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Monday, July 31, 2023

Americans Sweep Titles at ITF J60 in Jamaica; Three Americans Qualify at Lexington Challenger; UTR Pro Tennis Tour Update

Last week was a quiet one on the ITF Junior Circuit for Americans, with just six titles, four of them coming at the J60 in Jamaica.

Seventeen-year-old Brennon Chow, who won the singles and doubles titles at the J30 two weeks ago in Jamaica, extended his singles winning streak to nine matches, with the No. 6 seed beating No. 7 seed Ian Miller 6-1, 7-5 in an all-USA final. Chow is playing Kalamazoo this weekend, and is unseeded.

Top seeds Nicolas Iantosca and German partner Victor Kimpel won the doubles title, beating No. 3 seeds Miller and Sklar Phillips 6-4, 6-2 in the final. It's the third ITF Junior Circuit doubles title for the 16-year-old Iantosca. 

Unseeded 16-year-old Aspen Chung, who began playing ITF tournaments in February, won her first title on the Junior Circuit, beating top seed Francesca Saroli of Switzerland 4-6, 7-5, 6-0 in the final.

Daniela Chica and Alba Martinez won the girls doubles title, with the No. 2 seeds beating top seeds Saroli and Sanjana Devineni of the United States 6-2, 7-6(0) in the final. It's the second title as a team for the 16-year-olds.

The third singles title for an American this week came at the J30 in Lithuania, with 15-year-old Alessandra Sikharulidze claiming her second title on the ITF Junior Circuit this summer. Seeded No. 4, Sikharulidze defeated No. 3 seed Madara Markevica of Latvia 6-4, 7-5 in the final. 

At the J200 in South Africa, Maya Iyengar took the girls doubles title with Gloriana Nahum of Benin. The No. 3 seeds defeated No. 4 seeds Marelie Raath of Great Britain and Dune Vaissaud of France 6-4, 6-4 in the final. It's the fifth ITF Junior Circuit doubles title for the 16-year-old Iyengar, all with different partners.

Norway's Emily Sartz-Lunde, who has verbally committed to Michigan, won the singles title.

Fourteen-year-old Carel Ngounoue, brother of Wimbledon girls champion Clervie, reached the semifinals in singles, where he lost to top seed Yuvan Nandal of India 6-4, 6-2. Iyengar, Ngounoue and several other Americans are playing the J300 this week in South Africa.

Qualifying was completed today at the ATP 75 Challenger in Lexington Kentucky, with Tristan Boyer(Stanford), Stefan Dostanic(USC) and Aidan Mayo reaching the main draw. Boyer defeated Michael Zheng(Columbia) 6-3, 6-2, Dostanic beat No. 3 seed Blake Ellis of Australia 6-4, 6-4 and Mayo defeated Colin Markes 6-2, 7-5. Six first round matches were also on the schedule today, with ITA Player of the Year Eliot Spizzirri(Texas) playing Christian Harrison later this evening.

With a lot of junior tennis coming up in the next two months, I think now is a good time to post the latest UTR Pro Tennis Tour results, which featured four tournaments this past week, but none this week. There are lots of familiar college names among the finalists. For more on future events, see the PTT calendar.


June 12 Atlanta GA
Angela Huang d. Reese Miller 6-4, 6-3

June 25 Boca Raton FL
Victoria Hu d. Katja Wiersholm 6-3, 6-2

July 9 Boca Raton FL
Akasha Urhobo d. Alina Shcherbinina 6-3, 6-2

July 17 Newport Beach CA
Savannah Broadus d. Malkia Ngounoue 6-0, 6-1

July 23 Ann Arbor MI
Julia Fliegner d. Maddy Zampardo 6-4, 4-6, 6-4

July 24 San Diego CA
Julia Garcia Ruiz d. Daria Smetannikov 6-3, 6-2


June 12 Atlanta GA
Andre Ilagan d. Holden Koons 7-5, 6-0

June 19 Boca Raton FL
Henrik Wiersholm d. Dimitri Badra 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-3

July 2 Boca Raton FL
Matija Pecotic d. Matthis Ross 6-2, 6-1

July 10 Boston MA
Vignesh Gogineni d. Mitchell Lee 7-6(4), 7-5

July 17 Los Angeles CA
Alexander Kotzen d. Constantinos Djakouris 6-3, 7-5

July 24 Ann Arbor MI
Sebastian Sec d. Jacob Bickersteth 5-7, 6-1, 6-2

July 24 San Diego CA
Ryan Seggerman d. Isaiah Strode 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-2

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Vandecasteele Claims First Pro Circuit Title in Edwardsville; Starodubtseva Wins Second $60K in Dallas; Ngounoue Falls in WTA DC Open Qualifying; Fritz Takes Atlanta Open Title

After falling in two finals as a qualifier in the SoCal Pro Series last month, Quinn Vandecasteele got over the hump today at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Edwardsville Illinois, ending the winning streak of top seed Aidan Mchugh of Great Britain by a 6-3, 7-6(5) score.

The 20-year-old Vandecasteele, who will be entering his fourth year at the University of Oregon, also had to go through qualifying this week, but lost only one set, in the first round, en route to the title. Mchugh, who won last week's $25,000 tournament in Champaign, fought back from 6-1 down in the tiebreaker, but after winning four consecutive points, the 23-year-old double faulted on match point No. 5.

The doubles title in Edwardsville went to top seeds George Goldhoff(Texas) and Mac Kiger(UNC), who defeated unseeded Colin Markes(Texas) and Karem Al Allaf(Iowa) 6-2, 6-1 in the rain-delayed final. Markes did make it to the Lexington Challenger for his 4 p.m. qualifying match, and he won it, beating Blu Baker of Great Britain 6-4, 7-5.

As great a summer as Vandecasteele has had, Yuliia Starodubtseva of Ukraine could be having an even better one. The former Old Dominion star, who completed her eligibility last year, won her second $60,000 title this summer at the USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Dallas. The unseeded Starodubtseva, who had beaten top seed Madison Brengle (for the second time in two weeks) in the quarterfinals, took out No. 2 seed Yafan Wang of China 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, her third straight victory this week from a set down. The 23-year-old is 18-2 this summer in $60K USTA Pro Circuit tournaments and is up to 203 in the WTA live rankings.

At the $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Pittsburgh, No. 6 seed Darian King of Barbados won his second straight title, beating Juan Carlos Aguilar(Texas A&M/TCU) of Canada 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the final. Aguilar had to play his semifinal earlier in the day, beating wild card Felix Corwin(Minnesota) 6-3, 6-4. King, 31, won the $15K last week in Rochester New York.

Qualifying at the Mubadala Citi DC Open was completed today, with Wimbledon girls champion Clervie Ngounoue falling short in her final round qualifying match. The 17-year-old wild card, originally from the Washington DC area, was on court with WTA No. 79 Magdalena Frech of Poland for two hours and 16 minutes, but lost in straight sets, 7-6(5), 7-5. The two Americans who did qualify beat other Americans, with Hailey Baptiste defeating Peyton Stearns(Texas) 7-6(5), 6-2 and Lauren Davis getting past Ashlyn Krueger 1-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Six players qualify for the men's draw, which is a 48-player field compared to the 28-player field for women.  Two-time Kalamazoo 18s champion Zachary Svajda advanced to the main draw with a 7-6(3), 3-0 ret. win over Brandon Holt(USC); wild card Bjorn Fratangelo beat Alexis Galarneau(NC State) of Canada 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to reach his first ATP main draw since the Roland Garros in 2022; Bradley Klahn(Stanford) is through to the main draw after a 7-5, 6-4 win over Sho Shimabukuro of Japan. Klahn last played an ATP event a year ago, as a wild card in Washington.

For the second straight week, Jerry Shang of China qualified for the main draw, with the 18-year-old defeating 2017 NCAA champion Thai Kwiatkowski(UVA) 7-6(5), 6-2. Kiranpal Pannu, the former Columbus State All-American from New Zealand, qualified for the first time to an ATP event, beating 19-year-old Bruno Kuzuhara 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(6). The only previous ATP main draw appearance for Pannu was as a wild card in Auckland this past January.

Taylor Fritz won his sixth ATP title this afternoon at the Atlanta Open 250, beating unseeded Aleks Vukic(Illinois) of Australia 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-4. Fritz, who is the top seed in Washington DC, will remain at No. 9 in the ATP rankings, while Vukic moves to a career high of 62 after his first ATP semifinal and final this week.

Kalamazoo Seeds and Draws; San Diego Seeds

Kalamazoo's USTA National Boys 18s and 16s singles draws were published this morning and can be found here. The San Diego draws will be published Wednesday(16s) and Thursday(18s). The top 32 seeds are below; the 33-64 seeds can be found on the boys draws, or via links here for the girls.

