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Friday, February 22, 2019

Kodat, Damm and Noel Reach Semifinals at ITF Grade A Porto Alegre; Semifinals Set at D-III Men's Team Indoor; All-US Semifinals at Rancho Santa Fe $25K

Sixteen-year-old Toby Kodat and 15-year-old Martin Damm have advanced to the semifinals of the ITF Grade A in Porto Alegra Brazil, the first time that either player has gone that deep at that level.

A day after ousting the top seed, No. 13 seed Kodat defeated No. 11 seed Taha Baadi of Canada 6-1, 7-6(4).  Damm, who is unseeded, cruised past No. 2 seed Keisuke Saitoh of Japan 6-4, 6-1. Damm has yet to drop a set this week, while Kodat has lost only one.  Kodat will play unseeded Thiago Tirante of Argentina in the top half semifinal, while Damm faces No. 16 seed Carlos Alcaraz Garfia of Spain. Alcaraz defeated No. 6 seed Tyler Zink 6-2, 6-2. 

Damm and Kodat, both of whom train at IMG, are the No. 8 seeds in doubles and have advanced to the semifinals.

No. 2 seed Alexa Noel defeated unseeded Charlotte Owensby in an all-US quarterfinal 6-3, 6-2, the third consecutive match that Noel has won by that score. The 16-year-old will face No. 4 seed Natsumi Kawaguchi of Japan in the semifinals, while top seed Diane Parry of France will take on the breakout star of this week's tournament, 15-year-old qualifier Ane Mintegi Del Olmo of Spain. Mintegi Del Olmo beat No. 3 seed Hurricane Tyra Black in the first round and in today's quarterfinals took out No. 5 seed Ana Geller of Argentina.

The ITA Men's Division III National Team Indoor Championships are underway this weekend at host Case Western in Cleveland.  Unlike the Division I Team Indoor Championships, the Division III version is an eight-team field.  Three of the top four seeds have advanced to Saturday's semifinals, including No. 2 seed Emory, which has won the last three Indoor titles.

Today's quarterfinal results:
No. 4 seed Washington-St Louis 5, No. 5 seed Carnegie Mellon 4
No. 2 seed Emory 9, No. 7 seed Whitman 0
No. 6 seed Pomona-Pitzer 5, No. 3 seed Gustavus Adolphus 4
No. 1 seed Chicago 6, No. 8 seed Case Western 3

Slam Tennis has the bracket and the links to live video and scoring.

While I link to all my articles at the Tennis Recruiting Network, I don't do that for all their content, presuming that most of you visit that site regularly without any prompting from me. But today's article is especially deserving of attention, as members of the Wingate men's tennis team undertake a campaign to promote Set The Expectation, a program to raise awareness and educate other about sexual and physical violence. Rhiannon Potkey has the details on how Saturday's event, which has as its centerpiece the Wingate and Mars Hills men's and women's matches, developed.

Eighteen-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, the 2016 US Open boys champion, has reached his first ATP semifinal this week at the ATP 500 event in Rio de Janeiro. Auger-Aliassime, a wild card, defeated No. 2 seed Fabio Fognini of Italy in the first round, and Juame Munar of Spain this evening. With no seeds remaining in the draw, Auger has a good opportunity for his first ATP title, but regardless of what happens the rest of the week, he will move into the ATP Top 100 for the first time, with his live ranking currently at 77.

An American champion will be crowned Sunday at the $25,000 ITF World Tennis Tour in Rancho Santa Fe California, with US women advancing to Saturday's semifinals after a long day today.  Due to rain the past two days, both the round of 16 and the quarterfinals were played today, with the round of 16 reduced to a match tiebreaker in lieu of a third set.

No. 3 seed Kristie Ahn(Stanford) defeated wild card Katie Volynets 6-0, 2-6, 10-7, then rolled past unseeded Nadia Podoroska of Argentina 6-3, 6-0 in the quarterfinals. Ahn will face unseeded qualifier Usue Arconada, who beat top seed Sachia Vickery 6-4, 7-5. Arconada served for the match at 5-2 and 5-4 in the second set, didn't get to match point either time, but broke Vickery at love at 5-all and finally converted on her third opportunity to finish it.

Ahn's former Stanford teammate Nicole Gibbs, the No. 2 seed this week, also needed a match tiebreaker in the second round, beating Jovana Jaksic of Serbia 3-6, 6-3, 10-5. Gibbs advanced to the semifinals with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Ana Sofia Sanchez of Mexico.  Gibbs will face unseeded Ann Li, who beat No. 3 seed Claire Liu 6-4, 7-6(1) in a quarterfinal battle between 18-year-olds. With that win, Li avenged her loss to Liu in the 2017 Wimbledon girls final.

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