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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Fifteen-Year-Old Wild Card Upsets Top Seed at Claremont Futures; Hurricane Florence Threatens Cary Challenger; Anisimova Advances to First WTA Quarterfinal in Japan

The first round of the $15,000 Claremont California Futures concluded today with a massive upset. Fifteen-year-old wild card Zachary Svajda of San Diego, playing in his first Pro Circuit tournament, defeated top seed Joao Reis Da Silva of Brazil 6-3, 6-4 and now has earned an ATP point. Svajda's profile on Tennis Recruiting Network shows that he went undefeated in the 16s Intersectional Championships this summer in Shreveport Louisiana, barely losing any games, and he has an impressive UTR of 13.49, which is on par with the best players in the Kalamazoo 16s this year, but with few results in sanctioned tournaments, this win has to be considered a surprise. Reis Da Silva, whose UTR is 13.89, is just 18 years old and at 601 his ATP ranking isn't particularly high for a top seed at a Futures, but Svajda wouldn't be favored to win that match in any scenario.

The rest of those advancing to the second round were more predictable, with current and former college players in the majority. Five qualifiers, including UCLA's Keegan Smith and UC-Santa Barbara's Nicolas Moreno, won their fifth matches since last Friday, with these $15,000 Futures tournaments among the last to have 128-player qualifying draws. When the ITF transition tour begins next year, all men's $15,000 tournaments will have 24-player qualifying draws.

The other Futures event this week that has drawn a large group of Americans is the $25,000 tournament in Toronto, which has concluded its second round.  Recent Minnesota graduate Felix Corwin, who lost in the Niagara Falls $25K Futures final last week, received a special exemption into the main draw and promptly defeated the top seed, ATP 522 Hiroyasu Ehara of Japan, 6-3, 6-3. Corwin advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-1 over qualifier Charles Broom(Dartmouth) of Great Britain today and will face former TCU star Nick Chappell.
No. 6 seed Harrison Adams(Texas A&M) is the third American to reach the quarterfinals. Sixteen-year-old wild card Liam Draxl of Canada has also advanced to the quarterfinals, the first time he has won two main draw matches in a Pro Circuit event.

The $50,000+H ATP Challenger in Cary North Carolina is also underway this week, but Hurricane Florence, yet to make landfall, has already caused the tournament to change it schedule. All second round matches were completed today, and quarterfinals matches are scheduled for Thursday, with no play anticipated for Friday. Alejandro Gonzalez of Colombia is the top seed, with Reilly Opelka[4] and Bjorn Fratangelo[5] the two Americans to advance to the quarterfinals.


At the WTA International tournament in Japan, 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova has advanced to the quarterfinals of a WTA tournament for the first time in her career. Anisimova, who won three qualifying matches to reach the main draw, beat Jana Fett of Croatia in the first round and No. 7 seed Saisai Zheng of China in the second round today, both by impressive 6-1, 6-1 scores.  Anisimova will face either Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia or Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland for a place in the semifinals.

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