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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Wimbledon Junior Draws Released with Hovde, Debru Top Seeds; Hovde, Michelsen Reach ITF Roehampton J1 Finals; Eight US Men Reach Third Round at Wimbledon

Qualifying for the Wimbledon Junior Championships doesn't conclude until Friday, but the main draws have been released, with at least five US girls and nine US boys contending for the singles titles.

Liv Hovde is the top seed, with Qavia Lopez seeded No. 8. The other three American girls in the draw, as of now, are Sonya Macavei, Alexis Blokhina and Mia Slama.

The American boys in the draw, as of now, are Nishesh Basavareddy[5], Michael Zheng, Learner Tien, Alex Michelsen, Nicholas Godsick, Cooper Williams, Sebastian Gorzny, Ozan Colak and Alexander Frusina.

Roland Garros champion Gabriel Debru of France is the top seed in the boys draw.

The girls draw is here. The boys draw is here.

Eight Americans are through to the final round of qualifying, with at least one more American guaranteed to advance to the main draw. Jelani Sarr got into qualifying as an alternate after the draws were posted, and he will play Jonah Braswell for a place in the main draw. Sarr defeated British wild card Hugo Coquelin 7-6(3), 6-2 and Braswell, the No. 9 seed, beat Federico Bondioli of Italy 7-5, 2-6, 10-5. Yannik Rahman[13] defeated British wild card Henry Jefferson 3-6, 6-3, 10-3; Aidan Kim[4] beat British wild card Zach Stephens 7-5, 6-3; Leanid Boika[6] got by Daniele Minighini of Italy 6-3, 7-6(3).

Theadora Rabman[12] defeated Ellie Blackford of Great Britain 6-4, 6-3 and Kaitlin Quevedo[8] beat Denise Valente of Italy 6-4, 2-6, 10-6.

All sixteen final round qualifying matches are scheduled for 10:30 a.m at Roehampton.

Also at Roehampton Friday will be the finals of the ITF Grade 1, with Liv Hovde and Alex Michelsen both playing for singles titles, and Michelsen also in the boys doubles final.

Hovde defeated No. 12 seed Lucija Ciric Bagaric of Croatia 6-3, 6-3 to make her fourth Grade 1 final since last March. Hovde will play No. 9 seed Johanne Svendsen of Denmark, who beat unseeded Sayaka Ishii of Japan 6-4, 6-1.

The unseeded Michelsen edged No. 15 seed Coleman Wong of Hong Kong 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(4) and will face No. 13 seed Martin Landaluce of Spain, who ended Sebastian Gorzny's run with a 6-3, 6-1 victory. Landaluce will be going for his second straight J1 title, having won last week's tournament in Nottingham.

Gorzny and Michelsen, the reigning Easter Bowl doubles champions, will face another unseeded American team for the title: Cooper Williams and Learner Tien. 

Gorzny and Michelsen defeated Mihai Alexandru Coman of Romania and Matej Dodig of Croatia 6-4, 6-3 in today's semifinals, while Williams and Tien eliminated the last seeded team, No. 7 Landaluce and Pedro Rodenas of Spain, 6-4, 7-6(1). The girls doubles final will feature No. 3 seeds Kayla Cross and Victoria Mboko of Canada, who beat top seeds Hovde and Qavia Lopez 6-2, 6-4. Cross and Mboko will play No. 7 seeds Carolina Kuhl of Germany and Tereza Valentova of the Czech Republic, who advanced via a walkover from No. 2 seeds Ciric Bagaric an d Nikola Daubnerova of Slovakia.

As a reminder, the two J1 tournaments this month are awarding ITF junior points, but, like the professionals, there will be no points earned at Wimbledon.

With one second round Wimbledon singles match involving American men still not complete, a quarter of the third round participants in men's singles will be Americans, the most at a slam since the 1996 US Open. The winner of the Maxime Cressy/Jack Sock match will be No. 8, joining Steve Johnson, Tommy Paul, Frances Tiafoe, Taylor Fritz, Brandon Nakashima and Jenson Brooksby. Nakashima was particularly impressive today, taking out last year's Wimbledon semifinalist Denis Shapovalov of Canada.

Thursday second round results of Americans:

Coco Gauff[11] d. Mihaela Buzarnescu(ROU) 6-2, 6-3
Jessica Pegula[8] d. Harriet Dart(GBR) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
Amanada Anisimova[20] d. Lauren Davis 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
Alize Cornet(FRA) d. Claire Liu 6-3, 6-3
Ajla Tomljanovic(AUS) d. Catherine Harrison[Q] 6-2, 6-2

Taylor Fritz[11] d. Alastair Gray[WC](GBR) 6-3, 7-6(3), 6-3
Brandon Nakashima d. Denis Shapovalov[13](CAN) 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(6)
Jack Sock[Q] v Maxime Cressy 6-4, 6-4
Alex Molcan(SVK) d. Marcos Giron 6-3, 6-2, 6-4
Richard Gasquet(FRA) d. Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
Jenson Brooksby[29] d. Benjamin Bonzi(FRA) 7-6(3), 7-5, 6-3

Friday's third round matches featuring Americans:

Steve Johnson v Cameron Norrie[9](GBR)
Frances Tiafoe[23] v Alexander Bublik(KAZ)
John Isner[20] v Jannik Sinner[10](ITA)
Jack Sock[Q] v Maxime Cressy 6-4, 6-4, postponed from Thursday
Tommy Paul[30] v Jiri Vesely(CZE)

Alison Riske[28] v Marie Bouzkova(CZE)

Friday's order of play is here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Wimbledon Junior Qualifying Begins Friday with Six Americans Competing; Hovde, Michelsen and Gorzny Reach Roehamption J1 Semifinals; Isner Among Five US Players to Reach Wimbledon Third Round; Geoff Young Named Head Coach at Purdue

Qualifying begins Friday at Roehampton for the Wimbledon Junior Championships, with four US boys and two US girls hoping to win the two matches required to reach the main draw. The Americans boys are Aidan Kim[4], who did not get to play this week's J1 in Roehampton, but did play Nottingham last week; Leanid Boika[6], Jonah Braswell[9] and Yannik Rahman[13]. The American girls are Kaitlin Quevedo[8] and Theodora Rabman[12].

The boys draw is here; the girls draw is here. The order of play for Friday is here.

While most of the Roehampton courts will be given over to the Wimbledon qualifying, four are reserved for the semifinals in singles and doubles at the J1 that always precedes Wimbledon

All three Americans who advanced to the quarterfinals won their matches today: top seed Liv Hovde, unseeded Alex Michelsen and unseeded Sebastian Gorzny. 

Hovde defeated No. 7 Annabelle Xu of Canada, a rising freshman at Virginia, 6-2, 6-3 and will play No. 12 seed Lucija Ciric Bargaric of Croatia in the semifinal. The other girls semifinal will feature No. 9 seed Johanne Svendsen of Denmark and unseeded Sayaka Ishii of Japan. 

After Michelsen defeated top seed Jakub Mensik of the Czech Republic yesterday, Gorzny took out No. 2 seed Mili Poljicak of Croatia 7-5, 7-6(2). The rising TCU freshman, who has now beaten three seeds, will get another in the semifinals: No. 13 Martin Landaluce of Spain, the Nottingham J1 champion. Michelsen, who defeated unseeded William Jansen of Great Britain 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the quarterfinals today, will face No. 15 seed Coleman Wong of Hong Kong. Michelsen beat Wong at the Eddie Herr late last year.

Michelsen and Gorzny are also through to the semifinals in doubles, as are Cooper Williams and Learner Tien. Hovde and Qavia Lopez, the No. 1 seeds, have advanced to the girls doubles semifinals.

Four US men advanced to the Wimbledon third round today with John Isner getting one of his most significant victories at the All England Club when he defeated Andy Murray 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 6-4 on Centre Court. Isner did reach the semifinals in 2018, but taking on Murray, who had beaten him all eight previous times they had played, on his home court was certainly a highlight. It goes without saying that the former Georgia All-American served well, but he also came forward, finished well at the net and was never rattled by the obviously pro-Murray crowd.

"That was an amazing moment for me out there at 37," Isner said in his press conference. "I think that's, to my knowledge, only the third match I played on Centre Court, one of which was at the Olympics in 2012. So I haven't had many opportunities on that court.

"To be able to get a win on Centre against Andy Murray is something I'll certainly I think remember forever. This is why I still play, it's why I still work hard. So I'm still eager to get up in the morning and work out and get my body feeling right, is to have moments like that.

"At 37, it was much easier 10 years ago for sure, but I work my ass off to try to give myself opportunities like that. It kind of makes it all worth it, for sure."

Joining Isner in round three of men's singles are Tommy Paul, Frances Tiafoe and Steve Johnson(USC).

Wednesday's results for Americans:

First round:
Jessica Pegula[8] d. Donna Vekic(CRO) 6-3, 7-6(2)

Second round:
John Isner[20] d. Andy Murray(GBR) 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 6-4
Tommy Paul[30] d. Adrian Mannarino(FRA) 6-2, 6-4, 6-1
Tim Van Rijthoven d. Reilly Opelka[15] 6-4, 6-7(8), 7-6(7), 7-6(4)
Frances Tiafoe[23] d. Maximilian Marterer(GER) 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(3)
Oscar Otte[32](GER) d. Christian Harrison[Q] 3-1, ret.

Alison Riske[28] d. Maja Chwalinska[Q](POL) 3-6, 6-1, 6-0
Marie Bouzkova(CZE) d. Ann Li 6-0, 6-3

Thursday's second round matches featuring Americans:

Coco Gauff[11] v Mihaela Buzarnescu(ROU)
Jessica Pegula[8] v Harriet Dart(GBR)
Lauren Davis v Amanda Anisimova[20]
Claire Liu v Alize Cornet(FRA)
Catherine Harrison[Q] v Ajla Tomljanovic(AUS)

Taylor Fritz[11] v Alastair Gray[WC](GBR)
Brandon Nakashima v Denis Shapovalov[13](CAN)
Maxime Cressy v Jack Sock[Q]
Marcos Giron v Alex Molcan(SVK)
Mackenzie McDonald v Richard Gasquet(FRA)
Jenson Brooksby[29] v Benjamin Bonzi(FRA)

The final Power Five conference head coaching position still vacant was filled today, with former Minnesota men's head coach Geoff Young hired at Purdue. Young, who the associate head coach at UCF this past season, was available when Minnesota dropped men's tennis in 2021.

