Thursday, March 7, 2019

Giron Earns First ATP Masters Win at BNP Paribas Open; Carson Grade 1 Acceptances; Osuigwe into $25K Quarterfinal in Mexico

The final two days of the USTA National Spring Team Championships don't provide much time to keep up with other tennis tournaments, but with the conclusion of the event yesterday, it's time to take a look at what has been happening this week elsewhere.

Most of the attention is focused on Indian Wells, of course, where the women's main draw at the BNP Paribas Open began Wednesday and the men's main draw began today.

So far seven US women have won their opening matches; the seeded players--Sloane Stephens[4], Serena Williams[10], Madison Keys[17] and Danielle Collins[25]--get first round byes. Wild cards Jennifer Brady, Amanda Anisimova, Lauren Davis and Madison Brengle advanced to the second round, as did Venus Williams, Sonya Kenin and Bernarda Pera, who beat qualifier Caty McNally.

In men's first round action, 2014 NCAA singles champion Marcos Giron posted his first ATP Masters main draw win today, beating veteran Jeremy Chardy of France 7-6(3), 7-6(1).  Giron, who received a wild card into qualifying and won both of his matches there in three sets, is assured of breaking into the ATP Top 200 for the first time with his performance this week. His win today over Chardy, ranked No. 37, is the best of his career.

Sam Querrey and qualifier Bjorn Fratangelo also picked up main draw wins today in Indian Wells.

The acceptances for the ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships next month in Carson California have been released, with 17 Top 100 ITF girls and 15 Top 100 ITF boys currently in the field.  No. 6 Filip Jianu of Romania, who trains at IMG, is highest ranked player entered. Natsumi Kawaguchi of Japan, ranked 13, is the highest ranked girl, with defending champion Hurricane Tyra Black, No. 14, Adrienn Nagy of Hungary, No. 19 and Elli Mandlik, No. 20, the top girls in the field. The tournament begins April 1 and runs through April 7, and I will be covering it in person for the 15th consecutive year.

I hope the weather in California improves, because rain has been an issue in nearly every tournament or college match held there this year, including this week's ITF World Tennis Tour 15K in Carson.  The first round was just completed today, with the round of 16 and the quarterfinals both scheduled for Friday.  Most of the participants are US juniors and former collegians.

A bigger event is taking place in Mexico, at the $25K+Hospitality tournament for women in Irapuato.  Unseeded Whitney Osuigwe has advanced to the quarterfinals, as has qualifier Usue Arconada and former Vanderbilt star Astra Sharma[3] of Australia.

New rankings were released this week, with few changes in either the ITA or USTA versions. See Bobby Knight's update at College Tennis Today on the new rankings, and for more on ITA No. 1 North Carolina's win yesterday over Duke in the key women's match of the week.