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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Top Juniors Sign D-I National Letters of Intent; Lam and Kennedy Win US Playoffs for Les Petits As; Collins and Riske Reaches Semifinals in Linz; Paul and Tiafoe Advance in Stockholm

Today is National Signing Day for Division I, with high school seniors committing to joining schools in the fall of 2022. With the pandemic and other NCAA changes, signings have been steady throughout the year, but this is still an important day for many programs, as they formalize the verbal commitments their recruits have made. 

I'll be featuring the official signings that I have come across today below, but I wanted to make sure to mention the big news that broke today, with 2021 USTA National 18s finalist Reese Brantmeier posting on Instagram that she has verbally committed to North Carolina for 2022. (that info is via @PlayersPayers).

With so many of Brantmeier's cohort foregoing college (Ashlyn Kreuger, Elvina Kalieva, Robin Montgomery and Katrina Scott have turned pro), and her success at this year's US Open women's qualifying, where she reached the final round, I had thought she was leaning in that direction. But when asked, as I did at the US Open juniors, Brantmeier said she had not made a decision and would take her time doing so. Brantmeier, who just turned 17 last month, has a full year of ITF junior competition remaining in 2022, but she has not entered the upcoming JAs, so she may continue to play primarily Pro Circuit events.

A couple of the announcements came via twitter today, but are not yet up on the school's website, with Florida announcing the signing of Anastasia Sysoeva of Russia and Sophie Williams, and USC announcing the signing of Madison Sieg. (As is customary for me, I'll name the player's country if it is not the United States).

Women:

Arizona has signed Reece Carter of Canada.

Baylor has signed Daniella Dimitrov, who played ITF junior events for Bulgaria, but was born in the United States.

Florida State has signed three transfers: Violet Apisah(Tyler Junior College) of Papua New Guinea; Kianah Motosono(Oklahoma) and Mila Saric(William & Mary) of Spain.

Georgia has signed Darja Vidmanova of the Czech Republic.

Georgia Tech has signed Alejandra Cruz of Mexico.

Maryland has signed Kallista Liu.

South Carolina has signed McKenna Schaefbauer.

Texas has signed Vivian Ovrootsky.

Men:

Alabama has signed Roan Jones of England.

Georgia has signed Ethan Quinn.

Louisville has signed Will Mayew. The Cardinals also announced the signing of Brazil's Natan Rodrigues, who will start in January. Rodrigues has been ranked as high as No. 6 in the ITF Junior rankings.

Texas A&M has signed Grant Lothringer.

USC has signed Ryan Colby, who will be starting in January.

Check the Tennis Recruiting Network's home page for breaking news on commitments.

The winners of the USA Playoffs for next year's 14-and-under Les Petits As tournament in France were decided today, with Jack Kennedy of New York and Shannon Lam of New Jersey going undefeated in the five-day competition. No. 2 seed Kennedy defeated unseeded Ford McCollum 6-1, 6-4, in the final. Sebastian Bielen finished third, and receives the final main draw berth, when Hance was unable to compete due to injury.

Lam, also a No. 2 seed, defeated top seed Sydney Jara 6-1, 6-0. Marcella Roversi defeated Julieta Pareja to finish third. Roversi will get a main draw spot, while Hance and Pareja will receive wild cards into qualifying.

The ATP and WTA seasons are winding down, but four Americans are still alive this week in events in Europe. At the WTA 250 in Austria, two-time NCAA champion Danielle Collins(Virginia) is through, with the No. 3 seed playing Alison Riske, the No. 8 seed, in Thursday's semifinal. Two Romanians are playing in the other semifinal: No. 2 seed Simon Halep and lucky loser Jacqueline Cristian.

At the ATP 250 in Sweden, Tommy Paul and No. 8 seed Frances Tiafoe have advanced to the quarterfinals. Paul beat No. 5 seed and good friend Taylor Fritz, the No. 5 seed, 6-4, 6-4 today. Paul plays wild card Andy Murray, while Tiafoe faces another British player, No. 4 seed Dan Evans.

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