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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

NCAA Division I Singles and Doubles Fields Announced with UCLA's Redlicki and Texas's Turati Top Seeds; Osuigwe Downs Ahn in Charleston $80K; Quarterfinals Set at ITF Grade 4 in Delray Beach

The NCAA released the singles and doubles selections for the individual tournament, which will take place May 23-28 at Wake Forest.  Martin Redlicki of UCLA and Bianca Turati of Texas, who have been No. 1 in the rankings since March, will be the top seeds in singles, with Mississippi State's Nuno Borges and Strahinja Rakic and Georgia Tech's Paige Hourigan and Kenya Jones the No. 1 seeds in doubles.  All players seeded in the NCAAs have already earned All-American status.

The men's singles seeds:

1. Martin Redlicki, UCLA
2. William Blumberg, North Carolina
3. Nuno Borges, Mississippi State
4. Petros Chrysochos, Wake Forest
5. Patrick Kypson, Texas A&M
6. Mikael Torpegaard, Ohio State
7. Borna Gojo, Wake Forest
8. Ryotaro Matsumura, Kentucky
9. Tom Fawcett, Stanford
9. Brandon Holt, Southern California
9. Mazen Osama, Alabama
9. Alfredo Perez, Florida
9. Arthur Rinderknech, Texas A&M
9. Constantin Schmitz, Tulane
9. Timo Stodder, Tennessee
9. Aleks Vukic, Illinois

The men's doubles seeds:
1. Nuno Borges and Strahinja Rakic, Mississippi State
2. William Blumberg and Robert Kelly, North Carolina
3. Juan Carlos Aguilar and Jordi Arconada, Texas A&M
4. Johannes Ingildsen and Alfredo Perez, Florida
5. Jack Jaede and Laurens Verboven, Southern California
5. Guillermo Nunez and Alex Rybakov, TCU
5. Luis Valero and Preston Touliatos, Tennessee
5. Korey Lovett and Eero Vasa, Central Florida

I have no idea what happened to Wake Forest's Skander Mansouri. He and Chrysochos were among the top doubles teams all year and yet were not among the selections, with Chrysochos listed as an alternate with Bar Botzer. (UPDATE: I've been informed that Chrysochos and Mansouri did not have enough appearances as a team to qualify, despite their ITA ranking, which is currently No. 4). The complete list of men's selections (with an error in the 9-16 seeds) is available here.

The women's singles seeds:
1. Bianca Turati, Texas
2. Makenna Jones, North Caroline
3. Estela Perez-Somarriba, Miami
4. Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov, Florida Atlantic
5. Samantha Harris, Duke
6. Gabriela Knutson, Syracuse
7. Arianne Hartono, Ole Miss
8. Anastasia Rychagova, Kansas
9. Fernanda Contreras, Vanderbilt
9. Stacey Fung, Washington
9. Michaela Gordon, Stanford
9. Paige Hourigan, Georgia Tech
9. Katarina Jokic, Georgia
9. Andrea Lazaro, Florida International
9. Astra Sharma, Vanderbilt
9. Ena Shibahara, UCLA

Defending NCAA singles champion Brienne Minor of Michigan was out all fall and early in the dual match season with an injury and did not make the field.

The women's doubles seeds:
1. Paige Hourigan and Kenya Jones, Georgia Tech
2. Jessie Aney and Alexa Graham, North Carolina
3. Emily Arbuthnott and Michaela Gordon, Stanford
4. Erin Larner and Maddie Lipp, Northwestern
5. Samantha Harris and Kelly Chen, Duke
5. Ellyse Hamlin and Kaitlyn McCarthy, Duke
5. Arianne Hartono and Alexa Bortles, Ole Miss
5. Jada Hart and Terri Fleming, UCLA

The complete list of participants for the women is available here.

Whitney Osuigwe, who is still No. 1 in the ITF Junior rankings without having played a junior event this year, recorded the best win of her brief pro career today at the $80,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Charleston South Carolina.  Osuigwe, who turned 16 last month and used a junior exemption for entry this week, beat No. 5 seed Kristie Ahn, WTA 123, 6-1, 6-1 in the first round today. Osuigwe, who didn't face a break point, needed exactly one hour to complete the win. She will face Katherine Sebov of Canada in Thursday's second round.  Other Americans advancing to the second round are Madison Brengle[1], Ashley Kratzer, Allie Kiick, Grace Min, Irina Falconi, Jamie Loeb[7], Jessica Pegula, Katerina Stewart, Nicole Gibbs[4] and Taylor Townsend[2].

Speaking of Osuigwe, I received confirmation of the number of spots that will be filled in the Team USA tryouts going on this week in Lake Nona, and it is five, with two of the players I expected to have already qualified via their ITF rankings, Alexa Noel and Gabby Price, automatically selected. The third, Osuigwe, I didn't expect, but she is on the team, suggesting that she may be considering a junior slam or two this summer.

The quarterfinals are set for the ITF Grade 4 in Delray Beach Florida, the first of three tournaments on green clay in South Florida over the next three weeks. ITF Grade 1 International Spring Champion Hurricane Tyra Black, who trains in the area, took a wild card into the event, no doubt to boost her ranking for the upcoming French Open Junior cutoff next week, but the top seed was beaten today in the third round by No. 14 seed Michelle Sorokko 6-2, 6-1. Another ITF Top 100 player, second seed Elli Mandlik, has advanced to the quarterfinals.

Boys top seed Axel Nefve has breezed through his first three matches, but No. 2 seed Blu Baker of Great Britain was eliminated today 6-3, 6-2 by No. 13 seed Yeudy Villar of the Domincan Republic.