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Saturday, March 11, 2023

Crossley and Demin Claim ITF J500 Banana Bowl Titles; Grant Wins Las Vegas J60; Qualifying Underway for Indian Wells J300; Osuigwe Reaches Boca Raton $25K Final; Fritz Battles Back to Defeat Shelton at BNP Paribas Open

Mayu Crossley won her second consecutive J500 title today, adding the Banana Bowl championships to the title she won at the Orange Bowl in December. The 16-year-old from Japan, seeded third, defeated unseeded Alessandra Teodosescu of Italy 6-2, 7-6(4) in the final. Crossley, who has won 21 of her last 23 matches, all at the J300 level or above, since the end of November, didn't drop a set this week. 

No. 2 seed Yaroslav Demin of Russia took the boys singles title in Brazil, defeating home favorite Joao Fonseca, the No. 4 seed, 6-2, 6-2 in the final. It's the first J500 title for the 17-year-old, who did not play the Australian Open Junior Championship this year, opting for pro tournaments until he returned to the ITF Junior Circuit two weeks ago in Brazil.

The boys doubles title went to top seeds Rei Sakamoto of Japan and Federico Cina of Italy, who defeated No. 7 seeds Demin and Daniil Sarkian of Russia 6-2, 6-4.  No. 8 seeds Francesca Gandolfi and Greta Greco Lucchina of Italy took the girls doubles title, defeating the unseeded team of Lourdes Ayala and Luna Maria Cinalli of Argentina 6-4, 5-7, 10-6.

Top seed Tyra Grant won her third ITF Junior Circuit singles title today at the J60 in Las Vegas, defeating No. 3 seed Kayla Chung 6-0, 6-1. With the exception of her second round match, a three-set victory over Georgia Cranford, Grant dominated, losing only nine games in her next four matches. The 14-year-old will go into next week's J300 Fila International at Indian Wells with plenty of confidence after her performance this week.

No. 4 seed Kaetan Mehta of Canada won the boys title, defeating wild card Sanjeev Chundu 1-6, 6-4, 6-0.

Qualifying for next week's Indian Wells J300 began today, with a full girls draw, and all but four spots filled in the boys qualifying draw. Girls qualifying top seed Leena Friedman lost to Rachel Lee 3-6, 7-5, 10-5. Wild card Monika Ekstrand defeated No. 3 seed Sophie Stanton of Canada 6-2, 6-1 and Aspen Schuman defeated Orange Bowl G16s champion Alexis Nguyen[6] 6-1, 6-0. The top four seeds in the boys qualifying had byes today.

Alexander Frusina fell short in his first J300 final today in Nonthaburi Thailand, with the 17-year-old Texan, seeded No. 5, dropping a 6-4, 6-1 decision to No. 3 seed Hayato Matsuoka of Japan. No. 8 seed Vlada Mincheva of Russia won the girls title, beating top seed Emerson Jones of Australia 6-3, 7-6(4).

Whitney Osuigwe, the 2017 ITF World Junior champion, hadn't reached a Pro Circuit final in nearly four years, but the 20-year-old from Florida broke through today when she defeated No. 2 seed Louisa Chirico 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in three hours and four minutes at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Boca Raton Florida. Osuigwe, the 2017 Roland Garros girls champion, will face No. 5 seed Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra, the 2020 Australian Open girls champion. The 17-year-old Jimenez Kasintseva defeated top seed Maria Carle(Georgia) of Argentina 7-5, 6-4 today. 

Osuigwe won the doubles title today, with Hailey Baptiste as her partner. The unseeded pair defeated Francesca Di Lorenzo(Ohio State) and Makenna Jones(North Carolina), also unseeded, 6-2, 6-2 in the final. It's the second title for Osuigwe and Baptiste as a team.

Taylor Fritz began the defense of his 2022 BNP Paribas Open title today in Indian Wells with an impressive 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over 2022 NCAA champion Ben Shelton(Florida). Each set had just one break, and when Shelton lost serve at 2-3 in the third, the match was basically over. The difference in the match was probably Fritz's second serve; he won 84% of his second serve points, while Shelton won only 47% of his.  For more on the match, see this article from the BNP Paribas Open website.

2021 NCAA champion Emma Navarro(Virginia) also fell in today's second round action, losing to No. 30 seed Leylah Fernandez of Canada 6-2, 6-4.

Two other NCAA champions in action Saturday, Peyton Stearns(Texas) and Mackenzie McDonald(UCLA), are playing night matches.