Friday, February 5, 2021

January Aces; Brooksby, Nava, Nakashima into $25K and Challenger Semis; Australian Open Draws Feature 26 Americans; North Carolina Women Begin Defense of Team Indoor by Blanking Ohio State

My monthly Tennis Recruiting Network column, highlighting the top performances of January, is now up. Despite an unusual January, without the Australian Open as a cornerstone, there were enough tournaments on the ITF, Challenger and junior circuits elsewhere to get the year off to a great start for the 13 players featured.

Jenson Brooksby and Emilio Nava have advanced to the semifinals of the $25,000 ITF World Tennis Tour tournament in Spain with wins today. No. 4 seed Brooskby beat No. 8 seed Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic 6-0, 4-6, 7-5 and wild card Nava defeated unseeded Antoine Escoffier 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-1. Nava will play 17-year-old Holger Rune of Denmark, who is one of the January Aces mentioned above for his title in France last month, in the semifinals. Nava has now reached four ITF Pro Circuit semifinals, but has yet to advance to a final.  Brooksby's semifinal opponent is unseeded Gastao Elias of Portugal, who has been as high as 57 in the ATP rankings. Brooksby has won three $25K titles, all in 2019.

For the second straight day, Brandon Nakashima dropped the first set in a tiebreaker but recovered for the win at the ATP Challenger 80 in France. The unseeded 19-year-old from San Diego defeated unseeded Maximilian Marterer of Germany 6-7(1), 6-2, 6-4 to advance to Saturday's semifinals. Nakashima, who also reached the semifinals of the Challenger in France last week, will play alternate Lukas Lacko of Slovakia, a 33-year-old who has been as high as 44 in the ATP rankings, for a place in Sunday's final. 

Nakashima and Hunter Reese have reached the doubles final, with the unseeded pair taking on unseeded Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium and Daniel Masur of Germany in Saturday's championship match.   

The draws for the Australian Open were released last night, with ten US men and 16 US women in the main draw. None of them face each other in the first round, but the top 16th of the men's draw is brutal, with Taylor Fritz, the only seeded American at No. 27, and Reilly Opelka set to meet if they advance to the second round. Frances Tiafoe will play top seed Novak Djokovic in the second round if he wins his first round match, with the Fritz-Opelka winner playing the winner of that match in the third round. The other US men in the draw are qualifiers Maxime Cressy and Michael Mmoh, Marcos Giron, Sam Querrey, Tommy Paul, Mackenzie McDonald and Tennys Sandgren. Giron has drawn No. 6 seed Alexander Zverev, Sandgren No. 21 seed Alex de Minaur, and Querrey No. 31 Lorenzo Sonego.  The men's draw is here.  A good printable draw is available here.   

Eleven American women landed in the top half, but the four seeds are evenly split. No. 4 seed and defending champion Sofia Kenin and No. 22 seed Jennifer Brady are in the top half, with Shelby Rogers, Lauren Davis, qualifier Whitney Osuigwe, Christina McHale, Madison Brengle, Jessica Pegula, Sloane Stephens and Coco Gauff. Davis faces No. 11 seed Belinda Bencic and Pegula plays No. 12 seed Victoria Azarenka.  Alison Riske[24] and Serena Willaims are in the bottom half, with Bernarda Pera, Venus Williams and Ann Li. Pera plays No. 23 seed Angelique Kerber and Li faces No. 31 seed Zhang Shuai.  The women's singles draw is here.

Ann Li, US Open 2020
 photo credit: USTA/Pete Staples

Li and Brady are the only two Americans still competing in the five warmup events, and they will meet in the semifinals of the WTA 500 Grampians Trophy if they both win their quarterfinal matches. I'm not sure when that semifinal might be played, as it's already Saturday in Australia, and the Australian Open is still scheduled to begin on Monday. 

The first day of the ITA Women's National Team Indoor Championships is likely to go deep into the night, with the UCLA[2] versus hosts Oklahoma State still in progress(Oklahoma State only has four players available due to Covid protocols), and No. 3 Texas and Northwestern scheduled to begin after that. Defending champion and top seed North Carolina blanked Ohio State, and Pepperdine, playing without an injured Ashley Lahey, defeated Georgia Tech 4-2. Below are the two box scores from the completed matches.  Links to live streaming, with commentary, and live scoring are available here.

