Friday, August 3, 2018

My Kalamazoo Preview; Top Eight Seeds in Boys 18s Doubles Advance to Third Round; Eubanks, Krajicek Headline Opening Night Ceremonies Saturday; Korda Reaches Decatur Futures Semifinals

The first round of 18s singles in the 2018 Kalamazoo Nationals is in the books, with the top 32 seeds taking the court on Saturday after first round byes.  My annual preview of the USTA Boys Nationals 18s and 16s went up this morning at the Tennis Recruiting Network, with both top seeds--Patrick Kypson and Keshav Chopra--looking for rare three-peats.

With 64 seeds in the 256 draw, some of those in the 33-64 range are bound to get knocked out in the first round, and today's first round saw six seeds eliminated, while three others withdrew before play began.

Anand Saluja defeated No. 40 seed Luke Vandecasteele 6-1, 6-3; Zachary Elliott defeated No. 59 seed Adam Neff 6-4, 6-4; Joseph Brailovsky defeated No. 41 seed Phillip Jordan 7-6(4), 6-4; Eric Hadigian defeated No. 57 Austin Di Giulio 6-4, 6-4; Kasper Smith defeated No. 42 seed Harsh Parikh 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 and Tyler Stice defeated No. 60 seed Pierce Rollins 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Clay Court 18s doubles champions Mercer and Cash in 2nd round action at Stowe
The top eight seeds in doubles all advanced to the third round with straight-sets victories, having received a bye in the opening round. Kypson and DJ Thomas, the No. 1 seeds, defeated Bruno Serra and AJ Woodman 6-2, 6-2; No. 2 seeds Govind Nanda and Trey Hilderbrand defeated Henry Lieberman and Matthew Thomson 7-6(5), 6-0; No. 3 seeds JJ Mercer and Robert Cash defeated Jordan Chrysostom and Trey Stinchcomb 6-2, 7-6(5) and No. 4 seeds Christian Alshon and Tyler Zink defeated Benjamin Gollin and Matt Tsolakyan 6-2, 6-3. 

The 16s begin singles play on Saturday, with first round matches for all but the top 32 seeds.  The second round of 18s singles matches are also played Saturday, but no doubles are scheduled, with the evening devoted to the Opening Ceremonies and Exhibition.  Former Georgia Tech star Chris Eubanks and 2008 Kalamazoo 18s champion Austin Krajicek are the ATP professionals participating in the exhibition. For more on the evening's activities, see ustaboys.com.

For the second straight week, Sebastian Korda has reach the semifinals of a $25,000 Futures in Illinois. A week after falling to NCAA champion Petros Chrysochos of Cyprus in the semifinals in Champaign, the 18-year-old Floridian has reached the final four in Decatur.  The Australian Open boys champion, who defeated top seed Liam Caruana of Italy in the first round, took out No. 8 seed Finn Bass of Great Britain 6-3, 6-4 in today's quarterfinals.  Korda will face 2017 ITF World Junior champion and rising Stanford sophomore Axel Geller of Argentina in the semifinals, after Geller defeated No. 7 seed Alexios Halebian 6-1, 6-4.  None of the four players remaining are seeded; the other semifinal features Duke's Nicolas Alvarez of Peru, a qualifier, and recent Richmond graduate Jacob Dunbar.