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Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Forbes, Chidekh Top Seeds as ITA National Fall Championships Begin Thursday; Scott Advances to Quarterfinals at Dow Tennis Classic; Three USTA Pro Circuit Tournaments This Week; US Women Reach Semifinals of Billie Jean King Cup

The second Division I collegiate major begins Thursday at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, with the ITA National Fall Championships running through Sunday, when the champions in both singles and doubles will be crowned. 

Twenty-four of the 32 players in the draw earned their way by reaching the finals of the Regionals held across the country in the past six weeks, although there are wild cards, places reserved for the semifinalists of last month's All-American Championships and a few at-large bids.

Men's All-American champion Ben Shelton of Florida is not participating, but South Carolina freshman Sarah Hamner, the women's All-American champion, will be in San Diego.

The men's seeds:

1. Clement Chidekh, Washington
2. Arthur Fery, Stanford
3. August Holmgren, San Diego
4. Stefan Dostanic, Southern Cal (at-large)
5. Matej Vocel, Ohio State (ITA wild card)
6. Gabriel Diallo, Kentucky
7. Andre Ilagan, Hawaii
8. JJ Tracy, Ohio State

Two of the men's at-large spots came from Shelton not entering and All-American semifinalist Chidekh not needing his regional finalist spot(where he lost to Fery, so some weird seeding there). That gave Dostanic and Oklahoma's Mason Beiler at-large bids. Finn Reynolds received the other ITA wild card, while Division II Columbus State's Alvaro Regalado was given the ITA Cup wild card.

Inaki Montes de la Torre of Virginia, a finalist in the Atlantic region, qualified for this week's Charlottesville Challenger(where he lost in the second round today) and is not playing the Fall Nationals. Henry von der Schulenburg of Harvard, who won the Milwaukee wild card, is not playing, so Alex Kotzen of Columbia and Jeffrey von der Schulenburg of Virginia(Henry's younger brother) are receiving entry as alternates for those two players. The full list of men competing is here.

The women's seeds:
1. Abigail Forbes, UCLA (ITA wild card)
2. Daria Frayman, Princeton
3. Sarah Hamner, South Carolina
4. Lisa Zaar, Pepperdine
5. Eryn Cayetano, Southern Cal
6. Alexa Noel, Iowa
7. Snow Han, Southern Cal (at-large)
8. Ayan Akli, South Carolina (at-large)

The women had three at-large spots open up, with no small college ITA Cup wild card given. Mountain regional finalist Molly Helgesson of UNLV is not participating and Pepperdine's 
Taisiya Pachkaleva, an All-American semifinalist, is not playing. In addition to Han and Akli, the third at-large bid went to St. Mary's Mariia Kozyreva. The second ITA wild card was given to Southern California's Salma Ewing. Reilly Tran of North Carolina won the Milwaukee wild card.  The list of women competing this weekend is here.

In an unusual decision, the tournament has accepted 32 doubles teams in each of the men's and women's draws, rather than the typical 16. The All-American champions are the top seeds in both, with Wake Forest's Anna Brylin and Brooke Killingsworth No. 1 in the women's draw and Robert Cash and Matej Vocel of Ohio State at the top of the men's draw.

All draws can be found here.

Cracked Racquets is providing "Red Zone" coverage early, then switching to individual matches over the course of the tournament. See their YouTube channel beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern to follow along with Alex Gruskin and crew. Live streaming and live scoring should be available tomorrow, beginning at noon Eastern; links for those can be found here.

Wild Card Katrina Scott has advanced to the quarterfinals of the WTA 125 Dow Tennis Classic in Midland with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over qualifier Catherine Harrison(UCLA). The 17-year-old, who told me she is really liking indoor tennis after moving to Columbus Ohio after growing up in California, will play the winner of Thursday's match between No. 6 seed Katarzyna Kawa of Poland and Robin Anderson(UCLA). Scott defeated No. 3 seed Maddison Inglis of Australia 6-4, 6-4 Monday.

Reese Brantmeier and Elvina Kalieva, the US Open girls doubles finalists, won their first round match this evening, beating Hanna Chang and Alexa Glatch 3-6, 6-4, 10-8.

Emilio Nava, who upset top seed Vasek Pospisil of Canada in the first round of the Charlottesville Virginia ATP Challenger 80, advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 win over Go Soeda of Japan.

Two $15,000 men's USTA Pro Circuit tournaments are underway, one in Ithaca New York and one in Fayetteville Arkansas. In Fayetteville today, top seed Michael Redlicki(Duke/Arkansas) was beaten by 2021 NCAA singles finalist Daniel Rodrigues(South Carolina) of Portugal 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Two of the University of Arkansas wild cards, seniors Nicolas Rousset and Alex Reco, won their matches and are through to Thursday's second round. In Ithaca, top seeds Felix Corwin(Minnesota) and Vasil Kirkov, last week's champion in Tallahassee, are through to the second round, as is Cornell wild card Adit Sinha. 

The women's Pro Circuit tournament is a $25,000 event in Orlando. Allie Kiick is the top seed, with Sujeong Jang of Korea the No. 2 seed. Both won today, as did No. 3 seed Emma Navarro(Virginia), who won her 2021 NCAA singles champion at the same USTA National Campus where this tournament is being held.

The US women were stunned by Slovakia in their opening match of the Billie Jean King Cup finals yesterday, but they dominated Spain today in the second round robin match, with Sloane Stephens and Danielle Collins(Virginia) getting singles wins. That puts the Americans into the semifinals on Friday, where they will play Russia. For more on today's win over Spain, see this article.