B18s Top 32 Seeds:

1. Learner Tien
2. Nishesh Basavareddy
3. Kyle Kang
4. Aidan Kim
5. Cooper Williams
6. Darwin Blanch
7. Kaylan Bigun
8. Nicholas Godsick
9. Roy Horovitz
10. Trevor Svajda
11. Rudy Quan
12. Zhengqing Ji
13. Alexander Razeghi
14. Alexander Frusina
15. Adhithya Ganesan
16. Lucas Brown
17. Matthew Forbes
18. Petro Kuzmenok
19. Tygen Goldammer
20. Cyrus Mahjoob
21. Shaurya Bharadwaj
22. Stephan Gershfelt
23. Emon Van Loben Sels
24. Aidan Atwood
25. Xander Barber
26. William Manning
27. Colson Wells
28. Krish Gupta
29. James Lian
30. Braeden Gelletich
31. Stiles Brockett
32. Andrew Delgado

B16s Top 32 Seeds
1. Maxwell Exsted
2. Cooper Woestendick
3. Cassius Chinlund
4. Jack Satterfield
5. Dominick Mosejczuk
6. Jagger Leach
7. Maximus Dussault
8. Matisse Farzam
9. Joseph Oyebog
10. Jack Kennedy
11. Nicholas Mekhael
12. Ronit Karki
13. Ian Mayew
14. Andrew Ena
15. Cooper Han
16. Keaton Hance
17. Nischal Spurling
18. Winston Lee
19. Maxim Kalinin
20. Muyang Yi
21. Nicholas Patrick
22. Nathaniel Suh
23. Arin Pallegar
24. Jon Gamble
25. Jimin Jung
26. Drew Fishback
27. Lachlan Gaskell
28. Benjamin Sparks
29. Ryan Cozad
30. Simon Caldwell
31. Nolan Balthazor
32. Noah Johnston

G18s Top 32 Seeds
1. Clervie Ngounoue
2. Reese Brantmeier
3. Victoria Osuigwe
4. Akasha Urhobo
5. Iva Jovic
6. Tatum Evans
7. Valerie Glozman
8. Capucine Jauffret
9. Esha Velaga
10. Aspen Schuman
11. Sari Woo
12. Tianmei Wang
13. Ariana Pursoo
14. Theadora Rabman
15. Alanis Hamilton
16. Anya Murthy
17. Kinaa Graham
17. Maddy Zampardo
17. Alana Boyce
17. Ava Esposito Cogan
17. Daniela Borruel
17. Ariel Madatali
17. Kayla Chung
17. Sophia Webster
17. Piper Charney
17. Christasha McNeil
17. Audrey Spencer
17. Erin Ha
17. Eleana Yu
17. Stephanie Yakoff
17. Katherine Hui
17. Daria Smetannikov

Girls 16s Top 32 seeds
1. Christina Lyutova
2. Leena Friedman
3. Bella Payne
4. Nicole Weng
5. Blair Gill
6. Kenzie Nguyen
7. Anita Tu
8. Sophia Holod
9. Julieta Pareja
10. Elizabeth Fauchet
11. Anna Frey
12. Rachel Lee
13. Elizabeth Isyanov
14. Rachael Smith
15. Addison Bowman
16. Sydney Fuger
17. Kaede Usui
17. Sabrina Lin
17. Alexandra Wolf
17. Elena Zhao
17. Karlin Schock
17. Brooke Kwon
17. Sarah Ye
17. Carrie-Anne Hoo
17. Hadley Appling
17. Kori Montoya
17. Emerey Gross
17. Jessica Kovalcik
17. Nicole Fu
17. Ava Rodriguez
17. Addison Lanton
17. Sophie Suh

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Ngounoue Defeats WTA No. 37 in DC Open Qualifying; Vandecasteele Advances to Edwardsville $25K Final; Starodubtseva Reaches Dallas $60K Final; Weather Delays Semifinal at Pittsburgh $15K; Lexington Challenger Qualifying Begins Sunday

In her first match since winning the Wimbledon girls title 13 days ago, 17-year-old wild card Clervie Ngounoue was drawn against the top seed Anna Blinkova in the qualifying for next week's WTA 500 Mubadala Citi DC Open. Although at No. 37, Blinkova was by far the highest ranked opponent Ngounoue had ever faced, it was Ngounoue who was in control throughout in her 6-3, 6-2 victory. 

On Sunday, Ngounoue will face Magdalena Frech of Poland, No. 79 in the WTA rankings, for a place in the main draw. Frech advanced when Kayla Day retired after losing the opening set 6-2. For more on Ngounoue's win today, see this article from the tournament website.

Storms moved through the Washington DC area before the first round of qualifying was completed and all spectators were asked to leave the premises due to storm damage, but the qualifying matches were resumed. American men through to the final round of qualifying of the ATP 500 are two-time Kalamazoo 18s champion Zachary Svajda, Bradley Klahn(Stanford), Brandon Holt(USC), Kyle Seelig(Ohio State), Bruno Kuzuhara and Thai Kwiatskowski (Virginia).  Mitchell Krueger and Bjorn Fratangelo are playing this evening. US women advancing to the final round of qualifying, in addition to Ngounoue, are Lauren Davis, Ashlyn Krueger and Hailey Baptiste. Peyton Stearns plays her first round match later this evening.

Twenty-year-old qualifier Quinn Vandecasteele(Oregon) will try to put an end to the winning streak of top seed Aidan Mchugh Sunday at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Edwardsville Illinois. Vandecasteele, who reached back-to-back $15K finals a month ago as a qualifier on the SoCal Pro Circuit, defeated Ozan Baris(Michigan State) 6-1, 6-3 to advance to his first final at the $25,000 level. 

The 23-year-old Mchugh, who won the Champaign $25K title last week, defeated unseeded Shunsuke Mitsui(Tennessee) of Japan 6-2, 6-4 for his ninth consecutive victory.

The doubles final, which was scheduled to be played Saturday evening, was postponed until Sunday morning. Top seeds George Goldhoff(Texas) and Mac Kiger(UNC) will play the unseeded team of Kareem All Allaf(Iowa) and Colin Markes(Texas) for the title.

Texas A&M rising junior Mary Stoiana saw her run at the $60,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Dallas come to an end today, with the 20-year-old dropping a three-hour semifinal encounter with No. 2 seed Yafan Wang of China 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-4. Wang will play unseeded Yuliia Starodubtseva(Old Dominion) of Ukraine, who defeated unseeded YeXin Ma of China 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 to reach her fourth $60K final of the summer on the USTA Pro Circuit. 

In the doubles final today, No. 2 seeds Sophie Chang and Ashley Lahey(Pepperdine) defeated top seeds Jamie Loeb(UNC) and Makenna Jones(UNC) 6-2, 6-2 for their first title as a team.

Rain at the $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Pittsburgh led to just one of the two singles semifinals finishing, with last week's Rochester $15K champion and No. 6 seed Darian King of Barbados defeating unseeded 19-year-old Samir Banerjee (Stanford) 6-4, 7-6(3).  The semifinal between wild card Felix Corwin(Minnesota) and Juan Carlos Aguilar(Texas A&M/TCU) of Canada will be played Sunday morning, followed by singles final, with the doubles final after that, with King and partner Jody Maginley of Antigua and Barbuda, the No. 4 seeds, facing No. 3 seeds Patrick Maloney(Michigan) and Tyler Zink(Georgia/Oklahoma State).

The qualifying draw for next week's ATP Challenger 75 in Lexington Kentucky is out, with two players who are in the Kalamazoo 18s field next week on Sunday's schedule. Wild card Eli Stephenson, who is a rising freshman at Kentucky, will face No. 9 seed Michael Zheng(Columbia), while Cooper Williams plays No. 2 seed Aidan Mayo. Andre Ilagan(Hawaii), Stefan Dostanic(USC) and Noah Schachter(Texas A&M) are the other three wild cards.

Colin Markes, who is in the 8 a.m. CDT doubles final in Edwardsville, is scheduled to play singles qualifying in Lexington, five hours away by car, not before 4 p.m. EDT.

Friday, July 28, 2023

My Recap of Wimbledon 14U Tournament; Vandecasteele, Baris, Stoiana and Banerjee Reach USTA Pro Circuit Semifinals; Ngounoue Draws Top Seed in WTA Washington DC Qualifying; Wolf and Fritz to Meet in Atlanta Open Semis

The second year of Wimbledon's 14-and-under invitational tournament had its challenges, with bad weather causing a major disruption in the four-day event, but there's no question that two of the world's top players in that age division emerged as champions, despite their zigzagging between clay and grass and back to clay.

Mark Ceban, the boys champion, won Les Petits in January; Luna Vujovic of Serbia, the girls champion, went on to win the European 14s Championships on clay the next week. My article on the tournament, with comments from both Ceban and Vujovic, is available today at the Tennis Recruiting Network.

Five current collegians are through to the semifinals at the three USTA Pro Circuit tournaments, two of whom qualified, with the other three unseeded.

Texas A&M rising junior Mary Stoiana continued her impressive run today at the $60,000 tournament in Dallas, defeating No. 6 seed Himeno Sakatsume of Japan 6-2, 6-3. Stoiana, who has now won five matches including qualifying, will play her third consecutive seed Saturday, No. 2 seed Yafan Wang, a 29-year-old from China. Wang defeated unseeded Makenna Jones(UNC) 6-4, 6-1 in today's quarterfinals. 

