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Friday, March 10, 2023

Fonseca and Demin, Crossley and Teodosescu Meet for J500 Banana Bowl Titles; Frusina Reaches First J300 Final in Thailand; Las Vegas J60 Finals Set; Miami Women Defeat No. 5 NC State; Shelton vs Fritz Saturday at BNP Paribas Open

After both the quarterfinals and semifinals were played today at the J500 Banana Bowl in Brazil, Saturday's singles final will feature neither of the top seeds, with Japan's Sara Saito losing to unseeded Alessandra Teodosescu Italy 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-4 in the quarterfinals and Rei Sakamoto, also of Japan, falling to No. 4 seed Joao Fonseca of Brazil 6-4, 6-2 in the semifinals.

Sakamoto had barely escaped No. 8 seed Danil Panarin of Russia 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 7-6(4) in the quarterfinals; Teodosescu did manage to recover enough to win her semifinal, defeating unseeded Olivia Carneiro of Brazil 6-4, 6-4.

The 16-year-old Teodosescu, who lost to Saito in the semifinals of last week's J300 in Porto Alegre, will face No. 3 seed Mayu Crossley of Japan, after Crossley defeated No. 5 seed Laura Samsonova of the Czech Republic and unseeded Emma Ghirardato of Italy in straight sets.

Fonseca's opponent in the final will be No. 2 seed Yaroslav Demin on Russia, who earned a straight-sets win over No. 6 seed Emilien Demanet of Belgium in the quarterfinals and a weird 0-6, 7-6(5), 6-0 victory over No. 5 seed Juan Carlos Prado Angelo of Bolivia in the semifinals.

Both of the finals will be first-time meetings on the ITF Junior Circuit.

At the J300 in Thailand, 17-year-old Alexander Frusina will play in his first final at that level, after the No. 5 seed defeated Patrick Schoen of Switzerland 6-3, 6-2 in today's semifinals. Frusina, who has yet to drop a set this week, will take on No. 3 seed Hayato Matsuoka of Japan for the title Saturday. Top seed Emerson Jones of Australia will face No. 8 seed Vlada Mincheva of Russia for the girls singles title.

The singles finals are set for Saturday, and the doubles champions have been crowned at the J60 in Las Vegas. Top seed Tyra Grant defeated unseeded Julieta Pareja 6-3, 6-1 and will face No. 3 seed Kayla Chung, who took out local favorite and No. 2 seed Jessica Bernales 6-4, 6-2.  But a Las Vegas resident will play for the boys title, with wild card Sanjeev Chundu beating No. 2 seed Daniel Phillips of Bermuda 6-4, 6-2 in the semifinals today. Chundu, who has played in only the Las Vegas and San Diego ITF Junior events in the past three years, will play No. 4 seed Kaetan Mehta of Canada. Mehta defeated No. 6 seed Boxiong Zhang of China 6-3, 6-3 in today's semifinals. 

Top seeds Chung and Bernales won the doubles title, defeating No. 2 seeds Neha Malar Guru and Emily Robertson 6-3, 7-5 in today's final. It's the third ITF Junior Circuit title for Bernales and the sixth for Chung, but their first together.

The unseeded team of Nicholas Reeves and Roshan Santhosh defeated No. 3 seeds Keaton Hance and Jack Kennedy 6-3, 3-6, 10-6 for the title, the first for both on the ITF Junior Circuit.

A notable upset today in ACC conference play, with the 18th-ranked Miami women defeating No. 5 North Carolina State 4-3 in Coral Gables. The Wolfpack took the doubles point, but the Hurricanes got singles wins at 1, 3, 5 and 6 to earn the victory. 

Alexa Noel defeated Diana Shnaider 6-4, 6-1, handing the NC State freshman her second straight loss. After Shnaider qualified and reached the second round of the Australian Open, moving her ranking into the WTA Top 100, everyone assumed she would dominate the competition in Division I, but that hasn't been the case. Certainly she has the biggest target imaginable on her back given her pro results, but that was true of say, Emma Navarro as well, and that didn't keep the former Cavalier from piling up victory after victory at line 1. 

For more on Miami's win, see this article from miamihurricanes.com.

The BNP Paribas Open is currently in a rain delay, so the schedule for Saturday hasn't been released yet, but one of the matches everyone has circled is between Ben Shelton and defending champion Taylor Fritz, the No. 4 seed. 

After Peyton Stearns and Ben Shelton won their first round matches yesterday, 2021 NCAA women's singles champion Emma Navarro followed suit, beating Caty McNally 1-6, 6-1, 6-1 in a late night match. Navarro will face No. 30 seed Leylah Fernandez of Canada next.