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Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Qualifier Anderson Moves on at Dow Tennis Classic; Kingsley Defeats Michelsen at Charlottesville Challenger; Qualifying Complete at USTA Pro Circuit $15Ks; US Junior Davis Cup Team Wins Again; ITA National Fall Championships Begin Wednesday

My brief visit to the WTA 125 Dow Tennis Classic in Midland ended today, and my drive home was just like old times, when the tournament, then an ITF event, was held in February. Snow on Halloween isn't all that rare in Michigan, but heavy accumulation is, and several stretches of the trip were indistinguishable from a January blizzard.

I did get to see Ashlyn Krueger play her first round match, with the 19-year-old Texan back to working with Michael Joyce. Krueger, who won her first WTA tournament last month in Tokyo looked sharp against qualifier Vavara Lepchenko, who at 37, has been playing pro tennis since before Krueger was born. Lepchenko returned well and was in most of the points, but missed more routine shots than Krueger. Krueger's considerable power is always impressive to watch, but her best shot of the match might have been on her second set point serving at 5-1 in the first. Down two break points, Krueger was hitting her deep and penetrating ground strokes, despite the score, so her drop shot caught Lepchenko completely off guard, barely able to take a step before the point was over.

Lepechenko told the chair she felt ill, and after the first game, when she dropped serve at love, a medical timeout led to a quick retirement. 

Krueger will face Katherine Sebov of Canada in the second round, after Sebov defeated qualifier Lulu Sun(Texas) of Switzerland 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in two hours and 34 minutes. Sun served for the match at 5-4, but after five consecutive breaks of serve previously, it was no surprise that she was broken, losing four straight points after taking a 15-0 lead in the game. Sebov finally ended the series of breaks with a hold, then broke Sun, who had a game point for a tiebreaker, with some excellent returning.

No. 4 seed Taylor Townsend got off to a slow start, but recovered to beat Raluka Serban 1-6, 6-3, 6-2. Townsend didn't serve well in the opening set and couldn't find the range on her groundstrokes, but eventually her variety and spins proved too much for the 26-year-old from Cyprus.

Wild card Katrina Scott, 19, won a three-hour marathon with Renata Zarazua of Mexico 7-6(8), 4-6, 6-2; she will play the winner of Wednesday's first round match between Mccartney Kessler(Florida) and No. 7 seed Emina Bektas(Michigan). Bektas is in Midland, after winning the WTA 125 in Tampico Mexico Sunday night; she practiced today at the Greater Midland Tennis Center.

With Victoria Hu's 7-5, 7-5 loss to Hailey Baptiste, only one qualifier remains, but that is a formidable one.  Robin Anderson(UCLA), who reached the Midland final in 2016 and 2021, defeated Elvina Kalieva 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the second round, where she'll play the winner of Wednesday first round match between top seed Emma Navarro(Virginia) and lucky loser Chloe Beck(Duke). Baptiste's second round opponent is No. 2 seed Peyton Stearns, who was named to the United States Billie Jean King Cup team today, replacing Madison Keys.

With my trip to Midland, I didn't have much time to follow the qualifying for the ATP Challenger 75 in Charlottesville Virginia, but noted that two of the qualifiers, 2023 NCAA champion Ethan Quinn(Georgia), and Virginia senior Inaki Montes of Spain, won their first round matches today. Quinn defeated Mitchell Krueger 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-4, while Montes saved three match points late in the third set to beat No. 6 seed Adam Walton(Tennessee) of Australia 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(4).

Cannon Kingsley(Ohio State) earned his best win on the Pro Circuit today in Charlottesville, defeating No. 2 seed Alex Michelsen 7-5, 6-3. Kingsley is taking the fall off to play professional tournaments, but has a fifth season of eligibility remaining, so he can return to the Buckeyes in January. He has improved from 560 to his current live ATP ranking of 419 since the end of the 2022-23 school year. Kingsley's second round opponent in Charlottesville will be Brandon Holt(USC), who defeated another former Trojan, Emilio Gomez of Ecuador, 6-2, 6-2.

Martin Damm ended the Challenger winning streak of No. 4 seed Zachary Svajda, who had won the previous two Challengers in the United State. The 20-year-old lefthander, who won the Kalamazoo 16s title in 2018, beat the two-time Kalamazoo 18s champion 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(3) in first round action Monday.

The other two USTA Pro Circuit tournaments this week are $15,000 events, with the women in Norman Oklahoma and the men in Fayetteville Arkansas

Americans qualifying today in Norman include, three juniors: 14-year-old twins Annika and Kristina Penickova and 15-year-old Alexis Nguyen. Three more juniors received ITF Junior Reserved spots in the main draw: Alexia Harmon, Ashton Bowers and Tatum Evans. Evans is already through to the second round, beating Sophia Biolay(UCF) of France 7-5, 6-2 today. Fifteen-year-old Shannon Lam got into the main draw on her own ranking.

Wild cards were given to Amiya Bowles, a blue chip high school sophomore from Ohio, and three Oklahoma players: junior Emma Staker, sophomore Julia Garcia Ruiz of Mexico, and UCLA transfer, junior Ava Cantanzarite.

The top seed in Norman is Jessica Failla(USC/Pepperdine), who won her first round match today, beating Tiziana Rossini of Argentina 6-1, 6-2.

In Fayetteville, the American qualifiers are Jake Van Emburgh(Oklahoma/Ohio State), Tyler Stice(Auburn) and Alex Petrov(Illinois). Keshav Chopra(Georgia Tech) received a lucky loser spot in the main draw.

Three Arkansas players received wild cards: sophomore Benedikt Emesz of Austria, sophomore Gerard Planelles Ripoll of Spain and senior Melvin Manuel of France. Morgan State junior Mikeal Carpenter received the fourth wild card. 

Junior reserved spots went to Vanderbilt recruit Danil Panarin of Russia and Kaylan Bigun. 

There is no No. 1 seed after a late withdrawal. Duarte Vale(Florida) of Portugal, a finalist at the Norman $15K last week, is the No. 2 seed in Fayetteville.

The US Junior Davis Cup team won their second round robin group match in Spain, by the same 3-0 score as the first, beating Thailand today. Jagger Leach played No. 2 singles today, defeating Teerapat Khantiweerawat 6-3, 7-5. Darwin Blanch beat Phopthum Sriwong 6-1, 6-3 at No. 1 singles followed by Leach and Maxwell Exsted's 6-1, 6-0 win over Khantiweerawat and Sriwong in doubles. The final match in the USA's round robin group is against Japan, which is 1-1, as is Canada. The US will likely advance regardless of the outcome of their match with Japan, as the top two teams make the quarterfinals and the US can finish no worse than 2-1.

I finally found the usual Junior Davis Cup results site. The Live Scoring site also has team and individual results for each day. Live streaming can be found here.

The ITA National Fall Championships begin tomorrow in San Diego with Arizona State's Murphy Cassone and Miami's Alexa Noel the top seeds. Draws are available by clicking on the headings.

1. Murphy Cassone, Arizona State
2. JJ Tracy, Ohio State
3. Micah Braswell, Texas
4. Michael Zheng, Columbia
5. Ozan Baris, Michigan State
5. Jack Pinnington Jones, TCU
5. Peter Makk, USC
5. Colton Smith, Arizona

1. Alex Noel, Miami
2. Reese Brantmeier, North Carolina
3. Ange Oby Kajuru, Oklahoma State
4. Ayana Akli, South Carolina
5. Anastasiya Komar, Oklahoma State
5. Kari Miller, Michigan
5. Irina Cantos Siemers, Ohio State
5. Sarah Hamner, South Carolina

1. Hunter Heck and Karlis Ozolins, Illinois
2. Robert Cash and JJ Tracy, Ohio State
3. Ozan Baris and Max Sheldon, Michigan State
4. Andrew Zhang and Michael Heller, Duke
5. Tyler Zink and Isaac Becroft, Oklahoma State
5. Dhakshineswar Suresh and Holden Koons, Wake Forest
5. Nikola Slavic and Lukas Engelhardt, Mississippi
5. Pedro Vives and Sebastian Gorzny, TCU

1. Elizabeth Scotty and Reese Brantmeier, North Carolina
2. Janice Tjen and Savannah Broadus, Pepperdine
3. Kari Miller and Jaedan Brown, Michigan
4. Dana Guzman and Alina Shcherbinina, Oklahoma
5. Metka Komac and Avelina Sayfetdinova, Texas Tech
5. Melodie Collard and Annabelle Xu, Virginia
5. Ange Oby Kajuru and Anastasiya Komar, Oklahoma State
5. Eryn Cayetano and Emma Charney, Southern California

Play begins at noon Eastern at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego. Links to live streaming and Cracked Racquets CrossCourt coverage can be found on the ITA event page.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Hu Qualifies for Dow Tennis Classic WTA 125, Stearns Blanks Fatigued Opponent to Advance to Second Round; US Junior Davis Cup Team Opens with Win; Women's AO Wild Card Challenge Remains Undecided

©Colette Lewis 2023--
Midland Michigan

When players are coming from Chile, Mexico and Texas, the chances the draw will need a last minute shuffle increases with every passing hour and the WTA 125 Dow Tennis Classic had plenty of adjustments to make, beginning with the withdrawal of Elli Mandlik before qualifying began Sunday, which moved top qualifying seed Yulia Starodubtseva(Old Dominion) of Ukraine into the main draw. 