Top seed Madison Brengle lost to unseeded Yuliia Starodubtseva(Old Dominion) of Ukraine 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. The surging Starodubtseva, who is 15-5 in 2023, all in $25K and above events, plays unseeded YeXin Ma of China, who defeated No. 8 seed Renata Zarazua of Mexico 6-1, 7-5.

Although there is just one seed and one American in the semifinals, the top two seeds in doubles will face off in Saturday's all-US final, with No. 1 Jamie Loeb(UNC) and Jones taking on No. 2 Sophie Chang and Ashley Lahey(Pepperdine).

Two current collegians will play Saturday for a place in the final at the $25,000 tournament in Edwardsville Illinois, after straight set wins for Michigan State rising sophomore Ozan Baris and qualifier Quinn Vandecasteele, who is entering his fourth year at Oregon.

Baris defeated Kareem Al Allaf(Iowa) 7-5, 6-3, while Vandecasteele, who is having a breakout summer, beat No. 2 seed Naoki Nakagawa of Japan 6-1, 6-4, his 23rd win(including qualifying matches) this summer, against just five losses. It's the second $25K semifinal of the summer for the 19-year-old Baris, who reached the final in Wichita in June, falling to NCAA champion Ethan Quinn(Georgia). 

The other Edwardsville semifinal will feature top seed Aidan Mchugh of Great Britain, who won a three-hour quarterfinal battle with Learner Tien(USC) 7-6(7), 5-7, 6-2, and Shunsuke Mitsui of Japan, who beat Vito Tonejc of Croatia 7-5, 6-2. Mitsui is a rising junior at the University of Tennessee.

At the $15,000 tournament in Pittsburgh, Stanford's Pac-12 freshman of the year Samir Banerjee advanced to his second $15K semifinal of the year with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over No. 3 seed Ignacio Monzon of Argentina. The 19-year-old from New Jersey will face last week's $15K champion in Rochester, No. 6 seed Darian King of Barbados in the semifinals. King took out top seed Kyle Seelig(Ohio State) 6-3, 6-0. 

Wild card Felix Corwin, who was the assistant coach at Purdue last season but is no longer listed as such on the Boilermakers website, defeated No. 4 seed Bruno Kuzuhara, the 2022 Australian Open boys champion, 6-3, 6-4. Corwin's semifinal opponent is unseeded Juan Carlos Aguilar(Texas A&M/TCU) of Canada. Aguilar defeated Jesse Flores(UCF/Miami) of Costa Rica  4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Wimbledon champion Clervie Ngounoue received a wild card into the WTA 500 Mubdala Citi DC Open qualifying, which begins Saturday in Washington DC. The 17-year-old, who now lives in Orlando, but grew up in DC, plays top seed and WTA No. 37 Anna Blinkova of Russia in the opening round. Ngounoue is expected to be the top seed at the USTA National 18s championships in San Diego, which begins a week from Sunday. Recent NC State graduate Alana Smith also received a qualifying wild card; she will play No. 4 seed Lauren Davis. 

In the ATP 500 qualifying in Washington DC, wild cards were given to North Carolina rising sophomore Benjamin Kittay of Potomac Maryland, recent University of Michigan graduate and All-American Andrew Fenty of Washington DC, Ryan Harrison and Bjorn Fratangelo. 

Storms have delayed the night session at the ATP 250 Atlanta Open, with No. 5 seed Chris Eubanks(Georgia Tech) scheduled to play Aleks Vukic(Illinois) of Australia; No. 7 seed Ugo Humbert of France is in the final quarterfinal, playing defending champion and No. 2 seed Alex de Minaur of Australia.

Earlier today, top seed Taylor Fritz beat wild card Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-4, 6-2 to advance to a first meeting with No. 8 seed JJ Wolf. Wolf, the former Ohio State All-American, defeated former Tulane star Dominik Koepfer of Germany 6-2, 6-3 today to reach his second ATP 250 semifinal of the year and the third of his career.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Qualifier Stoiana Defeats Li to Reach Dallas $60K Quarterfinals; Tien Advances at Edwardsville $25K; Shnaider Makes WTA Hamburg Semis; Maymi Returns to Michigan as Head Coach

Mary Stoiana hasn't played many USTA Pro Circuit events, but the 20-year-old rising junior at Texas A&M has made her tournaments count. Stoiana, who finished her sophomore year No. 2 in the ITA season-ending rankings, has played three tournaments this summer as a member of the USTA's Summer Collegiate Team. She qualified for the first, a $60K in Sumter, losing in the first round to Yuliia Starodubtseva(Old Dominion) of Ukraine, who went on to win the tournament. She qualified for a SoCal Pro Series $15K in Lakewood and made the final, retiring to Hanna Chang at 1-1 in the first set.

At this week's $60,000 tournament in Dallas, Stoiana needed a wild card to get into qualifying, but made the main draw, beating Ashley Lahey(Pepperdine) in the first round. Today she earned the best win of her career,  beating No. 3 seed Ann Li, a former WTA Top 50 player, 6-1, 6-3. Stoiana will face No. 6 seed Himeno Sakatsume of Japan in the quarterfinals Friday.

The other Americans advancing to the quarterfinals are Makenna Jones(UNC), a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Hanna Chang, and top seed Madison Brengle, who beat qualifier Chloe Beck(Duke) 6-1, 6-7(1), 6-2. Brengle will face Starodubtseva, who is up to 248 in the WTA live rankings.

2022 Kalamazoo 18s champion Learner Tien is warming up for his title defense this week at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Edwardsville Illinois, and the 17-year-old advanced to his second $25K quarterfinal today, beating No. 7 seed  and fellow teenager Michael Zheng(Columbia) 6-3, 6-1. Five of today's round of 16 matches have not yet finished, with four not even starting, including Cooper Williams' match with qualifier Quinn Vandecasteele(Oregon).  Tien will play the winner of the match between top seed Aidan Mchugh(Great Britain) and Colin Markes(Texas).

Four Americans are through to the quarterfinals at the $15,000 men's USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Pittsburgh, with wild card Felix Corwin(Minnesota) and No. 4 seed Bruno Kuzuhara, the 2022 Australian Open boys champion, set to face off on Friday.  Another junior grand slam champion, 2021 Wimbledon champion Samir Banerjee(Stanford), will play No. 3 seed Ignacio Monzon of Argentina. Top seed Kyle Seelig(Ohio State) faces last week's $15K champion in Rochester, No. 6 seed Darian King of Barbados.

Nineteen-year-old Russian Diana Shnaider will move back into the WTA Top 100 next week after the 2023 NC State star advanced to her first WTA 250 semifinal this week in Hamburg. Shnaider, who finished No. 4 in the ITA rankings after her freshman year with the Wolfpack, defeated No. 3 seed Bernarda Pera 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in today's quarterfinals, her second win over the WTA No. 56 in the past two weeks. Shnaider, who won a WTA 125 title last fall in South America, will play wild card and fellow 19-year-old Noma Noha Akugue of Germany Friday for a place in the final.

One day after I gave up and posted all the accumulated college tennis coaching news, the University of Michigan announced that the final significant vacant coaching position has been filled. University of Nebraska head coach Sean Maymi, who twice served as an assistant/associate coach at Michigan, has been named to replace Adam Steinberg, who took the University of Florida men's head coaching job last month.

Maymi, who left Michigan in 2018 to take the head coaching job at Nebraska, will need to replace the Wolverines top 3 from last year's NCAA quarterfinalists, and Switzerland's Patrick Schoen, who just won the European Championships, is not expected to enroll in Ann Arbor now. The University of North Carolina is  expected to be his destination in January of 2024.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Tien and Zheng Advance to Second Round Meeting at Edwardsville $25K; Three Collegiate Qualifiers Reach Round of 16 at Dallas $60K; Virginia Tech Assistant Coach Sayer Dies; Andy Jackson Among Recent D-I Coaching Hires

Seventeen-year-old Learner Tien and 19-year-old Michael Zheng won their first round matches today at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Edwardsville Illinois to set up a meeting Thursday for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Tien defeated qualifier Ishaan Ravichander, a rising senior at Columbia, 6-3 6-3; No. 7 seed Zheng, a rising sophomore at Columbia, fought back to beat wild card Hunter Heck(Illinois) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Zheng and Tien haven't played on the Pro Circuit, but Tien is 2-0 in their head-to-head in ITF Junior Circuit competition, both coming last year at the two Southern California J300s.

Wimbledon semifinalist Cooper Williams defeated No. 8 seed Makoto Ochi of Japan 7-6(2), 1-6, 7-5 to advance to a meeting with qualifier Quinn Vandecasteele(Oregon), who beat Blu Baker of Great Britain 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(4).

At the women's $60,000 tournament in Dallas, qualifiers Chloe Beck(Duke), Mary Stoiana(Texas A&M), Mccartney Kessler(Florida) and wild card Hadley Doyle(SMU) all advanced to the second round.

Doyle defeated lucky loser Grace Min 6-4, 6-2; Kessler beat qualifier Allie Kiick 7-6(5), 6-1; Stoiana downed Ashley Lahey(Pepperdine) 6-1, 7-6(1) and Beck defeated Robin Anderson(UCLA) 6-2, 6-2. Beck, Kessler and Stoiana now play the top three seeds: Madison Brengle, Yafan Wang of China, and Ann Li, respectively.

