Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Top Seed Mi Out in Quarterfinals at Atlanta Grade 4; Volynets Moves On at Macon $80K; Fritz Defeats Opelka in Belgium; Cooksey Wins Fourth State Singles Title

With the draws consisting of only 32 players, the semifinals of the ITF Junior Circuit Grade 4 in Atlanta are Thursday, a day earlier than usual when the draws are usually twice as large. Boys top seed Adolfo Daniel Vallejo of Paraguay lost yesterday, and in today's quarterfinals, girls top seed Lan Mi of China exited, with unseeded Gracie Epps advancing when Mi retired at 4-6, 7-6(6). Epps, who will be 16 next week, will face wild card Ashlyn Krueger in the semifinals. Krueger, who won the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl 16s titles last year, beat qualifier Salma Farhat 6-2, 6-0.

The other girls semifinal will feature qualifier Emma Charney against unseeded Grace O'Donnell. Charney defeated Aubrey Nisbet 6-4, 6-1, while O'Donnell advanced when Ava Hrastar retired trailing 5-1. 

No. 2 seed Nishesh Basavareddy, who reached the final last year in Atlanta, defeated wild card Jelani Sarr 6-1, 6-4 and will play unseeded Giulio Perego of Italy. Perego beat No. 4 seed Azuma Visaya 6-3, 6-4 in today's quarterfinals. Unseeded Ellis Short, who beat top seed Vallejo yesterday, picked up another win today, beating Canadian Jayden Templemen 6-4, 7-6(4). Short will take on No. 3 seed Aidan Kim, who defeated Ryan Colby 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

At the Grade 1 in Bulgaria, No. 5 seed Ellie Coleman won her first round match, but she is the only American still alive in singles. No. 4 seed Madison Sieg, Jenna DeFalco and Isabelle Kouzmanov all lost in the first round, while boys No. 6 seed Bruno Kuzuhara lost in the second round today. 

A couple of first round matches are still underway tonight at the $80,000 women's tournament in Macon Georgia, but at least eight US women will advance to Thursday's second round. Qualifiers Varvara Lepchenko and Katie Volynets both picked up wins today, with Lepchenko outlasting No. 2 seed Nina Stojanovic of Serbia 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-6(6) in over three and a half hours, and Volynets defeating Caroline Dolehide 7-6(3), 6-3 in just over two hours. No. 4 seed Kristie Ahn(Stanford), No. 5 seed Ann Li, Cici Bellis, Sachia Vickery and Francesca Di Lorenzo(Ohio State) also posted first round wins today. 

Live streaming is up and running at usta.com, with Ken Thomas of RadioTennis.com on the call. 

Taylor Fritz ran his record against friend Reilly Opelka to 5-1 today in the first round of the ATP 250 European Open in Antwerp Belgium. Fritz, the No. 7 seed, was outaced 19-10, but he never faced a break point in his 7-6(5), 6-1 victory. Fritz plays Lloyd Harris of South Africa next; qualifier Marcos Giron(UCLA) takes on top seed David Goffin of Belgium.

I normally am not able to follow high school tennis around the country, but because I wrote an article about William Cooksey's commitment to the University of Michigan this spring, and because I follow high school tennis here in my home state of Michigan, I did want to note that Cooksey won his fourth consecutive state singles title in Division IV today, a week after his Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett team won the Division IV title. It was touch and go throughout the summer and early fall as to whether the high school season would even be possible, but the MHSAA made some changes, decentralizing the team events and holding a separate individual tournament to keep the number of competitors at each site to a minimum. The girls, who play in the spring here in Michigan, were not as fortunate, as their season was, of course, canceled.