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Thursday, March 2, 2023

Harmon Advances to Quarterfinals at ITF J300 in Brazil; Ngounoue Reaches Texas $25K Quarterfinals; South Carolina Men Beat Kentucky 4-3 in Top 10 SEC Opener

After so many Americans reaching the later stages of the J300s last month, that has not been the case after the ITF Junior Circuit moved to clay courts and many of the US players returned home to prepare for the hard court swing this month in Southern California. In this week's Porto Alegre J300 warmup to the J500 Banana Bowl next week in Brazil, which currently features only ten Americans total, just two Americans have reached the quarterfinals: Darwin Blanch, who advanced yesterday with a win over top seed Yaroslav Demin of Russia and Alexia Harmon, who advanced to the quarterfinals today.
Harmon, a high school junior who has verbally committed to Auburn, defeated No. 4 seed Luciana Moyano of Argentina 7-5, 6-1 today and will play qualifier Alessandra Teodosescu of Italy for a place in the semifinals. The other three top seeds, Sara Saito of Japan, Lucciana Perez Alarcon of Peru and Mayu Crossley of Japan, have all advanced to Friday's quarterfinals.

Roy Horovitz, the only American other than Blanch to reach the second round of singles, lost to last week's Paraguay J300 champion Emilien Demanet of Belgium 6-4, 6-3. 

Two US boys teams are through to the doubles semifinals: Maxwell Exsted and Cooper Woestendick and Horovitz and Alexander Razeghi.

Piper Charney, playing with Crossley, has advanced to the girls doubles semifinals.

At the $25,000 women's Pro Circuit tournament in Spring Texas, 16-year-old Clervie Ngounoue advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-2 win over former Florida All-American Mccartney Kessler. She'll play former Old Dominion standout Yulia Starodubtseva of Ukraine, a wild card, in the quarterfinals. The other three wild cards, all US juniors from the 2007 and 2008 birth years, won their first round matches earlier in the week, but Iva Jovic and Alanis Hamilton lost in the second round today. The third, 14-year-old Shannon Lam, saw her match with the 33-year-old third seed Jia-Jing Lu of China, suspended with Lu leading 7-6(3), 2-6, 2-1. The winner will play No. 7 seed Tiphanie Fiquet(Kentucky/Ole Miss) of France, now identified as Tiphanie Lemaitre in the draw, in the quarterfinals.

The other Americans to advance to the quarterfinals are Raveena Kingsley[8] and Maria Mateas(Duke). 

Just two Americans remain in contention at the men's $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Naples Florida: No. 7 seed Tristan McCormick(Notre Dame/Georgia) and qualifier Isaiah Strode. Kyle Kang lost his rubber match with Federico Agustin Gomez(Louisville) of Argentina, whom he had split with in matches the previous two $15Ks in Florida, 6-4, 7-5. 

Two Americans have advanced to the quarterfinals at the women's $60,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Arcadia California: wild card Megan Mccray(Oklahoma State) and No. 6 seed Sophie Chang. Mccray defeated qualifier Ganna Poznikhirenko of Ukraine 7-6(1), 6-3 and Chang took out Vivian Wolff(Georgia/UCLA) 6-4, 6-2.  The two collegiate freshman in the second round, Stanford's Alexa Blokhina and USC's Madison Sieg, lost their matches today, with Blokina falling to No. 3 seed Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands 6-4, 6-3 and Sieg dropping a 6-4, 6-0 decison to No. 2 seed Diane Parry of France.

The second round matches in the bottom half of the draw at the ATP Challenger 75 in Waco Texas were played today, with No. 3 seed Aleks Kovacevic(Illinois) advancing to the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Nick Hardt of the Dominican Republic. Kovacevic will face unseeded Gastao Elias of Portugal in the quarterfinals, while 2019 Wimbledon boys champion Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan, a qualifier, plays former Wake Forest All-American Borna Gojo[6] of Croatia in the other quarterfinal in the bottom half. 

In the top half, Aleks Vukic(Illinois) of Australia takes on Alex Michelsen and Seong-chan Hong of Korea plays No. 8 seed Alexandre Muller of France. 

Free live streaming is available at the ATP Challenger website.

The big Division I college tennis match today featured sixth-ranked South Carolina men traveling to No. 5 Kentucky to open SEC conference play. The Gamecocks took the doubles point, which proved critical, as the teams split the top four positions, all in straight sets, with Liam Draxl(UK) defeating Toby Samuel at line 1, Connor Thompson beating Alafia Ayeni(UK) at line 2, Joshua Lapadat(UK) downing Raphael Lambling at line 3 and James Story beating Taha Baadi(UK) at line 4.  Kentucky freshman Jaden Weekes defeated Casey Hoole in three sets to make the score 3-3, but South Carolina's Jake Beasley served and volleyed his way to a 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-3 win over freshman Charlelie Cosnet to give his team the 4-3 victory.

Cracked Racquets is providing coverage of the SEC, ACC and Big Ten conference matches this spring, with the first two available on ESPN+ via the SEC and ACC Networks. The Sunday Big Ten CrossCourt coverage is available at the Cracked Racquets YouTube Channel.


fan said...

Fiquet is now playing for TCU