Explore the Junior Tennis Champions Center's high performance program by clicking on the banner above

Monday, September 16, 2019

New ITF Grade A in South Africa Underway; Only Doubles Titles for US Juniors Last Week on ITF Junior Circuit; Ohio State Freshmen Earn First Round Wins at Columbus Challenger

The number of ITF Junior Circuit Grade A tournaments had been stable at five (not counting the junior slams and the every-four-years Youth Olympics) as long as I've been covering junior tennis, but this year, a sixth tournament at that level was added, in Cape Town South Africa. Given that it's the first rendition of the event, the  time of year and the distance from Europe and the Americas, it's not surprising that the fields are weak, with no qualifying at all, for boys or girls, and byes in the first round for several top seeds.

Just one American boy, Milledge Cossu, made the trip, but five US girls did, and all have advanced to the second round of 64-player draws. The US girls competing are No. 8 seed Elvina Kalieva, No. 11 seed Lauren Cooper, No. 14 seed Dakota Fordham, No. 15 seed Rebecca Lynn and Violeta Martinez. The top girls seed is Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic, No. 29 in the ITF junior rankings; the top boys seed is Arthur Cazaux of France, No. 49 in the ITF junior rankings.

Most Americans playing this week are at the Grade 2 in Montreal Canada. Skyler Grishuk was the top seed, but she was defeated in today's first round by 15-year-old Canadian Mia Kupres 6-4, 6-3. Fourteen-year-old Qavia Lopez defeated No. 3 seed Lauren Anzalotta of Puerto Rico 6-0, 1-6, 6-3. No. 2 seed Jada Bui, who reached the semifinals of the Grade 1 in Canada prior to the US Open, did advance to the second round, beating Rachel Gailis 7-6(3), 7-6(2).  The boys top seed is Andrew Dale, who won his opening round match over Peter Alam of Great Britain 7-6(7), 6-1.

The only titles Americans won last week on the ITF Junior Circuit came in doubles. At the Grade 4 in Togo, 13-year-old Clervie Ngounoue won her second straight doubles title, again with Linda Eloundou Nga of Cameroon, with unseeded pair beating No. 4 seeds Carmine Becoude of Benin and Manuella Eloundou Nga of Cameroon 6-1, 6-4 in the final. Ngounoue, who won the Grade 5 singles title last week, lost in the semifinals this week to top seed and eventual champion Vipasha Mehra of India.

At the Grade 5 in Honduras, No. 4 seeds Andrea Le and Teja Tirunelveli took the girls doubles title, beating No. 2 seeds Isabella Rivera Ortiz and Maria Camila Torres Murcia of Colombia 3-6, 6-3, 10-8. It's the first ITF title for both Le and Tirunelveli.

At the Grade 5 in Montreal, No. 4 seeds Aubrey Nisbet, the reigning 16s USTA Clay Court champion, and Sophie Williams won the girls doubles title, beating No. 2 seeds Hana Gamracy of Canada and Jade Marie of France 6-3, 6-1 in the final.

At the ATP 90 Challenger this week in Columbus, two Ohio State freshman wild cards picked up first round wins today.  US Open semifinalist Cannon Kingsley defeated Evan Song 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 and 17-year-old Justin Boulais, whose sister Isabelle was a star for the Buckeye women last year as a freshman, defeated Jordi Arconada(Texas A&M) 7-6(4), 7-6(6). Boulais reached the round of 16 at the Winnipeg Challenger earlier this summer as a wild card. Sophomore James Trotter also won his first round match today. Former USC star Emilio Gomez of Ecuador is the top seed, with former Ohio State All-American Mikael Torpegaard of Denmark seeded No. 2.


College Fan said...

Colette, do you know why Blumberg did not play the Cary Challenger? Is he injured or just taking time off from competition. Noticed that he is not in the initial ITA rankings. Cary seemed
like a logical spot for a WC if he is playing this fall.