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Saturday, March 18, 2017

ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships Qualifying Draws; Auger-Aliassime Defeats De Minaur, Plays Shapovalov in Challenger Semifinal

Today's a travel day for me, as I head to Southern California for the Carson-Easter Bowl fortnight, so I wanted to put up a post early today in case I'm unable to later this evening.

The qualifying draws are up for the ITF Grade 1 International Spring Championships in Carson, both in the 16s and 18s division, with play now underway. Links to the order of play and the draws can be found at the tournament's new website.  Live scoring will be available again this year for main draw matches, which begin Monday.

The singles finals of the Newport Beach ITF Grade 4 are today, with wild card Brandon Nakashima facing Kevin Zhu in the boys championship match, and No. 4 seed Katie Volynets taking on No. 12 seed Lauren Stein for the girls title.  The doubles finals were played yesterday, with top seeds Caleb Chakravarthi and William Grant defeating unseeded Harry Cacciatore and Jordi Redelijk 6-3, 7-5 for the boys title. Georgia Drummy of Ireland and Mei Xu Wu of China, the No. 6 seeds, beat No. 3 seeds Stein and Imani Graham 6-3, 6-1 for the girls doubles championship.

Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov were finalists in the 2016 Wimbledon Junior Doubles

Last night in the quarterfinals of the $75,000 Drummondville Challenger, Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated Alex De Minaur of Australia 7-5, 6-3 to advance to the semifinals, where he'll face friend and frequent doubles partner Denis Shapovalov.  Reigning Wimbledon boys champion Shapovalov beat 2013 NCAA champion Blaz Rola of Slovenia 7-6(6), 6-4 in the quarterfinals.  Auger-Aliassime, the US Open boys champion, defeated Shapovalov in their only ITF junior meeting, in the 2015 final of the Grade 1 in College Park Maryland, although they had met in Canadian National events prior to that. Although Shapovalov has the higher ranking, 253 to Auger-Aliassime's 511, I'd classify the match as a tossup. Free live streaming for this afternoon's match will be available at the ATP Challenger website.