For a detailed look at Young's background and accomplishments, see this release on his hiring from the Purdue website.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Great Day for US Men, UCLA Alums at Wimbledon; Michelsen Beats Top Seed at Roehampton J1; Five USTA Pro Circuit Events This Week Include $100K in Charleston

US men picked up three victories Monday on Day One of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships and today they added 10 more; the 13 American men in the second round is the most since 1995, when 16 won their first round matches.

The most impressive victory came courtesy of former UCLA Bruin Maxime Cressy, who ousted No. 6 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(9), 7-6(5). Cressy, who reached the final at Eastbourne last week, did not qualify for Wimbledon last year, falling in the final round of qualifying to former teammate Mackenzie McDonald, so this was his first main draw appearance at Wimbledon. Grass should be his best surface, given his relentless serve and volley game style, but as a late bloomer and the pandemic, the 25-year-old hasn't had too many opportunities to play on the surface.

Cressy, the 2019 NCAA doubles champion, was one of three former UCLA men to advance today, with 2016 NCAA champion McDonald and 2014 NCAA champion Marcos Giron also picking up victories.

The fourth former Bruin to make the second round in singles is qualifier Catherine Harrison, who defeated Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands 6-1, 6-4 for her first slam main draw victory in her first main draw slam appearance.

While the US men had impressive results in the first round, going 13-3, the US women did not. No. 8 seed Jessica Pegula's match with Croatia's Donna Vekic was postponed until Wednesday, so the first round is not yet complete, but American women are 7-10 pending that result.

Tuesday's first round results of Americans:
Harmony Tan(FRA) d. Serena Williams[WC] 7-5, 1-6, 7-6(7)
Coco Gauff[11] d. Elena-Gabriela Ruse(ROU) 2-6, 6-3, 7-5
Paula Badosa[4](ESP) d. Louisa Chirico[Q] 6-2 6-1
Claire Liu d. Nuria Parrizas Diaz(ESP) 7-5, 6-3
Petra Martic(CRO) d. Shelby Rogers[30] 6-2, 7-6(5)
Amanda Anisimova[20] d. Yue Yuan[LL](CHN) 6-3 6-4
Lauren Davis d. Madison Brengle 6-2, 7-5
Sara Sorribes Tormo[32](ESP) d. Christina McHale[Q] 6-2, 6-1
Elena Rybakina[17](KAZ) d. Coco Vandeweghe[LL] 7-6(2), 7-5 
Bianca Andreescu(CAN) d, Emina Bektas[Q] 6-1, 6-3
Qinwen Zheng(CHN) d. Sloane Stephens 7-6(1), 7-5
Catherine Harrison[Q] d. Arantxa Rus(NED) 6-1, 6-4

Steve Johnson d. Grigor Dimitrov([18](BUL) (moved from Monday) 4-6, 5-2 ret.
Maxime Cressy d. Felix Auger-Aliassime[6](CAN) 
Taylor Fritz[11] d. Lorenzo Musetti(ITA) 6-4, 6-4, 6-3
Christian Harrison[Q] d. Jay Clarke[WC](GBR) 7-6(3), 6-1, 7-6(6) (held over from Monday)
Diego Schwartzman[12](ARG) d. Stefan Kozlov[LL] 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
Reilly Opelka[15] d. Carlos Taberner(ESP) 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4 (held over from Monday)
Ricardas Berankis(LTU) d. Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-5, 6-3
Brandon Nakashima d. Nicola Kuhn[Q](GER) 6-3, 6-6(1). 6-3, 6-2
Jenson Brooksby[29] d. Mikhail Kukushkin[Q](KAZ) 6-3, 6-2, 6-3
Lorenzo Sonego[27](ITA) d. Denis Kudla 6-7(6), 6-3, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2
Mackenzie McDonald d. Nuno Borges[LL](POR) 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(3)
Jack Sock[Q] d. Bernabe Zapata Miralles[Q](ESP) 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-4
Marcos Giron d. Holger Rune[[24](DEN) 6-3, 7-5, 6-4

Wednesday's matches featuring Americans:

First round:
Jessica Pegula[8] v Donna Vekic(CRO)

Second round:
John Isner[20] v. Andy Murray(GBR)
Steve Johnson v Ryan Peniston[WC](GBR)
Tommy Paul[30] v Adrian Mannarino(FRA)
Reilly Opelka[15] v Tim Van Rijthoven(NED)
Frances Tiafoe[23] v Maximilian Marterer(GER)
Christian Harrison[Q] v Oscar Otte[32](GER)

Alison Riske[28] v Maja Chwalinska[Q](POL)
Ann Li v Marie Bouzkova(CZE)

The quarterfinals are set at the ITF J1 in Roehampton, with three Americans advancing with wins today. 

Alex Michelsen defeated top seed Jakub Mensik of the Czech Republic 5-7, 6-3, 6-1, the second win over Mensik Michelsen has had this year, and will play William Jansen of Great Britain, who beat Michael Zheng 6-3, 6-1 in the third round today.

Sebastian Gorzny beat Roland Garros finalist Gilles Bailly of Belgium, the No. 6 seed, 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-2. The TCU rising freshman will play No. 2 seed Mili Poljicak of Croatia, who beat No. 16 seed Ozan Colak 6-4, 6-3.

Liv Hovde is the only US girl in the quarterfinals, with the top seed defeating Nottingham J1 champion Taylah Preston of Australia 7-6(5), 6-2. She will face No. 7 seed Annabelle Xu of Canada Wednesday.

Two rounds of doubles were played today, with top seeds Hovde and Qavia Lopez advancing to the girls quarterfinals, as did No. 4 seeds Alexis Blokhina and partner Luca Udvardy of Hungary, and Sonya Macavei and partner Julie Struplova of the Czech Republic. 

Michelsen and Gorzny have reached the boys doubles quarterfinals, as have Learner Tien and Cooper Williams. Jonah Braswell and his partner Lorenzo Ferri of Italy, who received entry as alternates, are also through to the quarterfinals.

There are five USTA Pro Circuit tournaments this week in the United States, but because I'll be covering the Junior Championships at Wimbledon onsite this year, I won't be able to keep up with the results as I normally would.

The biggest of the five is the $100,000 tournament in Charleston South Carolina, with qualifying just now finishing.  Americans through to the main draw are:  Christina Rosca(Vanderbilt), Maegan Manasse(Cal), Chanelle Van Nguyen(UCLA), Erica Oosterhout(Harvard) and Rasheeda McAdoo(Georgia Tech). 

Wild cards were awarded to Jessie Aney(North Carolina), Katarina Jokic(Georgia) and Dalayna Hewitt.

The top seed is Alycia Parks, with Despina Papamichail of Greece the No. 2 seed, and Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic seeded No. 3. (Linda and younger sister Brenda, who is not playing Charleston, both were late withdrawals from the Wimbledon Junior Championships). Virginia's Emma Navarro, who turned pro prior to this event, is the No. 7 seed.

Qualifying is complete at the $25,000 USTA women's event in Columbus Ohio, with six Americans advancing to the main draw:
Kyle McPhillips(UCLA), Carmen Corley(Oklahoma), Sara Daavettila(North Carolina), 15-year-old Akasha Urhobo, Kari Miller(Michigan) and Ava Catanzarite(UCLA).

Wild cards were given to three Ohio State players: Isabelle Boulais, Irina Cantos Siemers and Sydney Ratliff, as well as Eleana Yu. Katherine Sebov of Canada is the top seed, with Katrina Scott the No. 2 seed. NCAA champion Peyton Stearns, the No. 4 seed, won her first round match today.

At the $25,000 USTA men's tournament in Dallas, the American qualifiers are Keshav Chopra(Georgia Tech), Ron Hohmann(LSU), Chad Kissell(Valparaiso), Arman Sharma(Cornell), Jibril Nettles and Jacob Brumm(Cal, Baylor).

Wild cards went to Tyler Zink(Oklahoma State), Adam Neff(SMU), Liam Krall(SMU) and Antonio Muniz Hidalgo(SMU). They all played each other in the first round today, with Zink defeating Neff and Muniz beating Krall.

Li Tu of Australia is the No. 1 seed, with Yibing Wu of China the No. 2 seed. Tu plays Martin Damm in the first round Wednesday.

The SoCal Pro Circuit is back after a week off, with both men and women at the $15,000 tournaments in Los Angeles. 

Women's qualifiers from the United States are Makenna Jones(North Carolina), Princeton recruit Katherine Hui and Maxine Murphy(Washington State). 

Wild cards were given to USC's Salma Ewing and Erin Cayetano, UCLA's Kimmi Hance, and 14-year-old Iva Jovic.

Ya Yi Yang of Taiwan is the No. 1 seed, with USC's Snow Han of China the No. 2 seed.

Men's qualifiers from the US are Keenan Mayo(Illinois), Austin Ansari(Clemson), Eric Hadigian(Pepperdine), Bryce Nakashima, Perry Gregg(Holy Cross).

Wild cards were given to Hudson Rivera, Masato Perera(Harvard), Alex Petrov(Illinois) and Jacob Bullard(Arizona State).

Southern Californians Brandon Holt and Zachary Svajda are the top two seeds.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Five Americans Through to Wimbledon Second Round, 27 in Action Tuesday; Eight US Juniors Reach Third Round at ITF J1 in Roehampton; Fakih Wins First ITF Junior Circuit Title; How Todd Wojtkowski Built Case Western into D-III Powerhouse

photo credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

The first day of Wimbledon 2022 did not go as scheduled, with two separate rain delays leading to cancelled matches and others that had to be stopped for darkness. Only ten of the 34 Americans in the draw were on Monday's schedule, and even then, three of the men either did not start, or were unable to finish.