After qualifying began Sunday, but before the first main draw match Monday, Kayla Day, a finalist Sunday's Tyler Texas $80K, withdrew. Day's spot as the No. 6 seed was taken by Emiliana Arango of Colombia, who was the next highest ranked player in the draw, vacating her position as No. 2 seed Peyton Stearns' opponent in this afternoon's first round match. By rule, Arango's replacement had to be a lucky loser, not a qualifier, so until all the qualifying matches were completed and the lucky losers ranked, Stearns wouldn't know her new opponent. 

And the final qualifying match was a doozy, with Victoria Hu defeating 18-year-old left-hander Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 45 minutes of high quality tennis.

Hu, a 21-year-old from Massachusetts, had a set point with Jimenez Kasintseva serving at 4-5 in the first set, but after yet another long and physically demanding rally, Jimenez Kasintseva saved it and held. The subsequent tiebreaker was close throughout, with neither player leading by more than a point, but at 6-all, the teenager cracked a forehand pass, for 7-6, then forced a defensive lob from Hu that went just long. 

Jimenez Kasintseva went up 3-1 in the second set, but Hu didn't waiver in her commitment to aggressive tennis and she won the next three games to go up 4-3. Hu gave up that advantage, but broke again for a 5-4 lead, with Jimenez Kasintseva double faulting three times in the eighth game, and Hu accepted that gift, holding to level the match.

Jimenez Kasintseva had begun to show signs of cramping, which began to affect her serve, and several times she fell to the baseline after a serve, although she never had difficulty getting  back up. She was broken in the fifth game, when the inability to push off her right leg was most noticeable, and Hu did not let her back in, holding for 4-2 and 5-3. Hu wasn't quite as consistent as she had been in the late stages of the second set, but with Jimenez Kasintseva struggling physically, Hu managed to keep her nose in front. 

Yet when it came time to close out one of the best wins of her career, Hu brought out her best tennis, getting all four first serves in, including two aces, winning the always tough final game at love.

"That last game is what I'm working for," said Hu, who lost in the quarterfinals of the Tyler $80K on Friday and travelled to Midland Saturday to play the first round of qualifying on Sunday. "I'm really trying to focus on my serve, my first serve, and constructing the point from that. In that last game, just staying committed to big serves, setting up the point, and obviously that paid off."

Hu showed no signs of fatigue, even late in the match after yet another bruising rally, but she had sympathy for what Jimenez Kasintseva was going through.

"I think she was cramping, and I feel bad for her, you could see how she was struggling on the serve," Hu said. "She can't take a medical for that. But I'm feeling pretty good actually. I've played a lot of three setters in the last couple of weeks, so I'm feeling physically pretty good right now."

Hu, who attended Princeton for one year before turning pro after the 2021-22 season, noted the similarities and the differences in the traveling she did then and what she's experiencing now.

"We played a lot of away matches the year I played," Hu said. "There was a lot of one day traveling, practicing, playing matches then coming back, a weekend schedule. That kind of prepared me for being on the road, away from home a lot. But the biggest difference is I loved the team environment, and I miss it."

Hu credits that year at Princeton with helping her figure out who she wanted to be on the court.

"I was a really shy person prior to going to school," Hu said. "And I really found my character when I was at Princeton. I'm not afraid to go after the ball, I'm not afraid to speak my mind. I have a good bond with my dad (her coach), because my teammates aren't here. Tennis is such a lonely sport and traveling like this you don't feel you get a lot of support from a lot of people, which is the biggest difference coming from Princeton."

Hu will face Hailey Baptiste in a first round match Tuesday.

Shortly after Jimenez Kasintseva left the court, she learned she was the lucky loser who would play Stearns later that evening. After two hours rest, Jimenez Kasintseva did play the match, but was obviously not in any condition physically to compete, and Stearns steamrolled to a 6-0, 6-0 win in 44 minutes.

In addition to Hu, the other three qualifiers were Varvara Lepchenko, who beat Jana Kolodynska of Belarus 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-3; Lulu Sun(Texas) of Switzerland, who defeated Louisa Chirico 6-1, 6-1 and two-time Midland finalist Robin Anderson(UCLA), who beat Chloe Beck(Duke)  6-4, 6-1 in front of several busloads of local Midland schoolchildren in the Stadium Court stands.  Beck also got into the main draw as a lucky loser, with Sachia Vickery pulling out after qualifying had begun. Beck was drawn to face friend and former junior doubles partner Emma Navarro, the top seed, who has already made her way to Midland on Monday and practiced at the site, after winning the $80,000 tournament in Tyler Sunday night.

In the three other main draw matches played today, No. 3 seed Alycia Parks defeated Ann Li 6-1, 6-2, Starodubtseva beat wild card Sophie Chang 3-6, 6-1, 6-0 and Carole Monnet of France advanced when Iryna Shymanovich of Belarus retired after losing the first set 6-4.

Shymanovich and Conny Perrin of Switzerland, the No. 2 seeds in doubles, where set to play wild cards Beck and Ellie Coleman(Duke), but Shymanovich's injury gave Beck and Coleman a walkover into the second round.

Tuesday's schedule, which includes eight first round singles and three first round doubles matches, can be found here.

The first day of matches is complete at the Junior Davis Cup in Spain, with the United States beating Canada 3-0 in round robin play. Maxwell Exsted beat Mikael Arseneault 7-5, 6-0 at No. 2 singles; Darwin Blanch defeated Nicolas Arseneault 6-1, 6-4 at No. 1 singles and Exsted and Jagger Leach beat Mikael Arseneault and Adam Faragcao 6-2, 6-1 in doubles.

The US plays Thailand on Tuesday, with Japan the fourth team in their group. 

Links to the live scoring and live streaming are here. Results from previous days can be found by accessing the live scoring.

The USTA published the latest Australian Open Wild Card Challenge rankings and the top three women are all likely to get in on their own ranking, so what happens this week in Midland could decide the recipient. This is the final week of the women's five-week window.

The men have completed just one week of their four-week window.

Women's Standings (current live WTA ranking)

1. Emina Bektas (82) -- 271
2. Kayla Day (87) -- 112
3. Claire Liu (94) -- 110
4. Mccartney Kessler (231) -- 100
5. Katie Volynets (109) -- 71
6. Jennifer Brady (224) -- 65

Men's Standings

1. Brandon Nakashima (151) -- 9
2. Kyle Kang (668) -- 8

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Tien, Jin, Holmgren and Navarro Earn USTA Pro Circuit Titles; Five Americans Advance WTA 125 Dow Tennis Classic Qualifying; Junior Davis Cup Begins Monday in Spain

Top seed Learner Tien captured his second $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit title today in Norman Oklahoma, with the two-time Kalamazoo 18s champion defeating No. 2 seed Duarte Valle of Portugal 7-6(6), 6-2. The 17-year-old, who played briefly at USC this past spring, won his first title in July in his hometown of Irvine California; this title was definitely less comfortable for him, being indoors, and he struggled in his opening round match, winning it in a third-set tiebreaker. 

In today's final, Tien trailed 4-1 in the first set, then 6-2 in the first tiebreaker, but won six straight points to steal the set from the former University of Florida All-American. Up a break 1-0 in the second set, Tien lost it and was serving at 1-2, 0-30 when he found another level; he hit many and varied winners in the next five games and closed out the match with yet another one for the title. 

A top-seeded teenager also won the $15,000 men's Pro Circuit tournament in Tallahassee Florida, with Australian Jeremy Jin, a freshman at Florida, needing nearly two hours to defeat No. 8 seed Felix Corwin(Minnesota) 7-5, 6-3. It's Jin's first ITF men's World Tennis Tour title.

San Diego's 2022 NCAA singles finalist August Holmgren won the $25,000 men's Pro Circuit tournament in Harlingen Texas, with the 25-year-old from Denmark, seeded No. 2, defeating French qualifier Raphael Perot, a senior at Texas A&M 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-1 in today's final. It's the third career singles title for Holmgren, and the second at the $25K level.

The third top seed to claim a title on the USTA Pro Circuit this week is Emma Navarro, who won the $80,000 women's tournament in Tyler Texas with a 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 2 seed Kayla Day, overcoming a mid-match rain disruption that forced a move indoors to SMU's facility at 1-1 in the second set. The 2021 NCAA champion as a freshman at Virginia, Navarro now has won four ITF women's events this year, at every level above the $15K, but this is her first career pro title not on clay. Navarro is now into the WTA Top 40 for the first time.

Emina Bektas, the former University of Michigan star, won her biggest title this evening at the WTA 125 in Tampico Mexico, with the No. 6 seed beating No. 4 seed Anna Kalinskaya of Russia 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(3). Bektas will move just outside the Top 80 and will not have to worry about the final week of the USTA's Australian Open Wild Card Challenge, as she'll be in the main draw without it now. 

Navarro, Day and Bektas are all expected this week here at the WTA 125 Dow Tennis Classic in Midland Michigan, where I spent the day watching qualifying. I had anticipated that one of the three might withdraw after they made the finals, but as of today at least, they are all still expected. Elli Mandlik, who lost to Kalinskaya last night in the semifinals, did withdraw, and Yulia Starodubtseva of Ukraine, who was the No. 1 seed in qualifying moved into the main draw, with alternate Tori Kinard, ranked 919, taking her place.

So wild card Chloe Beck(Duke), scheduled to face No. 172 Starodubtseva, played Kinard instead, and I arrived in time to see the final few games. Beck, now 449 in the WTA rankings, won the first set in a tiebreaker and served for the match at 5-4 in the second set, but played a poor game to get broken at love. She broke again in the next game and made good on her second chance to close out the 7-6(5), 7-5 victory.

