Saturday, January 23, 2021

Slama, Visaya Sweep Titles at Costa Rica Grade 4; Unseeded Gureva, Lajal Claim Ukraine Grade 1 Championships; No. 1 Seeds Fall in ITA Kickoff Weekend Action

Mia Slama and Azuma Visaya each captured both singles and doubles titles at this week's ITF Grade 4 in Costa Rica. The singles finals today were both all-USA contests, with Slama, the top seed, defeating unseeded Sophie Llewellyn 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 and No. 3 seed Visaya beating qualifier Jonah Braswell, the Orange Bowl 16s champion, 7-6(5), 6-0. 

For the 17-year-old Visaya, it's a third ITF Junior Circuit singles title, with the previous two coming in 2019.  The 14-year-old Slama, who won her first three ITF singles titles in November, is now 22-1 in her last five tournaments on the ITF Junior Circuit.

Visaya and Lucas Brown, the top seeds in doubles, defeated No. 2 seeds Timothy Carlsson Seger and Michael Minasyan of Sweden 6-4, 2-6, 10-7 for the boys doubles title; Slama and Llewellyn had already teamed for the girls doubles title before they met in today's singles final, with the unseeded pair beating top seeds Ana Candiotto and Carolina Xavier Laydner of Brazil 6-7(4), 6-4, 10-4 in the final.

At the ITF Grade 4 in India, Rutuja Chaphalkar reached the singles final and won the girls doubles title with Hrudaya Shah of India. The No. 4 seeds defeated top seeds Reshma and Suhitha Maruri of India 6-4, 7-6(3) in the final.

Both singles champions at the ITF Grade 1 in Ukraine were unseeded, with 15-year-old Anastasiia Gureva of Russia and 17-year-old Mark Lajal of Estonia collecting their first Grade 1 titles. Gureva, who won three three-setters this week, defeated No. 7 seed Polina Iatcenko of Russia 6-4, 6-4 in the final, while Lajal beat No. 2 seed Aleksander Orlikowski of Poland 6-4, 6-3.  

Lajal also took the doubles title, with Matthew William Donald of the Czech Republic. The No. 3 seeds defeated wild cards Erik Arutiunian of Belarus and Ilya Maksymchuk of Ukraine 7-6(4), 6-4 in the final. No. 2 seeds Natalia Szabanin of Hungary and Sabina Zeynalova of Ukraine won the girls doubles title, beating the unseeded team of Yaroslava Bartashevich of Russia and Alina Granwehr of Switzerland 6-2, 6-1 in the final.

A busy day for the ITA Division I Kickoff Weekend, with twelve regionals scheduled, although rain caused the first day of UCLA and Pepperdine women's regional action to be moved to Sunday. Oddly, the men's Southern Cal regional is underway, although with a lengthy delay.

In one of the four regionals concluding today, defending women's champion North Carolina had no difficulty returning to the ITA Team Indoor, beating Mississippi 4-1, but two men's hosts and No. 1 seeds--Ohio State and North Carolina State--will not be among those in Champaign next month after falling today.  Michigan, another men's No. 1 seed, lost in the opening round to No. 4 Baylor in what was expected to be the most competitive of the men's regionals.

Ohio State lost to Virginia 4-2 and Tennessee defeated North Carolina State 4-1. The third men's final today, in Austin, has had multiple rain delays, and the match between Florida and Texas is delayed, with Texas leading 3-2.

Below are the results from Friday and Saturday that I currently have; I will update this later tonight with the West Coast scores. Teams in bold have qualified for the Team Indoor Championships.



North Carolina Regional:

Mississippi[2] d. Old Dominion[3] 4-2

North Carolina[1] d. Notre Dame[4] 4-0

Final:  North Carolina[1] d. Mississippi[2] 4-1


Texas Regional:

Texas[1] d. Iowa[4] 4-0

Baylor[3] d. Arizona State[2] 4-2

Ohio State Regional

Ohio State[1] d. Syracuse[4] 4-0

Virginia[2] d. Tennessee[3] 4-1

Georgia Tech Regional

Georgia Tech[1] d. South Carolina[4] 4-3

Duke[2] d. Michigan[3] 4-1

UCLA Regional(rained out Saturday, moves to Sunday)

UCLA[1] v California[4]

Texas A&M[2] v Washington State[3]

Pepperdine Regional (rained out Saturday, moves to Sunday)

Pepperdine[1] v Wisconsin[4]

Denver[2] v USC[3]


NC State Regional

NC State[1] v Northwestern[4]

Wake Forest[2] v Central Florida[3]



Ohio State Regional

Ohio State[1] d. Middle Tennessee State[4] 4-0

Virginia[3] d. Iowa[2] 4-0

Final: Virginia[3] d. Ohio State[1] 4-2

NC State Regional

NC State[1] d. Alabama[4] 4-2

Tennessee[2] d. Mississippi[3] 4-2

Final: Tennessee[2] d. NC State[1] 4-1

Texas Regional

Florida[2] d. Arizona[3] 4-2

Texas[1] d. Liberty[4] 4-1

Final: Texas[1] d. Florida[2] 4-3


USC Regional

USC[1] v UNLV[4](moved to Sunday due to rain)

UCLA[2] d. California[3] 4-0

Michigan Regional

Baylor[4] d. Michigan[1] 4-0

Texas A&M[2] d. Pepperdine[3] 4-0

TCU Regional

TCU[1] d. Denver[4] 5-0

Oklahoma[3] d. Wake Forest[2] 4-0


North Carolina Regional

North Carolina[1] v Northwestern[4]

Duke[2] v South Carolina[3]

See College Tennis Today for links to scoring and streams and check out the Cracked Racquet Red Zone coverage on YouTube.