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Thursday, October 26, 2017

My Article on Andrew Fenty's Commitment to Michigan; Orange Bowl Acceptances; Osuigwe Wins Again at ITF Junior Masters

While I was in Tulsa for the ITF Grade B1 Pan American Closed, I had an opportunity to talk to blue chip Andrew Fenty about his verbal commitment to the University of Michigan. My article on Fenty, who went on to win his first Grade 1 title in Tulsa several days later, is available now at the Tennis Recruiting Network.  I've watched both Fenty and fellow Junior Tennis Champions Center student Frances Tiafoe play tennis since they were 11 or 12 years old, so it seems a little strange when I hear the 19-year-old Tiafoe is now giving advice, but he did provide the 17-year-old Fenty with a tip about ITF play that Fenty is now passing along to others.

Stadium Court at Veltri Tennis Center, site of Orange Bowl

The acceptances are out for the Grade A Orange Bowl, which runs from December 4-10 at the Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation Florida.  Twelve US girls and nine US boys received entry into the main draws of the last significant ITF junior tournament of 2017.

The girls field features two Top 10 players: ITF No. 1 Whitney Osuigwe, who reached the semifinals at the Orange Bowl last year, and No. 7 Carson Branstine of Canada. Thirteen-year-old US Open girls finalist Coco Gauff, who has not played since her incredible run in New York, is entered; she also may play the Eddie Herr, with those acceptances coming out next week. The girls field is quite deep, with an initial cutoff of 98. The boys field has just one Top 10 player: No. 8 Timofey Skatov of Russia, with the ranking cutoff 148.

The US girls in the main draw:
Whitney Osuigwe
Sofia Sewing
Elysia Bolton
Caty McNally
Ellie Douglas
Natasha Subhash
Hailey Baptiste
Hurricane Tyra Black
Coco Gauff
Nicole Mossmer
Elli Mandlik
Katie Volynets

The US boys in the main draw:
Sebastian Korda
Andrew Fenty
Vasil Kirkov
Alexandre Rotsaert
Trey Hilderbrand
Sangeet Sridhar
Brian Shi
Axel Nefve
Govind Nanda

The acceptances were also released for the Grade 1 Yucatan Cup, which runs from November 20-25.  Because the Grade 1s are sandwiched between two Grade As and are four consecutive weeks (including Thanksgiving), it's unusual for a player to compete in all four, even if they enter all four initially,  although Kayla Day did play all four in 2015, winning Yucatan and reaching the Orange Bowl final.

The second day of round robin play at the ITF Junior Masters in China produced many more close matches than the first day did. Top girls seed Whitney Osuigwe defeated Sofia Sewing to go 2-0, with Sewing falling to 0-2.  Trent Bryde lost to Stanford freshman Axel Geller of Argentina to fall to 0-2. The third and final day of round robin play is Friday, with the top two finishers in each group advancing to the semifinals. I believe Marta Kostyuk and Kaja Juvan have already secured their places in the semifinals, but they will play for first place on Friday. Kostyuk won their first round meeting at Wimbledon; Juvan won their meeting in the final of the European Championships just a few weeks later.

Group Liang:
Whitney Osuigwe[1](USA) def. Sofia Sewing(USA) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
Maria Carle(ARG) def. Elena Rybakina(RUS) 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-3

Group Li:
Marta Kostyuk[2](UKR) def. Maria Osorio Serrano(COL) 6-4, 6-4
Kaja Juvan(SLO)  def. Wang Xin Yu(CHN) 6-1, 7-5

Group Shuai:
Wu Yibing[1](CHN) def. Emil Ruusuvuori(FIN) 7-6(7), 6-4
Jurij Rodionov(AUT) def. Marko Miladinovic(SRB) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

Group Yong:
Axel Geller[2](ARG) def. Trent Bryde(USA) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(5)
Hsu Yu Hsiou(TPE) def. Sebastian Baez(ARG) 6-4, 1-6, 7-5

The ITF article on the girls matches features comments from Osuigwe; the ITF article on the boys matches features comments from Geller.

The live scoring link is available at the ITF Junior website home page.


Fenty fan said...

Fenty has some serious talent. Moves very well for a big guy. Develop his game with some grip changes on the volleys and look out.