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Monday, September 12, 2022

Women's ITA All-American Championships Selections; UTR Pro Tennis Tour Update; Three More Titles for Americans on ITF Junior Circuit Last Week

The Division I preseason rankings are out, and with most schools back in session, the college tennis fall season began last weekend.  It's really ramping up this weekend, with the men's Southern Intercollegiate Championships in Athens featuring last year's No. 1 Virginia, No. 12 Texas, No. 13 Southern Cal and No. 11 Georgia. Expectations are high for all four teams this year, and long-awaited college debut of No. 1 newcomer Ethan Quinn is another reason to begin following results this early in the season.

The first collegiate majors are the ITA All-American Championships in October, with the women's tournament, in Cary North Carolina for the first time, beginning with pre-qualifying Oct 1-2, qualifying Oct 3-4 and main draw Oct 5-9.  The selections were released last week; it's always shocking to see the top newcomers, including Diana Shnaider at NC State and Reese Brantmeier at North Carolina, in pre-qualifying. I recall Jamie Loeb winning the 11 matches required to go from pre-qualifying to the title back in 2013, but that's obviously extremely difficult to accomplish, no matter how impressive the newcomers have been prior to entering college.

There are still wild cards to be announced, so there's a chance a couple of the top players currently in pre-qualifying will move up.

The men's tournament, as usual in Tulsa, has not released its selections, but the pre-qualifying has always been open to anyone who wants to compete. The main draw is 64, compared to 32 for the women and the qualifying is 128, compared to 64 for the women. Despite the doubling in size of the draws, the dates are the same as the women for pre-qualifying, qualifying and main.

College campus facilities have been busy lately with UTR Pro Tennis Tour events, and most of the winners have been associated with the schools hosting them.  Here's the latest results from the last month:

August 14 Dallas TX
Veronika Miroshnichenko d. Tatiana Makarova 7-5, 6-2

August 22 Columbus OH
Shelly Bereznyak d. Isabelle Boulais 6-4, 6-0

August 22 College Station TX
Mary Stoiana d. Daria Smetannikov 6-2, 6-3

August 29 South Bend IN
Bojana Pozder d. Natalie Boesing 5-7, 6-1, 6-2

August 29 Newport Beach CA
Veronika Miroshnichenko d. Shakhnoza Khatamova walkover

September 5 Winston-Salem NC
Mia Horvit d. Mccartney Kessler 6-2, 6-1

August 14 Dallas TX
Jacob Fearnley d. Liam Krall 6-1, 6-2

August 22 Columbus OH
James Trotter d. Alexander Bernard 7-5, 6-4

August 22 College Station TX
Guido Marson d. Giulio Perego 4-6, 6-1, 6-3

August 29 South Bend IN
Perry Greg d. Alex Kuperstein 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(2)

August 29 Newport Beach CA
Sema Pankin d. Sean Hill 6-4, 6-2

September 4 Winston-Salem NC
Eduardo Nava d. Sekou Bangoura 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-3

In addition to the US Open boys doubles title won by Nishesh Basavareddy(Stanford) and Ozan Baris(Michigan State), there were three other titles for Americans on the ITF Junior Circuit last week. 

Fifteen-year-old Abhinav Chunduru, the No. 5 seed, defeated his twin broth Prathinav, the No. 1 seed, 6-4, 7-5 to claim his first ITF Junior Circuit title at the J5 in Honduras. Prathinav won his first title at a J5 in May. The Chundurus were the top seeds in doubles, but lost to No. 2 seeds Lucca Pignaton and Rafael Gracie of Brazil 6-4, 7-6(10). 

The other American singles title also came in Honduras, with 17-year-old Catherine Walker winning her third ITF junior singles title in the last two months. The top seed defeated unseeded 14-year-old Ashika Ashar 7-5, 7-5 in the final. Walker had swept both titles in her two previous tournament wins, but she fell a match short of that last week. With partner Sofia Mills, the No. 1 seeds lost to No. 2 seeds Maria Ramos Garcia of Guatemala and Daniela Tijaro of Colombia 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 in the final.

The third title was a boys doubles championship at the J4 in Mexico. Seventeen-year-old Tyler Nguyen won his fourth ITF Junior Circuit doubles title, all this year, with his fourth different partner, Jose Maria Garcia Uribe of Mexico. The No. 4 seeds defeated No. 2 seeds Andres Delgadillo and Sebastian Medica Sandoval of Mexico 7-5, 2-6, 10-7 in the final.