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Friday, January 13, 2023

My Article on New Junior Tournament During Second Week of BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells; Navarro, Stearns, Osuigwe Reach Naples $25K Semifinals; Orange Bowl 16s Videos

A 2022 Easter Bowl match at Indian Wells

The addition of a ITF Junior 300 (formerly Grade 1) in the United States is always going to be big news, although the upcoming event during the second week of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells is not increasing the total number of events in the country.  Instead, the Easter Bowl's 18s event will no longer be an ITF tournament, with that designation transferred to the BNP Paribas Junior Championships, and the Easter Bowl 18s existing strictly as a USTA National Championship.

In my Tennis Recruiting Network article today on the tournament, March 13-19 this year, delves into some of the pluses and minuses of this change, but having a much more visible junior event during arguably the biggest non-slam tournament in the world is undoubtedly a net gain for the sport. I spoke to the USTA's Alex Cercone, Sylvain Guichard and Desert Champions' Philippe Dore about this tournament, and couldn't help but be excited by the possibilities for the event.

The semifinals are set for the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit tournament in Naples Florida, with top seed Emma Navarro, No. 2 seed Peyton Stearns and No. 6 seed Whitney Osuigwe and qualifier Emiliana Arango of Colombia advancing today.

In the rain-disrupted quarterfinals, former Virginia star Navarro won the battle of former NCAA singles champions, beating North Carolina alum and No. 5 seed Jamie Loeb 7-5, 6-2. Loeb had won the Malibu $25K title last week. Former Texas Longhorn Stearns, the reigning NCAA singles champion, defeated qualifier Onan Georgeta Simion of Romania 6-3, 6-1 and will face Osuigwe, who got past No. 4 seed Katarzyna Kawa of Poland 7-5, 3-6, 6-3. Navarro will play a well-rested Arango, who got a walkover into the semifinals from Vera Lapko of Belarus. 

North Carolina freshman Reese Brantmeier is through to the doubles final, with former Tar Heel Makenna Jones. The No. 4 seeds defeated unseeded Lia Karatancheva of Bulgaria and Chiara Scholl 3-6, 6-1, 10-5 and will face No. 2 seeds Quinn Gleason(Notre Dame) and Great Britain's Emily Appleton. They defeated No. 3 seeds Caijsa Hennemann of Sweden and Ashley Lahey(Pepperdine) 6-4, 7-6(2) in today's semifinals.

I've completed the processing of the videos of the Orange Bowl 16s finals. The videos of champions Naoya Honda and Alexis Nguyen are below; links to the finalist videos are here:  

Matthew Forbes

Claire Hill