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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Spizzirri, Owensby and Black Reach Grade 1 Banana Bowl Semifinals; Rain Disrupts Pro Circuit Events in Arizona; Jokic Named Most Outstanding Player at Women's Team Indoor; Men's Team Indoor Begins Friday in Chicago

Charlotte Owensby and Hurricane Tyra Black will meet in the semifinals of the ITF Grade 1 Banana Bowl Friday in Brazil, assuring an American girl will reach the final of five consecutive Grade 1s in Central/South America to start the year.  Fifteen-year-old Owensby, the No. 11 seed, defeated unseeded Mell Reasco Gonzalez of Ecuador 6-2, 6-0 to reach her second Grade 1 final of the year, with the first of her career coming last month in Costa Rica.  No. 2 seed Black, playing her first tournament this year, defeated unseeded Ellie Coleman  6-1, 6-2.

No. 1 seed Diane Parry of France will face No. Natsumi Kawaguchi of Japan in the top half's semifinal.

No. 3 seed Eliot Spizzirri is the only American boy to advance to the semifinals after four made the quarterfinals.  Spizzirri eked out a  5-7. 6-4, 7-6(3) win over No. 10 seed Arthur Cazaux of France. Spizzirri will play top seed Nicolas Alvarez Varona of Spain, who beat unseeded Blaise Bicknell 7-5, 6-3. No. 6 seed Tyler Zink lost to No. 16 seed Juan Bautista Torres of Argentina 6-2, 6-2 and No. 15 seed Toby Kodat was beaten 6-0, 6-2 by Harold Mayot of France.

Spizzirri and Zink, the top seeds, have advanced to the boys doubles final, where they will play No. 5 seeds Torres and Santiago De La Fuente of Argentina.

Rain in Arizona kept any second round matches from being played at the $25,000 women's World Tennis Tour tournament in Surprise Arizona. Round of 16 and quarterfinal matches are scheduled for Friday.

At the $15,000 WTT men's event in Tucson, four singles matches were completed, with the top two seeds, Martin Redlicki(UCLA) and Karue Sell(UCLA) of Brazil advancing to the quarterfinals. The remaining four matches, all in progress, were suspended until Friday, with the quarterfinals to be played Friday as well.

As is usually the case, the All-Tournament Team at the Women's ITA Team Indoor Championships is skewed toward members of the two finalists. This year champion Georgia and runner-up North Carolina earned recognition in eight of the nine spots. Georgia sophomore Katarina Jokic, who clinched the 4-3 semifinal win over Stanford and the 4-3 final win over North Carolina, was named the Most Outstanding Player.

No. 1 singles: Katarina Jokic, Georgia
No. 2 singles: Sara Daavettila, UNC
No. 3 singles: Alexa Graham, UNC
No. 4 singles: Vivian Wolf, Georgia
No. 5 singles: Elena Christofi, Georgia
No. 6 singles: Meg Kowalski, Georgia

No. 1 doubles: Graham and Jessie Aney, UNC
No. 2 doubles: Ellyse Hamlin and Kaitlyn McCarthy, Duke
No. 3 doubles: Jokic and Kowalski, Georgia

The ITA Division I Men's Team Indoor begins Friday at the Midtown Athletic Club in Chicago.

Below are the times (all times Central) for the eight matches on the schedule.

9:00 AM:
TCU[15] v Mississippi State[2]
Baylor[10] v North Carolina[7]

Wake Forest[3] v Columbia[14]
Notre Dame[11] v UCLA[6]

3:30 PM:
Ohio State[1] v Tulane[16]
Stanford[9] v Virginia[8]

6:30 PM:
USC[13] v Florida[4]
Illinois[12] v Texas[5]

For live streaming and live scoring links, see the Slam Tennis site.