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Thursday, June 16, 2022

Americans Make Up Seven of Eight Cancun J2 Semifinalists; Six US Quarterfinalists at Sumter $25K; Hui, Michelsen, Quinn Reach San Diego Quarterfinals; Women's ITA Kickoff Weekend Draft Complete

Cancun Mexico has been a popular destination this year for Americans competing on the ITF Men's, Women's and Junior World Tennis Tour, and this week's Grade 2 there has produced notable success for those from the United States.

All four of the girls semifinalists, and three of the boys, are from the US, although top seed Yannick Rahman is not among them after he lost today to No. 9 seed Felipe Pinzon Moreno 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-3. Pinzon, a 17-year-old from Florida who won the 16s Clay Courts title last year, has verbally committed to Cornell for 2023. He will face No. 10 seed Joseph Phillips, who advanced via walkover from Sean Daryabeigi, in Friday's semifinals. 

The other boys semifinal will feature No. 6 seed Meecah Bigun, who defeated David Krasner 6-4, 6-3, and unseeded Atakan Karahan of Turkey, who beat No. 14 seed Thanaphat Boosarwongse of Thailand 6-4, 6-2. The 16-year-old Karahan won last week's Grade 3 in Cancun, so now has a nine-match winning streak going.

Unseeded Valeria Ray, who won both girls titles at last week's Grade 3, is also riding a nine-match winning streak after beating No. 5 seed Ashton Bowers 3-6, 6-2, 6-1. Ray will play No. 9 seed Katie Rolls, who defeated qualifier Neha Guru 6-2, 6-1. Guru had beaten top seed Tania Andrade Sabando of Ecuador in the second round.

No. 2 seed Tatum Evans will face No. 13 seed Sage Loudon in the bottom half's semifinal, with Loudon beating No. 14 seed Martina Marica 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 and Evans defeating No. 10 seed Emilija Pranyte of Lithuania 6-4, 6-0 in today's quarterfinals. 

The USTA women's $25,000 Pro Circuit tournament in Sumter South Carolina has been starting and finishing early to keep from being interrupted by heat-mandated stoppages. The doubles were not completed today, but the singles quarterfinals are set, with six Americans advancing with second round wins today.

There will be two all-US quarterfinals, with top seed Hanna Chang facing qualifier Nicole Coopersmith(Keiser) and No. 2 seed Sophie Chang meeting No. 5 seed Ellie Douglas(TCU).  NCAA champion Peyton Stearns, the No. 7 seed will play unseeded Himeno Sakatsume of Japan, who defeated No. 3 seed Katrina Scott 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-1 today.  2021 USTA Girls 18s National champion Ashlyn Krueger, the No. 6 seed, will play rising Georgia Tech junior Carol Lee of the Northern Mariana Islands, a qualifier, who beat No. 4 seed Elli Mandlik 6-1, 6-4. 

The US men have not had the same success at this week's $25,000 tournment in Wichita Kansas, with No. 8 seed Felix Corwin(Minnesota) the only American to advance to the quarterfinals, although wild card Murphy Cassone still has an opportunity to join him if he can win his match against University of Washington All-American Clement Chidekh of France. 

Alex Michelesen and Ethan Quinn(Georgia) have advanced to the quarterfinals of the SoCal Pro Circuit $15,000 tournament in San Diego, after Quinn defeated Colin Markes(Texas) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 and Michelsen took out No. 3 seed Zhe Li of China, a semifinalist at last week's $15K at USC, 6-1, 6-4.  Quinn faces unseeded Tadeus Paroulek(TCU/Baylor) of the Czech Republic and Michelsen play unseeded Kareem All Allaf(Iowa) of Syria, who beat No. 5 seed and last week's finalist Nathan Ponwith(Arizona State) 7-6(2), 6-4.  Learner Tien, who had beaten No. 2 seed Gage Brymer(UCLA) in the first round yesterday, lost to wild card Siem Woldeab(Texas) 6-4, 6-0.

San Diego wild card Katherine Hui continued her impressive run in the women's $15K in San Diego, defeating fellow 17-year-old Katja Wiersholm(Cal) 6-3, 6-4. The Princeton recruit will play No. 7 seed Kimmi Hance(UCLA) in Friday's quarterfinals. Two former North Carolina teammates will square off Friday when Sara Daavettila, the No. 6 seed, meets qualifier McKenna Jones. They are also doubles partners this week and have advanced to the semifinals.

The ITA Division I Women's Kickoff Draft is complete, with the complete list of who is traveling to the 15 regional sites available here.

The first two regional sites to fill were No. 14 Auburn, which will host No. 17 Arizona State, No. 21 Central Florida and No. 22 Santa Barbara, and No. 15 Ohio State, which will host No. 23 Wake Forest, No. 24 Tennessee and No. 27 Old Dominion.

The last sites to fill were No. 7 Texas A&M and No. 5 Virginia.