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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Qualifying Complete at Four USTA Pro Circuit Tournaments This Week, Canadian Xu Ousts Top Seed at Norman $15K; Tennis Europe's Junior Masters Begins Wednesday; Fritz, Paul, Pegula and Rogers Advance at BNP Paribas Open

It's another busy week on the USTA Pro Circuit, especially for women, with a $60,000 tournament in Rancho Santa Fe California, a $25,000 tournament in Florence South Carolina and a $15,000 tournament in Norman Oklahoma.  The sole USTA Pro Circuit tournament for men this week is a $15,000 tournament in Naples Florida.

Qualifying concluded today at all four events, but the top story today was one of the few results in the main draw. In Norman, Annabelle Xu, a 17-year-old from Canada, defeated top seed Oona Orpana, a freshman at Oklahoma State, 6-0, 7-5. Xu, who used her ITF Top 100 junior ranking for entry, lost last week in the quarterfinals of the ITF JB1 Pan American Closed to Qavia Lopez.

Xu was among five Canadian girls who competed in Kentucky last week who travelled to Norman for this week's event, with the other four competing in qualifying. Three of them advanced to the main draw: Cadence Brace, Victoria Mboko and Mia Kupres. 

The only Americans advancing to the Norman main draw today are Sofia Rojas, a freshman at Oklahoma State and Oklahoma senior Kianah Motosono.  Wild cards were given to Oklahoman Gracie Epps, a Pan American Closed quarterfinalist, 16-year-old Meera Jesudason, Carmen Corley, a junior at Oklahoma, and Ivana Corley, a senior at Oklahoma. Epps, Carmen Corley and Jesudason lost today in first round play.  In addition to Xu, Duke freshman Ellie Coleman entered via her ITF junior ranking and won her first round match today, beating TCU freshman Helena Narmont of Estonia 6-3, 7-5.

In Florence, four of the eight qualifiers are Americans: North Carolina State senior Alana Smith, former Michigan star Amy Zhu and juniors Sophie Williams and Katja Wiersholm.

The top seed in Florence is Xiyu Wang of China, the 2018 US Open girls champion, with Kurumi Nara of Japan the No. 2 seed.

Wild cards went to Alexa Graham(UNC), Elysia Bolton(UCLA), Sophie Chang and Georgia Southern junior Nadja Meier of Germany. 

In Rancho Santa Fe, six of the eight qualifiers are Americans: Maegan Manasse(assistant women's coach at Cal), Elvina Kalieva, Dalayna Hewitt, Ellie Douglas(TCU), Haley Giavara(Cal) and USTA 18s National champion Ashlyn Krueger.

Rebecca Peterson of Sweden is the top seed, with Fiona Ferro of France the No. 2 seed. Wild cards were given to Hanna Chang, Kayla Day, Allie Kiick and Jessica Failla(Pepperdine).  Day defeated No. 5 seed Misaki Doi of Japan 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in first round action today, while Failla lost to WTA 123 Polona Hercog of Slovenia 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-5 in a four-hour marathon.

In Naples, the only American to advance through qualifying was Tristan McCormick, the former Notre Dame standout who is a graduate transfer this season for Georgia. Blaise Bicknell, who competes for Jamaica, and recently transferred from Florida to Tennessee, defeated former Gator teammate Josh Goodger of Great Britain 4-6, 7-6(3), 10-6 to qualify.  

The top two seeds are Michael Redlicki(Duke/Arkansas) and Florida State freshman Antoine Cornut Chauvinc of France.

Wild cards went to junior Juan David Velasquez of Colombia, Georgia's Trent Bryde, Florida's Will Grant and Jake Van Emburgh, the former Oklahoma star who is a graduate transfer at Ohio State this season.

The year-end Tennis Europe Masters events begin Wednesday in Monte Carlo, with eight of the top players in the 14U and 16U divisions competing for the title. Recent Les Petits As champion Maxime Mrva of the Czech Republic is the top seed in the boys 14s and Alena Kovackova of the Czech Republic is the top seed in the girls 14s. In the 16s, the No. 1 boys seed is Tomasz Berkieta of Poland, with the girls No. 1 seed Rose Maria Nijkamp of the Netherlands. For more on the tournament and a link to the draws, see this Tennis Europe article.

Four Americans remain in contention for singles titles at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, with Jessica Pegula and Shelby Rogers advancing to the quarterfinals with wins today, while Taylor Fritz moved into the round of 16.

Pegula, the No. 19 seed, defeated No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-1, 6-1; the unseeded Rogers beat US Open finalist and No. 23 seed Leylah Fernandez of Canada 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(4). 

Taylor Fritz and Tommy Paul are through to the round of 16, with No. 31 seed Fritz beating No. 5 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy 6-4, 6-3 today, and the unseeded Paul defeating No. 4 seed Andrey Rublev of Russia 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. 

Links to the draws are here.

2 comments:

Brent said...

I would love to hear the logic behind transferring from Florida to Tennessee. What happened to rivalries? Of all the incredible places that you could choose to transfer to and you choose your school's bitter rival? Doesn't seem random. Would have loved to see the look on Shelton's face when he heard that news. Interesting. Should be a fun matchup this season. Both squads VERY strong!

Tennisforlife said...

Its clear he didn’t leave voluntarily. There was no statement or comment or best wishes. Can’t have been good.