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Saturday, October 29, 2022

Delgado Earns Second Straight J4 Title, Crowder Wins Girls Singles in South Carolina; Qualifying Begins Sunday at WTA 125 Dow Tennis Classic; Grant Advances at Tallahassee $15K; Kozlov and Sandgren Reach Las Vegas Challenger Final

Seventeen-year-old Andrew Delgado won his first ITF Junior Circuit singles title last week at the J4 in Atlanta and has followed that with another title this week at the J4 in Lexington South Carolina. The left-hander from North Carolina, seeded No. 1 this week, defeated No. 15 seed Michael Kouame of France 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 in today's final, extending his winning streak to 12 matches over the past two weeks.

Fifteen-year-old Riley Crowder won her first ITF Junior Circuit singles title, with the No. 3 seed from Alabama defeating No. 7 seed Kayla Chung 7-6(4), 6-4 in today's final. Crowder did not drop a set in her six wins this week.

Although she has two straight losses in the singles finals, at Atlanta and Lexington, Chung once again won the doubles title with Kayla Schefke. Chung and Schefke, the No. 3 seeds, defeated top seeds Emily Baek and Brianna Baldi 3-6, 6-4, 10-5 for their third consecutive doubles title, having also won titles last month in McKinney Texas and last week in Atlanta. 

No. 7 seeds Andrew Ena and Aditya Vyas won the boys doubles title, beating unseeded Cody Benton and Paxton Pritchard 6-7(5), 6-0, 11-9. It is the second ITF Junior Circuit title for Ena and Vyas, who also won the J4 in Corpus Christi last month.

Qualifying begins Sunday at the WTA 125 Dow Tennis Classic in Midland Michigan, with 12 of the 16 entrants in qualifying from the United States. Louisa Chirico and Ashleyn Krueger, originally in qualifying, moved into the main draw at the last minute; below are the first round qualifying matchups:

Whitney Osuigwe v Francesca Di Lorenzo[7]
Michaela Bayerlova(CZE) v Robin Montgomery[8]
Diana Shnaider[2](RUS) v Catherine Harrison
Ellie Coleman[WC] v Jamie Loeb[6]
Elvina Kalieva[3] v Elena-Teodora Cadar(ROU)
Hanna Chang v Katherine Sebov[5](CAN)
Sophie Chang v Eleana Yu[WC]
Kayla Day[1] v Emina Bektas

As usual, I will be in Midland for a couple of days early in the tournament; it's one of the few times I get a chance to re-connect with pro players who I covered in juniors and college; I'm usually focused on the junior championships when I'm at a Wimbledon or the US Open.

University of Florida junior Will Grant reached his first USTA Pro Circuit semifinal yesterday and today advanced one step farther, reaching the final of the $15,000 men's tournament in Tallahassee Florida with a 7-6(4), 6-4 win over Florida State junior Andreja Petrovic of Norway. Grant will face No. 2 seed Alex Knaff of Luxembourg, a former Florida State standout, who beat qualifier Phillip Henning(Georgia) of South Africa 4-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(3) after Henning served for the match at 5-4 in the second set. 

At the $15,000 men's tournament in Norman Oklahoma, the Sooner representative in the final will be senior Alexander Martinez of Spain, the No. 6 seed, who defeated teammate Jordan Hasson 4-6, 6-0, 7-5. Martinez will face Cal's fifth-year Yuta Kikuchi of Japan, the No. 7 seed, who took out top seed Lucas Gerch(Oklahoma State) of Germany 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Top seeds George Goldhoff(Texas) and Tyler Zink(Oklahoma State) won the doubles title in Norman, beating unseeded Aidan Kim and Alessio Basile(Oklahoma State) of Belgium 6-2, 6-1 in a 40-minute final.

After a complete washout yesterday at the women's $80,000 tournament in Tyler Texas, and more rain early in the day, they finally began quarterfinal play late this afternoon. The run of Stanford freshman and qualifier Alexis Blokhina was ended by Sofia Kenin, who advanced to the semifinals with a 6-1, 6-4 victory. Kenin will face No. 4 seed Yue Yuan of China in the semifinals. Taylor Townsend and Australia's Storm Sanders have won their quarterfinal matches and will play each other in the semifinals later tonight. The doubles semifinals are also on tonight's schedule. 

The final is set at the ATP Challenger 80 in Las Vegas, with qualifier Tennys Sandgren(Tennessee) playing No. 4 seed Stefan Kozlov for the title Sunday.

Sandgren defeated 17-year-old Jerry Shang of China 6-3, 7-6(5) in today's semifinals, while Kozlov took out No. 2 seed Steve Johnson(USC) 6-3, 1-6, 7-5, saving a match point at 4-5 in the third on a ridiculous dive volley. The 24-year-old Kozlov has a 5-1 edge in their previous meetings, which go back more than six years. Sandgren, whose ATP ranking has dropped to 444, is competing in his first Challenger final since April of 2019. Kozlov reached the final of the Las Vegas Challenger last year, losing to JJ Wolf. He went on to win the Challengers in Charlottesville and Champaign and with those results, earned the USTA's Australian Open Wild Card Challenge.