Beck will play former UCLA star Robin Anderson, a two-time Dow Tennis Classic finalist, who is the No. 8 seed in qualifying. Anderson and Dalayna Hewitt went the distance, with Anderson pulling out a 7-6(7), 4-6, 7-5 win.

Following Beck on the Meredith McGrath Stadium Court was Beck's former Duke teammate and Midland resident Ellie Coleman, who is now a junior in Durham. She was taking on No. 4 seed Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra, the 2020 Australian Open girls champion and is still only 18 years old. Coleman was obviously nervous to start and was doing way too much defending, dropping the first set 6-2, but she loosened up in the second set and played much more aggressively, while Jimenez Kasintseva lost her rhythm on serve and made errors early in the rallies to lose the second set 6-0.  Coleman lost her serve at 2-2 in the third and Jimenez Kasintseva was able to hold in her next two service games, breaking Coleman at love to take the third set 6-3.

Victoria Hu, the former Princeton standout, beat an out of sorts Ashley Lahey, the 2018 NCAA singles finalist at Pepperdine, 6-3 6-4 and will face Jimenez Kasintseva in Monday's final round of qualifying. 

Jana Kolodynska of Belarus and Catherine Harrison(UCLA) combined for one of the most entertaining matches of the day, with long rallies that ran the gamut: laser-like winners, changeup slices, swinging volleys and drop shots, with an occasional ace or return winner thrown in for good measure. Harrison was up 4-3 and serving and had three game points, but No. 2 seed Kolodynska converted her third break point for 4-all, then held and broke for a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 victory. She will face 37-year-old Varvara Lepchenko, who beat No. 6 seed Grace Min 6-2, 6-3. 

The fourth qualifying match Monday will feature No. 5 seed Louisa Chirico and No. 3 seed Lulu Sun of Switzerland. Chirico outlasted Whitney Osuigwe 7-6(8), 2-6, 6-3, coming from 6-3 down in the first set tiebreaker, while Sun, the former Texas Longhorn star, cruised past compatriot Connie Perrin 6-2, 6-1 in just 49 minutes.

Main draw matches will also begin Monday, with four first round matches in singles and two main draw doubles matches. No. 2 seed Peyton Stearns is in action against Emiliana Arango of Colombia, with No. 3 seed Alycia Parks and Ann Li in an all-US contest. Starodubtseva will play wild card Sophie Chang.

Doubles wild cards Beck and Coleman will play No. 2 seeds Perrin and Iryna Shymanovich of Belarus, while Osuigwe and Hailey Baptiste will face former UCLA teammates Anderson and Harrison.

The Junior Davis Cup begins Monday in Cordoba Spain, with round robin play for the 16 teams who qualified, including the United States. The US team consists of Darwin Blanch, Maxwell Exsted and Jagger Leach, with Sylvain Guichard the USTA National Coach serving as captain. In a departure from the usually concurrent events, the Junior Billie Jean King Cup is the following week.

I did not receive the email I usually get regarding the draws, and I don't see them posted on the ITF website. There is a live stream available at the ITF YouTube Channel.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Lyutova, Karki, Ganesan and Frodin Win Second Consecutive ITF Junior Circuit Singles Titles; Tien Advances to Norman $15K Final; Dow Tennis Classic WTA 125 Draws Released

Christina Lyutova of Russia, who last lost a match in March, continued her winning streak by capturing her second straight J60 title in the United States at this week's J60 in Atlanta Georgia.  The 13-year-old, who won the USTA 16s Clay Courts and 16s Hard Courts this summer, claimed the J60 title in Corpus Christi last month, and now has won either 35, 39, or 45 consecutive matches, depending on whether Core Tennis, Tennis Recruiting Network or UTR is the source for her results.

Unseeded this week, Lyutova's toughest match, a 6-3, 6-2 quarterfinal win over top seed Anita Tu, was a rematch of the San Diego Girls 16s final in August. Lyutova had saved match points to claim that one 2-6, 7-5, 6-1; this week she lost a total of 14 games in six matches. Lyutova, who trains in Bellevue Washington, defeated wild card Sarah Ye, No. 2 to Lyutova's No. 1 in the Tennis Recruiting Class rankings for 2028, 6-1, 6-1 in today's final.

Fifteen-year-old Ronit Karki also won a second straight J60 title in Atlanta, after claiming his first career ITF Junior Circuit title earlier this month in the Dominican Republic. Karki, the No. 3 seed, beat No. 2 seed Nathan Blokhin 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the semifinals and in today's final, defeated No. 12 seed and Kalamazoo 16s finalist Lachlan Gaskell 6-4, 6-1.

Gaskell and partner Jack Satterfield claimed the boys doubles title, with the unseeded pair defeating No. 3 seeds Anirudh Dhanwada and John Patrick Popowich 6-7(5), 6-4, 10-8 in the all-US final.

No. 8 seeds Ava Rodriguez and Sara Shumate won the girls doubles title, beating No. 7 seeds Anna Bennett and Lucia Donnelly 2-6, 6-4, 10-5.

At the J100 in Hong Kong, Cornell freshman (in January) Adhithya Ganesan won his second straight title, following the J200 title he won in Japan last week. Top seed Ganesan, who turned 18 on Tuesday, defeated No. 4 seed Connor Church of Canada 6-4, 6-2 in the final. 

Tianmei Wang, the reigning 18s USTA Winter Nationals champion, won the girls title in Hong Kong, and added the doubles title as well. The 16-year-old Californian, seeded No. 3, defeated No. 6 seed Emiliia Kats of Russia 6-4, 6-4 in the final for her third ITF Junior Circuit singles title. Wang and partner Dune Vaissaud of France, the top seeds, defeated No. 4 seeds Yu-Chen Lin of Taiwan and Jinshu Xia of China 6-3, 6-3 for the doubles title, Wang's first on the ITF Junior Circuit.

Fourteen-year-old Thea Frodin won a second straight J100 in Mexico, breezing through the draw as the top seed. Frodin defeated unseeded Addison Yang Comiskey of Canada 6-1, 6-3, with the three games in the second set the most Frodin lost in any of her matches this week. Fifteen-year-old Jack Secord, the No. 5 seed, won his second and biggest ITF Junior Circuit title in Mexico, defeating No. 2 seed Jack Kennedy 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in the final. Secord defeated top seed Cesar Cruz of El Salvador, last week's Mexico J100 winner, also over Kennedy, in the semifinals.

Learner Tien is the last junior with a chance to win a USTA Pro Circuit title this week, with the 17-year-old top seed reaching the final at the $15,000 tournament in Norman Oklahoma after a retirement by qualifier Ryan Fishback, a senior at Virginia Tech. Tien, who was the beneficiary of a retirement in the quarterfinals, trailed 5-3, with Fishback serving for the set, but won it 7-6(3), and after taking the first game of the second set, Fishback retired with a blister. (The tiebreaker score is incorrect on the USTA Pro Circuit and ITF website. They show 7-6(0), but Cracked Racquets is covering the final two days of the tournament and Alex Gruskin provided the point by point coverage of it: https://www.youtube.com/live/ldSa_ugNa4k?feature=shared&t=9570) at ~2:38 mark). 

Tien's opponent in the final is No. 2 seed Duarte Valle(Florida) of Portugal, who defeated unseeded 18-year-old Vanderbilt recruit Danil Panarin of Russia 6-4, 7-6(8).

The doubles title went to the second-seeded North Carolina State team of Robin Catry of France and Fons Van Sambeek of the Netherlands, who beat top seeds Matias Soto(Baylor) of Chile and Mark Whitehouse of Great Britain 6-3, 6-4 in today's final. It's the second title for the senior Catry and first for the junior Van Sambeek.

Cracked Racquets will have coverage of the final beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern on their YouTube channel.

Stanford freshman Kyle Kang lost his semifinal match at the $25,000 tournment in Harlingen Texas, with 2022 NCAA singles finalist August Holmgren(San Diego) of Denmark taking a 6-4, 7-5 decision. Holmgren will play Texas A&M senior Raphael Perot of France, a qualifier, in Sunday's final. 

Top seeds Ozan Baris(Michigan State) and Garrett Johns(Duke) won the doubles title, defeating No. 3 seeds Keshav Chopra and Andres Martin, teammates at Georgia Tech, 6-4, 5-7, 10-8. Baris and Johns have now won three $25K titles on the USTA Pro Circuit since June.

At the $15,000 tournament in Tallahassee, University of Florida freshman Jeremy Jin of Australia, the top seed, will take on No. 8 seed Felix Corwin(Minnesota) for the singles title Sunday. Jin defeated No. 6 seed Patrick Maloney(Michigan) 6-3, 6-2, while Corwin beat Florida State junior James Connel of Great Britain 6-4, 7-5. 

No. 2 seeds Maloney and Emile Hudd(Oklahoma State/Tennessee) won the doubles title, beating No. 4 seeds Thomas Brown and Axel Nefve(Notre Dame/Florida) 6-3, 6-3 in Friday evening's final.

It will be No. 1 versus No. 2 in the final of the $80,000 USTA women's Pro Circuit tournament in Tyler Texas, with Emma Navarro(Virginia) taking on Kayla Day. Navarro, the top seed, defeated Allie Kiick 6-1, 6-2, while Day ended the run of South Carolina fifth-year Ayana Akli, a qualifier, 6-2, 7-5.

