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Friday, March 2, 2018

February Aces; Anisimova Earns BNP Parbias Wild Card, Advances to WTA 125 Semis; Osorio Serrano's Win Streak Snapped; Top Four Seeds Advance in Division III Women's Team Indoor

February can be a quiet month in tennis, but 2018's version proved to be anything but, with 14 performances by juniors, collegians and former collegians highlighted in my monthly column for the Tennis Recruiting Network.

One of last month's Aces, Maria Osorio Serrano of Colombia, was also an Ace in January, with two Grade 1 titles in both January and February. Her streak ended today however at the ITF Grade A in Porto Alegre Brazil, with the 16-year-old top seed falling to No. 12 seed Ana Makatsaria of Georgia 7-6(5), 6-4. Makatsaria will play unseeded 15-year-old Leylah Fernandez of Canada in one semifinal, after Fernandez beat No. 11 seed Gabby Price 7-6(0), 6-2.  Both US girls in the bottom two quarterfinals also lost.  Unseeded Manon Leonard of France beat Kacie Harvey 7-5, 6-4 and No. 14 seed Clara Tauson of Denmark defeated No. 5 seed Lea Ma 6-3, 6-0.  Will Grant and Tyler Zink has advanced to the boys doubles final, beating Natan Rodrigues and Gilbert Soares Klier Junior of Brazil 7-6(5), 6-3 in today's semifinals. They will play No. 2 seeds Sebastian Baez of Argentina and Clement Tabur of France.  The boys singles semifinals will feature No. 1 seed Nicolas Mejia of Columbia against No. 12 seed Nick Hardt of the Dominican Republic and No. 5 seed Naoki Tajima of Japan against No. 2 seed Sebastian Baez.

Mejia, Hardt and Osorio Serrano are among the 15 juniors who received the first ITF developmental grants, it was announced today. The others are Jurij Rodionov of Austria, Uisung Park of Korea, Philip Henning of South Africa, Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland, Chun Hsin Tseng of Taiwan, Ajeet Rai of New Zealand, Violet Apisah of Papua New Guinea, Emiliana Arango of Colombia, Kaja Juvan of Slovenia, Sada Nahimana of Burundi, Maria Rivera Corado of Guatemala and Wang Xinyu of China.

2017 US Open girls champion Amanda Anisimova has earned a wild card into next week's BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, defeating Caroline Dolehide 6-3, 6-3 in today's quarterfinals of the WTA 125 in Indian Wells.  Danielle Collins, who won the first of the two Oracle Challenger Series, lost 6-4, 6-1 today Sara Errani of Italy but she had clinched her BNP Paribas main draw wild card yesterday.  Taylor Fritz advanced to the ATP Challenger semifinals, beating Dudi Sela of Israel 6-3, 6-2, but it appears he will not need his BNP Paribas main draw wild card after several recent withdrawals have resulted in his getting in on his own ranking.  Christian Harrison lost in today's quarterfinal to Vasek Pospisil of Canada 7-6(7), 6-1, but there are now two wild cards available on the men's side, with the announcement on who will receive those expected soon.

Evan King and Nathan Pasha have reached the doubles final in Indian Wells where they will face Austin Krajicek and Jackson Withrow.  All four players are former Kalamazoo champions. King won the 2008 16s doubles title, Pasha won the 2010 18s doubles title, Withrow won the 2011 18s doubles title and Krajicek was the 18s singles champion in 2008.   Neither team is seeded.  No. 3 seeds Jennifer Brady and Vania King will face Taylor Townsend and Belgium's Yanina Wickmeyer in the women's doubles final.

2013 NCAA champions Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria have advanced to their first WTA final in Acapulco with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Monica Puig of Puerto Rico and Sloane Stephens. They will face Tatjana Maria of Germany and Heather Watson of Great Britain, who are also unseeded.

The semifinals are set at the ITA Women's Division III Team Indoor Championships, with the top four seeds advancing after the opening round of play Friday.  No. 1 Emory defeated host Sewanee 9-0 and will face No. 4 seed Carnegie Mellon, who beat No. 5 Washington St. Louis 8-1.  No. 2 seed Pomona-Pitzer defeated No. 7 seed Johns Hopkins 8-1 and they will play No. 3 seed Chicago, who beat Washington and Lee 7-2.  The ITA's recap of today's quarterfinals is here.