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Friday, September 23, 2022

Landaluce to Lead Spain in ITF Junior Davis Cup; Shnaider Reaches Berkeley $60K Semifinals; Michelsen, Hovde Advance in Lubbock $15Ks; Kingsley Makes Semis at Columbus Challenger; Giron Moves on in San Diego

The ITF released the Junior Davis Cup teams for 16-and-under competition in Antalya Turkey November 1-6, and although he had intimated that he was moving on from junior tennis, US Open boys champion Martin Landaluce will be leading the team from Spain. 

As with its Billie Jean King Cup team, the United States is taking two players who were not on the North/Central America qualifying team this spring: Kaylan and Meecah Bigun. Alexander Razeghi, who was on the team that qualified in Mexico this spring, is also competing in the finals; the Bigun twins are replacing Rudy Quan and Nikita Filin. Jon Glover is the team captain.

In addition to Landaluce, two other ITF Top 50 players will be in Turkey: Rei Sakamoto of Japan and Joao Fonseca of Brazil. 

The complete rosters for the 16 teams are here. The Junior Billie Jean King Cup team rosters, announced yesterday, are here.

North Carolina State freshman Diana Shnaider has yet to play for the Wolfpack, but the US Open girls doubles champion is displaying the form that led to her position at the top of the Newcomer list at the $60,000 USTA women's Pro Circuit tournament in Berkeley California. The 18-year-old from Russia, who is unseeded this week, advanced to the semifinals with a 6-1, 6-2 win over fellow lefty Kayla Day; Shnaider will face top seed Madison Brengle on Saturday, after Brengle defeated wild card Johanne Svendsen of Denmark 6-3, 6-0 in 59 minutes. Shnaider has never face a WTA Top 100 player; Brengle is No. 60. No. 8 seed Louisa Chirico, who defeated Ashlyn Krueger 6-2, 6-1, will face No. 2 seed Yue Yuan of China in the other semifinal. Krueger and Robin Montgomery, the 2021 US Open girls doubles champions, defeated top seeds Alexandra Osborne of Australia and Marcela Zacarias of Mexico 7-6(6), 6-4 today to advance to the doubles semifinals.

Alex Michelsen has reached his second $15,000 USTA men's Pro Circuit semifinal in Lubbock Texas after a 6-4, 6-3 win over wild card Aidan Kim. The 18-year-old from Southern California, seeded No. 6, will face qualifier Olle Wallin of Sweden, a junior at Texas Tech in Saturday's semifinals. The other semifinal features No. 2 seed Blaise Bicknell(Florida/Tennessee) against unseeded Jordan Hasson of Israel, a sophomore at Oklahoma. 

Wimbledon girls champion Liv Hovde, who reached the quarterfinals of the Lubbock $15K last year, has gone one step further this year, defeating No. 4 seed Veronica Miroshnichenko(Loyola Marymount) of Russia 6-4, 6-4 today. Hovde, the No. 7 seed, faces wild card Mccartney Kessler(Florida) in Saturday's semifinals. The top half semifinal has Texas A&M's No. 1 Carson Branstine of Canada, the No. 8 seed, playing top seed Martyna Kubka of Poland.

2021 NCAA champion Sam Riffice(Florida) is the only American to advance to the singles semifinals at the $15,000 tournament in Fayetteville Arkansas. Riffice, the No. 7 seed, beat top seed Jack Pinnington Jones(TCU) of Great Britain 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 today and will face Cornell sophomore Radu Papoe of Romania, who beat Sander Jong(TCU) of the Netherlands 7-5, 6-4.  The other semifinal will feature No. 2 seed Blu Baker of Great Britain and Menelaos Efstathiou(Wake Forest) of Cyprus. Efstathiou defeated Cooper Williams 6-4, 6-4 in today's quarterfinals. Williams and Oklahoma State freshman Alessio Basile of Belgium are through to the doubles final after defeating No. 4 seeds AJ Catanzarite(Texas A&M) and Jody Maginley of Antigua 6-4, 6-4. They will face Arkansas teammates Adrien Burdet of Switzerland and Melvin Manuel of France in the final.

At the ATP Columbus Challenger 80, Ohio State senior Cannon Kingsley continued his impressive run, with the 21-year-old wild card defeating No. 4 seed Aleks Vukic(Illinois) of Australia 6-3, 6-2 to reach the semifinals. Kingsley will face top seed Jordan Thompson, who beat Kentucky senior Gabriel Diallo of Canada 6-2, 6-1. 

No. 2 seed Emilio Gomez, a 6-3, 6-1 winner over Nick Chappell(TCU), will play Australia's Rinky Hijikata(North Carolina) in the semifinals. Hijikata, the No. 8 seed, beat No. 3 seed Dominic Stricker of Switzerland 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-3, saving three match points in the second set tiebreaker.

I haven't been able to provide much in the way of coverage of the ATP 250 in San Diego this week, due to the three-hour time difference and regular night sessions, but No. 3 seed Marcos Giron(UCLA) is through to the semifinals after a 7-6(5), 6-3 win over No. 7 seed James Duckworth of Australia today. He will play top seed Dan Evans of Great Britain Saturday. Jenson Brooksby[2] and Brandon Nakashima[5] are playing their quarterfinals tonight for a chance to meet in the semifinals. Brooksby beat Nakashima three times in major junior events in 2018 (Easter Bowl, Kalamazoo 18s, US Open) and once in a $25K in 2019, but they haven't played since then.