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Sunday, October 3, 2021

Czech Republic Girls Win Junior BJK Cup, Russian Boys Claim Junior Davis Cup; Smith, Reami, Arconada Capture Pro Circuit Titles; ITF JB1 Pan Am Closed Begins Monday; Brantmeier, Kalieva, Rabman Receive Qualifying Wild Cards for BNP Paribas Open

The top seeds won the Junior Billie Jean King Cup today in Turkey, with the Czech Republic defeating No. 7 seed Japan 2-0 in the championship match.

Brenda Fruhvirtova, playing No. 2 singles, beat Sara Saito 6-1, 6-3 to put her team up 1-0 and Sara Bejlek, playing No. 1 singles clinched it, defeating Sayaka Ishii 6-3, 7-6(7). It's the fifth title for the Czech Republic, and it ends the streak of the United States, who had won three straight titles. The United States did not participate in the ITF's 16U team tournament this year due to the pandemic. For more, see this article from the ITF junior website.

Russia won the Junior Davis Cup, beating No. 2 seed France 2-0. Russia was not among the eight seeds in the tournament, and they lost their first match of the round robin group to Mexico, but they gained confidence with each win. In today's match against France, Yaroslav Demin defeated Gabriel Debru 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 at No. 2 singles to give Russia a 1-0 lead, with Maxim Zhukov finishing the upset with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Antoine Ghibaudo at No. 1 singles. For more on Russia's victory, see this ITF article.

Americans won all three singles championships in USTA Pro Circuit tournaments this week, with Keegan Smith taking the title at the men's $15,000 tournament in Lubbock, Adriana Reami winning the women's $15,000 tournament in Lubbock and Usue Arconada capturing the title at the $60,000 women's tournament in Berkeley.

Former UCLA Bruin Smith, whose first pro title would be reason enough to celebrate without the fact that it came less than six months after a life-threatening skateboarding accident, defeated Ohio State junior Cannon Kingsley 7-5, 6-3 in today's final.

Reami, the former NC State star, won her third career singles title, beating qualifier McCartney Kessler, a fifth-year senior at Florida, 7-6(6), 6-1.

Arconada, who turns 23 later this month, won her first title since 2019, defeating Marcela Zacarias of Mexico 6-1, 6-3 in a final between two unseeded players. Arconada will move back into the WTA Top 200 after falling out of it this summer.

Sophie Chang and Angela Kulikov(USC) won the doubles title, with the unseeded pair defeating No. 4 seeds En Shuo Liang of Taiwan and Jia-Jing Lu of China 6-4, 6-3 in today's final. 

Qualifying is complete at the ITF JB1 Pan American Closed in Nicholasville Kentucky, with first round action beginning at 9 a.m. Monday for this indoor event at the Top Seed Tennis Club. The Top four seeds in the girls draw are Canadians: Annabelle Xu, Victoria Mboko, Kayla Cross and Marina Stakusic. Mboko played in the Junior Billie Jean King Cup in Turkey today, so she is looking at a long trip over seven time zones with little recovery time. Seeds do not play until Tuesday in the 48-player draws.

The top nine seeds in the boys draw are from the United States, with the top four Ethan Quinn, Ozan Colak, Jack Anthrop and Ryan Colby. 

Women's qualifying begins Monday at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, and although there was no official announcement of the wild cards, they have been revealed in the draw.

Three juniors have received wild cards: Reese Brantmeier, Elvina Kalieva and, something of a surprise, Theadora Rabman. The 16-year-old from New York has an ITF junior ranking of 429 and no WTA ranking.  The other women's qualifying wild cards went to Ellie Douglas(TCU), Peyton Stearns(Texas) and Arconada.