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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Ngounoue Reaches Quarterfinals at ITF JA in South Africa; Just Two Seeds Remain in South Carolina J4; Wolf Beats Kudla at Las Vegas Challenger; Kang Earns First ATP Point in Calabasas

Fifteen-year-old Clervie Ngounoue has advanced to the quarterfinals in singles and the semifinal in doubles at this week's ITF JA in Cape Town South Africa. Ngounoue, the No. 6 seed, defeated Alina Khvatova of Russia 6-3, 7-5 in second round action today.  She will face the only unseeded player remaining in the girls draw, 16-year-old Carolina Kuhl of Germany. Kuhl had beaten No. 4 seed Barbora Palicova of the Czech Republic in the first round. 

Top seed Brenda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic plays No. 7 seed Yaroslava Bartashevich of Russia Thursday, with No. 3 seed Petra Marcinko of Croatia meeting No. 8 seed Maria Sholokohova of Russia. Marcinko defeated Qavia Lopez of the US 6-3, 6-2 today.  A third Russian quarterfinalist, No. 2 seed Ksenia Zaytseva, faces No. 5 seed Johanne Svendsen of Denmark.

As with the singles, the seeding has held in the doubles, with the top four seeds advancing to the doubles semifinals. Fruhvirtova and Palicova, the top seeds, will face Ngounoue and Belgium's Amelie Van Impe, the No. 4 seeds. No. 2 seeds Marcinko and Svendsen will play No. 3 seeds Bartashevich and Zaytseva. 

Half of the boys quarterfinalists are unseeded, including two from Morocco. Walid Ahouda will play top seed Leo Borg of Sweden, and Yassine Dlimi will face No. 7 seed Neo Niedner of Germany, both in the top half.

In the bottom half, No. 5 seed Sebastian Dominko of Slovenia will face No. 3 seed Jakub Mensik of the Czech Republic, with unseeded Orel Kimhi of Israel and unseeded Borys Zgola of Poland playing in the other quarterfinal. Kimhi won the J2 warmup last week.

The boys doubles quarterfinals were not completed today, with two quarterfinals and both semifinals on the schedule for Thursday.

At the J4 in Lexington South Carolina this week, only one seed has advanced to both the boys and girls semifinals. 

Wild card Nikitia Filin, the No. 6 seed, will face Amor Jasika of Australia in one semifinal, with qualifier Andrew Delgado taking on Roy Horovitz in the other.

Top seed Isabella Chhiv will play Taylor Goetz and qualifier Emily Baek will face Maddy Zampardo in the girls semifinals Thursday.

The quarterfinals in the bottom half of the draw are set at the ATP Challenger 80 in Las Vegas, with JJ Wolf and former Ohio State teammate Mikael Torpegaard of Denmark advancing with wins today.  Wolf defeated No. 2 seed Denis Kudla 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 and Torpegaard took out qualifier Dayne Kelly of Australia 6-2, 6-3. Torpegaard will face unseeded Michael Mmoh on Friday, and Wolf will play Ernesto Escobedo. If both Wolf and Torpegaard win, they'll play each other for the fifth time at the Challenger level; Torpegaard won the first two, Wolf the most recent two.

The only Americans left in the top half are Stefan Kozlov and wild card Aleks Kovacevic, both of whom play their second round matches on Thursday.

At the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit men's tournament in Calabasas California, 16-year-old Kyle Kang earned his first ATP point with a 6-4, 7-5 win over fellow qualifier Giacomo Revelli. Revelli, of Great Britain, recently joined the UCLA Bruins. Kang will face another player with UCLA ties, taking on former Bruin No. 1 Gage Brymer, the No. 7 seed, in the second round Thursday.

Other juniors posting wins today: Zachary Svajda, who turns 19 next month, in Calabasas; 17-year-old Bruno Kuzuhara, who defeated No. 8 seed Guy Iradukunda(Florida State) of Burundi 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-2 in Tallahassee; Wild card Kylie Collins, who turns 19 in December, in Austin; and 17-year-old Katrina Scott, also in Austin.