All four of the US women on the scheduled did get their matches in, with wins for Alison Riske and Ann Li and losses for Danielle Collins(Virginia) and Bernarda Pera.

Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul and John Isner(Georgia) earned victories, while Christian Harrison and Reilly Opelka held two-set leads when their matches were suspended. Steve Johnson(USC) had his match with Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria postponed until Tuesday. 

Monday's first round results of Americans:

John Isner[20] d. Enzo Couacaud[Q](FRA) 6-7(6) 7-6(3) 4-6 6-3 7-5
Tommy Paul[30] d. Fernando Verdasco(ESP) 6-1, 6-2, 7-6(4)
Frances Tiafoe[23] d. Andrea Vavassori[Q](ITA) 6-4, 6-4, 6-4

Anett Kontaveit[2](EST) d. Bernarda Pera 7-5, 6-1 
Marie Bouzkova(CZE) d. Danielle Collins[7] 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
Ann Li d. Lucia Bronzetti(ITA) 6-1, 6-4
Alison Riske[28] d. Ylena In-Albon(SUI) 6-2, 6-4

Tuesday's first round matches featuring Americans:
Serena Williams[WC] v Harmony Tan(FRA)
Coco Gauff[11] v Elena-Gabriela Ruse(ROU)
Louisa Chirico[Q] v Paula Badosa[4](ESP)
Claire Liu v Nuria Parrizas Diaz(ESP)
Shelby Rogers[30] v Petra Martic(CRO)
Amanda Anisimova[20] v Xinyu Wang(CHN)
Madison Brengle v Lauren Davis
Christina McHale[Q] v Sara Sorribes Tormo[32](ESP)
Coco Vandeweghe[LL] v Elena Rybakina[17](KAZ)
Emina Bektas[Q] v Bianca Andreescu(CAN)
Sloane Stephens v Qinwen Zheng(CHN)
Catherine Harrison[Q] v Arantxa Rus(NED)
Jessica Pegula[8] v Donna Vekic(CRO)

Steve Johnson v Grigor Dimitrov([18](BUL) (moved from Monday)
Maxime Cressy v Felix Auger-Aliassime[6](CAN)
Taylor Fritz[11] v Lorenzo Musetti(ITA)
Christian Harrison v Jay Clarke[WC](GBR) 7-6(3), 6-1, 5-5 (held over from Monday)
Stefan Kozlov[LL] v Diego Schwartzman[12](ARG)
Reilly Opelka[15] v Carlos Taberner(ESP) 7-6(5), 6-4, 1-2 (held over from Monday)
Sam Querrey v Ricardas Berankis(LTU)
Brandon Nakashima v Nicola Kuhn[Q](GER)
Jenson Brooksby[29] v Mikhail Kukushkin[Q](KAZ)
Denis Kudla v Lorenzo Sonego[27](ITA)
Mackenzie McDonald v Nuno Borges[LL](POR)
Jack Sock[Q] v Bernabe Zapata Miralles[Q](ESP)
Marcos Giron v Holger Rune[[24](DEN)

The rain showers also disrupted the ITF J1 in Roehampton, leading to the cancellation of today's first round of doubles, but the second round of singles were completed. Eight of the nine US juniors in action today won their matches, with qualifier Kaitlin Quevedo the only one who didn't, losing to Texas A&M incoming freshman Mia Kupres of Canada 6-2, 6-1. 

Top seed Liv Hovde defeated Michaela Laki of Greece 6-2, 5-7, 6-1 and will play No. 13 seed and Nottingham J1 champion Taylah Preston of Australia Tuesday. No. 6 seed Qavia Lopez beat Lucciana Perez Alarcon of Peru 6-0, 6-1 and Alexis Blokhina downed lucky loser Mathilde Ngijol Carre of France 6-3, 1-6, 6-2. No. 2 seed Celine Naef of Switzerland lost to 14-year-old British wild card Mingge Xu 6-1, 4-6, 6-0.

Ozan Colak[16] defeated qualifier Jack Loutit of New Zealand 6-3, 6-3 and will play No. 2 seed Mili Poljicak of Croatia, who he beat at the Australian Open this year. Alex Michelsen, a 6-4, 6-4 winner over Dylan Dietrich of Switzerland, will face top seed Jakub Mensik of the Czech Republic. Michelsen defeated Mensik at the J1 in Traralgon Australia in January. 

Sebastian Gorzny defeated No. 9 seed Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez of Mexico 6-1, 6-4 and will play Roland Garros finalist Gilles Bailly of Belgium, the No. 6 seed.  Learner Tien advanced when lucky loser Massimo Giunta of Italy retired trailing 4-2 in the first set and will take on British wild card Patrick Brady in the third round.

Live scoring is available via the Tennis Ticker app.

There were three titles for Americans on the ITF Junior Circuit last week, with 15-year-old Californian Kate Fakih earning her first title at the J4 in Leon Mexico. Unseeded, Fakih had to play six matches in the 48-draw, but never lost more than three games in any of them, and a total of just 15. She beat four seeds
to reach the final, where she defeated unseeded Ximena Garzon Martinez of Mexico 6-0, 6-3.

Sixteen-year-old Jose Murariu won his first ITF Junior Circuit title in doubles, with parnter Yi Zhou of China. The top seeds defeated American twins Abhinav and Prathinav Chunduru, the No. 3 seeds, 6-1, 6-1 in the final. 

At the J3 in Calgary Canada, top seeds Duncan Chen of Canada and John Kim won the doubles title, beating unseeded Emmett Potter and Tyler Waddock of Canada 6-3, 6-4 in the final. Chen then went on to defeat Kim in the boys singles final, with No. 1 seed Chen getting the 7-5, 6-4 win over No. 2 seed Kim.

Every program building story is interesting, as it's always fascinating to try to isolate the reasons some tennis programs are outstanding for decades, while others struggle to sustain any success they may have. This cleveland.com article about Case Western Reserve men's head coach Todd Wojtkowski provides a detailed look at the unlikely trail he's blazed to build a top program, one that has reached the NCAA Division III final the past two years.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Navarro Turns Pro; Ten Seeds Ousted in First Round at Roehampton J1; Monday and Nanda Take Pro Circuit Titles; Ten Americans in Action Monday at Wimbledon

After two years at the University of Virginia, Emma Navarro will not return, with the 2021 NCAA champion's first tournament as a professional next week at the $100,000 ITF tournament in her home town of Charleston South Carolina

Navarro, currently 240 in the WTA rankings, was 51-3 in her two seasons at Virginia, losing to Estela Perez-Somarriba of Miami last year and Eden Richardson of Miami this year, with both those losses in regular season dual matches. Her final collegiate match was the third loss, when North Carolina State's Abigail Rencheli defeated Navarro 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 in the third round of the NCAAs in Champaign. There was speculation that Navarro might return this year, even though she had been dominating the competition in college, because her younger sister Meggie is set to join the Cavaliers this fall. But I don't think anyone would question the 21-year-old's decision to devote herself to professional tennis full time now after proving herself on the collegiate level.

For comments from Navarro and Virginia head coach Sara O'Leary, see this article from VirginiaSports.com.

As an aside, Linda Fruhvirtova is still on the acceptance list for the $100K in South Carolina, while also still appearing on the acceptance list for the Junior championships at Wimbledon. I thought there was an automatic withdrawal feature to prevent this, but perhaps, even though it begins Saturday, the Wimbledon Junior tournament is considered as being held the following week. 

The first day of the J1 at Roehampton was not a good one for seeded players, with ten seeds, including both No. 3 seeds, eliminated.

Texas A&M rising freshman Mia Kupres of Canada defeated No. 3 seed Nikola Daubnerova of Slovakia 6-2, 6-4 and Joao Fonseca of Brazil beat No. 3 seed Gonzalo Bueno of Peru 6-3, 7-5.  

No. 4 seed Nishesh Basavareddy lost to Connor Henry Van Schalkwyk of Namibia 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, while Michael Zheng defeated No. 8 seed and Roland Garros boys semifinalist Dino Prizmic of Croatia 6-1, 1-6, 7-5. The other four American boys to advance to the second round are Ozan Colak[16], Learner Tien, Sebastian Gorzny and Alex Michelsen. Michelsen defeated another Roland Garros semifinalist, No. 14 seed Martyn Pawelski of Poland, 6-3, 6-1.

Top seed Liv Hovde survived in three sets, as did No. 6 seed Qavia Lopez. Alexa Blokhina defeated No. 11 seed Kayla Cross of Canada 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 and qualifier Kaitlin Quevedo also won her opening match, over British wild card Isabelle Lacy.  

The other top 8 seed to lose in the girls draw was No. 8 Luciana Moyano of Argentina who went out to Andrea Obradovic of Serbia 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. 

The two Nottingham champions had no day of rest between their finals Saturday and their first round matches today, but both Martin Landaluce of Spain[13] and Taylah Preston[13] of Australia did manage to post wins today.

Live scoring for the Roehampton Grade 1 is available on the TennisTicker app.

Tennessee rising junior Johannes Monday won his first title on the professional circuit today in South Bend, with the 20-year-old left-hander from Great Britain defeating No. 5 seed Sekou Bangoura(Florida) 6-3, 7-5. Monday, playing in his first main draw of a pro tournament, came through qualifying to earn the title at the $15,000 event. 

Govind Nanda(UCLA) won the $25,000 USTA Men's Pro Circuit tournament in Tulsa, defeating wild card Stefan Dostanic(USC) 6-3, 7-5. It's the first title since last June for the No. 3 seed, who left the Bruins for professional tennis after the 2020-21 season.

No. 4 seed Elli Mandlik won the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit tournament in Wichita, defeating top seed Kayla Day 6-3, 6-3. It's Mandlik's third title of 2022, all at the $25K level.

