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Friday, March 1, 2019

February Aces; Adidas Easter Bowl ITF Grade B1 Acceptances; BNP Paribas Wild Cards; Brady Advances to Indian Wells WTA 125 Semis; Women's D-III Indoor Semifinals Set

My monthly column for the Tennis Recruiting Network is out today, featuring the notable performances in February, from juniors to current collegians to former collegians. Winning titles is hard, and I'm glad to have the opportunity to feature those who achieve that each month. Check out this month's 18 champions here.

The Adidas Easter Bowl ITF Grade B1 begins on Monday March 25, just one week after the completion of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Today the acceptances were released, with eight Top 100 boys and 13 Top 100 girls. The Americans at the very top of the ITF Junior rankings are not participating: Brandon Nakashima, Emilio Nava, Cannon Kingsley, Zane Khan are the Top 20 boys not entered, and No. 36 Govind Nanda is in the middle of his first semester at UCLA. The Top 100 boys participating are: 
Eliot Spizzirri[23]
Martin Damm[29]
Toby Kodat[31]
Tristan Boyer[40](2018 finalist)
Dali Blanch[66]
Will Grant[91]
Andres Martin[92]

Coco Gauff, ranked No. 2, and Caty McNally, ranked No. 8, are not entered, and Katie Volynets, No. 31, will not be defending her title. The Top 100 girls who are on the acceptance list:
Hurricane Tyra Black[14]
Alexa Noel[17]
Elli Mandlik[21]
Emma Navarro[23]
Lea Ma[28]
Savannah Broadus[34]
Abigail Forbes[44]
Chloe Beck[51]
Charlotte Chavatipon[61]
Gabby Price[79]
Charlotte Owensby[84]
Kylie Collins[89]
Lauren Anzalotta[92] (Puerto Rico)

The main draw ranking cutoff for the girls was 281, while the boys extended all the way down to 787, a huge difference. It will be interesting to see if that holds for the Grade 1 in Carson the following week, which is not restricted, as the Easter Bowl is, to American players (or those with appropriate immigration status).
The BNP Paribas Open, which begins next week, has announced the majority of its wild cards.

Main draw women's wild cards were given to Amanda Anisimova, Jennifer Brady, Taylor Townsend, Sachia Vickery, Madison Brengle and Bianca Andreescu of Canada. Jessica Pegula won her wild card via the Oracle Challenger Series competition. There is one more main draw wild card to be awarded.  

Qualifying wild cards were given to Caty McNally, Francesca Di Lorenzo, Allie Kiick and Zoe Kruger of South Africa. Ashley Kratzer won her qualifying wild card in a pre-qualifying tournament earlier. One more women's qualifying wild card remains to be distributed.

Main draw wild cards in the men's draw went to Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, Laslo Djere of Serbia and American Jared Donaldson. Donald Young and Reilly Opelka received their main draw wild cards based on their performance in the Oracle Challenger Series. Men's qualifying wild cards were given to Christopher Eubanks, Marcos Giron, Mitchell Krueger and JJ Wolf. Evan Song won his qualifying wild card in the pre-qualifying tournament. 

Brady defeated Nicole Gibbs 7-5, 6-0 today at the WTA 125 Oracle Challenger Series event in Indian Wells and will meet No. 11 seed Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan for a place in the final. Diyas ended the run of Di Lorenzo 6-4, 6-3.  The top half semifinal will feature No. 1 seed Qiang Wang of China and No. 14 seed Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland.

In the semifinals of the men's ATP 125 Challenger at Indian Wells, top seed Kyle Edmund of Great Britain will face No. 5 seed Lloyd Harris of South Africa and No. 7 seed Andrey Rublev of Russia will play last week's Delray Beach finalist, unseeded Dan Evans of Great Britain. 

It's been difficult to follow the Acapulco combined ATP/WTA event this week, with the late night matches and the time difference, but John Isner, Sonya Kenin and former TCU star Cameron Norrie all reached the semifinals. Norrie lost to No. 2 seed Sasha Zverev of Germany 7-6(0), 6-3, while Kenin, seeded No. 5, was up against Bianca Andreescu of Canada in tonight's semfinal. Isner, the No. 3 seed, plays Nick Kyrgios of Australia later tonight to determine who faces Zverev in the final. 

The semifinals are set at the ITA Women's Division III Team Indoor Championships, with No. 5 seed Chicago set to play top seed Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and No. 2 seed Emory facing off against No. 3 seed Pomona-Pitzer.  CMS swept No. 8 seed Washington-St. Louis 9-0, and Emory also pitched a shutout against No. 7 seed Sewanee-The University of The South. Chicago had a surprisingly easy 8-1 victory over No. 4 seed MIT, with their only lost point coming in doubles. By far the toughest battle was between No. 6 Carnegie Mellon and Pomona-Pitzer, with Carnegie Mellon winning all three doubles points, but able to claim only one of six singles matches. Down 4-1, Pomona- Pitzer won the last four matches to finish the marathon, with Maria Lyven clinching it at line 2 for the Sagehens. 

Links to live scoring and live streaming can be found at Slam Tennis.