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Saturday, October 15, 2022

Irwanto Reaches JA Osaka Singles Final, Ganesan Claims Doubles Title; Collegians Reach All Three USTA Pro Circuit Finals; Wolf, Korda Play for ATP Titles Sunday

I'm hard pressed to recall a run in a Grade A tournament like the one Jonathan Irwanto is having this week at the Osaka Mayor's Cup in Japan. The 18-year-old from Florida, currently 310 in the ITF junior rankings, beat the No. 4, No. 13 and No. 6 seeds to reach the semifinals, and today he defeated unseeded Asahi Harazaki of Japan 6-4, 6-4 to reach the final. Irwanto, who had never won more than one match at the Grade 1 level and had never played the main draw of a Grade A, will face No. 1 seed Gerard Campana Lee of Korea, who defeated No. 3 Hayata Matsuoka of Japan 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4, in Sunday's final.

Asahi Harazaki and Adhithya Ganesan with JA Osaka doubles trophy

Maryland's Adhithya Ganesan won the boys doubles title today with Harazaki as his partner. The No. 7 seeds defeated No. 5 seeds Kevin Edengren of Sweden and Volodymyr Iakubenko of Ukraine 6-3, 6-3 in today's final.

Japan's Sara Saito will go for the sweep of the Osaka titles tomorrow, after she and Yu-Yun Li of Taiwan took the doubles title today.  Saito and Li, the top seeds and College Park J1 champions, defeated No. 2 seeds Sayaka Ishii and Hayu Kinoshita of Japan 7-6(3), 6-1 in today's final. Saito and Ishii, also the No. 2 seed in singles, will meet in the championship match in singles Sunday.

The USTA Pro Circuit this week includes the ATP Challenger in Fairfield California, the $60,000 women's tournament in Las Vegas and the $25,000 women's tournament in Florence South Carolina. At the conclusion of today's semifinals, four of the six finalists have college ties; three are currently on Division I rosters.

At the $25K in Florence, 2022 NCAA champion Peyton Stearns, who turned pro after her sophomore year at Texas, has made her second consecutive final after winning the $25K in Austin two weeks ago. The 21-year-old from Ohio, seeded No. 4, defeated unseeded Tiphanie Fiquet(Mississippi/TCU) of France 6-3, 6-1 in today's semifinals. As John Parsons (@jtweetstennis) pointed out on twitter, Stearns has lost only 15 games in her last matches from the quarterfinals of Austin through today's match. 

Stearns will face University of Georgia newcomer Alexandra Vecic of Germany, who beat former Duke star Maria Mateas 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. It's the first ITF World Tennis Tour women's final for the 20-year-old Vecic. 

Stearns is looking for a sweep of the Florence titles for University of Texas alums, after today's doubles title for Allura and Maribella Zamarripa. The 20-year-old twins, seeded No. 1, defeated unseeded Samantha Crawford and Clervie Ngounoue 6-3, 6-4 for their sixth ITF World Tennis Tour women's doubles title and their second since turning pro this spring after their freshman year at Texas.

North Carolina State freshman Diana Shnaider of Russia reached her first final since accepting an scholarship offer this summer to play for the Wolfpack. After a semifinal appearance at the $60K in Berkeley and a quarterfinal appearance at the $80K in Rancho Santa Fe last week, Shnaider will play for the title Sunday in Las Vegas. The unseeded 18-year-old defeated last week's Rancho Santa Fe champion Marcela Zacarias of Mexico 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 and will play No. 2 seed Yue Yuan of China. Yuan defeated No. 3 seed Rebecca Peterson of Sweden 6-3, 7-6(4).

The doubles title in Las Vegas went University of Oklahoma sisters Carmen and Ivana Corley, who defeated Katarina Kozarov(Furman) of Serbia and Veronica Miroshnichenko(Loyola Marymount) of Russia 6-2, 6-0 in a final between two unseeded teams. It's the Corleys second Pro Circuit title, with their first a $15K title this June.

The Fairfield Challenger 80 singles final was going to feature a University of Kentucky Wildcat after both qualifier Alafia Ayeni, a graduate transfer this season after graduating from Cornell, and senior Gabriel Diallo of Canada won their quarterfinal matches yesterday to set up a meeting in the semifinal. Diallo won it, 6-3, 6-1 and will face No. 3 seed Michael Mmoh for the title tomorrow. Mmoh defeated qualifier Sam Riffice(Florida) 6-4, 6-4 in the other semifinal. Regardless of the result tomorrow, Diallo will move to around 250 in the ATP rankings, and as he continues to have success this fall, the likelihood he will return to Lexington for the dual match season decreases. The 21-year-old, who beat No. 4 seed Ben Shelton(Florida) in the second round, has won a $25K and a Challenger since June, so his results this week are not exactly surprising. 

Top seeds Julian Cash(Mississippi St/Oklahoma St) and Henry Patten(UNC-Asheville) won the doubles title in Fairfield today, defeating unseeded Anirudh Chandrasekar and N Vijay Sundar Prashanth of India 6-3, 6-1. Cash and Patten have won nine doubles titles this year, including five at the Challenger level and are both now just outside the ATP doubles Top 100.

Two American men will play for ATP 250 titles in Europe tomorrow, with JJ Wolf advancing to his first ATP final after beating qualifier Mikael Ymer of Sweden 6-4, 6-4 today in Florence Italy. Wolf will face top seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, who took out Italy's Lorenzo Musetti 6-2, 6-3. Auger-Aliassime and Wolf met once on the ITF Junior Circuit six years ago, with Auger-Aliassime beating Wolf 6-2, 6-1. Auger-Aliassime went on to reach the final in 2016, losing to Geoffrey Blancaneaux of France. 

Sebastian Korda will play for his second career ATP title Sunday in Gijon Spain after he defeated Arthur Rinderknech(Texas A&M) of France 7-6(2), 6-3. Korda will face top seed Andrey Rublev of Russia in the final.