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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Top Seed Danilina Falls to Babic in Opening Round of ITA Fall Championships; Oracle Sponsors New Pro Events; Les Petits As Playoff Semifinals Set; Eddie Herr Acceptances

The first day of the ITA Fall National Championships in Indian Wells had its share of upsets, especially on the women's side, with two of the top three seeds eliminated.  Top seed Anna Danilina of Florida lost to Vladica Babic of Oklahoma State 6-3, 6-1 and No. 3 seed Karla Popovic of Cal was defeated by Arianne Hartono of Ole Miss 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.  Danilina was runner-up in her regional; Popovic was an at-large selection, while both Babic and Hartono won their region's titles.

The top two seeds in women's doubles also went out this afternoon, with Georgia's Mariana Gould and Katarina Jokic beating No. 1 seeds Ellyse Hamlin and Kaitlyn McCarthy of Duke 3-6, 6-1, 10-8 and Jada Hart and Gabby Andrews defeating No. 2 seeds Sarah Dvorak and Sabrina Federici of Texas Tech 6-4, 6-3.

Four men's seeds exited in the first round today, but none of the Top 10.  No. 11 seed Michael Geerts of Arizona State lost to Jackie Tang of Columbia 6-1, 3-6, 6-2; No. 12 seed Johannes Ingildsen of Florida lost to Alex Lebedev of Notre Dame 6-1, 7-5; No. 13 seed Walker Duncan of Georgia lost to Kyle Seelig of Ohio State 7-6(0), 6-2; and No. 14 seed Wayne Montgomery of Georgia lost to wild card Bjoern Petersen of Baylor 6-4, 6-3.

Men's first round doubles action is still ongoing as of 9:00 p.m. EDT.  Live scoring is available here.  Live streaming of two courts at Indian Wells can be found on the ITA tournament page.

Indian Wells was also in the news today when it was announced that Oracle would be sponsoring four big new tournaments this coming winter as part of the Oracle Challenge series.  The two men's $100,000 Challengers and two women's $125,000 tournaments will be played as combined events in Newport Beach, California January 20-28 and Indian Wells, California, February 24-March 4, with the American man and woman who accumulate the most points in those two weeks earning a main draw wild card into the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells next March. Oracle CEO Mark Hurd, who played tennis at Baylor, has been instrumental in providing funding for ITA events, and that generosity is now being extended to pro events.

The quarterfinals of the USA's Les Petits As playoff were held today in Florida, with the results below.  All four girls seeds advanced to Thursday's semifinals, while only two of the four boys seeds are in the final four.

Vivian Ovrootsky[1] def. Violet Martinez 6-2, 6-0
Katrina Scott[4] def. Alexis Blokhina 6-2, 6-3
Robin Montgomery[3] def. Sonya Macavei 6-3, 6-2
Katja Wiersholm[2] def. Eleana Yu 6-1, 4-6, 6-3

Evan Wen[1] def. Bruno Kuzuhara 6-2, 6-2
Jonah Braswell def. Herrick Legaspi[4] 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
Victor Lilov[3] def. Ozan Colak 7-5, 6-0
John Kim def. Nishesh Basavareddy[2] 6-2, 6-2

Complete results and Friday's order of play is available at the tournament website.

The ITF Eddie Herr Grade 1 acceptances were released today, with eight US boys and 11 US girls receiving entry into the main draw.  Sebastian Baez of Argentina is the only Top 10 boy entered; the girls entry list has No. 1 Whitney Osuigwe, No. 8 Carson Branstine of Canada and No. 10 Maria Carle of Argentina, the defending champion. The ranking cutoff for the boys draw as of now is an impressive 138, actually higher than the Grade A Orange Bowl the following week. The girls ranking cutoff was 108, slightly lower than the Orange Bowl's.

The US girls in the main draw: Osuigwe, Sofia Sewing, Caty McNally, Ellie Douglas, Nastasha Subhash, Hailey Baptiste, Hurricane Tyra Black, Nicole Mossmer, Elli Mandlik, Katie Volynets and Lea Ma.

The US boys in the main draw: Sebastian Korda, Andrew Fenty, Alexandre Rotsaert, Tristan Boyer, Sangeet Sridhar, Brian Shi, Axel Nefve and Govind Nanda.

The tournament runs from November 27- December 3 and I will again be covering it on site.