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Saturday, March 4, 2017

USTA Spring Team Championships Begin Sunday; Anisimova and Potapova Meet in Brazil $25K Final; Hilderbrand and Price Win ITF Grade 4 Titles; Sanchez, Giron Earn BNP Paribas Qualifying Wild Cards; Emory and Pomona-Pitzer in D-III Women's Indoor Final

I'm in Mobile Alabama for the fourth annual USTA National Spring Team Championships, which will begin on Sunday at 9 a.m., with eight boys matches. The eight girls matches are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.  Unlike the previous three years, the 12s are not participating in the event, in part to better mirror the collegiate format, with three doubles matches, one in each of the 14s, 16s, and 18s,  and six singles matches, two in each age division. (A late announcement of format change involving doubles resulted in no-ad scoring and one point for the team that wins two of three matches).  Previously there were four doubles matches and eight singles matches to accommodate the 12s, who were given their own Spring Team Nationals, taking place now in Tucson.

The teams have been chosen, via the waterfall method, meaning all teams should theoretically be equal, eliminating the need for seeding.  The teams met and practiced today with their assigned coaches on a picture perfect day at the Mobile Tennis Center, and tonight's banquet revealed the draw and Sunday's first round matchups.

All teams will play four matches, via a compass draw.  The finals are scheduled for Wednesday, with USTA gold balls medallions going to the winning teams.

The final of the $25,000 ITF Women's Circuit tournament in Curitiba Brazil Sunday will feature two of the world's best juniors, with 15-year-olds Amanda Anisimova and Anastasia Potapova both cruising through their older semifinal opponents today.  Potapova defeated No. 5 seed Jil Teichmann of Switzerland 6-1, 6-1 in 58 minutes; Anisimova defeated top seed Irina Khromacheva of Russia 6-2, 6-1 in 53 minutes.  It's the first top 100 win for Anisimova, with Khromacheva currently ranked 89.   Unsurprisingly, Anisimova and Potapova have already met four times, with Potapova winning in the 12s at the 2013 Eddie Herr, Anisimova winning at the 2015 Grade 1 in College Park Maryland, Potapova winning at the 2015 Orange Bowl and Anisimova winning at the French Open in 2016.

Trey Hilderbrand and Gabby Price won the singles title today at the ITF Grade 4 tournament in El Salvador.  The 16-year-old Hilderbrand, who was unseeded, defeated No. 4 seed Tyler Zink 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 to earn his third ITF junior singles title, with the previous two at the Grade 5 level.  Price, an unseeded 13-year-old, won her first ITF singles title, beating Jordan Harris, also unseeded, 7-6(2), 6-4.

Drew Baird and partner Manoel De Alencar of Brazil won the boys doubles title, beating Justin Boulais of Canada and Boruch Skierkier of Argentina 4-6, 6-2, 11-9 in the final. Neither team was seeded.  No. 4 seeds Harris and Alyssa Mayo lost in the girls doubles final, with No. 3 seeds Raphaelle Lacasse of Canada and Tamara Racine-Beauchamp of Switzerland winning 6-3, 6-4.

Former Pac-12 standouts Maria Sanchez and Marcos Giron earned their places in the BNP Paribas Open qualifying draws with victories today in the BNP Challenge.  UCLA's 2014 NCAA singles champion Giron, seeded No. 1, defeated No. 3 seed Evan Song 7-5, 6-3 in the final.  All seven of Giron's victories this week were in straight sets.   No. 7 seed Sanchez, a former USC star, downed No. 13 seed Claire Liu 6-1, 6-4 in today's final.  Sanchez also won all seven of her pre-qualifying matches in straight sets.

At the women's Division III Team Indoor, top seed Emory and No. 2 seed Pomona-Pitzer will meet in Sunday's final.  Emory defeated No. 4 seed Washington University-St. Louis 8-1, while Pomona Pitzer, the defending champion, earned a 6-3 win over No. 3 seed Chicago.  Box scores can be found here.


David said...

I don't believe the team championship is a gold ball tournament any longer. I think that members of first, second, and third place teams now receive a medallion.

Colette Lewis said...

Thanks David. I had not heard that. There are several changes to this event that I am just learning about now.