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Friday, July 28, 2017

Hanfmann Reaches ATP Gstaad Semifinal; Semifinals Set at European Championships; Li Advances at Evansville $15K; Baughman and Vukic Play for Champaign Futures Title: Harrison, Blumberg in Binghamton Challenger Final Four

Yannick Hanfmann of Germany advanced to his first ATP 250 semifinal in Gstaad Switzerland with a 6-7(10), 6-2, 6-2 win over No. 8 seed Joao Sousa of Portugal.  The 25-year-old qualifier, a former USC No. 1, will face No. 6 seed Robin Haase of the Netherlands on Saturday for a place in the final.  Regardless of the outcome of that match, Hanfmann will break into the ATP Top 150 for the first time.

Georgia Tech rising senior Chris Eubanks' run at the BB&T Atlanta Open came to an end today when he fell to No. 4 seed Ryan Harrison 6-1, 6-2, but he should move near 350 in the ATP rankings with his two victories this week.

Elsewhere is Switzerland, the semifinals for the ITF Grade B1 European Championships are set after persistent rain earlier in the week forced both the fourth round and the quarterfinal matches to be played today. Both top seeds are still alive, with girls No. 1 Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine facing unseeded Daria Kuczer of Poland and boys No. 1 Corentin Moutet of France meeting No. 9 seed Alexey Zakharov of Russia. Kuczer had eliminated No. 3 seed Simona Waltert of Switzerland in the quarterfinals. The other girls semifinal will feature Wimbledon girls doubles champions Kaja Juvan of Slovenia and Olga Danilovic of Serbia, with No. 6 seed Juvan playing No. 4 seed Danilovic. The two friends are not playing doubles together this week.  The other boys semifinal will feature No. 2 seed Zsombor Piros of Hungary against No. 14 seed Francisco Forti of Italy.

For more on all the European Championships, including draws for the 14s and 16s divisions, see the Tennis Europe site.

Much as she did in her second junior slam at Wimbledon earlier this month, Ann Li has dramatically increased her USTA Pro Circuit victory total this week in Evansville.  Li had lost her only previous match at a junior slam last year in New York (to Kuczer) but went on to win five straight matches at Wimbledon to reach the girls final.  Li had just one win on the Pro Circuit coming into the $15,000 tournament in Evansville this week, but she now has three, beating 15-year-old Caty McNally 6-1, 6-3.  Li will face former Pepperdine star Lorraine Guillermo, a qualifier in Saturday's semifinal, after Guillermo surprised top seed Caitlin Whoriskey 6-3, 6-0.  The other semifinal features No. 5 seed Allie Kiick against No. 2 seed Marcela Zacarias of Mexico.

The final of the $25,000 Champaign Futures will feature two unseeded players, with qualifier Deiton Baughman taking on Illinois rising senior Aleks Vukic of Australia.  Baughman, 21, is playing in only his third tournament of the year, after serving as a volunteer assistant at USC this dual season.  Baughman downed wild card Jeffrey Schorsch 6-3, 6-4 while Vukic advanced with a 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 4 seed Dennis Nevolo.   Last week's finalists Harrison Adams and Yates Johnson won the doubles title, beating No. 2 seeds Baughman and Great Britain's Farris Gosea 6-4, 6-3 in the final.

Two Americans are through to the semifinals of the $75,000 Binghamton Challenger, with Christian Harrison and William Blumberg advancing.  Blumberg had the easier day, moving on due to a walkover from China's Ze Zhang.  Harrison defeated No. 2 seed Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-7(2), 7-5 to set up a meeting with former TCU star Cameron Norrie of Great Britain.  Blumberg will face top seed Jordan Thompson of Australia, the only ATP Top 100 player in the draw.