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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Oracle ITA National Fall Championships Begin Wednesday with Wake Forest's Chrysochos and Vanderbilt's Contreras Top Seeds; Four USTA Pro Circuit Events Underway

After making its debut last year, the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships begin on Wednesday, at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Club in Surprise Arizona.  Before last year, this weekend was devoted to the ITA's Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, but this tournament now takes the place of that fall major on the calendar, with an expanded draw of 64, with doubles draws now 32.

Last year's women's champion, Andrea Lazaro of Florida International, has graduated, while the men's champion Nuno Borges of Mississippi State, now a senior, is not entered. Even if he hadn't made the final last year, NCAA champion Petros Chrysochos of Wake Forest would be the favorite, and he is the top seed.  The top seed in the women's draw is Fernanda Contreras of Vanderbilt, who reached the semifinals last year.

The ITA announced last week that this year's winners will receive a wild card into an unspecified Oracle Challenger in 2019.

Singles begin at 8 a.m. local time (10 a.m. eastern) and live scoring is available via TennisTicker

Below are the singles and doubles seeds, and it's great to see them enumerated 1-16 rather than that confusing 5-8 and 9-16 method used at All-Americans and NCAAs.

Men’s Singles:
1. Petros Chysochos, Wake Forest
2. Christian Sigsgaard, Texas
3. Paul Jubb, South Carolina
4. Brandon Holt, USC
5. Thomas Laurent, Oregon
6. Daniel Cukierman, USC
7. Yuya Ito, Texas
8. Nicolas Moreno de Alboran, UC-Santa Barbara
9. Emil Reinberg, Georgia
10. John McNally, Ohio State
11. Jan Zielinski, Georgia
12. Laurens Verboven, USC
13. Aziz Kijametovic, Old Dominion
14. Jake Van Emburgh, Oklahoma
15. Aleks Kovacevic, Illinois
16. Alex Lebedev, Notre Dame

Men’s Doubles
1. Jack Mingjie Lin and Will Matheson, Columbia
2. Sven Lah and Jimmy Bendeck, Baylor
3. Kyle Seelig and Alex Kobelt, Ohio State
4. Martin Joyce and Hunter Tubert, Ohio State
5. Giovanni Oradini and Niclas Braun, Mississippi State
6. Loic Cloes and Clement Marzol, South Alabama
7. August Holmgren and Joel Gamerov, San Diego
8. Christian Sigsgaard and Harrison Scott, Texas

Women’s Singles:
1. Fernanda Contreras, Vanderbilt
2. Estela Perez-Somarriba, Miami
3. Evgeniya Levashova, Pepperdine
4. Sophie Whittle, Gonzaga
5. Kelly Chen, Duke
6. Ashley Lahey, Pepperdine
7. Meible Chi, Duke
8. Melissa Lord, Stanford
9. Katarina Jokic, Georgia
10. Makenna Jones, North Carolina
11. Kate Fahey, Michigan
12. Andie Daniell, Alabama
13. Elysia Bolton, UCLA
14. Michaela Gordon, Stanford
15. Alexa Graham, North Carolina
16. Lisa Marie Rioux, Oklahoma State

Women’s Doubles:
1. Michaela Gordon and Emily Arbuthnott, Stanford
2. Makenna Jones and Cameron Morra, North Carolina
3. Kimberly Yee and Caroline Lampl, Stanford
4. Eden Richardson and Jessica Golovin, LSU
5. Nina Khmelnitckaia and Janet Koch, Kansas
6. Ayan Broomfield and Gabby Andrews, UCLA
7. Sofia Blanco and Lisa Marie Rioux, Oklahoma State
8. Angela Kulikov and Rianna Valdes, USC

Links to draws can be found at the ITA tournament page. The ITA's preview is available here.

In addition to the ITA major this week, four USTA Pro Circuit events are on the schedule.

Rain disrupted the first day of main draw competition at the $15,000 Futures in Niceville Florida, with the first round of doubles scheduled to be played indoors.  The top seeds are the same as at last week's Birmingham Futures: Fabrizio Ornago of Italy and former Northwestern standout Strong Kirchheimer.  Ohio State recruit Cannon Kingsley qualified and wild cards went to Logan Zapp, Harvard recruit Ronan Jachuck, Georgia recruit Tyler Zink and Agustin Savarino of Argentina. Kingsley and Zink are scheduled to meet in the first round.

Qualifying ended Monday at the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Lawrence Kansas, with five of the eight qualifiers juniors: Caty McNally, Katie Volynets, Emma Jackson, Emma Navarro and Peyton Stearns.  Current collegians Ena Shibahara(UCLA) and Michaela Bayerlova(Washington State) qualified, as did Jessica Ho(Duke).

In first round action today, Navarro, Shibahara, McNally and Volynets all won their matches. Bianca Andreescu of Canada and Dalma Galfi of Hungary are the top two seeds. Wild card recipients, none of whom advanced to the second round, were junior Reilly Tran and University of Kansas players Anastasia Rychagova and Sofia Smagina of Russia and Malkia Ngounoue.

The two US tournaments on the USTA's Australian Open Wild Card Challenge circuit are the $75,000 ATP Challenger in Knoxville Tennessee and the $80,000 Women's ITF event in Las Vegas.

Qualifying concluded today in both, with Americans Evan Song and Michael Redlicki(Arkansas) joining Mikael Ymer of Sweden and former USC star Emilio Gomez of Ecuador as qualifiers. Tennys Sandgren is back in home this week as the No. 1 seed, with the former Volunteer scheduled to face Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland in the first round. Marcel Granollers of Spain is the No. 2 seed, with Bradley Klahn(Stanford) No. 3.  Klahn defeated JC Aragone(Virginia) 6-2, 7-6(7) in a first round match today, and Chris Eubanks(Georgia Tech) beat wild card JJ Wolf(Ohio State) 7-5, 6-7(3), 6-4.

In Las Vegas, the four qualifiers are Maria Sanchez(USC), Jennifer Elie, Giuliana Olmos(USC) of Mexico and Hanna Chang. Wild cards went to Maria Mateas(Duke), Kayla Day and Louisa Chirico. As she was last week in Tyler, Switzerland's Belinda Bencic is the top seed, with Great Britain's Heather Watson the No. 2 seed.

In first round action, No. 4 seed Varvara Lepchenko lost to Kurumi Nara of Japan 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, so she will not gain any ground on Whitney Osuigwe in the Australian Open Wild Card Challenge. Osuigwe is scheduled to compete next week at the Oracle Challenger in Houston, but is not playing this week due to the WTA age restrictions. Lepchenko and Osuigwe are currently tied in the standings. Links to the men's and women's current standings can be found here.

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