At the $15,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit tournament in Colorado Springs, former Furman standout Katarina Kozarov defeated Veronika Miroshnichenko(Loyola Marymount) of Russia 6-3, 6-4. It's the first professional singles title for the 24-year-old from Serbia.

Wimbledon begins Monday in London, but it's a light day for Americans, with only 10 of the 34 players from the US on the schedule. Stefan Kozlov, who lost in the final round of qualifying, upped the original total of American competitors by one when he received entry as a lucky loser following the withdrawal of Croatia's Borna Coric.

All matches are available on ESPN, ESPN 2 or ESPN3 and ESPN+, with ABC also broadcasting matches for the first time. For more on the ESPN schedule for Wimbledon, see this article.

Wimbledon first round matches featuring Americans Monday:

Bernarda Pera v Anett Kontaveit[2](EST)
Danielle Collins[7] v Marie Bouzkova(CZE)
Ann Li v Lucia Bronzetti(ITA)
Alison Riske[28] v Ylena In-Albon(SUI)

Steve Johnson v Grigor Dimitrov[18](BUL)
John Isner[20] v Enzo Couacaud[Q](FRA)
Christian Harrison[Q] v Jay Clarke[WC](GBR)
Tommy Paul[30] v Fernando Verdasco(ESP)
Reilly Opelka[15] v Carlos Taberner(ESP)
Frances Tiafoe[23] v Andrea Vavassori[Q](ITA)

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Dostanic Reaches Tulsa $25K Final; Corleys, Zamarripas Win Pro Circuit Doubles Titles; 17 US Juniors Begin Play at ITF J1 in Roehampton Sunday; Fritz Defeats Cressy in ATP Eastbourne Final

Two weeks ago in East Lansing, Georgia Tech rising junior Andres Martin made the final of his first USTA Pro Circuit tournament, a $25,000 event that he accessed via qualifying. Stefan Dostanic, a rising senior at the University of Southern California, had a bit more experience than that, but he hadn't earned an ATP point until this week at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Tulsa, but he has posted three victories over seeds this week and is into Sunday's final.

Dostanic, a 20-year-old from Irvine California, defeated No. 5 seed Sho Shimabukuro of Japan 7-6(9), 6-3 in today's semifinals, posting his third ATP Top 500 win of the week. He will face former UCLA star Govind Nanda, the No. 3 seed, who beat wild card Martin 6-4, 6-3. Both Dostanic and Nanda are former Kalamazoo Nationals finalists, with Dostanic finishing runner-up to Brandon Nakashima in the 16s in 2017 and Nanda falling to Zachary Svajda in the 18s in 2019.

In today's doubles final in Tulsa, top seeds Yu Hsiou Hsu of Taiwan and Dane Sweeny of Australia defeated No. 3 seeds Zeke Clark(Illinois) and Nate Ponwith(Arizona State) 6-3, 6-2.

At the $15,000 men's tournament in South Bend Indiana, Sekou Bangoura and Great Britain's Johannes Monday will play for the title Sunday. Monday, who qualified for the main draw at a Pro Circuit event for the first time this week, probably welcomed the day off he got today when 2015 NCAA champion Ryan Shane was unable to play due to injury. The 20-year-old rising junior at Tennessee lacks the experience of 30-year-old Bangoura, who played collegiately at Florida. Bangoura defeated Ohio State rising junior JJ Tracy 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 in the semifinals today.

The doubles title went to No. 2 seeds Sid Banthia(Wake Forest) and James Trotter(Ohio State), who defeated No. 4 seeds Felix Corwin(Minnesota) and Noah Schachter(Texas A&M) 6-2, 7-6(3).

The singles title at the $25,000 USTA women's Pro Circuit tournament in Wichita will be decided by top seed Kayla Day and No. 4 seed Elli Mandlik. Day defeated Samantha Crawford 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 and Mandlik beat Adriana Reami(NC State) 6-1, 7-6(5) in today's semifinals.

In the all-collegiate doubles final, No. 2 seeds Allura and Maribella Zamarripa won their fifth professional title, with the twin sisters defeating unseeded Carolyn Ansari and Canada's Ariana Arseneault(Auburn) 6-4, 6-2. The Zamarripas, who did not drop a set all week, announced early this month that they would be turning pro and not returning to Texas for their sophomore year.

Two former collegians will face off for the title at the $15,000 USTA women's Pro Circuit tournament in Colorado Springs, with former Furman star Katarina Kozarov of Serbia, the No. 3 seed, taking on wild card Veronika Miroshnichenko of Russia, who just completed her eligibility at Loyola Marymount. Miroshnichenko needed three hours to defeat Virginia rising junior Hibah Shaikh 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(1) and Kozarov took out No. 7 seed Gianna Pielet, a rising sophomore at Texas A&M, 6-1, 7-5.

In doubles, another pair of sisters, although not twins, won the title, with top seeds Ivana and Carmen Corley getting their first Pro Circuit championship. Ivana and Carmen, who just completed their senior and junior years at Oklahoma, defeated No. 3 seeds Miroshnichenko and Poland's Daria Kuczer(Tennessee) of Poland 7-6(4), 6-2.

Main draw matches at the ITF J1 in Roehampton begin Sunday, with seven US girls and ten US boys in the main draw. Aidan Kim is not one of the boys; I'm not sure why he did not get a special exemption into the main draw as he was in the doubles final today at the J1 in Nottingham. Kim and Nicholas Godsick, the No. 6 seeds lost to Florida rising freshman Tanapatt Nirundorn of Thailand and Jaden Weekes of Canada, the No. 5 seeds, 6-2, 6-7(5), 10-3.

No. 5 seed Martin Landaluce of Spain won the boys singles title, with No. 4 seed Bor Artnak of Slovenia retiring trailing 6-3, 1-0. No. 3 seed Taylah Preston of Australia won the girls singles title, beating unseeded Ela Nala Milic of Slovenia 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-3.

The girls doubles title went to No. 2 seeds Luciana Moyano of Argentina and Lucciana Perez Alarcon of Peru, who beat No. 7 seeds Milic and Lucia Peyre of Argentina 6-2, 6-0 in the final.

The American boys competing in Roehampton are: Nishesh Basavareddy[4], Ozan Colak[16], Michael Zheng, Godsick, Cooper Williams, Learner Tien, Alex Michelsen, Leanid Boika, Alexander Frusina and Sebastian Gorzny.  

Jakub Mensik of the Czech Republic is the top boys seed.

The US girls in Roehampton are: Liv Hovde[1], Qavia Lopez[6], Alexis Blokhina, Mia Slama, Sonya Macavei and two qualifiers: Kaitlin Quevedo and Theodora Rabman.

The final of the ATP 250 in Eastbourne was an entertaining battle between two Americans, with Taylor Fritz, the No. 3 seed, defeating Maxime Cressy(UCLA) 6-2, 6-7(4), 7-6(4). Fritz dominated the first set, but Cressy found his form midway through the second set and it was even from then on. Fritz, who had not won a match in either of the previous grass court tournaments he played this month, didn't face a break point in the final, capturing his third ATP title, with his first also coming at Eastbourne, in 2019. The second was this spring's BNP Paribas Open. For more on the Eastbourne final, see this article from the ATP website.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Thirty-three Americans in Wimbledon Draws; Roehampton J1 Qualifying Underway; USTA Wild Card Challenge Set for July; Collegians Advance to Semifinals at USTA Pro Circuit Tournaments

The Wimbledon draws were released this morning, with the United States leading all nations with 33 participants: 15 men and 18 women. Six US men are seeded, the most in the 32-seed era (2001), and seven US women are seeded, the most since 8 were seeded in 2004.

Here are the Americans competing; I'll post the matchups for Monday's first round in my Sunday post. The women's draw is here; the men's draw is here.

Reilly Opelka[15]
John Isner[20]
Christian Harrison[Q]
Frances Tiafoe[23]
Steve Johnson
Tommy Paul[30]
Jenson Brooksby[29]
Brandon Nakashima
Maxime Cressy
Jack Sock[Q]
Marcos Giron
Taylor Fritz[11]
Mackenzie McDonald
Denis Kudla
Sam Querrey

Claire Liu
Catherine Harrison[Q]
Sloane Stephens
Emina Bektas[Q]
Shelby Rogers[30]
Jessica Pegula[8]
Louisa Chirico[Q]
Coco Gauff[11]
Madison Brengle
Lauren Davis
Amanda Anisimova[20]
Christina McHale[Q]
Serena Williams[WC]
Danielle Collins[7]
Ann Li
Allison Riske[28]
Madison Keys[19]
Bernarda Pera

The doubles draws were also released today, with Rajeev Ram(USA) and Joe Salisbury(GBR) No. 1 in the men's draw and Elise Mertens(BEL) and Shuai Zhang(CHN) the top seeds in the women's draw.

Qualifying at the ITF Grade 1 in Roehampton began today, with the main draw beginning on Sunday. Four Americans have advanced to Saturday's final round of qualifying: Jelani Sarr, Jonah Braswell, Kaitlin Quevedo and Theodora Rabman.  Aidan Kim was initially in qualifying, but he is playing the J1 in Nottingham and is into the boys doubles final, with Nicholas Godsick, and either moved into the main draw or got a special exemption, as he's not able to play qualifying. 

No. 2 seed Qavia Lopez, the last American remaining in the Nottingham singles, lost to unseeded Ela Nala Milic of Slovenia 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-1 in today's semifinals. Milic will play No. 3 seed Taylah Preston of Australia in the final. The boys final features No. 4 seed Bor Artnak of Slovenia and No. 5 seed Martin Landaluce of Spain. Top seed and Roland Garros boys champion Gabriel Debru of France lost to unseeded William Jansen of Great Britain in the quarterfinals. 

The USTA today announced the return of its US Open Wild Card Challenge, which was not held in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. As with the recent Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge, the points accumulated at any hard court event at the $25K level and above will be counted, with the best three results comprising a player's total. The men's race begins July 11 and runs for five weeks; the women's race begins July 18 and runs for four weeks. 

