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Monday, August 1, 2022

ITF J3 Titles for Ray and Miller Among Eight Won by Americans on Junior Circuit Last Week; Seven Pro Circuit Titles for Collegians; All Six Lexington Challenger Qualifiers From USA; Browning, Addison Win ATA Open Titles

Valeria Ray and her doubles partner Kaitlin Quevedo had a productive July on the ITF Junior Circuit in Colombia. Ray, a Vanderbilt recruit, won all three doubles titles at the J3 in Medellin, the J2 in Bogota and, last weekend, at the J3 in Cali, with Quevedo her partner in both J3s. Quevedo made all three singles finals; she had beaten Ray in the Medellin final, but No. 3 seed Ray avenged that loss Saturday, ending top seed Quevedo's winning streak at 15 with a 6-1, 6-4 victory in the final. The top seeds in doubles, Ray and Quevedo defeated unseeded Beverley Nyangon of France and Natalia Trigosso of Bolivia 7-6(5), 6-2 in the final. Ray now has six ITF Junior Circuit doubles titles this year and eight overall, with this her fourth singles title. Quevedo has five singles and three doubles titles on the Junior Circuit.
With the titles, Ray has moved into the Top 100 of the ITF Junior rankings, while Quevedo remains at a career-high of 55.

Ray has withdrawn from the USTA 18s Nationals in San Diego, but Quevedo is in the draw. If you missed my tweet from yesterday, US Open girls champion Robin Montgomery has withdrawn from San Diego with a wrist injury.

No. 3 seed Kurt Miller won the boys singles title in Cali, his second on the ITF Junior Circuit, defeating No. 2 seed Felipe Pinzon Moreno 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 in an all-US final. 

Fifteen-year-old Christasha McNeil won her first ITF Junior Circuit singles title last week at the Grade 4 in Jamaica. McNeil, the No. 4 seed, defeated No. 3 seed Piper Charney 6-0, 6-7(3), 6-3 in the final. 

The unseeded team of Sanjana Devineni and Great Britain's Athina Schlepphorst won their second straight doubles title, having also won at the J5 in Jamaica the week before. They beat the same team again, with a 2-6, 7-5, 11-9 decision in the final over No. 4 seeds Kayla Moore and Jamaica's Alyssa James.

Rohan Belday, who lost in the singles final, took the boys doubles title with Paris Pouatcha. The top seeds defeated unseeded Brennon and Caleb Chow 7-6(4), 6-2 in an all-US final.

Two other doubles titles for Americans came in far-flung locations. At the J4 in Fiji, Annette Robertson paired with Jo-Leen Saw of Malaysia, with the top seeds defeating the unseeded team of Kasumi Hirayama of Japan and Kristina Tai of Australia 6-3, 4-6, 10-4 in the final.

At the J5 in Georgia, 14-year-old Anna Cherico partnered with Ulyana Hrabavets of Belarus for her first ITF Junior Circuit title, with the top seeds defeating No. 2 seeds Alessandra Sikharulidze and Ukraine's Yelyzaveta Chainykova 6-2, 6-4 in the final.

As I finished my July Aces column, which will be published Wednesday at the Tennis Recruiting Network, I realized I wouldn't be able to feature all the current and former collegians that had won titles. That was the case in June as well, which is great in the overall scheme of things, with so much success that there isn't room for it all. Long gone are the days when I was searching for a dozen performances to feature; now 18 slots aren't enough.

I mentioned the titles by former USC star Emilio Gomez(Winnipeg Challenger), Ohio State's James Trotter(who did make the Aces) and Stanford's Arthur Fery previously, so here's the others from this past weekend. North Carolina State's Priska Nugroho of Indonesia will be in the Aces for all her success last month, but I couldn't find room for Texas A&M alum Valentin Vacherot of France, who won a $15K in Austria; rising Virginia junior Chris Rodesch of Luxembourg, who won his first Pro Circuit singles title at a $15K in Denmark, after beating NCAA finalist August Holmgen(San Diego) of Denmark in the semis; and Florida alum Oliver Crawford, who won his first title of the year at a $25K+Hospitality tournament in Romania.

Qualifying is complete at the ATP Challenger 80 in Lexington Kentucky, with all six of those advancing to the main draw from the United States: Stefan Dostanic(USC), Gage Brymer(UCLA), Ryan Harrison, Strong Kirchheimer(Northwestern), Cannon Kingsley(Ohio State) and Alafia Ayeni(Cornell/Kentucky). 

In first round action today, Keegan Smith(UCLA) and Govind Nanda(UCLA) won their opening matches. Nanda defeated No. 3 seed Dalibor Svrcina of the Czech Republic 7-6(8), 6-1.

Wild cards were given to Aleks Kovacevic(Illinois), who continues to lead in the USTA's US Open Wild Card Challenge with two weeks to go; Evan Zhu(UCLA) and Millen Hurrion(Kentucky) of Great Britain. 

Roman Safiullin of Russia is the top seed, with Emilio Gomez of Ecuador the No. 2 seed.

The ATA held an array of tournaments at the USTA's Lake Nona campus over the weekend. In the Men's Open division, 19-year-old Tauheed Browning took the singles title and former Texas All-American Breaunna Addison, now associate head coach at Howard, won the Women's Open division and the Mixed Doubles title. Addison, and NCAA semifinalist in 2013, lost only seven games in her five matches. Draws can be found at the USTA's PlayTennis site.