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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Eight Americans Advance to $80K Macon Main Draw; Cooper Williams Qualifies for Vero Beach $15K; ITF Junior Hospitality Update; Wimbledon to Host 14U Event in 2022

Qualifying is now complete at the two USTA Pro Circuit tournaments this week in Georgia and Florida. At the women's $80,000 tournament in Macon, all eight qualifiers are Americans, while at the men's $15,000 tournament in Vero Beach, just two Americans have reached the main draw via qualifying.

North Carolina State senior Alana Smith picked up the best pro circuit win of her career today, defeating No. 2 seed and WTA 226 Conny Perrin of Switzerland 6-2, 6-4. Smith, who received a wild card into qualifying, had defeated No. 13 seed Francois Abanda of Canada 3-6, 6-2, 10-8 in the first round of qualifying.

The other Americans advancing to the main draw: Robin Anderson(UCLA), Louisa Chirico, Whitney Osuigwe, Allie Kiick, Vicky Duval, Hanna Chang and Danielle Lao(USC).

Madison Brengle is the top seed in the main draw, with Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan seeded No. 2.  Wild cards were given to 2021 NCAA champion Emma Navarro(Virginia), Hailey Baptiste, Usue Arconada and Catherine Harrison(UCLA). 

The USTA provide an early update on its Australian Open wild card challenge last night, with Elvina Kalieva, who is not playing Macon, leading with 63 points, followed by Brengle, with 35 points and Maria Mateas(Duke) with 25 points. That competition runs through the week of November 1. The men's AO wild card challenge begins next week.

Sixteen-year-old Cooper Williams, who reached the quarterfinals of the ITF JB1 Pan American Closed in Nicholasville two weeks ago indoors, has qualified for the Vero Beach $15K on the green clay. Williams defeated top qualifying seed Louroi Martinez of Switzerland yesterday 7-6(6), 3-6, 10-6, and today took out LSU junior Ron Hohmann, the No. 13 seed, 7-5, 7-5.  

The other American to advance to the main draw is JanMagnus Johnson, who briefly played for Central Florida during the 2019-20 season. 

Donald Young, who received a wild card, is the No. 1 seed. He will play Pan American Closed champion Jack Anthrop in the first round. Anthrop received entry via the ITF Junior reserved program. The other wild cards were given to Matthew Segura, 17-year-old Michael Zheng, a Pan Am semifinalist, and 18-year-old Pan Am doubles finalist Benjamin Kittay.

Ben Shelton is the No. 4 seed, and will take on Bruno Kuzuhara, another junior reserved entrant. Shelton and Kuzuhara won the 18s doubles title at Kalamazoo in August. 

Last week's champion at the $15K in Naples, Jerry Shang of China, will face No. 2 seed Damien Wenger of Switzerland in the first round. They played in the semifinals last week with Shang recording a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 victory.

All first round matches are scheduled for Wednesday.

I ran across an update from the ITF last month on several issues, including hospitality requirements for 2022 for the various levels of tournaments. There was also an easing of the requirements for being included in the final ITF junior rankings at year-end, and of the rule against playing two tournaments in the same week. I assume players were sent this update via email, but for anyone else interested, it can be found here.

Wimbledon announced information for the 2022 tournament, which included this: In addition, 2022 marks the first year of the 14&U Junior Championships, which will take place in the second week.

No details were provided, so I'm not sure if this is an initiative only for British players, or if it will include international players as well.

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