College players have fanned out across the country this month after the NCAA tournament and they've had a lot of success on the USTA Pro Circuit the past three weeks.  That has continued this week, with two wild cards reaching the semifinals of the $25,000 men's tournament in Tulsa.  It comes as a surprise to me that USC rising senior Stefan Dostanic didn't have an ATP point until this week, but the 20-year-old Southern Californian hasn't played all that many USTA Pro Circuit events and was usually in qualifying when he did. This week in Tulsa, he has defeated Donald Young, No. 4 seed Yunseong Chung of Korea, both by retirements, and today got a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over No. 6 seed Omni Kumar(Duke). He will face No. 5 seed Sho Shimabukuro of Japan in the semifinals.

Wild card Andres Martin, a rising junior at Georgia Tech, defeated qualifier Murphy Cassone(Arizona State) 6-0, 6-2 and will play No. 3 seed Govind Nanda(UCLA) in the semifinals. Martin, also 20, reached the final of the $25K in East Lansing two weeks ago as a qualifier, and he is 7-1 on the Pro Circuit since losing to Stanford's Arthur Fery in the second round of the NCAA singles competition last month. Martin had not played a Pro Circuit event until East Lansing.

JJ Tracy, the rising junior at Ohio State, is into the semifinals at the $15,000 tournament in South Bend after defeating No. 8 seed Patrick Kypson(Texas A&M) 3-6, 6-2, 6-1. It's the third three-set victory for Tracy this week. He will play No. 5 seed Sekou Bangoura(Florida), while in the bottom half, 2015 NCAA champion Ryan Shane(Virginia) will face Tennessee rising junior Johannes Monday of Great Britain.

The only collegian still competing at the women's $25,000 tournament in Wichita is former North Carolina State star Adriana Reami. The unseeded 24-year-old, who has yet to drop a set, beat No. 2 seed Ana Sofia Sanchez of Mexico in the second round and defeated No. 5 seed Ashlyn Krueger, the 2021 USTA National 18s champion, 6-2, 6-2 today. Reami will play No. 4 seed Elli Mandlik, who beat No. 7 seed and 2022 NCAA singles champion Peyton Stearns(Texas) 6-4, 6-1. In the top half, No. 1 seed Kayla Day will play unseeded Samantha Crawford, a meeting between two former US Open girls champions, with Day winning in 2016 and Crawford in 2012.

At the $15,000 women's tournament in Colorado Springs, Texas A&M rising sophomore Gianna Pielet defeated top seed Connie Hsu(Penn) of Taiwan 6-3, 6-1 to advance to the semifinals of a USTA Pro Circuit event for the first time. Pielet will play No. 3 seed Katarina Kozarov(Furman) of Serbia, who beat No. 5 seed Ivana Corley(Oklahoma) 6-0, 6-3. In the bottom half, Virginia rising junior Hibah Shaikh continued her run, beating No. 8 seed Paris Corley(LSU) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. The 19-year-old, who earned her first WTA points this week, will face wild card Veronika Miroshnichenko(Loyola Marymount) for a place in the final. 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Six Americans Qualify for Wimbledon Main Draw; USTA Announces Summer Collegiate Team; Martin, Tracy Oust Top Seeds in Men's Pro Circuit Events; Shaikh and Reami Upset No. 2 Seeds in Women's Pro Circuit Tournaments

Catherine Harrison in action at
WTA 125 Dow Classic in Midland in 2021

Catherine Harrison had never gotten into qualifying at a slam until this week, when she moved from her position as alternate into the women's qualifying after several withdrawals. The 28-year-old from Tennessee, who was accepted into the Wimbledon doubles draw, traveled to Great Britain last week and competed in singles and doubles at the WTA 250 tournament in Birmingham. This week she played on the Roehampton courts for the first time since 2012, when she qualified for the Junior Championships on those same courts.

The former UCLA standout did not drop a set in her three qualifying wins, and today she beat a seed for the second consecutive day. Up 6-1, 5-2 and serving for the match against No. 15 Yue Yuan of China, Harrison had a match point, but lost the next four games. She held to force a tiebreaker and recovered for a 6-1, 7-6(3) victory over a player more than 100 places ahead of her in the WTA rankings. Harrison will not earn any points for this run, so her ranking will not improve, but the $50,000 British pounds she earns for reaching the main draw will help ease that pain. When I spoke with Harrison last fall for this Tennis Recruiting Network article, she discussed how difficult it is to fund the travel necessary to move up into the top echelons of the game.

For more on Harrison's win, see this article from Wimbledon.com. The tournament does a fantastic job covering the qualifying, and you can see interviews with or articles about nearly all the qualifiers here.

In addition to Harrison, the other American women who advanced to the main draw are Emina Bektas(Michigan), Christina McHale and Louisa Chirico. The men's qualifiers are Jack Sock and Christian Harrison. Today's results are below. The draw will be held at 10 am local time in London Friday.

Final round qualifying results for Americans:

Jack Sock[14] d. Hugo Grenier[21](FRA) 7-5, 7-5, 6-4
Christian Harrison d. Daniel Masur(GER) 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 6-1
Dennis Novak[23](AUT) d. Stefan Kozlov[3] 7-5, 6-4, 5-7, 3-6, 6-3
Maximillian Marterer(GER) d. Nicolas Moreno de Alboran 7-6(2), 7-6(11), 6-3

Louisa Chirico d. Kathinka Von Deichmann(LIE) 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-1
Christina McHale d. Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove[14](NED) 7-6(3), 7-5
Catherine Harrison d. Yue Yuan[15](CHN) 6-1, 7-6(3)
Emina Bektas d. Fiona Ferro[16](FRA) 6-4, 6-4
Maja Chwalinska(POL) d. Coco Vandeweghe[2] 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 
Nastasja Schunk[21](GER) d. Danielle Lao 6-1, 6-3

In addtion to Harrison and Bektas, former collegians qualifying are Virginia's Alexander Ritschard(Switzerland) and former Vanderbilt stars Fernanda Contreras(Mexico) and Astra Sharma(Australia).

The USTA officially announced the Summer Collegiate teams, with the full release below:

ORLANDO, Fla., June 23, 2022 – The USTA today announced the 10 top American college players named to the 2022 USTA Collegiate Summer Team, the training program designed to help America’s premier college players assimilate to professional tennis in a team-oriented environment via USTA Player & Coach Development:
2022 USTA Collegiate Summer Team
Murphy Cassone (Fr., Arizona State; Overland Park, Kan.)
Stefan Dostanic (Jr., USC; Irvine, Calif.)
Cannon Kingsley (Jr., Ohio State; Northport, N.Y.)
Sam Riffice (Sr., Florida; Orlando, Fla.)
Ben Shelton (Soph., Florida; Gainesville, Fla.)
Eryn Cayetano (Jr., USC; Long Beach, Calif.)
Sarah Hamner (Fr., South Carolina; Boca Raton, Fla.)
Connie Ma (Fr., Stanford; Dublin, Calif.)
Emma Navarro (Soph., Virginia; Charleston, S.C.)
Peyton Stearns (Soph., Texas; Mason, Ohio)
Each of the players was selected based on a number of criteria, including rankings, individual collegiate tournament results or Intercollegiate Tennis Association honors. Players on the team are eligible to receive a grant for travel to USTA Pro Circuit events and coaching support over the summer.
USC assistant coach Rich Bonfiglio and Louisville assistant coach Mario Rincon will accompany the men and Vanderbilt assistant coach Hayley Carter will accompany the women. All three coaches will also provide assistance to any American collegians playing at tournaments throughout the summer. 

The quarterfinals at the two USTA men's Pro Circuit events this week will not feature either of the top seeds, as two current collegians, neither of whom were selected for the Collegiate Team above, took them out.

JJ Tracy, the Ohio State rising junior, defeated former teammate and No. 1 seed Kyle Seelig 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals at the $15,000 tournament in South Bend. He will face No. 8 seed Patrick Kypson(Texas A&M), the 2017 Kalamazoo 18s champion, who is playing his first tournament since last September.

At the $25,000 tournament in Tulsa, Andres Martin, the Georgia Tech rising junior, defeated top seed Yu Hsiou Hsu of Taiwan 6-3, 6-0 to set up a meeting with Arizona State rising sophomore Murphy Cassone, a qualifier, in the quarterfinals. Martin, currently ranked 843 after reaching the final of the East Lansing $25K two weeks ago, has already been awarded a wild card into next month's ATP 250 in Atlanta.

The top seeds in the two women's Pro Circuit tournaments have advanced to the quarterfinals, with Kayla Day, at the $25,000 tournament in Wichita, and Connie Hsu(Penn) of Taiwan, at the $15,000 tournament in Colorado Springs getting straight-sets wins today. The No. 2 seeds weren't as fortunate. In Colorado Springs, Anna Morgina of Russia lost to University of Virginia rising junior Hibah Shaikh 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, and Adriana Reami(NC State) defeated Ana Sofia Sanchez of Mexico 6-0, 6-4 in Wichita today.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Ten Americans, Thirteen Former Collegians Advance to Wimbledon's Final Round of Qualifying Thursday; Top ITF Juniors Withdraw From Wimbledon

So far the weather has cooperated and the first two rounds of qualifying at Wimbledon are complete, with ten Americans and 13 former collegians set for Thursday's final round of competition at Roehampton.

Four of the seven American men in action today advanced, while six of the 12 American women in the second round will play for a place in the main draw.

Danielle Lao, the former USC standout, was one of the three American women to qualify last year, with Claire Liu and Katie Volynets the others. Liu is in the main draw on her own ranking, while Volynets, the top seed in qualifying this year, lost in today's second round. Lao will face Nastasja Schunk of Germany in the final round of qualifying; Schunk, who will be 19 in August, reached the final of the girls championships last year. Also advancing to the final round of qualifying is 16-year-old Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra, the 2020 Australian Open girls champion.

