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Friday, October 15, 2021

Recap of Hovde and Anthrop's ITF JB1 Pan American Closed Titles, Plus Videos; Kalieva Reaches $60K Semifinal; Juniors Shang, Xu, Gailis and Sieg Advance at $15Ks; Fritz Saves Match Points in Quarterfinal Win over Zverev at Indian Wells

If you weren't able to follow my daily coverage of the ITF JB1 Pan American Closed last week in Nicholasville Kentucky, my review of one of the biggest ITF junior tournaments in the US is available now at the Tennis Recruiting Network. It was US vs Canada in both finals, with the Americans Liv Hovde and Jack Anthrop coming back to take the titles. 

The video highlights of the finals are below:

Qualifier Elvina Kalieva continued her breakout tournament at the $60,000 USTA Pro Circuit women's event in Rancho Santa Fe California, defeating former WTA No. 35 and No. 8 seed Polona Hercog of Slovenia 6-4, 6-3 in today's quarterfinals. Hercog had a woeful serving day, making only 33% of her first serves, while the 18-year-old from Florida made 72% of hers. Kalieva should break into the WTA Top 500 regardless of her result Saturday, when she faces No. 2 seed Fiona Ferro of France. Madison Brengle[3] and top seed Rebecca Peterson of Sweden will meet in the other semifinal.

Former Duke star Maria Mateas is through to the semifinals at the $25K in Florence South Carolina, after the unseeded 22-year-old defeated No. 3 seed Katie Volynets 6-2, 6-3. She will play qualifier Emiliana Arango of Colombia, who beat No. 5 seed Robin Anderson(UCLA) 6-4, 6-3.

Sixteen-year-old Jerry Shang of China is through to the semifinals of the $15,000 men's tournament in Naples Florida after defeating wild card Jake Van Emburgh(Oklahoma/Ohio State) 6-1, 6-3. Shang, the 2021 US Open boys finalist, will face No. 3 seed Damien Wenger of Switzerland Saturday.

Annabelle Xu of Canada had lost the only ITF World Tennis Tour women's pro circuit main draw match she played before this week, but the 17-year-old is now in the semifinals of the $15,000 tournament in Norman Oklahoma. Xu defeated No. 8 seed Tamara Barad Itzhaki of Israel 6-4, 6-2 and will play Oklahoma State senior Martina Zerulo of Italy Saturday. Raveena Kingsley and wild card Ivana Corley(Oklahoma) face off in the other semifinal.

Teens having success in ITF World Tennis Tour events outside the United States include Martin Damm, who has reached the semifinals of the $25,000+hospitality tournament this week in France, and won the doubles title. The unseeded 18-year-old from Florida defeated Yannick Mertens of Belgium 6-3, 6-2 to advance to a meeting with No. 5 seed Aidan McHugh of Great Britain.  Damm and Felix Corwin(Minnesota), seeded No. 3, won the doubles title with a 3-6, 7-5, 10-7 win over top seeds Gijs Brouwer and Jelle Sels of the Netherlands. It's the fifth pro doubles title for Damm and the second for Corwin.

At the men's and women's $15Ks in Cancun, both Alexander Bernard and Victor Lilov lost in three sets in today's quarterfinals, but USC recruit Madison Sieg and Florida recruit Rachel Gailis have reached the semifinals. Sieg defeated No. 5 seed Yuliana Monroy of Colombia 6-1, 6-4 and Gailis beat recent NC State star Anna Rogers 6-4, 6-0. 

Taylor Fritz reached his first ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinal two days ago with a win over Jannik Sinner at the BNP Paribas Open; he now has advanced to his first semifinal, coming from 5-2 down in the third set to beat No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev of Germany 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3). Fritz, the No. 31 seed, saved a match point on his serve at 5-2, and another with Zverev serving for the match at 5-3, but in the final stages of the match, it was Fritz who looked more confident and aggressive. It's the first Top 5 win for Fritz, having gone 0-10 prior to today.  He will play No. 29 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia, who took out No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 earlier today.