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Monday, June 17, 2019

Americans Claim Six ITF Junior Circuit Titles; Olson Among Florida Bobby Curtis Closed Champions; New WTA International Tournament Set for Week Before US Open

Although none of the ten Americans playing at the ITF Grade 1 in Offenbach Germany last week advanced past the third round, the United States captured 3 1/2 titles at the Grade 4 in Guatemala, and doubles titles at a Grade 3 in Switzerland and a Grade 5 in Ecuador.

Unseeded 14-year-old Qavia Lopez won her first ITF Junior Circuit title in Guatemala, beating No. 3 seed Nikita Vishwase of India 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in the final. Lopez, whose previous best showing at an ITF junior event was the quarterfinals, saw her ranking jump from outside the Top 1000 to 555 with the title. Seventeen-year-old Jeffrey Fradkin, also unseeded, won the boys title, beating No. 3 seed Max McKennon 7-5, 6-3 in the final to claim his second ITF Junior Circuit title without the loss of a set.

McKennon and Spencer Brachman, the top seeds, won the boys doubles title, beating No. 2 seeds Mateo Gomez of Colombia and Carlos Solares Midence of Bolivia 3-6, 6-3, 10-6 in the final. No. 3 seeds Camila Soares of Peru and Sofia Rojas won the girls doubles title, defeating No. 2 seeds Daianne Hayashida of Peru and Isabel Oliveira of Brazil 7-6(3), 4-6, 10-6 in the final.

At the Grade 3 in Switzerland, Katja Wiersholm and Rosie Garcia Gross won the girls doubles title. The unseeded pair defeated No. 4 seed Guillermina Grant of Uruguay and Gabriela Macias of Colombia 2-6, 7-5, 10-7 in the final. Garcia Gross, a blue chip recent graduate, has signed with Georgia Tech.

In Ecuador, No. 6 seeds Fiorella Bolona Medina and Jennifer Riester defeated No. 2 seeds Erika Cheng of Brazil and Petra Miszczak of Canada 4-6, 6-4, 10-5 to take the girls Grade 5 doubles title.

This week's Grade 1 is on clay, in Berlin, with the ITF junior circuit grass season beginning next week at a new Grade 1 tournament in Nottingham. Eight Americans are playing this week: Blaise Bicknell(12), Dali Blanch(4), Andrew Dale(7), Alexander Kiefer, Hina Inoue, Alexandra Yepifanova(12), Tara Malik and Madison Sieg.

In my review of the results on the pro tours yesterday, I neglected to mention another American title on the ITF World Tennis Tour, with 23-year-old Allie Kiick winning at the $60,000 tournament in Spain. The top seed, Kiick defeated unseeded Cagla Buyukakcay of Turkey 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-1 in the final, and is now at a career-high WTA ranking of 126.

The big USTA sectional tournaments are this month, and Florida always does an excellent job of covering their event, the Bobby Curtis Florida State Closed. Randy Wilson and Sophia Fornaris won the 18s titles in Lake Nona, and 2018 Junior Orange Bowl girls 12s finalist Brooklyn Olson claimed the 16s title. Final results, plus photos and videos, are available at the USTA Florida website.

With the WTA tournament in New Haven folding after last year, the lack of playing opportunities in the United States the week prior to the US Open was a concern, but that void has now been filled, with a new WTA International event at the Cary Leeds Tennis Center in the Bronx. The tournament, scheduled for August 16-24, will be called the NYJTL Bronx Open. The Cary Leeds facility is where the US Open Junior Championships' qualifying was held last year for the first time. See this article from the WTA website for details.