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Monday, May 10, 2021

My Recap of Last Week's USTA B18s Level 1; Three More Americans Win ITF Junior Singles Titles; New J1 Warmup for French Junior Championships; Selections for NCAA Division III Teams Announced

Last Wednesday I went to the B18s USTA Level 1 tournament in Indianapolis and my coverage of the final, with Masato Perera defeating Ryan Torres, is available today at the Tennis Recruiting Network. For the results of the finals in the other age divisions, see this post.

The J4 in Coral Gables received most of the attention I gave to last week's ITF Junior Circuit, but Ethan Quinn and Mary Stoiana were not the only Americans to pick up titles last week.

At the J3 in Santa Domingo Dominican Republic, Aidan Kim won an all-US final, with the 16-year-old from Michigan defeating No. 6 seed Ryan Colby 6-3, 6-4 for his second ITF junior singles title. Kim, the top seed, didn't drop a set in his five victories. Colby did get a winner's trophy however, partnering with Pablo Trochu of France for the doubles title. The unseeded pair defeated Alexander Frusina and his British partner Oliver Tarvet, also unseeded, 6-3, 6-2 in the final. 

The Canadian girls have continued to excel in these Central American/Caribbean ITF Junior events, with 14-year-old Victoria Mboko winning her second consecutive J3 title, again defeating compatriot Mia Kupres. The No. 6 seed, Mboko defeated No. 5 seed Kupres 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 in the final, while partnering with Kayla Cross for another all-Canada final in the doubles. No. 2 seeds Mboko and Cross defeated top seeds Kupres and Annabelle Xu 7-6(7), 7-5 in the final. Mboko is now up to 102 in the ITF World Junior rankings.

At the J4 in Panama, Luca Hotze won his first ITF Junior Circuit singles title and his second doubles title. Seeded No. 2, Hotze defeated No. 3 seed Miguel Angel Alonso of Mexico  6-3, 6-1 in the final. He lost only 16 games in his five victories. In doubles, the second-seeded Hotze and Luis Fernandez of the US, defeated unseeded Lucca Pignaton of Brazil and Limon Rumlova of Mexico 7-6(7), 3-6, 10-4 in the final.

In the girls doubles final, unseeded Yichen Zhao of China and Nishitha Saravanan of the US defeated No. 2 seeds Nicole Alfaro of Costa Rica and Maria Martinez Hernandez of Mexico 7-6(5), 2-6, 12-10.  

The J5 in Cancun Mexico produced the fourth US boys champion of the week, with 16-year-old Floridian Leanid Boika winning his first ITF junior circuit title. Boika, the No. 3 seed, defeated No. 7 seed Alejandro Bancalari of Chile 6-3, 6-4 in the final. Addison Comiskey won the girls doubles title, with partner Mariana Reding of Mexico. The unseeded pair defeated No. 2 seeds Alessandra Caceres of Chile and Amelie Montalvo Lundy of Mexico 7-6(1), 1-6, 10-8 in the final. 

At the J2 in Austria, No. 2 seed Alexis Blokhina reached the semifinals, falling to No. 3 seed Nicole Rivkin of Germany 0-6, 7-6(8), 7-6(4).

The ITF announced that the J2 in Poland will be upgraded to a J1 to serve as the warmup tournament for the French Open Junior Championships, with the postponement of the J1 Astrid Bowl in Belgium, which traditionally serves that role. The deadline for entry for the tournament, which is a 32-draw and runs from June 1 to June 5, is tomorrow. The ITF's article on the change is here.

The NCAA has announced the 37 men's teams and the 42 women's teams that will compete in the 2021 Division III Team Championships, scheduled to begin Thursday and Friday of this week. Unlike the Division I selections, the bulk of those competing qualify by winning their conference, although it is interesting to note that the Williams women received a bid with a record of 2-3. Division III did not hold its Indoor Championships this year, although that competition does not generally draw the best teams from the New England SMAC, which is one of the top conferences in the country. 

Missing this year are top programs CMS, Chicago(although they are hosting matches), Middlebury, Amherst, Bowdoin, MIT, with either the cancellation of the season or insufficient play the reason for their absences. 

The men's and women's team finals, which feature eight teams, are scheduled for May 24-26 at Champions Tennis Club in Chattanooga Tennessee. 

The women's bracket is here; the men's bracket is here. Seeds are not a thing in Division III NCAA championships, but from the draws, but the Washington-St. Louis men and Wesleyan women are at the top left of the draws. The Emory men and Wesleyan women are the defending champions from 2019. 

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