Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Freshmen Among Qualifiers at Men's ITA All-American Championships; Subhash, Volynets Qualify at Women's Pro Circuit Events; Blumberg Advances at Stockton Challenger

Singles qualifying is complete at the ITA St. Francis Health System Men's All-American Championships in Tulsa, with four freshman posting three victories to earn berths in the main draw, which begins on Thursday.  None of the freshmen were seeded in the 128-player qualifying draw, but North Carolina's Brian Cernoch was No. 7 in the Preseason newcomer rankings, and Cal's Yuta Kikuchi was No. 8 in those rankings. The other two, Stanford's Alexandre Rotsaert and Wake Forest's Melios Efstathiou were both in the Top 50 of ITF Junior rankings last year, so their results are not particularly surprising.

Only five of the 32 seeds made it to the main draw. Wake Forest is one of three schools that have more than one qualifier, with Texas A&M and Texas the others with two.  The complete qualifying draw can be found here.

Brian Cernoch, North Carolina
Rodrigo Banzer[9], Texas
Yuta Kikuchi, Cal
Bar Botzer, Wake Forest
Clement Marzol, South Alabama
Melios Efstathiou, Wake Forest
Bojan Jankulovski, Miami
Alexandre Rotsaert, Stanford
Kyle Seelig[6], Ohio State
Barnaby Smith, Texas A&M
Guanarteme Nuez Delgado[4], Texas-Arlington
Juan Carlos Aguilar[25-32], Texas A&M
Jake DeVine, Southern California
Mattias Siimar, Michigan
Will Little, Baylor
Christian Sigsgaard[2], Texas

Qualifying for the Riviera ITA Women's All-American Championships began today, with two rounds on the schedule; the final round of qualifying is set for Wednesday.

Qualifying was also completed at the two women's USTA Pro Circuit events this week in the United States: the $25,000 tournament in Charleston South Carolina and the $60,000 tournament in Stockton California.

Charleston has eight qualifiers in the 32-player draw, with Virginia recruit Natasha Subhash, Alana Smith(NC State), Kennedy Shaffer[3](Georgia) and Chanelle Van Nguyen[6](UCLA) the Americans advancing to the main draw. In first round action in the main draw, Hailey Baptiste beat wild card Caty McNally 6-3, 6-1, and former Georgia star Nadja Gilchrist took out No. 6 seed Barbara Gatica of Chile 6-2, 6-1. Former Florida standout Anna Danilina of Kazakhstan, the No. 5 seed, beat 17-year-old wild card Alycia Parks 6-0, 7-6(3).  The top two seeds are Sherazad Reix of France and Sophie Chang.

In Stockton, just four qualifiers make the main draw, with three of those Americans.  Katie Volynets, who needed a wild card to get into the qualifying draw, will be looking for her first Pro Circuit main draw victory Wednesday when she takes on fellow 16-year-old Whitney Osuigwe, who received entry based on a junior exemption. Osuigwe leads their junior head-to-head 2-1.  The other American qualifiers are Sanaz Marand(North Carolina) and Maegan Manasse(Cal). In first round action today, No. 6 seed Jamie Loeb(North Carolina) avenged her loss last week to Emina Bektas(Michigan) 6-4, 6-1 and Loeb's former teammate Hayley Carter, a wild card, beat Katherine Sebov of Canada 7-6(2), 2-6, 6-1. 

The men are also playing in Stockton, at a $100,000 ATP Challenger.  North Carolina junior and 2017 All-American champion Will Blumberg, who is taking this fall off, received a wild card into qualifying, won three matches and picked up a victory in the main draw today, beating JC Aragone(Virginia) 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. Other Americans to advance to the second round include No. 6 seed Noah Rubin(Wake Forest), who is Blumberg's second round opponent, wild card Thai Kwiatkowski(Virginia), Chris Eubanks(Georgia Tech), Mitchell Krueger and Alex Sarkissian(Pepperdine). No. 2 seed Reilly Opelka lost to Maxime Janvier of France 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4 today despite hitting 32 aces in the match.

Stockton's newspaper The Record is covering the tournaments, and has interviews with 2017 NCAA singles champion Kwiatkowski and UCLA's Ena Shibahara, who lost today in the final round of qualifying after beating the top seed on Monday.

Several American men are in the draw at the $150,000+H ATP Challenger in Monterrey Mexico, although Michael Mmoh, who was scheduled to be the No. 2 seed, withdrew after winning titles the past two weeks. Harrison Adams(Texas A&M) qualified, but drew top seed Marcel Granollers. Americans who have won their first round matches are Bjorn Fratangelo and Ernesto Escobedo.  Emilio Nava received a wild card into qualifying and beat top seed Jose Hernandez(North Carolina) of the Dominican Republic, but the 16-year-old lost in the final round of qualifying to unseeded Pavel Krainik of Canada.