The women's doubles final was an all-NC State affair, with current Wolfpack teammates Abigail Rencheli and Great Britain's Amelia Rajecki defeating former Wolfpack teammates Anna Rogers and Alana Smith[2] 7-5, 4-6, 16-14 in tonight's final.

Navarro is still expected to compete in next week's Dow Tennis Classic, the WTA 125 in Midland Michigan, where the 2021 NCAA singles champion will be the top seed.  Day is also in the draw, and is seeded No. 6. 

Peyton Stearns(Texas) who lost in the first round in the Tampico WTA 125 this week, is the No. 2 seed.

Qualifying begins tomorrow and I will be there in the afternoon for qualifying matches and then all day Monday for main draw and the final round of qualifying. 

Former Duke All-American Chloe Beck received the second qualifying wild card, with Beck's former Duke teammate Ellie Coleman, a Midland resident, receiving the other. They are also expected to be awarded a doubles wild card.

Sunday's order of play is here. The qualifying draw is here and the main draw is here.

Friday, October 27, 2023

My Article on How Juniors Adapt to Latest On-Court Coaching Trials; ITF World Junior Champion Bailly Signs with Texas; ITA National Fall Fields Complete; Akli Moves on at Tyler $80K; Kang, Tien Reach Pro Circuit Semifinals

When I encountered the latest on-court coaching trial for juniors this summer at Wimbledon and then again at the US Open, I was interested in hearing from coaches and players about their impressions. Most of the American juniors I spoke with have grown up with no coaching, with the USTA allowing it only when players split sets. And those who have been playing ITF Junior Circuit events are prohibited from any interaction, ever, with their coach during a match. The US Open has allowed limited coaching at the junior level in the past, but now all the junior slams are on board, so I was curious how the juniors and their coaches view it. Tennis Recruiting Network gave me the green light to explore the issue in this article, published today.

The big news today in college tennis is the University of Texas's announcement that Gilles Bailly of Belgium, the 2022 ITF Junior World champion, would be joining his brother Pierre-Yves, a junior at Texas, in January. Bailly, who reached the Roland Garros and US Open boys finals last year, told me in New York that he was considering college tennis, but would see how his 2023 year on the ITF men's World Tennis Tour went before he would decide. 

He won a $15K in March and a $25K last month, boosting his ATP ranking to 474, but despite that success, he has opted to spend the dual match season at Texas, which was the only school he was considering. Bailly is not the first ITF World Junior Champion to opt for college, with Axel Geller, who also reached two junior slam finals, joining Stanford in 2017. 

Texas now has two accomplished pairs of brothers on the roster, with Jonah Braswell transferring from Florida this fall to join older brother Micah. With Eliot Spizzirri and Siem Woldeab returning for a fifth year and Cleeve Harper in his sixth year, the Longhorns were already a top contender for the 2024 NCAA title and those expectations are now heightened even more with this addition.

The fields for next week's ITA National Fall Championships have been announced, including at-large and wild card selections. There were several notable withdrawals: Texas's Eliot Spizzirri, the All-American champion, who qualified for the Fall Nats on that basis and Harvard's Cooper Williams, who won the Northeastern regional to qualify. 

The women's All-American champion, Mary Stoiana of Texas A&M, is out and defending champions Fiona Crawley of North Carolina and Nishesh Basavareddy of Stanford did not receive wild cards, so the fields are not as strong as the ITA may have hoped. Those who did not make regional finals or All-American semifinals but were added to the fields are: Dana Guzman of Oklahoma, Irina Cantos Siemers of Ohio State, Tanya Sasnouskaya of Texas, Alexandra Yepifanova of Stanford and the ITA Cup Super Bowl winner, Salma Djoubri of Lynn.

The men's last additions are: Jack Anthrop of Ohio State, Peter Makk of USC, Jack Pinnington Jones of TCU, Michael Zheng of Columbia and ITA Cup Super Bowl winner Jean-Baptiste Badon of Glendale Community College.

The link to the men's field is here; the women's field is here.

Play begins Wednesday, with Cracked Racquets providing their CrossCourt coverage at YouTube.

South Carolina's Ayana Akli, an All-American semifinalist who is in the Fall Nats field, has advanced to the semifinals of the $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Tyler Texas. A qualifier, Akli defeated Victoria Hu(Princeton) 6-0, 6-4, after taking out No. 4 seed Mccartney Kessler 7-5, 6-3 last night. Akli, who has yet to drop a set in her five wins this week, will play No. 2 seed Kayla Day in the semifinals.  Top seed Emma Navarro(Virginia) won the battle of NCAA champions, with the 2021 winner taking out reigning NCAA champion Fangran Tian(UCLA) of China 6-1, 6-3. Navarro will face unseeded Allie Kiick in the semifinals.

Stanford freshman Kyle Kang is through to his third semifinal at a $25,000 tournament this year in Harlingen, with the 18-year-old Californian, seeded No. 8, beating Karue Sell(UCLA) of Brazil 7-6(3), 7-5 in today's quarterfinals. he will play No. 2 seed August Holmgren(San Diego) of Denmark Saturday. Top seed Federico Agustin Gomez(Louisville) of Argentina was beaten by Jacksonville State graduate student Ivan Marrero Curbelo of Spain, a qualifier, 6-3, 6-1. A qualifier will be in the final, with Marrero Curbelo facing Texas A&M senior Raphael Perot of France, who beat Georgia Tech senior Marcus McDaniel 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Top seed Learner Tien(USC) is through to the semifinals of the $15,000 tournament in Norman Oklahoma, after qualifier Arda Azkara(Utah) of Turkey retired trailing 6-2, 4-2. The 17-year-old Californian will face another qualifier, Virginia Tech senior Ryan Fishback, in the semifinals, after Fishback defeated Oklahoma sophomore Luis Alvarez Valdes of Mexico 7-5, 6-2. In addition to Tien, the other junior still alive is Danil Panarin of Russia, who beat Alex Martinez(Oklahoma) 6-3, 6-2.  Alex Razeghi lost to No. 2 seed Duarte Valle(Florida) of Portugal 6-2, 6-1, who plays Panarin in the semifinals Saturday.

Two current and two former collegians have reached the semifinals at the $15,000 tournament in Tallahassee, including Florida State junior James Connel of Great Britain. Connel outlasted No. 5 seed Axel Nefve(Notre Dame/Florida) 5-7, 7-6(6), 7-6(6) in three hours and 36 minutes. He will play No. 8 seed Felix Corwin(Minnesota) in the semifinals. Top seed Jeremy Jin of Australia, a freshman at Florida, will face No. 6 seed Patrick Maloney(Michigan) in the other semifinal.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Kang, Tien and Razeghi Advance to USTA Pro Circuit Quarterfinals; Rain Leaves Tyler $80K Second Round in Limbo; ESPN Investigates Gender Inequity in Athletic Department's Social Media Promotion

Rain in Texas delayed second round action at the $25,000 men's USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Harlingen, but skies cleared in time for the completion of all eight matches. That's not the case for the women's $80,000 tournament in Tyler, which has yet to begin its second round, with the matches now pushed back to 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

Current collegians make up five of the eight quarterfinalists in Harlingen, including Stanford freshman Kyle Kang. Kang defeated Michigan State sophomore Ozan Baris 6-4, 6-4, avenging his loss to Baris in the quarterfinals of the 2022 Kalamazoo Nationals. Kang, the No. 8 seed, will play former UCLA standout Karue Sell of Brazil, who won a $15K title in Mexico last week and received a special exemption into the main draw in Harlingen. In addition to the 18-year-old Kang, who plays Sell next, four other current collegiate players have moved into the quarterfinals: qualifier Ivan Marrero Curbelo of Spain, a graduate student at Jacksonville State; Georgia Tech seniors Marcus McDaniel and Keshav Chopra and Texas A&M senior Raphael Perot of France. 

Marrero Curbelo will face top seed Federico Agustin Gomez(Louisville) of Argentina, McDaniel plays Perot and Chopra takes on No. 2 seed August Holmgren of Denmark, who reached the NCAA singles final in 2022 while playing for San Diego.

The other two USTA Pro Circuit tournaments, $15,000 level events for men, are being played indoors, so weather is not a factor in Norman Oklahoma and Tallahassee Florida. 

As with Harlingen, college representation is abundant in Norman. Qualifier Arda Azkara of Turkey, a junior at Utah, will face 17-year-old top seed and two-time Kalamazoo 18s champion Learner Tien(USC); qualifier Ryan Fishback, a senior at Virginia Tech will play Oklahoma sophomore Luis Alvarez Valdes of Mexico; Oklahoma fifth year Alex Martinez of Spain, the No. 5 seed, will play 18-year-old Danil Panarin of Russia, a Vanderbilt recruit, and 17-year-old Alexander Razeghi, the 2021 Kalamazoo 16s champion, will take on No. 2 seed Duarte Vale(Florida) of Portugal. This is the second straight week that Razeghi has made the quarterfinals of a $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament.

Tallahassee has four current collegians in the quarterfinals and the other four are former collegians. University of Florida freshman Jeremy Jin of Australia, the top seed, plays No. 7 seed Etienne Donnet of France, a fifth-year at Louisville; Emile Hudd(Oklahoma State/Tennessee) of Great Britain faces No. 6 seed Patrick Maloney(Michigan); No. 8 seed Felix Corwin(Minnesota) plays North Carolina graduate student Karl Poling and No. 5 seed Axel Nefve(Florida/Notre Dame) takes on Florida State junior James Connel of Great Britain.

