Friday, August 2, 2019

My Kalamazoo Preview; Five Seeds Lose in Kalamazoo 18s Nationals First Round Action; McNally Reaches Semifinals at WTA Citi Open; Dolehide and Arconada in Pan American Doubles Final, Dolehide Advances to Medal Round in Singles

©Colette Lewis 2019--
Kalamazoo MI--

Every year I provide a preview of the USTA Boys 18s and 16s Nationals in Kalamazoo for the Tennis Recruiting Network, with a look at the players most likely to make a deep run in the tournament in the coming week. The last two 16s champions are the top two seeds in the 18s, so there's no debate about their comfort level with the scene surrounding the event, and the fans should be well acquainted with many of those in the older age division.

The first round of 18s singles and two rounds of 18s doubles were completed Friday at the USTA Boys Nationals, with perfect weather greeting the more than 200 players taking the courts at the tournament's three sites: Portage West Middle School, Western Michigan University and Stowe Stadium. Clear skies, light breezes and temperatures topping out in the low 80s made for ideal conditions for both playing and watching, with the usual abundance of college coaches survey the action throughout the day.

With the top 32 seeds in singles receiving byes, major upsets were not on the table, and this year, the tournament elected to designate the 33-64 seeds all as 33 seeds, listed alphabetically.  Five of that group of seeds lost today, with Kieran Foster[33] losing to Ryan Ali 6-2, 6-3; Guillermo Torres beating Trey Stinchcomb[33] 2-6, 6-4, 6-3; Alan Yim defeating Saiprakash Goli[33] 6-0, 6-2; Alex Ix defeating Theo Winegar[33] 6-4, 6-2 and Andre Ilagan beating Jordan Chrysostom[33] 6-4, 6-4.

Two rounds of 18s doubles are played on opening day, with the top 16 teams receiving byes into the second round.  All 16 of the top seeds survived that often tricky match, which is the second of the day for their opponents, but their first. That's not to imply they had it easy however. Top seeds Martin Damm and Toby Kodat just managed to avoid match tiebreaker, which is played in lieu of a third set in the early rounds, beating Callaway Clark and Andrew Keene 6-3, 7-6(5). No. 3 seeds Govind Nanda and Brandon Nakashima were forced to match tiebreaker, but dominated it, beating Duke rising freshmen Samuel Rubell and Andrew Zhang 5-7, 6-3, 10-4. Nanda, playing with Trey Hilderbrand, was a finalist in the 18s doubles last year.

The first round of 16s singles is scheduled for Saturday, as well as the 18s second round. Some first round 16s doubles matches are on tap, but the 18s do not play doubles Saturday after two rounds today. The top seeds in 16s doubles are Alex Bernard and Aidan Mayo, with Easter Bowl champions Thomas Paulsell and Frank Thompson the No. 2 seeds.

Live streaming is available on courts 1-5 at Stowe Stadium, with announcements of which matches are on which courts and updates on scores provided.  See ustaboys.com for the live streams link, match times, draws and results.

Caty McNally is certainly taking advantage of her wild card this week at the WTA International Citi Open. The 17-year-old from Cincinnati defeated No. 4 seed Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan 6-4, 6-3 this evening and will play unseeded Camila Giorgi of Italy in Saturday's semifinals. McNally now has seven Top 100 wins in her brief pro career, and Hsieh, ranked 31, is her first Top 50 victory. Jessica Pegula also advanced to the semifinals, beating Lauren Davis 6-2, 7-6(2) in today's quarterfinal. Pegula will face qualifier Anna Kalinskaya of Russia Saturday.

McNally and Coco Gauff have breezed into the Citi Open doubles final, beating No. 3 seeds Kalinskaya and Miyu Kato of Japan 6-1, 6-2 in 50 minutes tonight. The US Open Junior doubles champions have not lost more than 3 games in a set this week. They will play No. 4 seeds Fanny Stollar of Hungary and Maria Sanchez(USC) for the title after Stollar and Sanchez beat No. 2 seed Yafan Wang and Zhaoxuan Yang 6-3, 6-3.

At the Pan Am Games in Peru, Usue Arconada and Caroline Dolehide will play for the gold medal after the top seeds defeated former Alabama star Alexa Guarachi and Daniela Seguel of Chile, the No. 4 seeds, 7-5, 6-3. Arconada and Dolehide will face unseeded Veronica Cepede Royg and Montserrat Gonzalez of Paraguay in the final. Dolehide has reached the medal round in singles, with the No. 4 seed beating No. 5 seed Seguel 7-5, 7-6(2) in the quarterfinals today. She will play unseeded Carolina Alves of Brazil next.  Additional results can be found at the event's website.