day ended in Budapest with both teams from the United States moving into Saturday's semifinals at the ITF's Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup competitions.

Osuigwe and McNally at Wimbledon 2017
The top-seeded US girls defeated Italy 2-1, with the point lost by US Open girls champion Amanda Anisimova at No. 1 singles. Elisabetta Cocciaretto defeated Anisimova 6-2, 6-3, but Caty McNally and Whitney Osuigwe won the tiebreaking doubles match from Cocciaretto and Federica Rossi 6-0, 7-6(4) to give the US the win and the top spot in round robin Group A.  The US will face unseeded Canada in the semifinals, who beat Hungary 2-1 to finish tied with Russia, the No. 3 seed, at the top spot in Group B. But because it was a two-way tie at the top, head-to-head is the first tiebreaker and Canada had beaten Russia 2-1 in the previous round, so they advance, despite having won only 11 sets, while losing 13.  Russia had won 16 and lost 7. Maybe it's worth mentioning only because of hindsight, but when I saw that Canada wasn't seeded, I was surprised; they have a good team, and the US will need to play well to beat them Saturday.  The other semifinal features No. 2 Japan and No. 4 Ukraine, both of whom were 3-0 in their groups.

Like the Canadian girls, the third-seeded US boys had to advance via the tiebreak protocol, with Hungary, Australia[8] and the US all 2-1. With three teams, the first tiebreaker is matches won, which for the US was 7, after their 3-0 shutout of Australia today. Hungary won 6 and Australia won 5, so the US advances.  They will play No. 2 seed Argentina, while the other semifinal features No. 1 seed Czech Republic and No. 4 seed Croatia. Croatia also advanced via a tiebreaker with 7 matches won, while Taiwan and Brazil[6] had 6 and 5.

All scores can be found at the tournament website.

The ITF Grade 2 in Canada finished today, with top-seeded Americans Trey Hilderbrand and Natasha Subhash taking the titles.  Hilderbrand defeated unseeded Vikash Singh of India 6-2, 6-4, while Subhash beat No. 4 seed Elli Mandlik 7-5, 6-1 in an all-US final.  Subhash also won the doubles title, with Lea Ma.  The top seeds defeated unseeded Ariana Arseneault of Canada and McCartney Kessler 6-4, 6-1 in the final. The US got a sweep of all the titles this week, with unseeded Tomas Kopczynski and Mark Mandlik (Elli's twin brother) beating unseeded Stefan Leustian and Emilio Nava 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 11-9 in another all-US final.

Vicky Duval, who is back competing regularly after her Hodgkin's Lymphoma and other injury and health issues, is in her first Pro Circuit final since 2014 at the $25,000 tournament in Lubbock Texas.  The third-seeded Duval defeated top seed Harriet Dart of Great Britain 7-6(5), 6-2 and will face her doubles partner and fellow Hodgkin's Lymphoma survivor Alisa Kleybanova of Russia in the final. The unseeded Kleybanova defeated USC senior Gabby Smith, a qualifier, 6-4, 6-3.  Duval and Kleybanova won the doubles title this afternoon, beating No. 2 seeds Karman Thandi of India and Ana Veselinovic of Montenegro 2-6, 6-4 10-8.

The $80,000 women's event in Albuquerque New Mexico has its semifinal on Saturday, with no seeds remaining after former University of Michigan star Emina Bektas defeated No. 8 seed Sesil Karatantcheva of Bulgaria 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-4.  Bektas will face Sherazad Reix of France in the bottom half semifinal. The top half semifinal is all-US, with Maria Sanchez playing Sophie Chang.  Sanchez beat wild card Sanaz Marand 6-1, 7-6(3) and Chang defeated Jovana Jaksic of Serbia 6-3, 6-3.

The $75,000 ATP Columbus Challenger has just one American in the semifinals, with Dennis Novikov[7] beating top seed Quentin Halys of France 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 to advance. He will face unseeded Alexander Ward of Great Britain, who beat Denis Kudla[4] 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.  The other semifinal features Frank Dancevic of Canada and alternate Ante Pavic of Croatia.

At the $15,000 Futures in Laguna Niguel California, all four semifinalist are current or former collegians from the United States. TCU senior Trevor Johnson, a qualifier, had never earned an ATP point before this week, but today he beat top seed Takanyi Garanganga of Zimbabwe 6-4, 6-3 to advance to Saturday's semifinals, where he'll play No. 4 seed Ryan Shane(Virginia). Shane defeated No. 8 seed Jumpei Yamasaki of Japan 6-3, 6-2.  The other semifinal will feature Colin Altamirano, who will not be returning to Virginia for his senior year, against Henry Craig(Denver).  Altamirano downed wild card Tom Fawcett(Stanford) 6-1, 6-2, while Craig beat Hunter Callahan(Ohio State) 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.

The ITA Oracle Masters has two rounds of singles scheduled today, so I'll be posting those results separately much later this evening.

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