I ran across this ESPN article today, which presents data on the lack of gender parity in Division I social media promotion and engagement from athletic departments. Women's tennis is mentioned just briefly in passing, with men's and women's basketball getting the bulk of the attention, but there are some striking variations among athletic departments. I did not read the entire article--it's long, and I as said, not focused on tennis--but I think it deserves some attention, as it is data driven, with a parity number for every Power 5 school.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

USO Girls Champion Hui Earns First $80K Victory; Teens Rack Up Wins at Men's USTA Pro Circuit Tournaments; Pan American Games Update

US Open girls champion Katherine Hui received a wild card into the main draw of this week's $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Tyler Texas and the 18-year-old Stanford freshman now has her first victory at a tournament above the $15,000 level after a 6-3, 6-3 win over qualifier Eryn Cayetano, a fifth-year at USC.

Although Hui lost both her matches at the ITA All-American Championships this month and had to pull out of the $60,000 tournament in Rancho Santa Fe two weeks ago with an injury, she is back on track now with a convincing win over Cayetano, the 2021 ITA National Fall champion. Hui will get another test from a D-I major champion on Thursday, when she takes on 2023 NCAA singles champion Fangran Tian(UCLA) of China.

Hui and Tian are joined in the second round by three other current collegians: wild card Abigail Rencheli of NC State, and qualifiers Amelia Rajecki of NC State and Ayana Akli of South Carolina. Rajecki defeated qualifier DJ Bennett of Auburn 6-3, 6-2, while Akli picked up a 6-0, 6-4 win over qualifier Maria Kononova(North Texas) of Russia.

With three men's USTA Pro Circuit tournaments this week, two of them on college campuses, there are numerous opportunities for juniors and collegians this week.

At the $15,000 tournament at Florida State's indoor facility in Tallahassee, top seed Jeremy Jin of Australia, a freshman at Florida won his opening match yesterday. With the talent spread over three events this week, no junior reserved spots were allocated in the $15Ks, but Rei Sakamoto of Japan, No. 18 in the current ITF junior rankings, got into the main draw on his ATP ranking of 1263 and defeated Mwendwa Mbithi 6-3, 6-2 today to reach the second round.  Nineteen-year-old Will Mayew, a sophomore at Louisville, received a wild card and earned his second ATP point today, beating qualifier Pranav Kumar(Texas A&M/SMU) 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4. Mayew is the only wild card to advance to the second round.

As I noted last night, Wake Forest's Filippo Moroni(Italy) did not make it to Tallahassee, so the No. 2 seed's place was taken by a lucky loser. Moroni won the Carolina Regional title yesterday to punch his ticket to the ITA National Fall Championships next week.

Kalamazoo 18s champion Learner Tien took a wild card into the other $15,000 tournament this week at the indoor facility on the University of Oklahoma's campus, and is the top seed. The 17-year-old Californian needed over three hours to get past Oklahoma State fifth-year Alejandro Garcia of Spain 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(4). 

All three players who received entry in Norman via the ITF's junior reserved program--Kaylan Bigun, Alex Razeghi and Russia's Danil Panarin--won their first round matches today. Bigun defeated lucky loser Siphosothando Montsi (Illinois/Oklahoma) of South Africa 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-4 to set up a meeting with Razeghi, who beat 19-year-old Asahi Harazaki of Japan, a freshman at Oklahoma, 6-3, 6-2. Bigun and Razeghi split their ITF junior matches this year, with Razeghi beating Bigun in the Ecuador J300 final and Bigun avenging that loss in the semifinals of the J300 in San Diego two months later.  Panarin, who recently committed to Vanderbilt, defeated lucky loser Arman Zamani(Baylor) 6-3, 6-3.

Teens Rudy Quan, Ritesh Patil, Kyle Kang and Ozan Baris picked up wins today at the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Harlingen Texas. Seventeen-year-old qualifier Quan, a UCLA recruit, defeated Georgia Tech senior Andres Martin, who just missed being seeded, 6-3, 6-4; Texas A&M's Patil, a 19-year-old qualifier, beat wild card Ethan Silva 6-4, 6-1 for his first ATP point; Stanford freshman Kang, seeded eighth, defeated LSU freshman Alessio Vasquez Gehrke of Germany, a qualifier, 6-3, 6-1 and Michigan State sophomore Baris took out Texas Regional champion Micah Braswell(Texas) 2-6, 7-6(8), 6-3. Kang and Baris will play each other on Thursday; their only meeting on the ITF junior circuit came four years ago at a J60, but last year in the quarterfinals of the 18s Nationals in Kalamazoo, Baris defeated Kang 6-1, 6-7(6), 6-4.

The Pan American Games are underway in Santiago Chile, with two of the four Americans participating still in singles and mixed doubles.

Evan Zhu(UCLA) and Omni Kumar(Duke) lost their first matches in singles and doubles, but Tristan Boyer(Stanford) and Jamie Loeb(UNC) are through to the round of 16 in singles and the quarterfinals in mixed doubles.

Several current collegians are still alive as well, with Texas A&M freshman and Roland Garros girls finalist Lucciana Perez Alarcon of Peru into the round of 16, as are Ohio State's Justin Boulais of Canada and Tennessee's Blaise Bicknell of Jamaica. 

Draws can be found here and the schedule here; the tennis competition concludes Sunday.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Harvard's Williams Sweeps Titles at Northeast Regionals, ITA Fall National Fields Nearly Set; Qualifying Complete at Women's $80K, Men's $25K Tournaments in Texas

The last of the ITA Division I Regionals were scheduled to be completed today, and I've compiled all the results of the all singles and doubles matches(save one of the latter, which will be played tomorrow between two TCU teams).

It's noteworthy that nearly half of the women's finals (6 of 13; see Carolina note) were between teammates; a quarter of the men's finals (3 of 12) were contested by players from the same program.

These results are more or less in chronological order. No-ad No-Problem's John Parsons has created a google sheet for the men and the women so you can see the singles fields taking shape for the ITA National Fall Championships. With just a 32-draw for the upcoming Fall Nationals, the regional qualifiers make up the majority of the competitors, along with the semifinalists at the All-American Championships and four wild cards. The two ITA wild cards have not yet been announced.

I had thought that only the doubles winners get entry, but there are as many doubles teams as singles players at the Fall Nationals, so both winners and finalists are in. Usually in a tournament, the number of doubles teams is half the number of singles players.


Petra Sedlackova[3], Alabama d. Kinaa Graham[4], LSU 6-0, 2-6, 6-1

Alexandra Mikhailuk and Athina Pitta, Mississippi State d. Kinaa Graham and Anita Sahdiieva[4], LSU 1-6, 7-5, 10-5

Kari Miller[3], Michigan d. Julia Fliegner[5-8], Michigan 6-3, 6-3

Jaedan Brown and Kari Miller[1], Michigan d. Luciana Perry and Irina Cantos Siemers[5-8], Ohio State 8-7(3)

Malaika Rapolu[4], Texas d. Charlotte Chavatipon[3], Texas 6-4, 6-2

Metka Komac and Avelina Sayfetdinova[1], Texas Tech d. Tanya Sasnouskaya and Sabina Zeynalova[2], Texas 7-5, 6-2

Ange Oby Kajuru[3], Oklahoma State d. Anastasiya Komar[1], Oklahoma State 6-0, 6-4

Dana Guzman and Alina Shcherbinina[1], Oklahoma d. Anastasiya Komar and Ange Oby Kajuru[3], Oklahoma State 7-5, 3-6, 10-5

Hannah Viller Moeller[6], Cal d. Connie Ma[3], Stanford  6-1, 1-6, 7-6(8)

Hannah Viller Moeller and Mao Mushika[7], Cal d. Jessica Alsola and Katja Wiersholm[1], Cal 4-6, 6-1 10-7

Noesjka Brink, Wyoming* d. Marcela Lopez[16], Utah 4-6, 6-4, 6-3

Andrea Beltran and Britt Pursell[7], Denver d. Jacque Dunyon and Yujia Huang[1], Brigham Young walkover

Esha Velaga, Penn d. Neha Velaga[6], Princeton 6-3, 6-0**

Phoebe Peus and Lindsey Hofflander, Brown d. Maiko Uchijima and Samantha Nanere, Temple 6-3, 7-6(8)

**freshman Velaga defeats older sister Neha, a senior

Emily De Oliveira, Florida d. Rachel Gailis[12], Florida 6-3, 4-6, 7-5

Xinyi Nong and Isabella Pfenning[5], Miami d. Oyinlomo Quadre and Ekaterina Khayrutdinova[3], Florida International 6-7(0), 7-5, 11-9

Selma Cadar[8], Maryland d. Hibah Shaikh[7], Virginia 6-4, 7-6(3)

Natasha Subhash and Hibah Shaikh[2], Virginia d. Selma Cadar and Mary Brumfield[7], Maryland 6-0, 6-0

Ohio Valley
Bridget Stammel[3], Vanderbilt d. Celia-Belle Mohr[1], Vanderbilt 6-0, 1-0 ret. inj.

