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Friday, October 5, 2018

Navarro, Baptiste Reach Charleston $25K Semifinals; ITF B1 Pan American Closed Qualifying Begins Saturday; Semifinals Set at Women's ITA All-American Championships

Teenagers Emma Navarro and Hailey Baptiste continued their impressive showings at the $25,000 ITF Women's Pro Circuit event in Charleston South Carolina, with both taking quarterfinal victories in straight sets.

Navarro, a 17-year-old wild card from Charleston, defeated No. 5 seed Anna Danilina of Kazakhstan, a former Florida standout, 7-5, 6-3 and will face No. 4 seed Ellie Halbauer, another young American with roots in the area, in the semifinals.  Halbauer defeated former Georgia star Nadja Gilchrist 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.

Baptiste, 16, has been rolling through opponents this week, and she made her first Pro Circuit semifinal with a 6-3, 6-0 win over recent Georgia graduate and qualifier Kennedy Shaffer. Baptiste will play former Texas Tech star Gabriela Talaba of Romania, who beat top seed Sherazad Reix of France 6-0, 6-1.

Three of the four semifinalists at the $60,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Stockton are Americans, with No. 1 seed Madison Brengle, No. 2 seed Jessica Pegula and Danielle Lao(USC) advancing with wins today.  Lao defeated Whitney Osuigwe 6-2, 6-0 and Brengle defeated Ann Li 6-2, 6-1.  Pegula and Lao will play Saturday, with Brengle taking on No. 3 seed Sofya Zhuk of Russia.

The two Americans remaining at the $100,000 ATP Challenger in Stockton lost today, with No. 6 seed Noah Rubin falling to top seed Jordan Thompson 6-7(4), 7-6(2), 6-3 and Chris Eubanks dropping a 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-3 decision to No. 4 seed Lloyd Harris.

Qualifying begins Saturday in Charlotte for the ITF Grade B1 Pan American Closed, which I'll be covering on site beginning with main draw matches on Monday.  As is usually the case, the qualifying draws are not filled, with just 31 players in the boys qualifying draw and 32 players in the girls qualifying draw.  Sophia Hatton is the top seed in the girls qualifying. Matthew Che, who has the only bye in the first round, is the No. 1 seed in the boys qualifying.

After two rounds of play today, the semifinals are set for the ITA Women's Riviera All-American Championships in Pacific Palisades California, with 2017 champion Fernanda Contreras of Vanderbilt still in the running for a second title. Contreras, the No. 6 seed, will face qualifier Sophie Whittle of Gonzaga in one semifinal, with top seed Makenna Jones of North Carolina taking on Duke's Maria Mateas, the top-ranked newcomer of the season, in the other semifinal.  Comments from both Whittle and Mateas can be found in this ITA recap from Steve Pratt.

Because the Men's ITA All-American Championships field is twice the size of the women's, the men will double up on Saturday, with the round of 16 and the quarterfinals taking place then.  Only four seeds remain in the men's draw, while three qualifiers and a lucky loser have advanced to the round of 16.  Baylor's Will Little will play Ohio State's Kyle Seelig in a battle of qualifiers, while Sven Lah of Baylor, the lucky loser, takes on Georgia's Emil Reinberg.  Wake Forest's Bar Botzer defeated No. 2 seed Mazen Osama of Alabama 6-0, 6-7(9), 6-3 to become the third qualifier in the round of 16. Botzer will face Alex Lebedev of Notre Dame a 9-16 seed next. The other seeds advancing are top seed Nuno Borges of Mississippi State, No. 6 seed Thomas Laurent of Oregon and JJ Wolf of Ohio State, a 9-16 seed.