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Friday, September 30, 2022

September Aces; ITF JB1 Pan American Closed Qualifying Begins Saturday; ITA All-American Pre-Qualifying Starts Without Top Women's Newcomers; Ngounoue and Montgomery Reach Semifinals at Austin $25K, Templeton $60K; Kovacevic Through to ATP Seoul Semis

You may have seen my coverage earlier this month of five US Open Championships featured in my September Aces column for the Tennis Recruiting Network, but while you were following that you may have missed the five titles won by teenagers from the Czech Republic. There were also quite a few first titles for former collegians, and you can read all about them here.

Qualifying for the ITF Grade B1 Pan American Closed begins tomorrow morning at the Top Seed Tennis Club in Nicholasville Kentucky. As is always the case for this event, the qualifying draws do not fill, and this year there are 30 girls and 25 boys in the qualifying draws. 

It appears as if the eight boys at the top of the qualifying list moved into the main draw; I know that Mitchell Lee and Rudy Quan received main draw wild cards should they need them. Also receiving a main draw wild card is Canada's Keegan Rice, who won the J2 in Montreal and was a finalist in the J3 in Quebec City earlier this month. 

Kaitlin Quevedo, who has reached the semifinals of the $15,000 women's ITF World Tennis Tour event in Cancun today(she is featured as an Ace this month), withdrew from the tournament, leaving ITF junior No. 53 Mia Slama as the top seed.  Tatum Evans, who lost today in the quarterfinals of the $25,000 tournament in Austin, is still in, and because this is a 48-draw and she will be seeded, Evans won't play her first match until Tuesday. 

Girls receiving main draw wild cards are Capucine Jauffret and Riley Crowder.

As John Parson pointed out in a tweet earlier today, only one of the women's Division I Top 10 Newcomers is playing the ITA All-American Championships, which begins with pre-qualifying Saturday in Cary North Carolina. Diana Shnaider, the No. 1 newcomer, was not given a main draw or even a qualifying draw wild card; the fact that the top freshmen face the prospect of playing 11 matches to win the title no doubt is a factor in this lack of participation. Oklahoma State's Raquel Gonzalez, No. 7 on the Newcomer list, is the only one in the pre-qualifying draw.

The men's ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa Oklahoma are in direct contrast to the women's, with draws twice the size and nine of the 10 Newcomers scheduled to participate. Sebastian Gorzny of TCU, who has been struggling with a shoulder injury this summer, is the only one not expected to compete in the tournament, with eight newcomers in the qualifying draw, not pre-qualifying, and No. 1 Ethan Quinn of Georgia with a wild card into the main draw.

Once the pre-qualifying and qualifying are complete and the main draw begins next Wednesday, Cracked Racquets will be providing its CrossCourt Cast for both the men's and women's tournaments at their YouTube Channel.

Wild card Clervie Ngounoue has advanced to the semifinals at the Austin $25K, with the 16-year-old from Washington DC defeating  19-year-old Jana Kolodynska of Belarus 7-5, 6-3. Ngounoue will play No. 2 seed Yuki Naito of Japan, who beat No. 5 seed Jamie Loeb(North Carolina) 6-4, 6-3. 

The other semifinal in Austin will feature the past and the future of the University of Texas women's team. No. 6 seed Peyton Stearns, who led the Longhorns to two team titles and won the singles title before turning pro this summer, will play Texas freshman (and No. 4 ITA Newcomer) Nicole Khirin of Israel for a place in the final. Stearns beat Ashley Lahey(Pepperdine) 6-0, 6-1 and Khirin defeated Evans 6-3, 6-2.

At the $60,000 women's Pro Circuit tournament in Templeton California, qualifier Robin Montgomery is through to the semifinals after defeating No. 7 seed Katarzyna Kawa of Poland 6-3, 6-1. Montgomery, who turned 18 this month, will be playing in her first semifinal at the $60K level Saturday when she faces fellow qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine, who at 36 is twice Montgomery's age. Bondarenko defeated No. 2 seed Yue Yuan of China 7-6(5), 6-4 today. The other semifinal will feature top seed Madison Brengle, who beat No. 5 seed Nao Hibino of Japan 6-1, 6-2, against unseeded Sophie Chang. Chang defeated Marcela Zacarias of Mexico 6-2, 7-5.

Ken Thomas is providing coverage of the Templeton matches at radiotennis.com.

Former Illinois star Aleks Kovacevic lost in the final round of qualifying at the ATP San Diego Open last week and in the final round of qualifying at this week's ATP 250 in Seoul Korea. He didn't get into San Diego, but he did get a lucky loser spot in Korea, and the 24-year-old from New York has made the most of it, reaching the semifinals with wins over ATP Top 100 players Miromir Kecmanovic of Serbia, Chun-Hsin Tseng of Taiwan and, in the quarterfinals, Mackenzie McDonald(UCLA). Kovacevic, who had never played in an ATP main draw before this week, will play unseeded Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan for a place in the final. The other semifinal early Saturday morning features Jenson Brooksby(Baylor) and Denis Shapovalov of Canada. For more on Kovacevic's college and Challenger experiences, see this ATP article.


Southwest said...

Where can we find live streaming or live scoring for the women's all American tournament for prequalifying and qualifying?