Sad news today in the Division I coaching ranks, with the death of Virginia Tech men's assistant coach Martin Sayer, just 36 years old.  Sayer, who was an ITF Top 25 junior, competing for Hong Kong, played his collegiate tennis at Radford, and coached there before joining Virginia Tech in 2016. For more on Sayer's accomplishments while at Virginia Tech, see today's release from the university.

While the University of Michigan's men's head coaching position has yet to be filled, there aren't any other high profile jobs still vacant, so it's a good time to catch up on the changes in the past month or so.

I totally missed the announcement in May that the University of Minnesota had hired Lois Arterberry to take over the women's head coaching position from Catrina Thompson, who had been the coach there for six years. Arterberry coached previously at St. Thomas, which moved from Division III to Division I while she was there.

Iowa State, which had a mass exodus via the transfer portal after Boomer Saia left for Clemson, hired Jaron Maestas late last month for its women's head coaching position. Maestas, who has just one player on the current roster for 2023-24, has announced the addition of two other top recruits in the past month. He was previously associate head coach at the University of Kansas.

Last week, the University of Nebraska announced the hiring of German Dalmagro to lead its women's program. Dalmagro, who was head coach at Arkansas State for one year after serving as associate head coach at Nebraska under the recently retired Scott Jacobson from 2014-2018 and was in the same position at the University of Illinois from 2019-2022

In non-Power Five coaching news, Justin DeSanto, most recently head coach at Alabama Birmingham, has been named to the men's head coaching position at Dartmouth.

And Andy Jackson, who has been the head coach at Mississippi State, Florida, and most recently, Arkansas, was recently named the men's head coach at UNLV after the contract of Owen Hambrook, head coach since 2004, was not renewed.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

United States Teams Announced for ITF World Junior Tennis Competition in Czech Republic; Qualifying Complete at This Week's Three USTA Pro Circuit Tournaments

The International Tennis Federation's 14-and-under World Junior Tennis Competition begins August 7th, with 16 boys teams and 16s girls teams from across the globe traveling to Prostejov Czech Republic, for the six-day team tournament.
The United States is one of ten countries sending both boys and girls teams.

USA's Girls WJT Team:
Kristina Penickova
Annika Penickova
Nancy Lee

Captain: Thierry Champion

USTA's Boys WJT Team:
Jordan Lee
Marcel Latak
Izyan Ahmad

Captain: Jon Glover

The girls team from Serbia, featuring Wimbledon 14U and European 14U champion Luna Vujovic will be one of the favorites, with Great Britain and France sending strong boys teams.

For the nominations for all 32 teams, see this article from the ITF Junior website.

As was the case last week, there are three USTA Pro Circuit tournaments, a $60K for women and a $25K and 15K for men, this week.

The women are in Dallas, at a rare summer indoor hard court tournament. Qualifying was completed today, with all eight qualifiers Americans: Mary Stoiana(Texas A&M), Allie Kiick, Madison Sieg(USC), Ravenna Kingsley, Chloe Beck(Duke), Mccartney Kessler(Florida), Dalayna Hewitt and Reese Brantmeier(UNC). Top qualifying seed Grace Min, who lost to Stoiana, received entry as a lucky loser.

Madison Brengle and Yafan Wang of China are the top two seeds. Main draw wild cards were awarded to Hadley Doyle(SMU), Chloe Henderson(NC State), 16-year-old Alanis Hamilton and Eryn Cayetano(USC). 

The men's $25,000 tournament in Edwardsville Illinois also had eight Americans win their final qualifying matches today: Quinn Vandecasteele(Oregon), Axel Nefve(Notre Dame/Florida), Alex Petrov(Illinois), Ishaan Ravichander(Columbia), Alejandro Moreno(Auburn), Pierce Rollins(Texas A&M), Daniel Milavsky(Harvard) and Gabrielius Guzauskas(Illinois).

Last week's champion in Champaign, Aidan Mchugh of Great Britain, is the top seed, with Naoki Nakagawa of Japan the No. 2 seed.

Wild cards were given to Hunter Heck(Illinois), Michael Zheng[7](Columbia) and Kyle Kang(Stanford), with Ozan Baris(Michigan State) receiving an ITF Junior Exempt entry.  

2022 Kalamazoo 18s champion Learner Tien received direct entry and will face Ravichander in the first round. Should Zheng defeat Heck, he and Tien will meet in the second round. Wimbledon boys semifinalist Cooper Williams is a third Kalamazoo entrant in the main draw (Tien and Kang); he will face No. 8 seed Makoto Ochi of Japan in the first round.

At the $15,000 men's tournament in Pittsburgh, on outdoor clay, 
Kyle Seelig(Ohio State) and Tristan McCormick(Notre Dame/Georgia) are the top two seeds. 

Qualifiers included five Americans, two of whom are Kalamazoo entrants: Cyrus Mahjoob(Michigan) and wild card Stiles Brockett. Also reaching the main draw are Alex Bancila(Illinois/Tulane), Ryan Dickerson(Duke/Baylor) and Tyler Stice(Auburn). 

Wild cards were awarded to Loren Byers(Penn State), Thomas Brown(South Carolina/Charlotte), Felix Corwin(Minnesota) and Henrik Wiersholm(Virginia). Four first round singles matches were played today, with Corwin winning his match over Evan Bynoe and Wiersholm falling to Juan Carlos Aguilar(Texas A&M/TCU) of Canada.

The first round at the ATP 250 Atlanta Open will finish this evening with the final match featuring 18-year-old qualifier Jerry Shang of China and 20-year-old Ben Shelton(Florida), the No. 6 seed.

Maxime Cressy got his revenge against Alex Michelsen, who had beaten him in the first round at Newport last week, with the former UCLA standout taking a 6-3, 6-3 decision in Atlanta this afternoon.  John Isner, who is a six-time champion in Atlanta, lost to Dominik Koepfer(Tulane) of Germany 3-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(3). 

Chris Eubanks, the No. 5 seed, defeated wild card Andres Martin 6-2, 6-4 in the College Night match between Georgia Tech Yellowjackets.  Eubanks' next opponent Brandon Nakashima(Virginia) defeated Max Purcell of Australia 6-3, 7-6(5). JJ Wolf(Ohio State), the No. 8 seed, beat qualifier Jason Jung(Michigan) 6-2, 6-1 last night and will play Cressy in the second round.

Monday, July 24, 2023

My Wimbledon Junior Championships Recap; USTA National Championships Wild Cards; Rolls Sweeps Titles at ITF J200 in Colombia, Lam Wins Another J100 in Dominican Republic; Quinn Drops First Round Match at Atlanta Open

My wrap-up of the Wimbledon Junior Championships was posted today at the Tennis Recruiting Network, so if you didn't have time to follow my daily coverage of the event here, this a great opportunity to get up to speed on the titles by Clervie Ngounoue of the United States and Henry Searle of Great Britain. I also talked to the doubles champions, neither of whom were seeded, with the Czech girls getting the title at age 15, and the Czech and Italian boys team winning Wimbledon in their first tournament together.

Wild cards for next month's USTA National Championships were decided over the weekend and released today. A few more may be added in the younger age divisions, but the San Diego and Kalamazoo wild cards are set.

Learner Tien
Nicholas Godsick
Stiles Brockett
Calvin Baierl
Meecah Bigun
Joey Phillips

Lucia Donnelly
Sophie Llewlyn
Qavia Lopez
Phoebe Peus
Mia Yamakita
Isabella Chhiv

Sean Grosman
Ilija Palavestra
Francisco Salmain
Ethan Solop
Andre Alcantara

Adla Lopez
Reagan Mulberry
Rachael Smith
Olivia Traynor

Max Dukowicz
Mahir Vallabhaneni
Zaid Zamani

Elena Gusavac
Aleksandra Jerkunica
Ava Brewer
Teaghan Keys

Patrick Bingham
Noah Kocis
Will Monahon

Charlotte Boyce

Katie Rolls, 2022 ITF J300 Eddie Herr

Sweeps were commonplace last week for Americans on the ITF Junior Circuit.

Sixteen-year-old Kaitlyn Rolls swept the singles and doubles titles at the ITF J200 in Bogota Colombia and in the process moved into the Top 100 of the ITF junior rankings for the first time. Seeded No. 4, Rolls defeated No. 6 seed Luna Maria Cinalli of Argentina 6-1, 6-7(6), 6-4 in the singles final, after having beaten her in the doubles final the day before. Rolls and partner Nathalie Marinovitch Zegarra of Bolivia, seeded No. 7, beat No. 2 seeds Cinalli and her partner Antonia Vergara Rivera of Chile 6-1, 7-6(5). Rolls has won the J100s this year, but this is her biggest title and she is now up to 76 in the ITF junior rankings.

North Carolina recruit Matthew Forbes[5] made the boys final, losing to No. 2 seed Luis Jose Nakamine of Peru 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, but he too has made the ITF junior Top 100, coming in at 99 this week.

