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Saturday, January 7, 2023

Michelsen Faces Fery for Malibu $25K Title; Loeb Reaches Women's Final in Malibu; Eddie Herr ITF Videos

Alex Michelsen ended the 2022 season by winning his first Pro Circuit title at the $15,000 tournament in East Lansing and he has begun 2023 by reaching the final of the $25,000 SoCal Pro Series tournament in Malibu.

With rain causing all kinds of havoc during the week, Friday was a two-match day for most, as was today, when the quarterfinals and semifinals were played.

The unseeded Michelsen, who was one of the fortunate players who was able to post a first round victory on Tuesday, defeated qualifier Eero Vasa(UCF/Cornell/Pepperdine) of Finland 6-2, 6-1 in his only match Friday, then took out Duke's No. 1 Garrett Johns 6-0, 6-4 in the quarterfinals today. In the semifinals, the 18-year-old Southern Californian took out top seed and two-time Kalamazoo 18s champion Zachary Svajda 6-4, 1-6, 6-1, running his winning streak on the Pro Circuit to nine matches. 

The University of Georgia signee will face Stanford junior Arthur Fery of Great Britain in Sunday's final(weather permitting), after Fery thwarted a meeting between Michelsen's friend and training partner Learner Tien, beating the reigning Kalamazoo 18s champion 6-1, 6-1. Tien, who is joining USC this semester, had advanced to the semifinals with a 6-3, 7-6(3) win over former Baylor All-American Adrian Boitan of Romania. Fery, the No. 5 seed, defeated No. 4 seed Strong Kirchheimer(Northwestern) 7-6(4), 6-0 in the quarterfinals. 

The women's $25,000 SoCal Pro Series tournament in Malibu had the same scheduling issues as the men (both men's and womens doubles were abandoned before any matches were completed), and after two matches today, they too have their finalists. Top seed Jamie Loeb, who is approximately the tenth alternate for Australian Open qualifying, advanced to Sunday's final with a 6-1, 6-4 quarterfinal win over Hanna Chang and a 6-3, 7-6(6) victory over No. 3 seed Emina Bektas(Michigan), who had a walkover into the semifinals. 

The 2015 NCAA champion while at North Carolina, Loeb will face either No. 6 seed Renata Zarazua of Mexico, who beat former Texas star Lulu Sun[4] of Switzerland 1-6, 6-0, 6-1 in the quarterfinals or former Georgia and UCLA standout Vivian Wolff, who defeated USC All-American Eryn Cayetano, a qualifier, 7-5, 6-3 in the quarterfinals. 

I've finished processing the Eddie Herr videos with these four of the ITF finalists. Next I'll be tackling the Orange Bowl 16s and 18s.