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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Texas and North Carolina Top Two Seeds in Women's National Indoor Championships; Florida Hosts Two USTA Pro Circuit Tournaments; Fritz, Tiafoe Top Seeds at ATP Dallas Open; Forbes and Fakih Take Out No. 4 Seeds at ITF J300 in Colombia

The draw has been released for the 2023 ITA Women's National Team Indoor Championships, which begins Friday in Seattle, with 2022 NCAA team champions Texas and 2022 Indoor champions North Carolina the top two seeds. There won't be any team rankings for women tomorrow, but from the seeding, it's possible to see the changes, with Ohio State moving from 11 to 6 after beating Georgia and Vanderbilt taking the No. 8 seed, up from 9, while Pepperdine drops from 8 to 9 and is therefore unseeded. The Waves are a tough draw for No. 2 North Carolina, while Texas is playing unranked host Washington.

Friday's matchups and times(all Pacific):

Texas[1] v Washington 6:30 pm
North Carolina[2] v Pepperdine 6:30 pm
Texas A&M[3] v San Diego noon
Duke[4] v Oklahoma noon
Stanford[5] v Georgia 9:00 am
Ohio State[6] v Auburn 9:00 am
Virginia[7] v Michigan 3:30 pm
Vanderbilt[8] v Iowa State 3:30 pm

Cracked Racquets will be providing comprehensive coverage again this year.

The USTA Pro Circuit returns to Florida this week, with the men's tournament a $15,000 prize money event in Palm Coast and the women's a second straight $60,000 prize money event, this time in Orlando.

Qualifying concluded today in both tournaments, with five Americans advancing to the main draw in Palm Coast: Jaycer Lyeons(Tyler JC), Jacob Brumm(Cal/Baylor), Elijah Strode, Isaiah Strode and Matthew Segura. 

Francisco Comesana of Argentina is the top seed, with former Miami star Christian Langmo the No. 2 seed.

Wild cards were given to Michigan State freshman Ozan Baris, Toby Kodat, Mac Kiger(North Carolina) and Justin Roberts(South Florida/Arizona State). Junior exempt Rei Sakamoto of Japan won his first round match today over No. 8 seed Kristjan Tamm of Estonia 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-3 but the other two junior exempts lost. Yannick Rahman, a Miami recruit, fell to Kiger 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 and Danil Panarin of Russia lost to No. 7 seed Bruno Kuzuhara 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-2.

After a week in Rome Georgia, the women returned to Orlando, with many of last week's competitors also in the draw this week.

Qualifiers from the United States are Samantha Crawford, Liv Hovde and Anna Rogers(NC State).

Wild cards were given to Francesca Di Lorenzo(Ohio State), Jenna Defalco, Quinn Gleason(Notre Dame) and Hina Inoue. Inoue lost to Marcela Zacarias of Mexico 7-6(4), 6-1 today.

Panna Udvardy of Hungary is the top seed, with Elli Mandlik seeded No. 2. Mandlik defeated Robin Montgomery 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 in the first round today.

The ATP returns to North America this week with the ATP 250 in Dallas. Fifteen of the 28 competitors are from the United States, including the top two seeds, Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe. Other seeded Americans include John Isner[5](Georgia), JJ Wolf[6](Ohio State) and Marcos Giron[7](UCLA). Wild cards were given to Jack Sock, Denis Shapovalov[3] of Canada and SMU junior Liam Krall. Brandon Holt(USC), Zachary Svajda and Alex Rybakov(TCU) qualified; Svajda has yet to play, but Holt lost to Wolf and Rybakov to Giron in today's first round action.

This year's ITF Junior Circuit schedule has five consecutive J300s in South America, which began with last week in Ecuador. This week the competition takes place in Colombia, then Peru, Paraguay and Brazil, before the J500 scheduled for the first full week in March, also in Brazil. 

This week's event is a 48-draw, the only one of the five South American J300s that isn't a 32-player draw, so the seeds did not play until today, and 10 of the 16 lost.  Of the 11 American boys who made the main draw, six have advanced to the round of 16 Wednesday including top seed Kaylan Bigun, who won his opening match in the second round tonight.

Ecuador J300 winner Alexander Razeghi lost in the second round, which was his first match as the No. 6 seed. Razeghi fell to Oliver Bonding of Great Britain 7-6(5), 6-3 and No. 2 seed Roy Horovitz, the finalist at the J300 in Costa Rica, lost to Ofek Shimanov of Israel 7-5, 6-0. No. 7 seed Meecah Bigun also lost today, to Lasse Poertner of Germany 2-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Cyrus Mahjoob and Stiles Brockett both defeated seeds to advance to the third round. Mahjoob took out No. 9 seed Tianhui Zhang of China 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 and Brockett beat No. 8 seed Segundo Goity Zapico of Argentina 6-3, 6-3. The JTCC training partners will face each other for a spot in the quarterfinals.

No. 13 seed Quang Duong and qualifier Matthew Forbes are another American pair facing off in the third round. Forbes defeated No. 4 seed Petr Brunclik of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-3 and the other American qualifier in the boys draw, Calvin Baierl, defeated No. 11 seed Luca Miremont of Argentina 7-5, 7-5.

Eight of the 11 American girls who made the main draw have advanced to the third round, including top seed Iva Jovic, who is aiming for her third straight J300 title. The others advancing today are Alexia Harmon[11], Kate Fakih, Victoria Osuigwe, Valeria Ray[5], Taylor Goetz, Mia Slama[3] and Alanis Hamilton[9]. Fakih defeated No. 4 seed Tamara Kostic of Austria 7-6(5), 7-6(5); Osuigwe beat No. 12 seed Gaeul Jang of Korea 6-2, 6-1 and Goetz got past No. 10 seed Monika Stankiewicz of Poland 6-2, 7-6(4).