Fifteen-year-old Shannon Lam won her second straight singles title at a J100 in the Dominican Republic, extending her winning streak to 10. The top seed, Lam defeated the same player she had beaten in the J100 final the week before, Maayan Laron of Israel, although this one was much closer, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5. Lam is now up to a career-high 144 in the ITF junior rankings. 

Maximus Dussault lost in the singles final, but won the boys doubles championship with Rohan Belday. The No. 2 seeds defeated top seeds Francesco Cordova and his partner, Cesar Cruz of El Salvador, 6-4, 7-5 in the final. 

Top seed Sahana Sanjeev swept the titles at the J60 in El Salvador, taking the singles championship, her third on the ITF Junior Circuit, with a 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-1 win over No. 8 seed Carlota Balseiro of Guatemala. The 17-year-old from Florida partnered with Maria Araoz-Gosn for the doubles title, with the top seeds defeating No. 2 seeds Julie Bedard and partner Nina Chavez Vicente of Guatemala 6-1, 6-0 in the final. Yubel Ubri lost in the boys singles final, but won the doubles title with Marcos Castellanos of Guatemala. The top seeds defeated No. 2 seeds Lev Seidman and his partner from Mexico Diego Schtulmann 7-5, 6-3 in the final.

Seventeen-year-old Brennon Chow swept the titles at the J30 in Jamaica for his first two titles on the ITF Junior Circuit.  The top seed, Chow defeated No. 3 seed Sebastian Papp 6-2, 6-1 in the all-US final. Chow had his toughest match in the second round against younger brother Caleb Chow, posting a 7-6(13), 6-7(8), 6-4 victory. The two teamed up for the doubles title, with the No. 2 seeds defeating No. 3 seeds Aidan Lam Meng Bart and his partner from China Tian hao Hou 1-6, 7-5, 10-5 in the final.  

Sixteen-year-old Daniela Chica won her first ITF Junior Circuit singles title in Jamaica, with the top seed beating Melissa Paniagua Gasser 6-0, 6-1 in the all-US final. Paniagua Gasser and Kaya Baker, the top seeds, defeated No. 3 seeds Lauren Lockwood and Savanna Salahuddin-Wright 6-0, 6-0 to claim the girls doubles title, the first for the 15-year-old Paniagua Gasser and the 14-year-old Baker, in another all-US final.

At the J30 in Uruguay, 17-year-old Athena Rosas-Pacifico won her first ITF Junior Circuit singles title, with the top seed beating No. 2 seed Julia Caffarena of Argentina 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3 in the final. Rosas-Pacifico, who won the doubles title two weeks ago in Montevideo, lost in the doubles final last week.

At the J60 in the Netherlands, 17-year-old Sage Loudon won her eighth ITF Junior Circuit doubles title, with partner Philippa Faerber of Germany. The top seeds defeated the unseeded team of Lina Ilah and Charlotte Pikkaart of the Netherlands 6-2, 6-2 in the final. 

NCAA champion Ethan Quinn(Georgia) lost his first round match today at the ATP 250 Atlanta Open. The 19-year-old wild card was beaten by former University of Illinois All-American Aleks Vukic of Australia 7-6(5), 6-3.

Tomorrow night's schedule will feature No. 5 seed Chris Eubanks against wild card Andres Martin in a battle of Georgia Tech Yellowjackets, followed by the first round match between 18-year-old qualifier Jerry Shang of China and No. 6 seed Ben Shelton(Florida).

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Michelsen, Kingsley Fall Short in Finals; Day Takes $100K Title in Granby; Unseeded Winners at European Championships in Klosters and Most

Alex Michelsen's unlikely run to the finals of the ATP 250 Infosys Hall of Fame Open ended in a 6-2, 6-4 loss today to No. 2 seed Adrian Mannarino of France, a 35-year-old who was playing in Newport for the tenth time, while the 18-year-old Southern Californian was playing in his second ATP event.

Next for Michelsen, who is now up to 139 in the ATP rankings, is the main draw of the Atlanta Open, where he'll have at least a day off, as he is not on Monday's schedule. The qualifying concluded today, with Michael Mmoh losing to Lloyd Harris of South Africa 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-6(2). Former Michigan star Jason Jung of Taiwan qualified; he will play former Ohio State All-American JJ Wolf, seeded No. 8, in first round action Monday. NCAA champion Ethan Quinn(Georgia), who received a last-minute main draw wild card, will play former Fighting Illini standout Aleks Vukic of Australia in another all-former collegiate battle. Eighteen-year-old Jerry Shang of China qualified into his first ATP 250 main draw today, defeating 20-year-old Arthur Cazaux of France 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-1. He will face No. 6 seed Ben Shelton(Florida) in the first round.

Georgia Tech assistant coach Kevin King and rising senior Andres Martin received a main draw doubles wild card and will face Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myeni(Alabama) of India Monday evening.

No. 4 seeds Nathaniel Lammons(SMU) and Jackson Withrow(Texas A&M) will be looking for their second straight title in Atlanta, after capturing the Newport title today. The top seeds defeated unseeded Will Blumberg(UNC) and Australian Max Purcell  6-3, 5-7, 10-5 to end Blumberg's quest for a third consecutive Newport doubles title.

Cannon Kingsley(Ohio State) lost for the third time in a USTA Pro Circuit final and the sixth time to Aidan Mchugh of Great Britain today at the $25,000 tournament in Champaign Illinois. Mchugh, the No. 2 seed, defeated No. 5 seed Kingsley 6-4, 6-3.

At the men's $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Rochester New York, No. 2 seed Darian King of Barbados defeated top seed Ignacio Monzon of Argentina 6-0, 7-6(2) in the final. It's the 31-year-old King's first singles title at any level since 2016; in 2017 he reached an ATP career-high ranking of 106.

No. 3 seed Karman Thandi of India won the women's $60,000 USTA Pro Circuit in Evansville Indiana, beating No. 4 seed Yuliia Starodubtseva(Old Dominion) of Ukraine 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 in a two-hour and 44-minute final. 

Twenty-three-year-old Kayla Day won her second ITF World Tennis Tour $100,000 event this year today in Granby Canada, with the No. 3 seed defeating No. 5 seed Kathine Sebov of Canada 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 in three hours flat. Day, the 2016 USTA National 18s and US Open girls champion, won her first $100K title in Bonita Springs in May and is now into the WTA Top 100 for the first time after dropping outside the Top 500 less than two years ago. 

Unfortunately for Day, this title came a week after the cutoff for the US Open main draw, when she was ranked 125. I hope the USTA will give her a wild card if she doesn't win its Wild Card Challenge, which began last week for the women and extends through August 13th.

The European Junior Championships wrapped up today in Klosters Switzerland, where the ITF J300 is played, and in Most Czech Republic, the site of the 14s divisions.

Two unseeded players captured the singles titles in Klosters, with Patrick Schoen of Switzerland defeating unseeded Tiago Pires of France 6-2, 6-3 and Ariana Geerlings of Spain defeating top seed Nina Vargova of Slovakia 6-1, 6-2. Schoen, who also captured the boys doubles title with Adrien Berrut, is the first Swiss boy to capture the European boys singles title. The 18-year-old Schoen committed to the University of Michigan this spring, but that was before Adam Steinberg departed for Florida. Michigan has yet to announce Steinberg's replacement. Top seeds Mara Gae and Cara Maria Mester of Romania won the girls doubles title.

The 14s champions were also unseeded, but I doubt too many in Most were surprised when Svit Suljic and Luna Vujovic emerged with the titles. 

Suljic, the runner-up last Sunday at the Wimbledon 14U event, defeated No. 6 seed Daniel Jade of France 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to become the first Slovenian boy to win a title at the European Championships.

Vujovic, last week's Wimbledon 14U girls champion, defeated No. 12 seed Dusica Popovski 6-3, 6-3 in an all-Serbian final. 

For all results and photos from both European Championships, see the Tennis Europe tournament page.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Michelsen Reaches ATP Final in Newport with Win Over Isner; Kingsley Advances to Champaign $25K Final; Quinn's ATP Atlanta Open Wild Card Upgraded; Clay Court Recaps

Alex Michelsen won his ninth straight match today in the semifinals of the ATP 250 Infosys Hall of Fame Open in Newport Rhode Island, defeating four-time Newport champion John Isner(Georgia) 7-6(6), 6-4 to reach his first ATP Tour final.

Isner hit 20 aces to Michelsen's 5, but Michelsen saved all three break points he faced, and made his break of Isner in the first game of the second set hold up. Serving for the match at 5-4, Michelsen closed it out at love, making all four first serves.

The 18-year-old from Southern California, who won the Chicago Challenger last week, will face No. 2 seed Adrian Mannarino of France for the title Sunday. For more background on Michelsen, see this feature article from the ATP, written prior to today's match.

Top seeds Nathaniel Lammons(SMU) and Jackson Withrow(Texas A&M) will face Will Blumberg(UNC) and Max Purcell of Australia in the doubles championship prior to the singles final. Blumberg is aiming for his third straight Newport title, with a third different partner.

