Explore the Junior Tennis Champions Center's high performance program by clicking on the banner above

Friday, October 22, 2021

Macavei Chooses Vanderbilt; Lilov Reaches Semifinals at Cancun $15K; Draxl Tops Shelton in Vero Beach; Brengle Sole American in Macon $80K Semis; Atlanta J4 Finals Set; Brooksby, Li Advance to ATP, WTA Semifinals

I spoke with blue chip senior Sonya Macavei a couple of weeks ago in Kentucky about her verbal commitment to Vanderbilt, and wrote this article for Tennis Recruiting Network. With the National Letter of Intent signing period beginning on November 10, keep tabs on everyone in the senior class at TRN. Here's their overview of blue chip boys, with the girls list set to come out next week.

Wimbledon boys finalist Victor Lilov, who had made the quarterfinals of two $15,000 ITF men's World Tennis Tour tournaments in Cancun since the end of last month, advanced to the semifinals of this week's event in Cancun with a 6-4, 7-5 win today over former Tennessee standout Gilles Hussey of Great Britain. Hussey had won last week's tournament in Cancun. The 17-year-old Lilov, who has been entering these events via the ITF Junior Circuit's reserved method, is currently No. 6 in the ITF junior rankings. 

His opponent in the semifinals has not been determined, with the quarterfinal match between No. 7 seed Mwendwa Mbithi and No. 2 seed Jerry Lopez(TCU) of Mexico interrupted.

At the $15,000 USTA men's Pro Circuit tournament in Vero Beach, No. 6 seed Liam Draxl, a junior at the University of Kentucky, ended the seven-match Pro Circuit winning streak of Florida sophomore Ben Shelton, the No. 4 seed.  The Canadian posted a 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-4 victory in two hours and 47 minutes to set up a semifinal meeting with Juncheng Jerry Shang of China. The unseeded 16-year-old Shang, who won last week's $15K in Naples Florida, defeated Duarte Vale of Portugal, the No. 8 seed and senior at Florida, 6-3, 7-6(4).  Former Illinois star Zeke Clark, the No. 7 seed will face No. 3 seed Ricardo Rodriguez-Pace of Venezuela. Clark defeated wild card Matthew Segura 7-5, 6-4, while Rodriguez-Pace beat qualifier Juan Manuel Benitez Chavarriaga of Colombia 6-2, 6-2.

Top seed Madison Brengle is through to the semifinals of the $80,000 USTA women's Pro Circuit tournament in Macon, after she defeated qualifier Louisa Chirico 7-6(5), 6-4 in today's quarterfinals. Brengle will play No. 7 seed Xiyu Wang of China, who got past wild card Catherine Harrison(UCLA) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5). Harrison served for the match at 5-4 in the third set. No. 2 seed Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan defeated qualifier Vicky Duval 6-1, 6-4 to set up a semifinal against No. 4 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil. Haddad Maia advanced when Renata Zarazua of Mexico retired trailing 3-0 in the first set. 

North Carolina State senior Alana Smith has advanced to the doubles final in Macon. She and Alycia Parks, who are unseeded, defeated Abbie Myers and Ivana Popvic of Australia 3-6, 7-5, 10-4 in today's semifinals. They will face No. 2 seeds Harrison and Quinn Gleason(Notre Dame) in Saturday's final. 

Iva Jovic, the 13-year-old Southern Californian play in her first ITF Junior Circuit, has advanced to the final of this week's J4 in Atlanta. Jovic, a wild card, moved into the final when No. 2 seed Cadence Brace of Canada retired trailing 6-1, 1-0.  Jovic will play top seed Emma Charney, who defeated unseeded 14-year-old Katie Rolls 6-4, 6-3.

No. 3 seed Fnu Nidunjianzan of China beat top seed Joseph Phillips 6-3, 6-2 to advance to Saturday's final, where he'll meet unseeded Teddy Truwit. Truwit took out unseeded Ari Cotoulas 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the semifinals.

Two pairs of siblings won the doubles titles today in Atlanta. Emma Charney and younger sister Piper took the girls title, with the No. 8 seed defeating unseeded Reya Coe and Brooke Schafer 6-3, 6-0. The sisters did not drop a set in their five doubles victories, and Emma has yet to lose a set in singles in her five wins so far.

Andrew and James Delgado won the battle of the brothers in the boys doubles final, beating Will and Ian Mayew 6-1, 4-6, 10-8 in a match between unseeded teams. It's the first ITF junior circuit title for both Delgados. 

Two Americans are in the semifinals of events in Europe, with Ann Li through to the final four at the WTA 250 in Spain and Jenson Brooksby(Baylor) advancing to the semifinals at the ATP 250 in Belgium.  The unseeded Li, who will be playing in her third semifinal of 2021 when she faces Alize Cornet of France Saturday, defeated Irina Begu of Romania 7-5, 7-5 today. 

Brooksby, a qualifier, downed unseeded Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain 7-5, 6-0 in today's quarterfinals. Brooksby will play No. 2 seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, who beat qualifier Brandon Nakashima(Virginia) 6-4, 6-2.