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Friday, October 1, 2021

September Aces; Unseeded Argentina Upsets Czech Republic at Junior Davis Cup; Two US Men, Two US Women Through to Lubbock $15K Semifinals; Giron Reaches First ATP Semifinal; Qualifying Begins Saturday at JB1 Pan American Closed

September was a busy month, and my monthly column for the Tennis Recruiting Network reflects that, with 18 players featured. As always, the US Open was the focus of the month, but there were plenty of other titles in plenty of other places last for the other 13 in the September Aces.

Unseeded Argentina took out the top-seeded Junior Davis Cup team today in Turkey, beating the Czech Republic 2-0. Argentina will face unseeded Russia in Saturday's semifinals, after Russia took out unseeded Canada 3-0. The other semifinal will feature the two teams expected to advance, with No. 2 seed France playing No. 3 seed Mexico. For more on today's big upset, see this article from the ITF junior circuit website.

The top two seeds are still in the hunt in the Junior Billie Jean King Cup competition, with No. 1 Czech Republic getting through without their No. 1 Nikola Bartunkova, who retired from her match yesterday and, according to this ITF article, is ill. The top seeds will play unseeded Germany next, while the other semifinal will feature No. 2 seed Russia against No. 7 Japan.

No. 8 seed Cannon Kingsley(Ohio State) and No. 7 seed Keegan Smith(UCLA) have reached the semifinals of the $15,000 Pro Circuit tournament in Lubbock, with Kingsley beating Charles Broom(Baylor) of Great Britain 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 and Smith defeating  No. 4 seed Omni Kumar(Duke) 6-3, 7-6(3).  Smith will face unseeded Henry Patten(UNC-Asheville), who beat top seed Gijs Brouwer of the Netherlands 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. Kingsley will face another current collegian in Baylor's Sven Lah, a qualifier. Lah defeated No. 5 seed Mark Whitehouse of Great Britain 6-2, 6-2. 

The semifinals at the women's $15,000 tournament in Lubbock include University of Florida fifth-year senior McCartney Kessler, a qualifier, and recent North Carolina State graduate Adriana Reami. Kessler will play No. 5 seed Anhzelika Isaeva of Russia, while Reami, who beat 15-year-old Liv Hovde 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(4) in today's quarterfinals, will face Oklahoma State freshman Mananchaya Sawangkaew, the No. 3 seed. 

At the $60,000 women's tournament in Berkeley, unseeded Usue Arconada is through to the semifinals after defeating No. 8 seed En Shuo Liang of Taiwan 6-3, 6-1. Arconada will play No. 7 seed Mayo Hibi of Japan. Qualifiers Emma Navarro(Virginia) and Sophie Chang lost today, with Navarro falling to Marcela Zacarias of Mexico 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 and Chang falling to No. 4 seed Kurumi Nara of Japan 7-6(5), 5-7, 6-4 in three hours and 12 minutes. 

Marcos Giron advanced to his first ATP semifinal today at the 250 in Sofia Bulgaria. The former UCLA Bruin, who won the 2014 NCAA singles title, defeated John Millman of Australia 6-4, 6-2 today and will play No. 2 seed Gael Monfils of France for a place in the final. For more on Giron's run to the semifinals and his consistent improvement this summer, see this article from the ATP website.

The qualifying for the ITF JB1 Pan American Closed in Nicholasville Kentucky begins on Saturday. As is usual for this tournament, the qualifying did not fill for either the boys or the girls. Two rounds are scheduled for Saturday, with the final round of qualifying set for Sunday. I will be onsite to cover first round matches beginning Monday.