The three US men who qualified last year--Brandon Nakashima, Mackenzie McDonald and Denis Kudla--are in the main draw on their own rankings this year.

Stefan Kozlov, who reached the boys final at Wimbledon in 2014, losing to Noah Rubin, is through to the final round of men's qualifying for the first time; he has never played a men's main draw match at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. He takes on veteran Dennis Novak of Austria Thursday.

All men's matches are best of five sets in the final round of qualifying.

Wednesday's second round results of Americans, plus the Thursday's final round qualifying matches for US players.

Coco Vandeweghe[2] d. Daniela Vismane(LAT) 7-5, 6-1
Danielle Lao d. Cristina Bucsa[4](ESP) 1-6, 6-4, 6-4
Louisa Chirico d. Reka Luca Jani[8](ROU) 6-3, 6-2
Christina McHale d. Viktoria Kuzmova[30](SVK) 6-3, 6-4
Catherine Harrison d. Ysaline Bonaventure[17](BEL) 7-5, 6-1
Emina Bektas d. Arianne Hartono[29](NED) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4

Zoe Hives(AUS) d. Sachia Vickery 6-0, 6-3
Patricia Hon(AUS) d. Katie Volynets[1] 6-2, 6-4
Katarzyna Kawa([6](POL) d. Sophie Chang 6-4, 6-2
Fernanda Contreras[28](MEX) d. Jamie Loeb 7-6(2), 6-4
Katarina Zavatska(UKR) d. Robin Anderson[11] 6-4, 6-3
Fiona Ferro[16](FRA) d. Hanna Chang 6-3, 6-1

Stefan Kozlov[3] d. Dominic Stricker(SUI) 7-6(9), 4-6, 6-3
Nicolas Moreno de Alboran d. Arthur Fery[WC](GBR) 7-6(2), 7-6(3)
Jack Sock[14] d. Constant Lestienne(FRA) 6-3, 7-5
Christian Harrison d. Dalibor Svrcina(CZE) 0-6, 6-3, 7-6(4)

Salvatore Caruso(ITA) d. Mitchell Krueger[27] 7-6(2), 6-3
Radu Albot[7](MDA) d. Michael Mmoh 6-3, 6-4
Lukas Rosol(CZE) d. Christopher Eubanks 7-6(6), 6-4

Thursday's final round qualifying matches featuring Americans:

Kozlov v Dennis Novak[23](AUT)
Moreno de Alboran v. Maximillian Marterer(GER)
Sock v Hugo Grenier[21](FRA)
Harrison v Daniel Masur(GER)

Vandeweghe v Maja Chwalinska(POL)
Lao v Nastasja Schunk[21](GER)
Chirico v Kathinka Von Deichmann(LIE) 
McHale v Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove[14](NED)
Harrison v Yue Yuan[15](CHN)
Bektas v Fiona Ferro[16](FRA)

There are 13 former collegians in the final round of qualifying, with Moreno de Alboran(UC-Santa Barbara), Lao, Harrison(UCLA) and Bektas(Michigan) the four Americans in that group.

The other nine:
Jason Jung, (TPE) Michigan
Alexander Ritschard, (SUI) Virginia
Nuno Borges[13], (POR) Mississippi State
Rinky Hijikata, (AUS) North Carolina

Astra Sharma, (AUS) Vanderbilt
Fernanda Contreras, (MEX) Vanderbilt
Lulu Sun, (SUI) Texas
Maria Carle, (ARG) Georgia
Leolia Jeanjean, (FRA) Lynn

The men's qualifying draw is here; the women's qualifying draw is here.

The withdrawal deadline for the Wimbledon Junior Championships was yesterday, so it's a good time to look at the fields again, after the first acceptance list was posted, two weeks ago. Initially, nine of the Top 10 for both boys and girls were entered, but now there are seven Top 10 boys and six Top 10 girls (these are not their current rankings, but their rankings at the time of acceptance two weeks ago). I mentioned last week that ITF No. 1 Bruno Kuzuhara had withdrawn, and Daniel Vallejo of Paraguay, No. 2 in the rankings, withdrew this week.

San Diego $15K champion Ethan Quinn, who was accepted into qualifying at the Wimbledon Junior Championships, has withdrawn and is expected to play the second half of the SoCal Pro Circuit beginning next week in Los Angeles.

Alexander Frusina and Sebastian Gorzny, who were just a few spots out of the main draw initially, are now in. 

The top two in the girls rankings are also out, with Australian Open girls champion Petra Marcinko of Croatia and Roland Garros girls champion Lucie Havlickova of the Czech Republic withdrawing in the past few days. Also out is Roland Garros finalist Solana Sierra of Argentina.

Mia Slama and Sonya Macavei, who were in qualifying initially, have now moved into the main draw.

The quarterfinals of the ITF J1 in Nottingham are set, with two US girls advancing. Slama, the No. 7 seed, defeated No. 10 seed Olivia Lincer(POL) 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 and will face No. 3 seed Taylah Preston of Australia next.  No. 2 seed Qavia Lopez beat Zhanel Rustemova of Kazakhstan 6-0, 6-7(6), 6-3 and will play No. 9 seed Aysegul Mert of Turkey in the quarterfinals. 

Aidan Kim and Kaylan Bigun, the only American boys to advance to the third round, lost today.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

A Dozen US Women Advance to Second Round of Wimbledon Qualifying; Four USTA Pro Circuit Tournaments Underway, with Many New Faces

Day Two of Wimbledon qualifying featured the women's first round, with 17 Americans in action in Roehampton. Twelve of them have advanced to Wednesday's second round, along with the seven US men who won their first round matches on Monday

Among those twelve women were Sophie Chang and Hanna Chang, who played in Sunday's final at the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit tournament in Sumter South Carolina. At 277 and 271 in the WTA rankings, they were not assured of getting in, but they did, and both got there in time to play their first matches Tuesday. Sophie, who beat Hanna in a third-set tiebreaker in Sumter, defeated Raluka Serban of Cyprus 6-4, 7-6(4) today and Hanna defeated 14-year-old British wild card Mingge Xu 6-4, 6-3.

The first round results for Americans today:

Katie Volynets[1] d. Anna-Lena Friedsam(GER) 6-3, 6-3
Sachia Vickery d. Justine Mikulskyte(LTU) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
Coco Vandeweghe[2] d. Ella McDonald[WC](GBR) 5-7, 6-1, 7-6(8)
Danielle Lao d. Carline Alves(BRA) 7-5, 6-3
Sophie Chang d. Raluka Serban(CYP) 6-4, 7-6(4)
Jamie Loeb d. Talia Neilson Gatenby[WC](GBR) 6-2, 6-2
Louisa Chirico d. Anna Siskova(CAE) 1-6, 6-1, 6-0
Robin Anderson[11] d. Ellen Perez(AUS) 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-2
Christina McHale d. Laura Ioana Parr(ROU) 2-6 6-4, 6-4
Catherine Harrison d. Eden Silva[WC](GBR) 6-1, 7-5
Hanna Chang d. Mingge Xu[WC](GBR) 6-4, 6-3
Emina Bektas d. Sara Bejlek(CZE) 7-6(3), 6-3

Lucrezia Stefanini(ITA) d. Grace Min 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
Mariam Bolkvadze(GEO) d. Alycia Parks 6-1, 6-2
Nadia Podoroska(ARG) d. Asia Muhammad[19] 6-3, 6-3
Viktoria Kuzmova[30](SVK) d. Elvina Kalieva 6-1, 6-4
Ysaline Bonaventure[17](BEL) d. Francesca Di Lorenzo 6-4, 6-4

In addition to Lao(USC), Loeb(North Carolina), Anderson(UCLA), Harrison(UCLA) and Bektas(Michigan), there are seven other former collegians who have advanced to round two: Maria Carle(Georgia), Leolia Jeanjean(Baylor, Arkansas, Lynn), Fernanda Contreras(Vanderbilt), Lulu Sun(Texas), Astra Sharma(Vanderbilt), Andrea Lazaro(Florida International) and Arianne Hartono(Mississippi). 

The 24-year-old Contreras, who qualified at Roland Garros this year and won a round, is playing her first tournaments on grass this month. Reem Abulleil, writing for Wimbledon.com, spoke to Contreras about that adjustment, her family history at Wimbledon, and about having the support of former teammate Sharma in these new experiences at the top of the game.

The women's qualifying draw is here; the men's qualifying draw is here.

Like last week, there are four USTA Pro Circuit tournaments, although the SoCal Pro Circuit is taking the week off, resuming next week in the Los Angeles area.  The men have a $25K in Tulsa and a $15K in South Bend; the women's have a $25K in Wichita and a $15K in Colorado Springs

Qualifying is complete in all four tournaments, with varying scheduling strategies employed to counteract the heat.

In South Bend, five Americans qualified: Patrick Maloney(Michigan), Ronan Jachuck(Harvard), Perry Gregg(Holy Cross), Trice Pickens(Northwestern) and Presley Thieneman(Northwestern).

Wild cards were given to Matthew Che(Notre Dame), Noah Schachter(Texas A&M), Aditya Vashistha(Notre Dame) of India, and Yu Zhang(Notre Dame) of China.

The top seed is Kyle Seelig(Ohio State), with the No. 2 seed Felix Corwin(Minnesota).

In Tulsa, qualifiers from the United States are: Murphy Cassone(Arizona State), Jacob Brumm(Cal, Baylor), Emmett Ward, Avery Zavala(Arkansas), George Goldhoff(Texas), Nathan Chavez and Ron Hohmann(LSU).

Wild cards went to Andres Martin(Georgia Tech), Pierce Rollins(Texas A&M), Bjorn Swenson(Michigan) and Stefan Dostanic(USC). 

The top seed is Yu Hsiou Hsu of Taiwan, with Dane Sweeney of Australia the No. 2 seed.

In Colorado Springs, the women's qualifiers from the United States include Texas high school rising sophomore Meghna Arun Kumar, California high school rising senior Isabella Chhiv(Princeton), Filippa Bruu-Syversen(UC-Santa Barbara) and 
Meisha Kendall-Woseley.  