Celia-Belle Mohr and Anessa Lee[1], Vanderbilt d. Elizabeth Eades and Lidia Gonzalez[9] 6-2, 6-4

A1: Reese Brantmeier[1], UNC d. Abbey Forbes[2], UNC 6-1, 6-2
A2: Anika Yarlagadda[1], UNC d. Sophie Abrams[3], NC State 7-6(4), 6-4

A1: Elizabeth Scotty and Reese Brantmeier[1], UNC d. Sophie Abrams and Anna Syryanova[2], NC State 7-5, 6-1
A2: Abbey Forbes and Reilly Tran[2], UNC d. Maryam Ahmad and Sankavi Gownder, Wake Forest 6-1 6-1

***only the winners of each flight advance to Fall Nationals

Emma Charney[9-16], USC d. Savannah Broadus[2], Pepperdine 6-3, 5-7, 6-2

Janice Tjen and Savannah Broadus[1], Pepperdine d. Amelia Honer and Kira Reuter[2], UC-Santa Barbara 6-4, 7-5


Bodin Zarkovic[4], Utah State d. Daniel Sancho Arbizu[3], Denver, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3

Wally Thayne and Zach Fuchs[2], Brigham Young d. Geronimo Busleiman and Berk Bugariki[1], Utah 5-7, 6-3, 10-4

Ohio Valley
Leo Raquin[7], Middle Tennessee State d. Pau Fanlo[17], Memphis 4-6, 6-4, 6-0

Nathan Cox and Jeremie Casabon[2], Vanderbilt d. Pablo Alemany and Charlie Barry[5], Memphis 6-2 6-4

Ryan Fishback[3], Virginia Tech d. Mathis Bondaz, VCU 7-6(4), 6-3

Jakob Cadonau and Cosme Rolland De Ravel, Old Dominion d. Matisse Bobichon and Mathis Bondaz, VCU 6-4, 6-2

Miguel Perez Pena[9], Georgia d. Alvin Tudorica[12], South Florida 7-6(5), 6-1

Lleyton Cronje and Santiago Giamichelle, Central Florida d. Gabriele Brancatelli and Richard Biagiotti, Georgia Tech 6-2, 6-0

Enzo Aguiard[7], Alabama d. Peter Jovanovic[5], Mississippi State 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-4

Fillip Planinsek and Andrii Zimnokh[9] d. Nikola Slavic and Lukas Engelhardt[1], Mississippi 6-4, 7-5

Tyler Zink[1], Oklahoma State d. Alejandro Garcia[6], Oklahoma State 4-6, 6-4, 6-3

Tyler Zink and Isaac Becroft[3], Oklahoma State d. Alejandro Gandini and Matthew Lanahan, Creighton 6-2, 5-7, 10-6

Quinn Vandecasteele[1], Oregon d. Samir Banerjee[2], Stanford 6-3, 6-4

Peter Alam and Justas Trainauskas, Pacific d. Cesar Bouchelaghem and Dzianis Zharyn[1], Washington 7-5, 6-3

Colton Smith[2], Arizona d. Pablo Masjuan[6], UC-Santa Barbara 6-3, 6-2

Jay Friend and Colton Smith[7], Arizona d. Maxi Homberg and Edward Winter[6], Pepperdine 6-3, 6-3

Cooper Williams[3]*, Harvard d. Radu Papoe[2], Cornell 7-6, 6-4

Cooper Williams and Daniel Milavsky[2], Harvard d. Top Nidunjianzan and Paul Inchauspe[3], Princeton 6-4, 6-3

*it's not particularly rare for a player to sweep both singles and doubles titles, but it's very unusual for an 18-year-old freshman to do it. Williams beat top seed Michael Zheng of Columbia in the semifinals, which were played the same day as the singles and doubles finals.

JJ Tracy[3], Ohio State d. Alexander Bernard[1], 6-4, 6-1

Karlis Ozolins and Hunter Heck[1], Illinois d. Alexander Bernard and JJ Tracy[6], Ohio State 6-1, 6-2

Micah Braswell[2], Texas d. Pedro Vives[9], TCU 6-4, 6-4

Pedro Vives and Sebastian Gorzny[4], TCU  v Lui Maxted and Duncan Chan[3], TCU**

**to be played Wednesday afternoon

Filippo Moroni[2], Wake Forest d. Dhakshineswar Suresh[17-24], Wake Forest 6-2, 6-1 ***

Joseph Wayand and Martin Borisiouk[5], NC State d. Andrew Zhang and Michael Heller[1], Duke 6-3, 6-4

***Moroni is No. 2 seed at Tallahassee $15K and playing his first round match today for some reason, so I'm not sure when this match was actually played. (UPDATE: Moroni did not travel to Tallahassee; an alternate played the first round match against Matt Kuhar that Moroni was scheduled to play).

The draws were down earlier this evening, but they appear to back up now. Links can be found at the ITA Regional event page.

There are four USTA Pro Circuit tournaments this week, with three men's and one women's event. I'll get to the two men's $15Ks tomorrow; here's the update on the $80,000 women's tournament in Tyler Texas and the $25,000 men's tournament in Harlingen Texas.

Emma Navarro is the top seed in Tyler, and the 2021 NCAA champion at Virginia has a lot of company from other collegians, including all eight qualifiers. 

Five are current collegians: Amelia Rajecki(GBR) of North Carolina State, Ayana Akli of South Carolina, DJ Bennett of Auburn, Eryn Cayetano of USC and Lucia Peyre(ARG) of Oklahoma State. The other five are former collegians: Maria Kozyreva(RUS) of St. Mary's, Martina Okalova(SVK) of Tulsa and Maria Kononova(RUS) of North Texas.

Wild cards were given to Ellie Douglas(TCU), who lost her first round match today to No. 4 seed Mccartney Kessler(Florida) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3; Abigail Rencheli of NC State, who beat Lia Karatancheva of Bulgaria 6-3, 6-2; and US Open girls champion Katherine Hui(Stanford), who plays Cayetano in the first round Wednesday.

Kayla Day is the No. 2 seed; 2023 NCAA champion Fangran Tian(CHN) of UCLA beat No. 5 seed Grace Min 6-2, 6-3 in first round action tonight.

American qualifiers at the Harlingen $25K include two high schools seniors: Rudy Quan, a UCLA recruit and Mikel Anderson, an Arizona State recruit and Texas A&M freshman Ritesh Patil. 

Wild cards were given to local Ethan Silva, who was a freshman last year at Clemson, but is not on this year's roster; JC Roddick a Texas A&M junior, Maxwell McKennon, a senior at Arizona State and Jibril Nettles.

Federico Agustin Gomez(Louisville) of Argentina is the top seed, with 2022 NCAA singles finalist August Holmgren(San Diego) of Denmark the No. 2 seed.

Michigan State sophomore Ozan Baris received entry via the junior exempt program. He and Duke senior Garrett Johns are the No. 1 seeds in doubles and won their first round match today.  Stanford freshman Kyle Kang is the No. 8 seed. All 16 first round matches are scheduled for Wednesday.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Ganesan Wins ITF J200 in Japan; Penickova Twins Claim Back-to-Back J100 Titles; Frodin Sweeps J100 Titles in Mexico; Atlanta J60 Underway; Bektas Retains AO Wild Card Challenge Lead

Adhithya Ganesan gave himself an early 18th birthday present, taking the singles title at last week's J200 in Nagoya Japan to reach a new career-high in the ITF junior rankings.

The third-seeded Ganesan, who turns 18 tomorrow, defeated top seed Jangjun Kim of Korea 6-4, 6-2 in the final; those six games were the most he lost in any of his five victories. The Cornell freshman, who will begin his college career in January, is now up to 57 in the ITF junior rankings.

Fourteen-year-olds from the United States also claimed titles at the J100s in Mexico and Ghana, with Thea Frodin earning her second title this year at that level with a 4-1 retired decision in the final over doubles partner Nancy Lee in Mexico.  

Frodin and Lee, the No. 4 seeds, won the doubles title over No. 3 seeds Natalia Castaneda Guerrero of Mexico and Sophie Stanton of Canada 6-3, 6-2.

Fifteen-year-old Jack Kennedy, seeded No. 2, reached the boys final in Mexico, falling to top seed Cesar Cruz of El Salvador 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-1. Kennedy and Keaton Hance, the top seeds in the boys doubles, lost in the all-USA final to No. 5 seeds Abhinav Chunduru and Prathinav Chunduru 6-4, 6-3.

The Chundurus were not the only pair of twins to capture a doubles title at a J100 last week, with the Penickova sisters winning their second straight title at a J100 in Ghana. Annika and Kristina, the top seeds, defeated No. 2 seeds Joody Elkady of Egypt and Nicole Lukesova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-1 in the championship match.

Two weeks ago at the J100 in Ghana, Kristina had beaten Annika for the girls singles title. Last week, it was Annika, the No. 2 seed, who prevailed over her top-seeded sister, 6-4, 6-3. Both are now in the Top 200 of the ITF junior rankings.

I covered the results of the J60 in Lexington South Carolina on Saturday; this week the ITF Junior Circuit in the United States moves west to the Atlanta area, with a J60 in Peachtree Corners.

Top seed Humza Noor has already been eliminated, with William Secord posting a 7-6(7), 6-2 win in today's first round action. No. 2 seed Nathan Blokhin is through to the second round as is Lexington finalist Jack Satterfield, who received a wild card into the main draw. Lexington champion Andrew Ena is not in the field.

The girls top seed is Anita Tu, who is through to the second round, as is No. 2 seed Savannah Webster. Addison Bowman, the Lexington girls champion, is the No. 8 seed again this week. Last month's Corpus Christi J60 champion Christina Lyutova, the No. 12 seed, has extended her winning streak to 30 matches with a win in today's first round.

Two weeks remain in the USTA women's Australian Open Wild Card Challenge with former University of Michigan All-American Emina Bektas in the lead by a mere one point over Claire Liu. 

