Explore the Junior Tennis Champions Center's high performance program by clicking on the banner above

Saturday, May 24, 2014

NCAA Division I Team Recap; Wimbledon Junior Acceptances; Bellis Reaches Grade A Italian Open Final; Rubin Aims for First Futures Title in Spain

Before the start of the quarterfinals today in the NCAA individual championships, I wanted to post a few other notes on tennis outside of Athens.

My recap of the team championships won by the UCLA women and Southern Cal men is available at the Tennis Recruiting Network; if you don't have time to review my daily match coverage last week, you can get an abbreviated look at the team event here.

The Wimbledon Junior Championship acceptances were posted this week, and I'm pleased to announce I'll be there covering the tournament live this year, with a solid contingent of American players to focus on.

Francis Tiafoe, Stefan Kozlov and Michael Mmoh are all in the draw and will be seeded, with Tiafoe most likely the No. 1 seed, although that could change based on the results at the French Open juniors.  Henrik Wiersholm, Alex Rybakov and Logan Smith are the other American boys who have received direct entry, with Dennis Uspensky, Taylor Fritz, Sameer Kumar and Noah Rubin in qualifying.

The US girls in the Wimbledon juniors main draw are Tornado Alicia Black, CiCi Bellis, Sofia Kenin, Usue Arconada, Dasha Ivanova, Katrine Steffensen and Kaitlyn McCarthy.  Raveena Kingsley is only two spots out of the main draw and is likely to get directly in. Other Americans in qualifying are Johnnise Renaud, Olivia Hauger and Michaela Gordon.

At the ITF Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglio in Milan, No. 7 seed CiCi Bellis has reached the final with a 6-2, 6-2 win over No. 3 seed Darya Kasatkina of Russia, who beat Bellis in last week's Grade 1 final.  Bellis will play unseeded Naiktha Bains of Australia in the final.

Unseeded Alex Rybakov reached the semifinals in Milan, falling to No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev of Russia in today's action.

At the $10,000 Futures in Spain, which featured several top American juniors including Tiafoe, Fritz, Kozlov and Collin Altamirano, No. 8 seed Noah Rubin has reached the final, after beating No. 2 seed Juan Lizariturry of Spain 6-2, 6-4. Rubin and Altamirano met in the quarterfinals, with Rubin winning 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.  It's his second Futures final his year and the third of his career.