Cannon Kingsley, who has one more year of eligibility remaining at Ohio State, has reached his third final on the USTA Pro Circuit, and first at the $25,000 level at this week's tournament in Champaign Illinois. Kingsley, the fifth seed, defeated top seed Evgeny Donskoy of Russia, ranked as high as 65 on the ATP Tour previously, 7-6(5), 6-0 in today's semifinals. Kingsley will attempt to capture his first singles title when he meets No. 2 seed Aidan Mchugh of Great Britain. Mchugh defeated No. 3 seed Naoki Nakagawa of Japan 6-4, 6-4 today. Mchugh has a 5-0 record in his meetings with Kingsley, with the last one coming at the Bloomfield Hills Challenger earlier this month. Mchugh took that second round match 7-5, 7-5.

Kingsley fell short of his second USTA Pro Circuit doubles title this afternoon. He and teammate Jack Anthrop lost to No. 2 seeds Trey Hilderbrand and Noah Schachter, both Texas A&M Aggies, 6-4, 7-5. It's the sixth Pro Circuit doubles title for Schachter and Hilderbrand in the past 12 months.

The two American semifinalists at the women's $60,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Evansville Indiana both lost today, with top seed Madison Brengle falling 7-5, 6-0 to No. 4 seed Yuliia Starodubtseva(Old Dominion) of Ukraine and qualifer Mccartney Kessler(Florida) going out to No. 3 seed Karman Thandi of India 6-4, 7-5.

Kessler and Starodubtseva lost in the doubles final today, with the title going to Russia's Maria Kononova(North Texas) and Veronika Miroshnichenko(Loyola Marymount) 6-3, 2-6, 10-8.

The two American men in the semifinals at the $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Rochester New York lost today, with No. 2 seed Darian King of Barbados defeating qualifier Tyler Stice(Auburn) 6-1, 6-3 and top seed Ignacio Monzon of Argentina beating No. 6 seed AJ Catanzariti(Texas A&M) 7-6(2), 6-7(4), 6-1.

Top seeds Monzon and Juan Carlos Aguilar(Texas A&M/TCU) of Canada won the doubles title over the unseeded team of Stice and Miguel Angel Cabrera of Chile 7-6(3), 7-6(4).

Kayla Day[3] is through to the final of the $100,000 ITF World Tennis Tour event in Canada after she defeated another USTA National girls 18s champion, Ashlyn Krueger[2] 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 today. Day will play No. 5 seed Katherine Sebov, who won the all-Canadian semifinal with top seed Rebecca Marino 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Ivana and Carmen Corley(Oklahoma) lost in the doubles final to No. 2 seeds Marcela Zacarias and Renata Zarazua of Mexico 6-3, 6-3.

Saturday featured the first round of qualifying for the ATP 250 Atlanta Open after a lot of last minute shuffling of entries in the main draw. With Alex Michelsen and John Isner both reaching the semifinals in Newport, they were eligible for the two Special Exempt spots in the main draw. Isner had been a main draw wild card recipient, but he didn't need that, so it was awarded to NCAA champion Ethan Quinn(Georgia), who had been announced earlier as a recipient of a qualifying wild card. The other two main draw wild cards went to Georgia Tech's Andres Martin and Gael Monfils of France. 

Quinn has drawn former University of Illinois star Aleks Vukic of Australia as a first round opponent and Martin plays former Georgia Tech star and No. 5 seed Chris Eubanks, the recent Wimbledon quarterfinalist. Michelsen will have a first round rematch with Maxime Cressy(UCLA) whom he beat in the first round of Newport early this week.

Taylor Fritz and Alex de Minaur of Australia are the top two seeds.

Michael Mmoh, the top seed in qualifying, advanced to Sunday's final round with a 4-6, 7-6(8), 6-4 win over Tennys Sandgren(Tennessee). Mmoh is the only American to reach the final round of qualifying.

Tennis Recruiting Network has finished posting its recaps of the USTA Clay Court Championships; links to all eight articles can be found here.

Friday, July 21, 2023

Michelsen Defeats McDonald to Reach Semifinals of ATP 250 in Newport; Qualifier Kessler Reaches Evansville $60K Semis; Kingsley Advances in Both Singles and Doubles at Champaign $25K

Eighteen-year-old Alex Michelsen's breakout month continued today after last week's Chicago Challenger champion defeated No. 4 seed Mackenzie McDonald(UCLA) 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the semifinals of the ATP Infosys Hall of Fame Open in Newport Rhode Island
Michelsen's first serve percentage of 78 was one of the keys to his victory, and his backhand down the line also came through when he needed it. On grass, it's important to be able to finish at the net, and Michelsen also showed the touch that helped him to last year's Wimbledon boys doubles title. 

Next up for Michelsen, who has signed to play for the University of Georgia but is unlikely to attend the school, is Bulldog legend John Isner, who is 20 years older. Today Isner defeated top seed Tommy Paul, who had verbally committed to Georgia back in 2015 and had beaten UGA's NCAA champion Ethan Quinn in the second round, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) to advance to his first semifinal since February. Michelsen is now up to 152 in the ATP Live Rankings, after starting 2023 at 600.

Two French players will meet in the other semifinal, with No. 2 seed Adrian Mannarino facing No. 3 seed Ugo Humbert. 

Former North Carolina All-American William Blumberg is on track for his third consecutive Newport title, each with a different partner, having earn the 2021 title with Jack Sock in 2021 and Steve Johnson(USC) in 2022. Blumberg and partner Max Purcell of Australia, who are unseeded, will play the winner of Saturday's semifinal between top seeds Jackson Withrow(Texas A&M) and Nathaniel Lammons(SMU) and No. 3 seeds Saketh Myeni(Alabama) and Yuki Bhambri of India.

Former University of Florida All-American Mccartney Kessler, who completed her collegiate eligibility last year, has reached her first semifinal at the $60K level as a qualifier this week in Evansville Indiana. Kessler, who defeated No. 2 seed Sachia Vickery 1-6, 7-6(5), 6-0 in yesterday's second round, defeated No. 8 seed Ashley Lahey(Pepperdine) 6-1, 6-1 today. Kessler, who turned 24 earlier this month, faces No. 3 seed Karman Thandi of India, a 6-3, 6-3 winner today over wild card Allie Kiick, in Saturday's semifinals.  Top seed Madison Brengle plays No. 4 seed and Old Dominion All-American Yulia Starodubtseva of Ukraine in the other Evansville semifinal. Kessler has also advanced to the doubles final, partnering with Starodubtseva. They will face the also unseeded Russian pair of Maria Kononova(North Texas) and Veronika Miroshnichenko(Loyola Marymount) in Saturday's final.

Ohio State's Cannon Kinglsey, who has another year of eligibility should he choose to take it, is through to the singles and doubles finals at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Champaign Illinois. The 22-year-old from New York, seeded No. 5, defeated No. 4 seed Yuki Mochizuki of Japan 6-1, 6-3 in today's quarterfinals and will face top seed Evgeny Donskoy of Russia Saturday. Kingsley is the only American left in the draw, with the bottom half semifinal between No. 2 seed Aidan McHugh of Great Britain and No. 3 seed Naoki Nakagawa of Japan.

Kingsley and Ohio State rising sophomore Jack Anthrop will face Texas A&M's Noah Schachter and Trey Hilderbrand, the No. 2 seeds, in the all-American collegiate doubles final. 

At the $15,000 men's USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Rochester New York, two Americans have advanced to the semifinals: qualifier Tyler Stice(Auburn) and No. 6 seed AJ Catanzariti(Texas A&M). Catanzariti faces top seed Ignacio Monzon of Argentina Saturday, with Stice taking on No. 2 seed Darian King of Barbados, who ended the run of former UVA star and wild card Henrik Wiersholm with a three-hour 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 victory. Stice has also advanced to the doubles final, with partner Miguel Angel Cabrera of Chile.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Ngounoue, Brantmeier, 2022 Semifinalists Lead Field at USTA Girls 18s Nationals in San Diego; Williams, Blanch and Basavareddy Among Boys 18s Entries in Kalamazoo; Quarterfinals Set at European Championships

The acceptances for the USTA National Championships were released last week, with stellar fields, now consisting of 192 players, not 224, expected for both the girls 18 in San Diego and the boys 18s in Kalamazoo.

Wimbledon girls champion Clervie Ngounoue has entered this year; last year she was just returning from a long injury layoff and retired in the third round. UNC rising sophomore Reese Brantmeier, who reached the 18s final two years ago and was the top seed last year, is back for her final junior tournament; she won her first Pro Circuit singles title last week at the $15K in Lakewood California. 

Defending champion Eleana Yu, a rising freshman at Stanford, is back, but has played sparingly this year and is 1-6 in the six Pro Circuit tournaments she has competed in. Also returning is last year's finalist Valerie Glozman, the 2023 Easter Bowl champion, who hasn't played since claiming that title in April. The other two semifinalists in 2022, Stanford rising freshman Katherine Hui and Ariana Pursoo, are also back for 2023.

Other top players in the field currently are Iva Jovic, who is expected to be ready to compete after being unable to play at Roland Garros and Wimbledon due to injury, 2021 16s champion Tatum Evans, 2022 16s champion Alyssa Ahn, rising UNC freshman Thea Rabman, NC State rising freshman Maddy Zampardo, Alanis Hamilton, Shannon Lam and Aspen Schuman.