Wild cards were given to Meredith Jones of the Philippines, rising high school sophomore Mia Yamakita and Veronica Miroshnichenko(Loyola Marymount) of Russia. Yamakita lost to No. 5 seed Ivana Corley(Oklahoma) 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-1 in the first round today. 

Connie Hsu(Penn) of Taiwan is the No. 1 seed; the No. 2 seed is Anna Morgina of Russia.

In Wichita, where the men played last week, American qualifiers are: Malaika Rapolu(Texas), Carolyn Campana(Wake Forest) and Allura Zamarripa(Texas).

Wild cards were given to Harriet Hamilton(Wichita State) of Italy, Victoria Hu(Princeton) and Rushri Wijesundera.

Kayla Day and Ana Sofia Sanchez of Mexico are the top two seeds.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Seven US Men Advance at Wimbledon Qualifying, 17 US Women Begin Qualifying Tuesday; Junior Grass Season Underway at J1 in Nottingham; UTR Pro Tennis Tour Update

The first round of Wimbledon men's qualifying is complete, with seven Americans advancing to Wednesday's second round. Monday's results:

Mitchell Krueger[27] defeated Luca POW[WC](GBR) 6-1, 6-4

Stefan Kozlov[3] defeated Evan Furness(FRA) 7-5, 6-3

Nicolas Moreno de Alboran defeated Manuel Guinard[20](FRA) 6-3, 6-4

Michael Mmoh defeated Gerald Melzer(AUT) 6-1, 6-3

Christopher Eubanks defeated Tomas Barrios Vera[11](CHI) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3

Jack Sock[14] defeated Andrea Collarini(ARG) 6-4, 6-2

Christian Harrison defeated Anton Matusevich[WC](GBR)

Andrea Vavassori(ITA) d. Bradley Klahn 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-3

Facundo Mena(ARG) d. Thai Kwiatkowski 7-5 6-3

Zhizhen Zhang(CHN) d. Ernesto Escobedo[17] 6-4, 7-5

Next up for Moreno de Alboran is Stanford rising junior Arthur Fery, a wild card, who beat Thomas Fabbiano of Italy 6-4, 6-2. Last year the 19-year-old from Wimbledon reached the final round of qualifying before losing to Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands 4-6, 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(5), 6-2.

While Fery is the only current collegian in qualifying, there are a total of six (correction:seven) former collegians through to the second round: Eubanks(Georgia Tech), Moreno de Alboran(UC-Santa Barbara) Jason Jung(Michigan), Yannick Hanfmann[8](USC), Alexander Ritschard(Virginia), Nuno Borges(Mississippi State) and Rinky Hijikata(North Carolina).

The first round of women's qualifying will begin Tuesday, with 17 Americans competing for a place in the main draw.  With that many players in the 128-player draw, it's fortunate that none of them have drawn another American in the first round.  The US women are: Katie Volynets[1], Sachia Vickery, Coco Vandweghe[3], Danielle Lao(USC), Sophie Chang, Grace Min, Jamie Loeb(North Carolina), Louisa Chirico, Robin Anderson[11](UCLA), Alycia Parks, Asia Muhammad[19], Christina McHale, Elvina Kalieva, Catherine Harrison(UCLA), Francesca Di Lorenzo(Ohio State), Hanna Chang and Emina Bektas(Michigan).

Both Sophie and Hanna Chang had to jump on a plane to London after playing in the Sumter South Carolina $25K final Sunday, with, if they were lucky, having just today to acclimate to the grass.

The complete women's qualifying draw is available here.

The junior grass season is now a week longer than it used to be, with the introduction, in 2019, of the ITF Grade 1 in Nottingham. Due to the pandemic, the tournament was not held in 2020 or 2021, but it's back this year, with 48-player draws.

Most Americans competing at the Wimbledon Junior Championships are not playing this week, relying on the Grade 1 next week in Roehampton as their warmup, but nine US juniors are in the Nottingham draw, six boys and three girls.

The boys are: Nicolas Godsick[7], Aidan Kim, Jelani Sarr, Kaylan Bigun, Alexander Frusina[13] and Leanid Boika[16]. The seeds had byes in today's first round, but Kim, Sarr and Bigun all advanced to the second round with wins today.

The girls are Kate Mansfield, who got in despite an ITF junior ranking of 513 and lost in the first round today, Mia Slama[7] and Qavia Lopez[2].

The top seeds are Roland Garros boys champion Gabriel Debru of France and Luca Udvardy of Hungary.

The UTR Pro Tennis Tour continues this week with two events, a men's $25K in Atlanta and a women's $25K in Newport Beach California. Here's the results from the finals of the tournaments in the United States from the second week of May until last week.  For a complete schedule of the tournaments in the Americas, click here.


May 16 Newport Beach CA
Megan McCray d. Taylor Cataldi 3-6, 6-4, 6-1

May 23 Austin TX
Luciana Perry d. Ellie Pittman 6-2, 6-3

May 29 Boca Raton FL
Melodie Collard d. YeXin Ma 6-2, 1-6, 6-1

June 6 Charleston SC
Mia Horvit d. Tenika Mcgiffin 7-6(1), 6-1

May 9 Boca Raton FL
Matija Pecotic d. Connor Farren 7-6(1), 5-7, 6-4

May 15 Newport Beach CA
Aidan Mayo d. Patrick Zahraj 6-2, 6-4

May 22 Newport Beach CA
Sema Pankin d. Giacomo Revelli 6-1, 6-3

June 5 Charleston SC
Johannus Monday d. Matthew Thomson 6-3 6-4

June 12 Boca Raton FL
Sebastian Gorzny d. Colton Smith  6-4, 6-1

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Quinn Saves Five Match Points to Claim First Men's Pro Circuit Title; Damm Wins $25K in Dominican Republic; Jones, Chidekh, Sophie Chang Capture USTA Pro Circuit Titles; Ten Americans Competing in Wimbledon Men's Qualifying Monday

The outlook for Ethan Quinn's first professional title was dim this afternoon at the $15,000 SoCal tournament in San Diego when the 18-year-old Californian fell behind 6-2 in the second set tiebreaker to August Holmgren in the men's singles final. Denmark's Holmgren, the 2022 NCAA singles finalist from the University of San Diego, had won the first set 6-3, breaking Quinn twice, and Quinn had been unable to convert his three break point chances with Holmgren serving at 5-6. 

But the 18-year-old, who redshirted at the University of Georgia after entering school this January, reeled off four straight points to stay alive, two of them with Holmgren serving, then saved another match point serving down 6-7, before forcing a third set.

The third set was tight throughout, with Quinn saving the only three break points he faced in the set in the third game, while Holmgren did not face any, and was taken to deuce just once.  But in the tiebreaker, it was Quinn's serve and forehand that were the difference and he built a 6-3 lead. Holmgren saved one match point, but Quinn closed out his first title in three hours and 19 minutes and by a 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(4) score.

Quinn had reached the final of a $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Vero Beach at the end of April, on clay; he was obviously comfortable in today's final on the Barnes Tennis Center court where he had his breakout results last year, winning the J1 and making the Easter Bowl final.

Martin Damm won his first $25,000 ITF World Tennis Tour men's tournament today in the Dominican Republic, with the 18-year-old from Florida, seeded No. 6, defeating top seed Dan Added of France 6-3, 6-3. Damm, who, like Quinn, is eligible to compete in Kalamazoo this summer, had eight aces and faced only one break point in today's final. 

Hurricane Tyra Black won the women's singles title at the $25,000 tournament in the Dominican Republic. The 21-year-old from Florida, seeded No. 5, defeated No. 13 seed Jana Kolodynska of Belarus 6-3, 6-3 in today's final. Black has now won five ITF World Tennis Tour women's singles titles in 2021 and 2022, with this the first one above the $15K level.

The women's singles title in San Diego went to Makenna Jones, the former North Carolina star. Jones defeated fellow qualifier Megan McCray 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 for her first singles title on the Pro Circuit. Jones, the 2021 NCAA doubles champion, had won her first doubles title last week at the $15K at the University of San Diego.

Clement Chidekh, who announced after this season that he would not be returning for his final year of eligibility at the University of Washington, won his second ITF World Tennis Tour men's title at the $25,000 tournament in Wichita Kansas. Chidekh, a 21-year-old from France, defeated Canadian Liam Draxl(Kentucky) 6-2, 6-2 in today's final. 

At the women's $25,000 tournament in Sumter South Carolina, Sophie Chang, the No. 2 seed, defeated top seed Hanna Chang 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(5) in a three-hour and seven-minute battle. Sophie now has two $25K singles titles this year.

Qualifying for Wimbledon begins Monday, with the men taking to the courts at Roehampton beginning at 6 a.m. EDT. Ten American men are in qualifying:  Mitchell Krueger[27], Stefan Kozlov[3], Bradley Klahn(Stanford), Nicolas Moreno de Alboran(UC-Santa Barbara), Michael Mmoh, Thai Kwiatkowski(Virginia), Christopher Eubanks(Georgia Tech), Jack Sock[14], Christian Harrison and Ernesto Escobedo.

The women's qualifying will begin on Tuesday. Draws are available here.

Sock had an opportunity to nab the last Wimbledon main draw wild card in today's final at the ATP Challenger 125 in Ilkley, but Sock, the No. 5 seed, lost to qualifier Zizou Bergs of Belgium 7-6(7), 2-6, 7-6(6) and Bergs received the wild card.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Quinn Faces Holmgren in San Diego $15K Final; All-American Finals Sunday in Women's Pro Circuit Events; Damm Advances to $25K Final in Dominican Republic; Ray and Bigun Sweep J2 Titles in Cancun

Ethan Quinn advanced to his second USTA Pro Circuit final in the past two months today at the $15,000 tournament in San Diego, with the 18-year-old from Fresno defeating 17-year-old Alex Michelsen 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.  

