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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Top Seeds Burel, Mejia Advance at Yucatan ITF Grade A; Columbus Futures Sole USTA Pro Circuit Event This Week

The first round of the ITF Grade A in Yucatan went as expected for the top seeds but only 17 of the 39 Americans who reached the main draw were able to advance to the second round.

Girls top seed and World Junior No. 1 Clara Burel of France defeated Kacie Harvey 6-3, 6-4, while boys No. 1 seed Nicolas Mejia of Colombia beat wild card Rafael De Alba Valdez of Mexico by the same score.  No. 2 seed Coco Gauff advanced to the second round when her opponent, Mell Reasco Gonzalez of Ecuador retired trailing 6-4, 3-0.

It's worth mentioning that last week's Grade 1 tournament in Campeche was played on hard courts, while this week the tour switches to clay for the next three weeks--red this week and green for the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl.  Two of the four finalists last week did not make a smooth transition, with boys champion Eliot Spizzirri, seeded No. 15, losing to Liam Draxl of Canada 7-6(5), 7-6(0) after having beaten Draxl on the hard courts of the Pan American Closed last month. Campeche girls champion Kamilla Bartone of Latvia, also seeded 15 this week, retired at 3-2 in the first set against Hina Inoue to end her winning streak in Mexico.  The finalists last week had better outcomes, with Tyler Zink[9] beating Sebastian Rodriguez of Peru 6-3, 6-0 and Hurricane Tyra Black[8] defeating Valentina Ivanov of New Zealand 6-3, 6-2. 

In addition to Zink, the other US boys advancing to the second round are Drew Baird[3], Emilio Nava[10], Ronan Jachuck, Blaise Bicknell and qualifier Alex Bancila.

In addition to Inoue, Gauff and Black, eight other US girls moved into the second round: Savannah Broadus, Kylie Collins, Nikki Redelijk, Sanyukta Gawande, Kailey Evans and three qualifiers, Alexandra Yepifanova, Elizabeth Stevens and Charlotte Chavatipon.

Live streaming of the stadium court is available at the tournament website.

The USTA Pro Circuit is winding down for the year now, with only one tournament on the schedule this week, a $25,000 Futures in Columbus Ohio.

Denis Yevseyev of Kazakhstan is the top seed, but the Ohio State Buckeyes are well represented in the draw, with sophomore John McNally, junior Kyle Seelig and recruit Cannon Kingsley all receiving wild cards and all advancing to the second round.  The fourth wild card, sophomore Tim Seibert of Germany, lost his opening round match.

Four seeds lost in the opening round, with No. 3 seed Ronnie Schneider(North Carolina) losing to qualifier Jonathan Chang(Rice) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2; No. 6 seed Diego Hidalgo(Florida) of Ecuador losing to qualifier Paul Oosterbaan(Georgia) 7-6(5), 5-7, 6-3; No. 7 seed Harrison Adams(Texas A&M) losing to Andrew Watson(Memphis) of Great Britain 7-5, 6-4 and Alex Ghilea(Oklahoma) of Romania losing to Michael Geerts(Arizona State) of Belgium 6-4, 6-2.