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Thursday, September 14, 2023

Four Current Collegians Reach Champaign $15K Quarterfinals; Collins, Kenin Advance to San Diego WTA 500 Semifinals; USA Drops Davis Cup Match to Netherlands; UTR Pro Tennis Tour Update

Four current collegians are starting their fall season on a positive note on a college campus, although not in matches ITA rankings implications. But with their victories today at the $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Champaign Illinois, two members of the Fighting Illini, a Tennessee Volunteer and a freshman at Kentucky have earned two valuable ATP rankings points by reaching the quarterfinals. 

Illinois seniors Hunter Heck and Alexander Petrov, both unseeded, picked up wins, with Heck reaching his first $15K quarterfinal with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Axel Nefve(Notre Dame/Florida), and Petrov advancing to his second $15K quarterfinal with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over qualifier Gabriele Brancatelli(Purdue/Tenn/Georgia Tech). 

Both 21-year-olds are in bottom half quarterfinals; Heck will play Will Grant(Florida) while Petrov takes on former Illinois standout Zeke Clark, the No. 2 seed.

In the top half quarterfinals, No. 1 seed Liam Draxl of Canada, who left Kentucky this spring with one year of eligibility remaining, needed three hours and 34 minutes to get past qualifier Perry Gregg(Holy Cross) 6-2, 6-7(4), 7-5. Draxl will face recent Michigan graduate Patrick Maloney, one of five unseeded players in the quarterfinals. 

Tennessee junior Shinsuke Mitsui of Japan, the No. 4 seed, also had a lengthy match, beating Cornell junior Adit Sinha 6-4 3-6, 7-5 in three hours and 5 minutes. Mitsui will face Kentucky freshman Jack Loutit of New Zealand, who has reached three $15K quarterfinals and a semifinal since last year, was not among the ITA's ten top newcomers for this season.

Danielle Collins(Virginia) advanced to her second WTA semifinal this year, and her first at the 500 level, this afternoon in San Diego, defeating No. 2 seed Caroline Garcia of France 6-2, 6-3. Collins also reached the semifinals of the San Diego tournament last year. She will play the winner of tonight's match between No. 7 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil and No. 4 seed Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic. 

Sofia Kenin has reached her first semifinal since January, defeating Anastasia Potopova of Russia 6-2, 6-3. Kenin will play the winner of tonight's match between qualifier Emma Navarro(Virginia) and No. 3 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece.

The United States Davis Cup team lost to the Netherlands 2-1 today in Croatia, with Tommy Paul falling to Botic van de Zandschulp 7-6(2) 6-2 at No. 2 singles and Frances Tiafoe losing for the second straight day at No. 1 singles, to Tallon Greikspoor 6-3, 6-7(7), 7-6(3).  Rajeev Ram and Austin Krajicek salvaged a point for the USA in doubles, which is important for qualification scenarios, beating Wesley Koolhof and Matwe Middelkoop 6-7(5), 7-6(3), 6-3. The USA has Friday off, with its last match on Saturday, against Finland. According to the USTA's release, "Many qualification scenarios remain in play."

Croatia plays Finland on Friday, with both teams currently 0-1.

Defending champion Canada continued its impressive results, without their top players, taking down Sweden 3-0. Former Kentucky All-American Gabe Diallo defeated Elias Ymer 6-4, 6-3 at No. 1 singles to clinch the win, with former NC State All-American Alexis Galaraneau partnering with Vasek Pospisil for a doubles victory. Canada, now 2-0 in its group, plays Chile on Saturday and will advance to November's quarterfinals with a win.

It's been some time since I provided an update of the UTR Pro Tennis Tour, but you can see from most of the names that current collegians have been busy on this circuit since July, several winning tournaments on their own campuses.

Men's results:

July 30 Boca Raton FL
Sebastian Gorzny d. Oscar Brown 7-5, 6-3

August 7 Newport Beach CA
Karue Sell d. Constantinos Djakouris 6-1, 6-3

August 14 Columbus OH
Anuj Watane d. Eric Li 6-4, 4-6, 6-4

August 14 Waco TX
Oskar Poulsen d. Matthis Ross 6-4, 7-6(5)

August 21 College Station TX
Raphael Perot d. Giulio Perego 6-2, 6-4

August 21 Newport Beach CA
Hugo Hashimoto d. Alessandro Ventre 6-2, 7-5

August 27 Knoxville TN
Angel Diaz d. Jose Garcia 6-3, 6-3

August 28 Denver CO
Daniel Sancho Arbizu d. Theodore Dean 36, 6-3, 6-4

September 3 Winston-Salem NC
Keegan Smith d. Luciano Tacchi 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

September 3 Fort Worth TX
Pedro Vives Marcos d. Jack Pinnington Jones 6-4, 6-1

Women's results:

August 6 Boca Raton
Rachel Gailis d. Alexia Harmon 6-1, 6-1

August 14 Columbus OH
Irina Cantos Siemers d. Luciana Perry 6-0, 6-3

August 21 College Station TX
Mia Kupres d. Daria Smetannikov 6-1, 6-2

August 27 Knoxville TN
Maria Sholokhova d. Victoria Allen 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-3

August 28 Denver CO
Victoria Rodriguez d. Maureen Slattery 6-2, 6-4

September 3 Winston-Salem NC
Jessie Aney d. Casie Wooten 7-5, 6-2

September 4 Los Angeles CA
Veronika Miroshnichenko d. Hanna Chang 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-3