The current standings, with WTA rankings in parentheses:

1. Emina Bektas (104) -- 111
2. Claire Liu (93) -- 110
3. McCartney Kessler (237) -- 90
4. Jennifer Brady (222) -- 65
5. Iva Jovic (646) -- 55
6. Fiona Crawley (430) -- 50

There's still two WTA 125s, this week's in Tampico and next week's in Midland, plus this week's USTA Pro Circuit $80,000 tournament in Tyler Texas, so someone not on this list still has a shot with some good results in these high level events.

The men's version of the Australian Open Wild Card Challenge begins this week and runs through the week of November 13th.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Korneeva, Schwaerzler Champions at ITF Junior Finals; Shelton Claims First ATP Title in Tokyo; USTA Pro Circuit Titles for Townsend, Tomic and Miyamoto

When the fields for the ITF Junior Finals were announced at the beginning of the month, few would have been surprised by any prediction that three weeks later Alina Korneeva of Russia would take the girls title. The same can't be said for boys champion Joel Schwaerzler of Austria, as he wasn't even among the eight players and one alternate announced at the time.

Schwaerzler was selected to take the place of Darwin Blanch, who withdrew after the initial announcement, with the fact that he was playing the J500 in Osaka Japan no doubt making that last-minute invitation more appealing from a travel standpoint. The 17-year-old Schwaerzler, who won the Osaka title to move to No. 7 in the junior rankings, handed Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez of Mexico his first loss of the week in Sunday's final, beating his fellow left-hander 6-3, 7-6(6).

The final standings for the boys:
1. Joel Schwaerzler(AUT)
2. Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez(MEX)
3. Iliyan Radulov(BUL)
4. Branko Djuric(SRB)
5. Yaroslav Demin(RUS)
6. Federico Cina(ITA)
7. Arthur Gea(FRA)
8. Yi Zhou/Tianhui Zhang(CHN)*
*Zhou retired during his match Saturday, Zhang played Sunday)

The 16-year-old Korneeva, 165 in the WTA rankings, lost to Japan's Sara Saito 0-6, 6-3, 6-4 in round robin play, but she convincingly avenged that loss in the final, 6-0, 6-3, no doubt having learned her lesson regarding Saito's response after being shut out in a first set.

Both Korneeva and Schwaerzler will receive travel grants of $18,500, with all participants receiving some compensation in the form of travel grants.

The final standings for the girls:
1. Alina Korneeva(RUS)
2. Sara Saito(JPN)
3. Sayaka Ishii(JPN)
4. Clervie Ngounoue(USA)
5. Kaitlin Quevedo(USA)
6. Renata Jamrichova(SVK)
7. Laura Samsonova(CZE)
8. Ena Koike(JPN)

Replays of the finals can be viewed on the ITF's YouTube Channel.

Ben Shelton won his first ATP title Sunday in Tokyo, defeating Aslan Karatsev of Russia 7-5, 6-1 in the 500 final. Throughout the year, particularly after his quarterfinal at the Australia Open and his semifinal at the US Open, I've been asked if I can recall a rise this rapid for a player who played college tennis, and in my 18 years experience, I can't. Barely over two years ago, Shelton was losing in the Kalamazoo 18s final to Zachary Svajda. After leaving Florida in May of 2022, after winning the NCAA singles title, Shelton was outside the Top 500, now he is No. 15 in the ATP rankings. For the first time since 1997, there are now four Americans in the ATP Top 15: Taylor Fritz[10]. Tommy Paul[12], Tiafoe[14] and Shelton[15].

There was a second recent collegian taking a title in Tokyo, with  former North Carolina All-American Rinky Hijikata of Australia partnering with compatriot Max Purcell for the doubles crown. Hijikata, 22, and Purcell, 25, won a battle of unseeded teams in the final, beating Michael Venus(LSU) of New Zealand and Jamie Murray of Great Britain 6-4, 6-1 for their first ATP title as a team. Hijikata, who won the Australian Open doubles title this year with Jason Kubler, is up to 24 in the ATP doubles rankings.

For more on the final, see this article from the ATP website. The ATP's first-time champion interview with Shelton is here.

Two No. 1 seeds and a qualifier took home titles today on the USTA Pro Circuit, with Taylor Townsend winning the $80,000 tournament in Macon Georgia, Bernard Tomic claiming the title at the $15,000 tournament in Las Vegas Nevada and Ayumi Miyamoto earning her first title at the $15,000 tournament in Jackson Tennessee.

Townsend defeated No. 4 seed Panna Udvardy of Hungary 6-3, 6-4 for her second Pro Circuit title of the month, taking the Macon title without dropping a set. She is now up to 66 in the WTA live rankings, just a few spots below her career-high of 61.

Jana Kolodynska of Belarus and Tatiana Prozorova of Russia won the the doubles title, with the unseeded pair beating No. 2 seeds Sofia Sewing(Miami) and Antastasia Tikhonova of Russia 6-3, 6-2 in the final.

Tomic, the 31-year-old from Australia, won his first title since last November, defeating 2017 NCAA champion Thai Kwiatkowski (Virginia) 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 in today's final.

The doubles title in Las Vegas went to current University of Tennessee teammates Johannus Monday of Great Britain and Angel Diaz of of Ecuador. The No. 3 seeds defeated former University of Florida teammates Will Grant and Andres Andrade of Ecuador, who were unseeded, 6-4, 6-4 in the championship match. It's the first doubles title for Diaz, the eighth for Monday.

Oklahoma State graduate student Ayumi Miyamoto, a 22-year-old from Japan, won two qualifying matches and five matches in the main draw in Tennessee, defeating teammate and No. 1 seed Lucia Peyre of Argentina 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 in today's final. Miyamoto played the No. 4 and 5 positions for the Cowgirls last year as a senior, going 17-3.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Korneeva and Saito Meet for Girls Title, Pacheco and Schwaerzler to Decide Boys Champion at ITF Junior Finals; Ena and Bowman Win Titles at ITF J60 in South Carolina; All-Oklahoma State Final at Tennessee $15K; Shelton Reaches First ATP Final

Alina Korneeva won the battle of junior slam champions Saturday at the ITF Junior Finals in Chengdu China, with the 16-year-old Russian defeating Wimbledon girls champion Clervie Ngounoue 6-2, 7-6(1). Korneeva, who won titles at the Australian Open and Roland Garros this year, will face Japan's Sara Saito, who defeated compatriot Sayaka Ishii 6-4, 6-4 in the other semifinal. 

Saito, 17, has struggled at the junior slams, with a quarterfinal at the US Open her best showing in the eight she's played, but she won a $25K earlier this month in her home country and is up to 362 in the WTA rankings. Korneeva is 165 after winning a $100K in Portugal shortly after her Wimbledon loss. Saito holds a 1-0 head-to-head with Korneeva, having won their May 2022 meeting in the final of the ITF J200 in Italy 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

The boys final will feature two left-handers: former ITF junior No. 1 Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez of Mexico and Joel Schwaerzler of Austria. The 17-year-old Schwaerzler, who got into the Finals when Darwin Blanch withdrew, defeated Iliyan Radulov of Bulgaria 6-3, 7-6(4) in Saturday's semifinal. Pacheco, who is undefeated this week, beat Branko Djuric of Serbia 7-5, 7-6(3). The 18-year-old Pacheco defeated Schwaerzler, who won the J500 in Osaka last week, in the semifinals of May's J500 in Milan 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, their only previous meeting.

Live streaming (and replays) are available at the ITF YouTube channel, beginning with the girls final at 11 p.m. Eastern time tonight.

Live scoring is available here.

The ITF J60 in Lexington South Carolina concluded today, with 17-year-old Andrew Ena and 16-year-old Addison Bowman claiming their first ITF Junior Circuit singles titles. The eighth-seeded Ena, a junior who has recently committed to Columbia, defeated wild card Jack Satterfield 6-3, 6-4 in the final. Bowman, also the No. 8 seed, beat 15-year-old Ava Rodriguez, the No. 13 seed, 2-6, 7-6(8), 6-0. Bowman, a junior, has recently announced her commitment to Auburn.

Two unseeded teams won the doubles titles in Lexington, defeating unseeded opponents in the final. 

Seventeen-year-olds Davis Matney and Logan Tomovski defeated 14-year-olds Jerrid Gaines and Marcel Latak 6-2, 6-4 in the boys final.

Aoife Kuo and Danielle Young won the girls title, beating Andrea Chacon and Addison Acono 7-5, 6-3 in the final.

The final of the women's $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Jackson Tennessee will feature two teammates at Oklahoma State.

Graduate student Ayumi Miyamoto of Japan defeated No. 7 seed Panna Bartha of Hungary, a freshman at Florida Atlantic, 6-3, 6-2 to reach her first Pro Circuit final. She'll play top seed Lucia Peyre, an 18-year-old from Argentina, who is in her sophomore year in Stillwater. Peyre defeated No. 3 seed Carolyn Ansari, a fifth-year at Auburn, 6-3, 6-0 in the other semifinal.

The doubles title went to top seeds Connie Hsu(Penn) of Taiwan and Anita Sahdiieva(Baylor/LSU) of Ukraine. They defeated No. 3 seeds and current Auburn teammates Angella Okutoyi of Kenya and Adeline Flach 7-5, 6-3 in today's final.

