Monday, September 13, 2021

Svajda Awarded Cary Challenger Wild Card, Meets Kozlov Tuesday; Florida State, South Carolina Freshmen Lead ITA Newcomers Lists; Bhakta Wins J4 Doubles Title

The ATP Challenger 80 in Cary North Carolina is underway after a five-week break in men's professional tennis in the United States, with two collegians and 2019 and 2020 Kalamazoo 18s champion Zachary Svajda receiving wild cards.

Duke junior Garrett Johns and North Carolina State freshman Luca Staeheli of Switzerland join Svajda in the main draw. Johns will play qualifier Aleks Kovacevic, the recent Illinois grad, in the first round Tuesday; Svajda has drawn 2015 Kalamazoo 18s finalist Stefan Kozlov.

In addition to Kovacevic, North Carolina's Rinky Hijikata of Australia made it through qualifying as did 18-year-old Shintaro Mochizuki, the 2019 Wimbledon boys champion, of Japan. Former Pepperdine start Alex Sarkissian is the fourth qualifier.

Tennys Sandgren, the top seed, will face Christopher Eubanks in Tuesday's first round action; Denis Kudla, seeded second, plays Donald Young later tonight.

Live streaming is available here

I'm not familiar with Luca Staeheli, but he's No. 3 on the ITA's Men's Newcomers list for the 2021 season, which was published last week.

Top 10 Men's Newcomers:
1 Antoine Cornut Chauvinc, Florida State
2 Pedro Vives Marcos, TCU
3 Luca Staeheli, NC State4 Alexander Hoogmartens, UCLA
5 Nini Gabriel Dica, Clemson
6 Gavin Young, Michigan
7 Jurabek Karimov, Wake Forest
8 Murphy Cassone, Arizona State
9 Shunsuke Mitsui, Tennessee
10 Max Basing, Stanford

1 Sarah Hamner, South Carolina
2 Patricija Spaka, Arizona State
3 Melodie Collard, Virginia
4 Mell Reasco, Georgia
5 Sabine Rutlauka, Penn
6 Jenna DeFalco, LSU
7 Jessica Alsola, California
8 Alexandra Yepifanova, Stanford
9 Victoria Hu, Princeton University
10 Mary Stoiana, Texas A&M

There were 17 ITF Junior Circuit events last week, including the US Open, but, other than Robin Montgomery and Ashlyn Krueger, only one American claimed a title.

The only ITF Junior Circuit in North America, other than the US Open, was the J4 in Mexico, where Ria Bhakta won the doubles title and reached the singles final. The 16-year-old Bhakta and her partner Maria Martinez Hernandez of Mexico won the doubles title as the top seeds, beating No. 3 seeds Ana Paula Chavez Sanchez of Mexico and Vanesa Suarez of Venezuela 6-1, 6-3 in the final. Martinez Hernandez, the No. 1 seed in singles, then defeated her doubles partner Bhakta, the No. 2 seed, 7-6(3), 6-1 in the singles championship match.

This week's only ITF Junior Circuit tournament in this part of the world is a J5 in Nicaragua. This week's J1 in Germany features just one American, Princeton recruit Sebastian Sec.  Kseniz Zaytseva of Russia is the top girls seed, with Aleksander Orlikowski of Poland the top boys seed.


Surprised said...

No knock on Gavin Young, but I'm surprised to see him over his fellow teammate, Patorn Hanchaikul, making the newcomer list