Quinn, who lost in the final of the $15,000 tournament in Vero Beach at the end of April, trailed Michelsen 0-3, 15-40 in the third set in today's semifinal at the Barnes Tennis Center. But the Georgia redshirt freshman saved those break points, got the break back, and at 4-all broke again, taking six of the last seven games of the match. 

Quinn will play recent University of San Diego graduate August Holmgren, who reached the NCAA men's singles final last month and won the first SoCal Pro Circuit tournament in the San Diego area two weeks ago. Holmgren advanced to his second final in two weeks with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 win over qualifier Yuta Kikuchi(Cal) of Japan. 

In the men's doubles final today, Quinn and Siem Woldeab lost to top seeds Zhe Li of China and Tsung-Hua Yang of Taiwan 6-4, 3-6, 10-8. 

The women's final Sunday in San Diego will be between two qualifiers, with Makenna Jones(North Carolina) facing Megan McCray(Oklahoma State). Both the women's semifinals were finished before the first men's semifinal, with Jones defeating Catherine Aulia of Australia 6-0, 6-1 and McCray blitzing wild card Katherine Hui by the same score.

In the women's doubles final, No. 4 seeds Ya Yi Yang of Taiwan and Thailand's Bunyawi Thamchaiwat(Oklahoma State/San Diego State) defeated No. 3 seeds Jones and Sara Daavettila(North Carolina) 6-3, 6-4.

Both finals, scheduled for 10 a.m. PDT, will be streamed on the Cracked Racquets YouTube Channel, with commentary by Alex Gruskin.

Top seed Hanna Chang and No. 2 seed Sophie Chang will play for the title at the $25,000 USTA women's Pro Circuit tournament in Sumter South Carolina Sunday after straight-sets victories today. Hanna defeated qualifier Carol Lee(Georgia Tech) of the North Mariana Islands 6-2, 6-4 and Sophie beat unseeded Himeno Sakatsume of Japan 6-3, 7-6(3).

The doubles final in Sumter was an all-Texas affair, with No. 4 seeds Kylie Collins and Peyton Stearns defeating No. 2 seeds Allura and Bella Zamarripa 6-3, 5-7, 10-7.  It's Stearns first doubles title on the Women's Pro Circuit, while Collins now has three.

The top two seeds had less success today at the $25,000 USTA men's Pro Circuit tournament in Wichita Kansas, with two unseeded collegians ousting them. Liam Draxl(Kentucky) of Canada defeated No. 2 seed Yu Hsiou Hsu of Taiwan 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 and Clement Chidekh(Washington) of France beat top seed Denis Yevseyev of Kazakhstan 7-6(3), 6-1. Although it didn't turn out that way, Draxl versus Chidekh was a plausible NCAA Division I singles final last month in Champaign, with both of them seeded.

In today's doubles final in Wichita, No. 2 seeds Hsu and Yuta Shimizu defeated Ghana's Abraham Asaba and Sekou Bangoura(Florida), the No. 4 seeds 6-4, 2-6, 10-5.

At $25,000 tournaments in the Dominican Republic, two Americans will play for titles Sunday. In the men's tournament, unseeded 18-year-old Martin Damm has reached his second $25K final since the end of May, beating No. 5 seed Peter Bertran(South Florida) of the Dominican Republic 7-6(8), 6-3. Damm will play top seed Dan Added of France, who ended the impressive run of qualifier Aidan Mayo 6-3, 6-0.

Hurricane Tyra Black is into her first $25K final of the year, with the 21-year-old, seeded No. 5, defeating No. 16 seed Pei-Chi Lee of Taiwan 6-1, 6-0 in the semifinals of the women's tournament in the Dominican Republic. She will face 18-year-old Jana Kolodynska of Belarus, the No. 13 seed, who won last week's $25K in the Dominican Republic. Kolodynska beat University of Georgia rising sophomore Mell Reasco of Ecuador, the No. 9 seed, 7-5, 6-3.

Valeria Ray continued her winning streak, with the 17-year-old Vanderbilt recruit claiming both the singles and doubles titles for the second week in a row in Cancun. At this week's Grade 2, the unseeded Ray won the singles title when No. 2 seed Tatum Evans retired trailing 5-0. Ray and Cindy Zhao of China, the No. 8 seeds, had beaten Evans and Anya Murthy, the top seeds, 4-6 7-6(8), 10-3 in last night's doubles final.

Meecah Bigun also added a singles title to his doubles championship today, with the No. 6 seed defeating No. 9 seed Felipe Pinzon Moreno 6-0, 6-2. Bigun and Preston Stearns, the No. 2 seeds, beat No. 4 seeds Joseph Phillips and Korea's Hoyoung Ro 6-4, 6-4 in the boys doubles final Friday night.

It's the third ITF Junior circuit singles title for Bigun and his third doubles title, although the first doubles title when not playing his twin brother Kaylan.

The other American title this week on the ITF Junior Circuit came at the Grade 5 in Niagara Canada, with 14-year-old Joseph Oyebog Jr. earning his third ITF Junior Circuit singles title. The top seed, Oyebog defeated unseeded Zachary Cohen 6-2, 6-4 in the final.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Quinn and Michelsen Face Off in San Diego $15K Semifinals, Hui's Impressive Play Continues; All-US Finals at ITF J2 in Cancun; Kuzuhara, Ngounoue Withdraw From Wimbledon Juniors; USTA Florida's Bobby Curtis Closed Results

The past two times that 18-year-old Ethan Quinn and 17-year-old Alex Michelsen played in the same USTA Men's Pro Circuit events this year, their paths didn't cross. But tomorrow at the $15,000 Soc Cal Pro Circuit in San Diego, the two teens, one already a Georgia Bulldog and the other committed to Georgia for 2023, will play for a place in the final.

Neither had a difficult match in today's quarterfinals, with Quinn, a redshirt freshman, defeating unseeded Tadeus Paroulek(TCU, Baylor) of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-0 and Michelsen beating unseeded Karim Al Allaf(Iowa) of Syria 6-3, 6-2.  The quarterfinals in the bottom half were much more dramatic, with qualifier Yuta Kakuchi(Cal) of Japan defeating wild card Siem Woldeab(Texas) 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 and a three-hour battle between the last two champions of the Soc Cal Pro Circuit. University of San Diego graduate August Holmgren of Denmark, who won the title at Rancho Santa Fe two weeks ago, defeated University of Florida graduate Duarte Vale of Portugal, who won last week's $15K at USD, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

Quinn and Michelsen played against each other in the doubles semifinals today, with Quinn, and his partner Woldeab, defeating Michelsen and his partner Learner Tien 6-7(6), 6-1, 10-4.  Quinn and Woldeab will face top seeds Zhe Li of China and Tsung-Hua Yang of Taiwan in Saturday's doubles final.

Seventeen-year-old wild card Katherine Hui had another routine win today in the women's $15,000 tournament in San Diego, beating No. 7 seed Kimmi Hance(UCLA) 6-4, 6-3 to move on to the semifinals. Hui, who has committed to Princeton for 2023, has yet to drop a set in her three victories this week. She will face qualifier Megan McCray(Oklahoma State), who beat No. 4 seed Solymar Colling 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Qualifier Makenna Jones(North Carolina) defeated former teammate and doubles partner Sara Daavettila, the No. 6 seed, 6-4, 6-3. Jones will play unseeded Catherine Aulia of Australia, who beat fellow 18-year-old Ya Yi Yang of Taiwan, the No. 2 seed, 7-6(4), 6-3.  Jones and Daavettila, the No. 3 seeds, will play for the doubles title Saturday against No. 4 seeds Yang and Thailand's Bunyawi Thamchaiwat(Oklahoma St, San Diego St).

Cracked Racquets will continue to provide its RedZone coverage of the SoCal Pro Circuit this weekend on their YouTube channel.

At the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit tournament in Sumter South Carolina, top seeds Hanna Chang and Sophie Chang are through to the semfinals. Hanna, the No. 1 seed, defeated qualifier Nicole Coopersmith(Keiser) 6-2, 6-1 and will play another qualifier in Georgia Tech rising junior Carol Lee of North Mariana Islands. Lee downed No. 6 seed Ashlyn Krueger 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.  Sophie Chang, who beat No. 5 seed Ellie Douglas(TCU) 6-3, 6-1, will play unseeded Himeno Sakatsume of Japan, who defeated 2022 NCAA singles champion Peyton Stearns(Texas), the No. 7 seed, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

The finals are set for Saturday at the ITF Grade 2 in Cancun, with American champions assured. No. 2 seed Tatum Evans will face unseeded Valeria Ray in a rematch of the 2020 Orange Bowl 16s final, which Ray won 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. Evans defeated No. 13 seed Sage Loudon 6-1, 6-0 in today's semifinal and Ray, who won the Grade 3 last week in Cancun, beat No. 9 seed Katie Rolls 6-4, 6-2.

The boys final will feature No. 9 seed Felipe Pinzon Moreno and No. 6 seed Meecah Bigun. Pinzon defeated No. 10 seed Joseph Phillips 7-6(4), 7-5 and Bigun ended the winning streak of unseeded Atakan Karahan of Turkey, who won the J3 title last week, with a 6-4, 7-5 quarterfinal victory.

The final withdrawal date for the Wimbledon Junior Championships isn't until next Tuesday, but ITF World No. 1 Bruno Kuzuhara is already showing on the list of withdrawals. Kuzuhara played the Roland Garros Junior Championships, losing in the third round. The other notable American withdrawal is Clervie Ngounoue, who hasn't played since March. Alexandra Eala of the Philippines, currently No. 18 in the ITF junior rankings, withdrew today; she has reached the semifinals of an ITF $60K in Spain this week.

The USTA Florida section has always done an outstanding job of covering its major sectional events, and the just concluded Bobby Curtis Championships, the most significant of the Florida sectional events, is featured in this article. Photos of all eight champions and finalists are included, as well as a recap of the top 7 finishers in each division. If you know of other sections that provide this kind of coverage, please send me a link at clewis (at) zootennis.com.