Sponsored by IMG Academy

Friday, February 2, 2018

January Aces; Nava, Price Reach Ecuador Grade 1 Finals; Korda Awarded ATP New York Wild Card; Norrie Posts Huge Win in Davis Cup; Loeb, Brady to Meet in Dow $100K Semis

My review of January's top performances is up today at the Tennis Recruiting Network, with 14 juniors and former collegians featured. Whether its a junior slam title or a first win on the Futures circuit, these achievements are a satisfying start to a new year.

The ITF Junior Circuit moved from Colombia to Ecuador this week, and two Americans have advanced to Saturday's final of the Grade 1 tournament.  Sixteen-year-old Emilio Nava, the No. 6 seed, will face No. 3 seed Facundo Diaz Acosta of Argentina for the boys title, and 14-year-old Gabby Price, the No. 9 seed, plays Maria Rivera Corado of Guatemala, the No. 3 seed, for the girls title.  Price, who reached the semifinals of last week's Grade 1 in Colombia, will be playing in her first Grade 1 final.  Nava reached the final of the Pan American Closed Grade B1 last fall.

Kacie Harvey and her partner from Ireland, Georgia Drummy, won the girls doubles title, with the top seeds beating No. 4 seeds Laura Rico Garcia and Antonia Samudio of Colombia 6-3, 6-0 in the final.

The New York Open, which is the ATP men's event replacing the Memphis tour stop, announced today that 17-year-old Sebastian Korda has been given a main draw wild card.  The Australian Open boys champion, whose ATP ranking is currently 846, will be making his ATP debut, having played only as high as the Challenger level previously.  The tournament, held on Long Island,  begins on February 11th.

The first round of Davis Cup has begun, with the United States taking a 2-0 lead on the road in Serbia.  Sam Querrey defeated Laslo Djere 6-7(4), 6-2, 7-5 to put the US up 1-0 and John Isner defeated Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 6-7(7), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(4) in the second rubber.  Ryan Harrison and Steve Johnson could clinch the tie with a win in the doubles on Saturday.

Great Britain is taking on Spain in Spain in another World Group tie, without Andy Murray or Kyle Edmund, although Edmund is with the team.  Liam Broady lost the opening rubber to Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(6) and when former TCU star Cameron Norrie went down two sets to none to ATP No. 23 Roberto Bautista Agut it looked as if Great Britain would head to the doubles down 2-0.  But after falling behind a break in the third set, Norrie rallied to earn an improbable 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory in the first five-set match of his career.  Norrie, who left TCU last spring after his junior year, is currently 114 in the ATP rankings.  Former University of Virginia star Dominic Inglot will be playing doubles for Great Britain Saturday, with Jamie Murray. For more on Norrie's win, see this article from the BBC.

At the $100,000 Dow Tennis Classic in Midland, No. 2 seed Jennifer Brady and unseeded Jamie Loeb have advanced to the semifinals with wins today.  Brady got past Bianca Andreescu of Canada 6-4, 7-5, while Loeb easily won the 2015 NCAA singles final rematch with Canada's Carol Zhao 6-2, 6-0.   Brady, who also was in the NCAA field in 2015, losing in the third round to Danielle Collins, came up with two great backhands with Andreescu serving at 5-6 30-30 to secure the victory.  Loeb faced only two break points against Zhao and played at a level above what she had shown in her first and second round victories.  Loeb and Brady will play Saturday for a place in the final.  In the top half, No. 1 seed Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania beat Rebecca Peterson of Sweden 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3 and will face the winner of tonight's match between No. 3 seed Madison Brengle and No. 8 seed Evgeniya Rodina of Russia.

Live streaming for the tournament is available here.

Top seed Kei Nishikori is through to the final of the $125,000 ATP Challenger in Dallas, beating former Michigan star Jason Jung of Taiwan 6-4, 6-4 this afternoon.  Nishikori will face either Denis Kudla or Mackenzie McDonald, who play later this evening.  The free live stream is available here.