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Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year! Shelton Siblings Advance to Semifinals at USTA Winter National 18s; Semifinals Also Set for 12s, 14s Divisions in Tucson

photos by Glen Carrie and Mario Gogh at unsplash
The new year has begun, and I just wanted to take a moment to wish all of you 12 very happy, healthy and prosperous months for 2020. The USTA Winter Nationals always span this holiday, so those of you who spent the day watching football and parades on television should take a moment to reflect on the lack of normal holidays for most junior tennis players and their coaches and families. That's not necessarily a bad thing, especially if the family can be together and enjoy the opportunity to explore other parts of the country, but it does come with a cost that's not just financial.

The semifinals are set for Thursday at the 12s and 14s in Tucson, where the weather has improved after a cold few days to the tournament. The top two seeds girls 12s were eliminated in today's quarterfinals, with No. 6 seed Sabrina Lin beating No. 1 seed Mia Yamakita 7-5, 7-6(4) and No. 5 seed Maya Iyengar defeating No. 2 seed Alexis Nguyen 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(4).  The top seed in the boys 14s, Carson Baker, lost to unseeded Callum Markowitz 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 and No. 2 seed Alexander Frusina retired against No. 17 seed Daniel Kong trailing 3-0 in the first set.

Girls 12s semifinals:
Sabrina Lin[6] v Emerey Gross[12]
Elena Zhao[3] v Maya Iyengar[5]

Girls 14s semifinals:
Ava Bruno[10] v Emily Novikov[17]
Susanna Maltby[3] v Alexia Harmon[2]

Boys 12s semifinals:
Tristan Dussault[17] v Gray Kelley[4]
Dominick Mosejczuk[3] v Roman Sancilio[2]

Boys 14s semifinals:
Callum Markowitz v Humza Noor[10]
Zhengqing Ji v Daniel Kong[17]

At the 16s and 18s in Lake Nona, the semifinals are set for the 18s, with the 16s scheduled to play both their quarterfinals and semifinals on Thursday.  Emma Shelton, a freshman at the University of South Carolina, and Ben Shelton, her younger brother, both reached the semifinals with wins today. Emma, a No. 17 seed, defeated Florida State recruit Lara Schneider, the No. 15 seed, 6-1, 6-4. Ben, the No.  8 seed, took out No. 2 seed Leighton Allen 1-6, 6-0, 6-2. Emma and Ben's father is Bryan Shelton, the men's head coach at Florida. Ben, a junior in high school, has committed to the Gators for 2021.

The only two No. 1 seeds remaining in any of the eight divisions are in the 18s, with Logan Zapp and Sarah Hamner reaching the semifinals with wins today.

Boys 18s semifinals:
Logan Zapp[1] v Keshav Chopra[12]
Benjamin Koch[4] v Ben Shelton[8]

Boys 16s quarterfinals:
Michael Ross[17] v Vignesh Gogineni
Masato Perera[17] v Ethan Quinn[6]
Yannik Rahman v Michael Zheng[3]
Kurt Miller[5] v Eric Li[16]

Girls 18s semifinals:
Sarah Hamner[1] v Katherine Hui
Emma Staker[5] v Emma Shelton[17]

Girls 16s quarterfinals:
Eileen Wang v Gavriella Smith[17]
Lucinda Gatsiounis[17] v Tomi Main[10]
Stephanie Yakoff[5] v Kida Ferrari[4]
Ann Guerry[8] v Katie Codd[2]