Mia Slama withdrew; Ashton Bowers, Valeria Ray and Alexia Harmon are not entered.

In the 16s, Clay Court champion Christina Lyutova and finalist Bella Payne have entered, along with Leena Friedman and Anita Tu. Orange Bowl 16s champion Alexis Nguyen is playing the 18s, as is 14-year-old Thea Frodin.

In Kalamazoo, defending champion Learner Tien is not on the acceptance list, although he would have received direct entry due to his ITF Junior ranking. He is expected to receive a wild card, with those decisions coming this weekend. Nicholas Godsick, the two-time defending Kalamazoo doubles champion, entered but will need a wild card, as he is way down on the alternates list.

The boys acceptances include Wimbledon semifinalist Cooper Williams, a rising freshman at Harvard, 2022 16s champion Darwin Blanch, a Roland Garros and Wimbledon semifinalist, Stanford All-American Nishesh Basavareddy, Wimbledon quarterfinalist Kaylan Bigun, Kyle Kang, Aidan Kim, Roy Horovitz, 2021 16s champion Alexander Razeghi, Trevor Svajda and 2023 Clay Court champion Zhengqing Ji, who was initially the first alternate, but is now in the main draw.

Due to the pandemic cancellation in 2020, and then injuries the past two years, Basavareddy has never played Kalamazoo, and he gave a walkover in today's second round match at the Champaign $25K, but fingers are crossed that he will be ready for his debut next month.

The boys 16s field includes Easter Bowl 18s champion Cassius Chinlund, Maxwell Exsted, Jagger Leach and ITF J300 Indian Wells champion Cooper Woestendick, who has made the 16s semifinals and quarterfinals the past two years. The top 15-year-olds making their Kalamazoo debuts are Keaton Hance, Jack Kennedy and Jack Secord.

The acceptances for the Boys 12s and 14s, in Mobile Alabama can be found here.  The entries for the  Girls 12s, in Peachtree Corners Georgia, is here. The field for the G14s, in Rome Georgia, is here.

The European Championships, which is an ITF J300 for the 18s, is played on clay in Klosters Switzerland, and those who played at Wimbledon last week had little time to make that transition with the way the two events fell on the calendar this year. Perhaps all the rain there this week was a blessing early, but now the three matches per day are necessary, when including doubles, and not many boys top seeds remain going into Friday's quarterfinals. 

B18s Quarterfinals

Patrick Schoen(SUI) v Kevin Edengren[6](SWE)
Joel Schwaerzler[3] v Andrii Zimnokh(UKR)
Lasse Poertner[10(GER) v Michal Krajci(SVK)
Sebastian Eriksson[11] v Tiago Pires(FRA)

G18s Quarterfinals

Nina Vargova[1](SVK) v Artemis Aslanisvili(GRE)
Marta Soriano Santiago(ESP) v Loes Ebeling Koning(NED)
Yarolava Bartashevich[10] v Rebeccae Munk Mortensen[3](DEN)
Ariana Geerlings(ESP) v Teodora Kostovic[2](SRB)

The European Championships for 14s are in Most Czech Republic, and many of them also had to transition quickly from grass to clay. 

Wimbledon U14 champion Mark Ceban of Great Britain and finalist Svit Suljic of Slovenia could meet in the semifinals, with Suljic not seeded this week. Girls U14 Wimbledon champion Luna Vujovic of Serbia is also not seeded, but has also reached the quarterfinals.

B14s Quarterfinals
Mark Ceban[1](GBR) v Tomas Krejci(CZE)
Svit Suljic(SLO) v Alberto Pulido Moreno(ESP)
Laurentiu Cristian Badea(ROU) v William Johan Kjellberg(SWE)
Daniel Jade[6](FRA) v Vuk Krstajick[14](MNE)

G14s Quarterfinals
Giulia Popa[1](ROU) v Lucie Slamenikova[8](CZE)
Luna Vujovic(SRB) v Luca Kalman(HUN)
Sara Oliveriusova[7](CZE) v Tamina Kochta(GER)
Dusica Popvski[12](SRB) v Anna Pircher[14](AUT)

Live streaming is available at Klosters; for that link, live scoring, draws and updates throughout the day, see the Tennis Europe site.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Tien Turns Pro; Michelsen Reaches Quarterfinals of ATP 250 in Newport; Will Champaign $25K Predict 2023 Kalamazoo Finalist, 2024 NCAA Champion? Osuigwe Sisters Meet in Evansville $60K First Round; Wiersholm Returns, Posts Win at Rochester $15K

Learner Tien announced on social media last night that he would not be returning to USC and will now pursue a career in professional tennis. The 17-year-old from Irvine California spent one semester as a Trojan, but played only ten matches due to a lengthy delay in his NCAA eligibility clearance. Tien won the Kalamazoo 18s title last summer, reached the 2023 Australian Open boys singles final and was AO boys doubles champion, and advanced to the semifinals of the Roland Garros junior championships last month.

Eighteen-year-old Alex Michelsen, who has been a training partner of Tien at Tier 1 Performance, has not yet announced that he will be turning pro, but that appears to be coming sooner rather than later after he advanced to the quarterfinals of the ATP 250 Infosys Hall of Fame Open in Newport Rhode Island. Michelsen, who has signed with the University of Georgia, defeated James Duckworth of Australia 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 and will face 2016 NCAA singles champion Mackenzie McDonald(UCLA), the No. 4 seed, Friday. Michelsen is now up to 165 in the ATP live rankings.

2023 NCAA champion Ethan Quinn(Georgia) lost his second round match to top seed Tommy Paul 6-4, 6-2.

The $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Champaign Illinois has developed an intriguing history over the past two years, with its champion reaching the Kalamazoo 18s final the next month, then winning the NCAA singles title the following May. This year's two players who can follow in the footsteps of Ben Shelton in 2021 and Ethan Quinn in 2022 are Nishesh Basavareddy, a rising sophomore at Stanford, who received a wild card into Champaign, and Aidan Kim, a rising freshman at Florida. Basavareddy beat Jack Anthrop(Ohio State) 6-4, 7-5 in his first round match today, Kim is playing No. 2 seed Aidan McHugh of Great Britain tonight. The top seed in Champaign is former ATP No. 65 Evgeny Donskoy of Russia.  Wild cards were awarded to Basavareddy and the University of Illinois's Hunter Heck, Karlis Ozolins and Kento Miyoshi.

The women's USTA Pro Circuit tournament this week is a $60,000 tournament in Evansville, where veterans Madison Brengle and Sachia Vickery are the top two seeds. 

Sixteen-year-old Victoria Osuigwe qualified yesterday, making it three $60Ks that she has qualified for this year, and was drawn to play her older sister, 2017 ITF World Junior champion Whitney. They had not played before in a sanctioned event, and it was Whitney who came away with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory. They are teamed up in doubles this week as well, losing their first round match tonight to Samantha Crawford and Allie Kiick 6-0, 7-5. 

ITA Player of the Year Fiona Crawley, a rising senior at North Carolina, received a wild card and defeated No. 5 seed Robin Anderson(5) 6-4, 6-1 in the first round. 

The other wild cards were awarded to Kiick, Crawford and Eleanor Myers(Kentucky). 

The third USTA Pro Circuit tournament this week is a men's $15,000 tournament in Rochester New York, with Ignacio Monzon of Argentina and Darian King of Barbados the top two seeds. 

One of the wild cards there went to Henrik Wiersholm, the 2012 Kalamazoo 16s champion who went on to star at the University of Virginia. Wiersholm, who had not played competitively in almost four years, defeated No. 5 seed Patrick Maloney(Michigan) 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in just over three hours. The other wild cards were awarded to Emmett Ward, Jordan Benjamin(Dayton) and Jelani Sarr, a rising freshman at South Carolina. Sarr defeated No. 8 seed Will Grant(Florida) 6-3, 3-6, 6-2; Miami rising freshman Yannick Rahman beat Benjamin 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(3) in another match exceeding three hours.

It's rare that a $15K doesn't feature any ITF Junior Reserve entries, but there were no ITF Top 100 juniors who entered in Rochester. Michigan State rising sophomore Ozan Baris received entry into Champaign via the ITF's Junior Exempt program, based on his Top 30 ITF junior ranking at the end of last year.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Michelsen and Quinn Get First ATP Wins at Hall of Fame 250 in Newport; Forbes Claims Singles and Doubles at ITF J200 in Mexico; Karnataki and Yakoff Win Back-to-Back Titles at Aruba J30s

Two days after Alex Michelsen claimed his first ATP Challenger title in Chicago, the 18-year-old from Southern California earned his first ATP main draw singles win on the grass of the ATP 250 Infosys Hall of Fame Open in Newport Rhode Island.

Michelsen, who is getting less likely to attend the University of Georgia with each milestone, defeated defending champion Maxime Cressy(UCLA) 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-5 in today's first round. Although I expect he'll get a US Open main draw wild card regardless, Michelsen is currently tied for first place with Steve Johnson(USC) in the USTA's US Open Wild Card Challenge, with four more weeks to go. Michelsen's next opponent is Australian James Duckworth.

