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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

ITF Features Next Week's Junior Masters Competitors; Osuigwe, Boyer Advance at Grade A Osaka Cup; Wu Yibing's Challenges; Evansville Cutting Women's Tennis

The International Tennis Federation has been running a series on the 16 competitors for next week's Junior Masters in Chengdu China.  Each of the eight boys and eight girls will be profiled separately, with a detailed look at their best results in both junior and ITF Pro Circuit events.  So far, two of the three US girls and the lone US boy have been profiled, with Sofia Sewing's article here, Taylor Johnson's article here, and Trent Bryde's article here.  An article on Whitney Osuigwe, who is also playing the Junior Masters, has not yet appeared.

The participants:

Yibing Wu (CHN)
Axel Geller (ARG)
Yu Hsiou Hsu (TPE)
Jurij Rodionov (AUT)
Marko Miladinovic (SRB)
Sebastian Baez (ARG)
Trent Bryde (USA)
Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN)

Whitney Osuigwe (USA)
Marta Kostyuk (UKR)
Elena Rybakina (RUS)
Kaja Juvan (SLO)
Sofia Sewing (USA)
Xin Yu Wang (CHN)
Maria Lourdes Carle (ARG)
Taylor Johnson (USA)

Osuigwe is playing the ITF Grade A Mayor's Cup in Osaka Japan this week, as is Wang, but they are the only two in the draws, boys or girls, who are playing the Junior Masters beginning next Wednesday. 

Both have advanced to the round of 16, which will get underway soon. Osuigwe will face No. 16 seed Oona Orpana of Finland, and Wang will play No. 13 seed Viktoriia Dema of Ukraine.  Americans Dalayna Hewitt and Hina Inoue lost their second round matches.

Sixteen-year-old Tristan Boyer, who like Osuigwe played the Pan American Closed last week, has advanced to the round of 16, his first third round appearance at a Grade A.  He will meet unseeded Stefan Storch of Australia next.  While 15 of 16 girls seeds advanced to the third round, only 10 of the 16 boys seeds did.  Top seed Yuta Shimizu of Japan and No. 2 seed Timofey Skatov of Russia are among those 10 who advanced.

US Open boys champion Wu Yibing of China will be playing the ITF Junior Masters next week after competing in the $125,000 ATP Challenger in Ningbo China. Wu, a wild card, lost in the first round to qualifier Jurij Rodionov of Austria, who also is in the Junior Masters field.  Since winning the title in New York, Wu has received wild cards into a Challenger, which he won, then an ATP 250, the Shanghai Masters and this week's Challenger. He has not won a match in those three events, which may help keep the attention away from him.  But becoming an ATP Top 100 player is Wu's goal, so he can expect to continue to receive more articles like this one from CNN, which explores why the Chinese women have been more successful than the Chinese men in breaking into the top levels of the pro game.

The elimination of a Division I tennis program never comes at a good time, but the University of Evansville made a particularly poor choice in its decision to cut the women's program now, in the midst of the fall season.  This leaves the players with few options as far as transferring, although their scholarships will be honored if they choose to stay. They just won't be able to play varsity tennis.  For more on the decision to cut the program, see this article.