Thursday, October 29, 2020

Doubles Partners Meet for Orlando ITF Girls Title; Tyler $80K Finally Finishes Qualifying; McDonald Advances to Quarterfinals in Kazakhstan; Kratzer Receives Ban from Anti-Doping Agency

The finals are set in singles and doubles at the ITF Grade 4 in Orlando, with wild card Ashlyn Krueger and qualifier Sarah Hamner meeting in the singles final, then pairing up to compete in the doubles championship.

Krueger, who made the final of both singles and doubles last week at the Grade 4 in Atlanta, defeated No. 6 seed Katja Wiersholm 6-1, 6-3 in today's semifinal, with Hamner, a South Carolina recruit, beating top seed Alexis Blokhina 6-4, 6-4. In the doubles semifinals, Krueger and Hamner downed Julia Fliegner and Elisabeth Jones, who beat Krueger and her partner Marcela Lopez in the Atlanta final, 6-4, 6-3. In Friday's final, they will face unseeded Sophie Llewellyn and Mia Slama, who beat top seeds Chelsea Fontenel of Switzerland and Eva Elbaz of France 6-7(11), 7-6(4), 10-6 in the semifinals.

The boys final features top seed Adolfo Daniel Vallejo of Paraguay and unseeded Giulio Perego of Italy, with the latter looking to make it two titles in a row after winning in Atlanta last week. Vallejo defeated No. 7 seed Braden Shick 6-3, 0-6, 7-6(6), while Perego beat unseeded Colton Smith 7-6(1), 6-2. Shick is in the running for a second consecutive doubles title, with he and partner Ryan Colby, the No. 8 seeds, facing unseeded Jonah Braswell and Timothy Phung in Friday's final. Shick won the Atlanta doubles title last week with Maxwell Smith.

The weather finally cooperated in Tyler Texas, which is not to say it was warm, but it was dry, for the fourth day of the $80,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit tournament. The qualifying was completed and the first round played, although as of 8 p.m. Eastern, there were still two first round singles matches in progress. University of Texas freshman Peyton Stearns had a big win in the final round of qualifying, beating WTA 173 Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay 6-4, 2-6, 10-4, but the 19-year-old from Ohio lost to WTA 114 Greet Minnen of Belgium 6-2, 7-5 in the first round later in the day. 

Seventeen-year-old Clara Tauson of Denmark qualified and defeated Caty McNally 6-3, 6-1 in the first round. Wild card Hailey Baptiste won her first round match over No. 5 seed Kristie Ahn(Stanford) 6-2, 6-2, and Macon champion Cici Bellis defeated No. 6 seed Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany 6-3, 6-3, joining top seed Shelby Rogers, No. 7 seed Ann Li, Caroline Dolehide and qualifier Jamie Loeb(UNC) representing the US in the second round. Bellis and Loeb will play in the second round Friday.

At the ATP 250 in Kazakhstan, Mackenzie McDonald reached his first quarterfinal on the ATP Tour since February of 2019, defeating wild card Andreas Seppi of Italy 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 today. McDonald, the 2016 NCAA singles champion as a UCLA Bruin, will play No. 3 seed Adrian Mannarino of France, who is the highest seed remaining in the draw, on Friday. Frances Tiafoe faces Egor Gerasimov of Kazakhstan and No. 7 seed Tommy Paul meets No. 4 seed John Millman of Australia.

Ashley Kratzer, a 21-year-old American, was banned from competition for four years in a decision released today by the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme. Kratzer, who won the 2017 USTA National 18s championships in San Diego, was tested in January of this year and her sample showed the presence of a prohibited substance, leading to a provisional suspension. The details of how this violation occurred can be found here. Kratzer, who can appeal this ruling, will be ineligible for competition through March 27, 2024.