Ben Shelton(Florida) came from a set and a double break down in the semifinals of the ATP 500 in Tokyo Saturday to defeat qualifier Marcos Giron(UCLA) 6-7(2), 7-6(5), 6-4 to reach his first final at the ATP level.  Shelton will play Aslan Karatsev of Russia, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over wild card Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan for the title. Shelton defeated Karatsev 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 in the third round of this year's US Open, their only previous meeting.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Ngounoue Cruises to Semifinals at ITF Junior Finals; Shelton and Giron Meet in Semis at Tokyo ATP 500; Stearns, Navarro Among Dow Tennis Classic Wild Cards; Leach Chooses TCU

Clervie Ngounoue completed the round robin portion of the ITF Junior Finals in Chengdu China Friday as the only undefeated girl in the field of eight after three matches. The 17-year-old earned her third consecutive straight-sets win, beating Laura Samsonova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-2. ITF No. 1 Ngounoue, who lost just 12 games in her three Group A round robin matches, will play Alina Korneeva of Russia in a semifinal between the top two girls in the ITF rankings, with Korneeva the girls Australian Open and Roland Garros champion and Ngounoue the Wimbledon champion. 

The other semifinal will feature two Japanese players: Sayaka Ishii and Sara Saito. Saito handed Korneeva her first loss in Group B.

Group A
Friday's matches 
Clervie Ngounoue(USA) d. Laura Samsonova(CZE) 6-1, 6-2
Sayaka Ishii(JPN) d. Ena Koike(JPN 6-4, 6-3

Final standings:
1. Ngounoue 3-0
2. Ishii 2-1
3. Samsonova 1-2
4. Koike 0-3

Group B
Friday's matches
Sara Saito(JPN) d. Alina Korneeva(RUS) 0-6, 6-3, 6-4
Renata Jamrichova(SVK) d. Kaitlin Quevedo(USA) 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-3

Final standings:
1. Korneeva 2-1
2. Saito 2-1
3. Quevedo 1-2
4. Jamrichova 1-2

Girls semifinals:
Ngounoue v Korneeva
Saito v Ishii

Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez of Mexico finished undefeated in Group A round robin play, beating previously unbeaten Iliyan Radulov of Bulgaria 6-2, 6-4. Like Ngounoue, Pacheco didn't lose a set in his three victories. In the semifinals, he will play Branko Djuric of Serbia, who finished first in Group B. 

I'm baffled why the two group winners are playing each other in the semifinals in both the girls and boys draws; typically the second place finisher in one group plays the winner in other, so that the group winners can meet in the finals.

Group A
Friday's matches
Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez(MEX) d. Iliyan Radulov(BUL) 6-2, 6-4
Arthur Gea(FRA) d. Yi Zhou(CHN) 6-1, 6-1

Final standings:
1. Pacheco Mendez 3-0
2. Radulov 2-1
3. Gea 1-2
4. Zhou 0-3

Group B
Friday's matches
Joel Schwaerzler(AUT) d. Federico Cina(ITA) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
Branko Djuric(SRB) d. Yaroslav Demin(RUS) 6-2, 6-4

1. Djuric 2-1
2. Schwaerzler 2-1
3. Demin 1-2
4. Cina 1-2

Boys semifinals:
Pacheco Mendez v Djuric
Radulov v Schwaerzler

Live streaming of the semifinals is available at the ITF's YouTube channel.

Two former NCAA champions will meet in the semifinals of the ATP 500 in Tokyo tonight, with 2022 champion Ben Shelton(Florida) taking on 2014 champion Marcos Giron(UCLA). The unseeded Shelton reprised his US Open victory over No. 5 seed Tommy Paul 7-6(4), 6-3, while Giron, a qualifier, got a win over a second straight Top 20 opponent Friday, beating No. 8 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada 6-1, 6-4. The top half semifinal also has no seeded player, with wild card and 2019 Wimbledon boys champion Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan facing Aslan Karatsev of Russia. 

The WTA 125 Dow Tennis Classic begins at the end of the month in Midland Michigan and two recent NCAA champions are expected as wild cards: 2021 champion Emma Navarro(Virginia) and 2022 champion Peyton Stearns(Texas). Caroline Dolehide also has been awarded a wild card. All are WTA Top 50 players, so they were not allowed to enter a tournament at this level, but can receive wild cards. There are two wild cards set aside for Top 50 players in addition to four regular wild cards, so three more are still to be announced. There are only two qualifying wild cards at a WTA 125, with Midland's own Ellie Coleman, a junior at Duke, listed as one of them. 

The complete list of players expected in Midland is here. I am planning to make my annual trip there for a couple of days early in the tournament. I had a chance to talk with Peyton Stearns last year in Midland, when she was just a few months into her pro career, for this Tennis Recruiting Network article. She went on to reach the semifinals there last year.

At the $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Macon Georgia, Miami redshirt junior Alexa Noel lost a heartbreaker to ATP No. 95 and No. 2 seed Kayla Day (who is among those entered in Midland). Day and Noel battled for three hours and 45 minutes before Day prevailed 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-5. The top four seeds have advanced to the semifinals, a rarity, with No. 1 Taylor Townsend meeting No. 3 seed Katie Volynets and Day facing No. 4 Panna Udvardy of Hungary.

Earlier this week, high school junior Jagger Leach announced his verbal commitment to TCU. The Kalamazoo 16s semifinalist, son of Lindsay Davenport and Jon Leach, spoke to Tennis Recruiting Network's Rhiannon Potkey about his choice, one that he wanted to make early, in this article published today.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Ngounoue, Quevedo Win at ITF Junior Finals; Noel Advances to Macon $80K Quarterfinals; 14-Year-Old Klugman Reaches Quarterfinals at $100K in Great Britain; Razeghi Moves on at Las Vegas $15K

In Thursday's second day of round robin play at the ITF Junior Finals in China, both US girls collected victories. Wimbledon champion Clervie Ngounoue beat Ena Koike of Japan 6-0, 6-3 and is now 2-0 in Group A, and with the other results today in her group, she's all but wrapped up a place in Saturday's semifinals.

Group A:
Thursday's matches
Clervie Ngounoue(USA) d. Ena Koike(JPN) 6-0, 6-3
Sayaka Ishii(JPN) d. Laura Samsonova(CZE) 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(5)

Ngounoue 2-0
Ishii 1-1
Samsonova 1-1
Koike 0-2

Friday's matches
Ngounoue v Samsonova
Koike v Ishii

In Group B, Kaitlin Quevedo kept her hopes for a semifinal berth alive with a 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-1 win over Sara Saito of Japan. A win over Renata Jamrichova of Slovakia Friday would increase her chances, but there is a scenario with three players at 1-2 in the group with one of them advancing.

Group B
Thursday's matches
Kaitlin Quevedo(USA) d. Sara Saito(JPN) 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-1
Alina Korneeva(RUS) d. Renata Jamrichova(SVK) 7-6, 7-6(2)

Korneeva 2-0
Quevedo 1-1
Saito 1-1
Jamrichova 0-2

Friday's matches
Korneeva v Saito
Jamrichova v Quevedo

Two boys have already qualified for the semifinals in Group A, with Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez and Iliyan Radulov both 2-0 and playing each other Friday, while Arthur Gea and Yi Zhou both 0-2.

Group A
Thursday's matches
Radulov d. Zhou 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-1
Pacheco Mendez d. Gea 6-4, 7-6(3)

Pacheco Mendez 2-0
Radulov 2-0
Zhou 0-2
Gea 0-2

Friday's matches
Pacheco Mendez v Radulov
Zhou v Gea

The two semifinal berths from Group B are completely up for grabs, with all four players at 1-1, so the two winners Friday will advance.

Group B
Thursday's matches
Demin d. Schwaerzler 6-4, 6-3 
Djuric d. Cina 6-3, 6-4

Demin 1-1
Schwaerzler 1-1
Djuric 1-1
Cina 1-1

Friday's matches
Schwaerzler v Cina
Demin v Djuric

Links to the live stream on YouTube and live scoring for tonight's matches in China can be found here.

University of Miami redshirt junior Alexa Noel is making good use of her wild card into the $80,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Macon Georgia this week, reaching the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-0 over ITA No. 1 newcomer Alexandra Vecic, who qualified for the main draw. Vecic, a 21-year-old from Germany, has yet to play for the University of Georgia, but is expected for the upcoming dual match season.

The 21-year-old Noel, who reached the final of the ITA All-American Championships last month, is now up to a new career- high in the WTA live rankings of 734. She will face No. 2 seed Kayla Day in the quarterfinals Friday.

Right above Noel in the WTA live rankings is 14-year-old Hannah Klugman of Great Britain. Klugman is already in the ITF history books as the youngest player to qualify for a $100,000 level event, having accomplished that this week in Shrewsbury England. After two straight-sets wins in qualifying, Klugman defeated qualifier Gina Feistel of Poland 6-3, 7-5 in the first round, but today she got a signature victory, beating No. 6 seed and WTA 163 Lily Miyazaki(Oklahoma) of Great Britain 7-6(7), 4-6, 6-2. Klugman will play No. 2 seed and WTA 115 Oceane Dodin of France in the quarterfinals.

At the men's $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit tournament in Las Vegas, 17-year-old Alex Razeghi is through to the quarterfinals after defeating Will Grant(Florida) 6-3, 7-5 in today's second round. Razeghi, who had beaten No. 2 seed Christian Langmo in the first round after receiving entry via the ITF Junior Reserved program, will play Notre Dame sophomore Sebastian Dominko of Slovenia, a qualifier Friday. Dominko was an All-American as a freshman last year, playing No. 1 for the Fighting Irish.