Not to be outdone, NCAA singles champion Ethan Quinn(Georgia) won his first main draw ATP match in Newport, with the 19-year-old wild card defeating qualifier Mukund Sasikumar of India 6-3, 6-1 to move his ATP live ranking into the Top 400 for the first time. He will face top seed Tommy Paul in the second round.

The Atlanta Open, an ATP 250 tournament taking place next week, announced today that Quinn and Trent Bryde, who recently completed his eligibility at Georgia, have been awarded a main draw doubles wild card. Wimbledon breakout star Chris Eubanks, who was in qualifying for the Atlanta Open, has moved into the main draw. 

Former University of Illinois All-American Kevin Anderson, who retired last year, returned to competition this week with a wild card in Newport and won his first round match over former Kentucky star Gabriel Diallo of Canada 6-3, 6-2. My article from last year on Anderson's retirement for the Tennis Recruiting Network is here.

I didn't have an opportunity to acknowledge all the Americans who won ITF Junior Circuit titles two weeks ago, so I'm combining those with this week's list.

Matthew Forbes, a North Carolina recruit, won his first two titles on the ITF Junior Circuit, taking the singles and doubles at the J200 in Veracruz Mexico two weeks ago. The 17-year-old Forbes, who was unseeded, defeated top seed Ilyas Fahim of Morocco 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the singles final. Forbes and partner Maximus Dussault, who were unseeded, defeated No. 3 seeds Denny Bao of Canada and Rohan Belday 6-4, 6-3 in the final.

The girls doubles title went to No. 3 seeds and future UCLA Bruins Olivia Center and Kate Fakih, who defeated unseeded Riley Crowder and India's Krisha Mahendran of India 6-3, 6-2 in the final. 

Top seed Shannon Lam won the singles title at the J100 in the Dominican Republic last week, with the 15-year-old from New Jersey defeating No. 2 seed Mayaan Laron of Israel 6-4, 6-0 in the final. It's her first ITF Junior Circuit title. Eighteen-year-old Francesco Cordova won the boys singles title, with the No. 3 getting his third ITF Junior Circuit singles title when top seed Cesar Cruz of El Salvador retired trailing 4-6, 6-4 2-0.

Sixteen-year-old Aspen Schuman won the J100 in Vancouver Canada last week, her second ITF Junior Circuit title. The No. 8 seed defeated unseeded Eva Oxford 6-1, 6-3 in the all-US final.

At the J30s the past two weeks in Aruba, 17-year-old Stephanie Yakoff and 15-year-old Ajinkya Karnataki took the singles titles, the first for both on the ITF Junior Circuit.

Two weeks ago, top seed Yakoff defeated No. 2 seed Sarah Stoyanov 7-6(4), 6-0 in an all-US girls final, while the unseeded Karnataki beat No. 5 seed Gijs Fidler of Aruba 6-7(6), 6-1, 6-2. 

Last week, Yakoff, again the top seed, beat unseeded Rachel Secord in the final 6-1, 6-2. The unseeded Karnataki defeated unseeded William Secord 6-3, 6-2 for his tenth straight win this month.

Unseeded Rachel Secord and Gabriela Vilar won the doubles title, beating top seeds Yakoff and partner Ella Princiotta 6-3, 2-6, 10-5 in the final. 

At last week's J30 in Uruguay, Athena Rosas-Pacifico and Brazil's Gabriela Kawano Cho won the girls doubles title, with the top seeds beating No. 2 seeds Julia Caffarena of Argentina and Luiza Eidelvein of Brazil 6-4, 7-5 in the final. 

At last week's J30 in El Salvador, unseeded Lauren Tadoum and Yontha Tadoum took the girls doubles title, beating unseeded Alison Ramirez of Guatemala and Alyssa Sucrovich of Honduras 6-4, 6-1 in the final.

Monday, July 17, 2023

McNeil and Ji Take USTA Clay Court 18s Titles; Michelsen Wins Chicago Challenger; Brantmeier and Dostanic Close out SoCal Pro Series with First Pro Singles Titles; Americans Sweep at Dallas $25k

My onsite coverage of the Wimbledon Junior Championships has kept me from following the tennis going on in the United States as much as I would like, but I hope to catch up on that as well as the results from the ITF Junior Circuit.

The USTA National Clay Court Championships concluded yesterday, with the results of the singles and doubles finals listed below. Tennis Recruiting Network will have articles on all eight divisions beginning Tuesday with the 12s. (Update: the USTA has announced that 18s champions McNeil and Ji have received wild cards into the US Open Junior Championships with their titles).

USTA National Clay Court Championships

Singles final:
Dylan Meineke[1] d. Tristan Ascenzo[2] 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-4

Doubles final:
Adrian Sharma and Dylan Meineke[3] d. Sebastian Zavala and Tristan Ascenzo[5] 6-1, 6-4

Singles final:
Tanishk Konduri[5] d. Shaan Majeed[17] 6-0, 6-4

Doubles final:
Joseph Nau and Tanishk Konduri[1] d. Jerrid Gaines and Erik Schinnerer[7] 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(4)

Singles final:
Jack Satterfield[7] d. Ronit Karki[10] 7-6(7), 6-1

Doubles final:
Nicholas Patrick and Oliver Narbut[2] d. Tristan Stine and Sibi Raja[4] 7-5, 1-6 7-5

Singles final:
Zhengqing Ji[8] d. Cyrus Mahjoob[9] 6-4, 6-1

Doubles final:
Stiles Brockett and Cassius Chinlund d. Tygen Goldammer and Charlie Spencer[7] 7-5, 6-2

Singles final:
Daniela Davletshina[10] d. Sofia Kedrin[14] 7-5, 6-3

Doubles final:
Zoe Young and Olivia De Los Reyes[2] d. Juliana Diianni and Aleksandra Jerkunica 6-2, 6-2 

Singles final:
Janea Preston[8] d. Anna Bugaienko[1] 6-4, ret. inj.

Doubles final:
Sasha Miroshnichenko and Kennedy Drenser-Hagmann[1] d. Maria Navarro and Chelsea Casapu 6-1, 6-4

Singles final:
Christina Lyutova[1] d. Bella Payne[2] 2-6, 6-0, 6-3

Doubles final:
Reagan Mulberry and Carrington Brown d. Elena Zhao and Bella Payne 1-6, 6-3, 6-4

Singles final:
Christasha McNeil d. Claire Shao 6-4, 6-3

Doubles final:
Piper Charney and Jessica Bernales[2] d. Ahmani Guichard and Mia Yamakita 6-3, 6-4

Eighteen-year-old Alex Michelsen won his first Challenger title yesterday at the 75 level tournament in Chicago, finishing a third set of his semifinal with Jerry Shang of China in the morning, then beating unseeded Yuta Shimuzu of Japan 7-5, 6-2 in the final. It's looking increasingly unlikely that Michelsen will join the Georgia Bulldogs, now that he has broken into the Top 200 of the ITF rankings. For more on Michelsen's win, see this article from the ATP.

Mikelis Libietis of Latvia, the 2014 NCAA doubles champion at  Tennessee, and Skander Mansouri(Wake Forest) of Tunisia defeated top seeds Yunseong Chung of Korea and Andrew Harris(Oklahoma) of Australia 7-6(5), 6-3 in the doubles final.

The SoCal Pro Series wrapped up on Sunday, and the qualifying wild cards to the 2024 BNP Paribas Open were awarded, with 21-year-old Stefan Dostanic(USC) and 22-year-old Haley Giavara(Cal) booking their spots in Indian Wells next spring.

Dostanic won the final event of the seven-tournament circuit in Lakewood, his first pro title in singles. Seeded No. 3, Dostanic defeated last week's champion Andre Ilagan(Hawaii) 6-7(1), 6-2, 7-5 in the final.

No. 2 seed Giavara lost in the women's $15,000 tournament in Lakewood, to UNC rising sophomore Reese Brantmeier, 6-4, 6-4, but her title two weeks ago in Irvine helped her seal the wild card.

The 18-year-old Brantmeier, seeded No. 3, has two USTA Pro Circuit doubles titles, but yesterday's championship was her first in singles.

Brantmeier and teammate Fiona Crawley lost to Savannah Broadus(Pepperdine) and Anita Sahdiieva(Baylor/LSU) of Ukraine 6-3, 6-3 in the doubles final.

Ryan Seggerman(Princeton/UNC) and Patrick Trhac(Idaho State/Utah) won their second straight doubles title in Lakewook, beating No. 2 seeds Jack Anthrop and Bryce Nakashima(Ohio State) 7-5, 6-2 in the final.

For more on the Lakewood finals, see this article from SoCal Pro Series media aide Steve Pratt.

The fourth event last week on the USTA Pro Circuit was a men's $25,000 tournament in Dallas, with Mitchell Krueger taking the title. Seeded No. 2, Krueger defeated No. 4 seed Aidan Mayo 6-4, 6-0 in the final. 

No. 2 seeds George Goldhoff(Texas) and Tyler Zink(Georgia/Oklahoma State) defeated Matt Hulme(Nebraska) of Australia and Franco Ribero(Texas Tech) of Argentina 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 in the final.