North Carolina[1] 4, Ohio State 0 


1. Alexa Graham (UNC) def. Irina Cantos Siemers (OHIO ST) 6-3, 6-2 

2. Sara Daavettila (UNC) def. Kolie Allen (OHIO ST) 6-2, 6-0 

3. Isabelle Boulais (OHIO ST) vs. Cameron Morra (UNC) 6-2, 3-6, UNF

4. Elizabeth Scotty (UNC) def. Lisa Hofbauer (OHIO ST) 6-4, 6-3 

5. Lucia Marzal (OHIO ST) vs. Makenna Jones (UNC) 6-4, 2-6, 3-0, UNF

6. Luna Dormet (OHIO ST) vs. Fiona Crawley (UNC) 4-6, 1-5, UNF


1. Isabelle Boulais and Kolie Allen (OHIO ST) d. Sara Daavettila and Makenna Jones (UNC) 6-3 

2. Cameron Morra and Elizabeth Scotty (UNC) d. Luna Dormet and Lisa Hofbauer (OHIO ST) 6-3

3. Allie Sanford and Reilly Tran (UNC) def. Lucia Marzal and Irina Cantos Siemers (OHIO ST) 6-2 

Order of finish: Singles 2, 1, 4; Doubles 3, 1, 2 

Pepperdine[4] 4, Georgia Tech 2 


1. Jessica Failla (PEPP) def. Kenya Jones (GT) 6-3, 6-3 

2. Victoria Flores (GT) vs. Shiori Fukuda (PEPP) 6-7(8), 7-6(5), 2-5 UNF

3. Gia Cohen (GT) def. Taisiya Pachkaleva (PEPP) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 

4. Lexi Ryngler (PEPP) def. Mahak Jain (GT) 7-6(6), 7-5 

5. Lisa Zaar (PEPP) def. Carol Lee (GT) 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2 

6. Nikki Redelijk (PEPP) def. Rosie Garcia Gross (GT) 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 


1. Kenya Jones and Victoria Flores (GT) def. Shiori Fukuda and Jessica Failla (PEPP) 6-3 

2. Gia Cohen and Ruth Marsh (GT) def. Nikki Redelijk and Astrid Olsen (PEPP) 7-6(5) 

3. Taisiya Pachkaleva and Lisa Zaar (PEPP) def. Carol Lee and Monika Dedaj (GT) 6-2 

Order of finish: Singles 1, 3, 4, 5, 6; Doubles 3, 1, 2  

UCLA 4, Oklahoma State 0


1. Elysia Bolton (UCLA) vs. #24 Bunyawi Thamchaiwat (OKST) 4-6, 1-0 UNF

2. Vivian Wolff (UCLA) vs. #77 Ayumi Miyamoto (OKST) 6-2, 1-1 UNF

3. Abi Altick (UCLA) vs. Daniella Medvedeva (OKST) 5-6 UNF

4. Annette Goulak (UCLA) vs. Lora Boggs (OKST) 6-2, 6-0

5. Forfeit

6. Forfeit


1. Annette Goulak/Vivian Wolff (UCLA) vs. Ayumi Miyamoto/Bunyawi Thamchaiwat (OKST) 2-3 UNF

2. Abi Altick/Abbey Forbes (UCLA) def. Lora Boggs/Daniela Medvedeva (OKST) 6-0

3. Forfeit

Order of finish: Singles 6; Doubles 2

Texas[3] 4,  Northwestern 1


1. Peyton Stearns (UT) def. Maria Shusharina (NU), 6-4, 7-6(4)

2. Clarissa Hand (NU) def. Anna Turati (UT), 6-2, 6-2

3. Lulu Sun (UT) def. Briana Crowley (NU), 7-5, 6-2

4. Charlotte Chavatipon (UT) def. Carolina Pozo (NU), 6-2 6-3

5. Malaika Rapolu (UT) vs. Christian Hand (NU), 7-5, 5-2, UNF

6. Fernanda Labraña (UT) vs. Hannah McColgan (NU), 6-7(5), 3-4 UNF

1. Kylie Collins/Lulu Sun (UT) def. Clarissa Hand/Maria Shusharina (NU), 6-3

2. Fernanda Labraña/Anna Turati (UT) def. Christian Hand/Briana Crowley(NU) 6-4

3. Marta Perez Mur/Charlotte Chavatipon (UT) vs. Hannah McColgan/Carolina Pozo(NU) 5-5 UNF

Order of finish: Singles 4, 3, 2, 1; Doubles 1, 2


fan said...

To be fair, Ava Hrastar, the heroine against Duke, didn't play either(dunno why).

Iamachkine didn't play for the Waves either but she didn't play Kickoff, also dunno why.

Tank said...

In the Spain M25 Semis , Gastao Elias of Portugal, beats Jenson Brooksby, 4th seed USA, 0 and 2. Jenson won 1 out of 7 service games. Looks like Jenson had to catch a flight to his next tournament, the Challenger in South Africa. He is in the main draw. Sounds like he needs a better travel agent so he can win more service games:)