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Friday, November 24, 2023

Eddie Herr ITF J300 Qualifying Begins Saturday at IMG Academy, 13-year-old Lyutova Aims to Extend Winning Streak; Ganesan, Quevedo and Pursoo Reach ITF J500 Merida Quarterfinals

The qualifying draws for the Eddie Herr ITF J300 are posted, and for this year's tournament the six new Har-Tru courts at the IMG Legacy Hotel will be used. Many of the Academy Park Har-Tru courts, which were a tram ride away from the IMG Tennis Complex, are no more, with a new dormitory going up there; some clay courts will continue to be located in the area, although they are not being used for tournament competition.

The courts at the hotel have a separate entrance, so an additional crew of tournament officials will set up at that facility. 

I plan to start at the main site, with top qualifying seed Christasha McNeil's 8:30 a.m. match with wild card Taylor Monfils on Stadium court (in the foreground of the photo) before heading to see the new courts. I'm interested in seeing if 13-year-old Christina Lyutova, who is playing No. 12 qualifying seed Trinetra Vijayakumar, can extend her winning streak. Lyutova, who last lost a match in March, won both the USTA 16s Clays and Hard Courts this summer, and this fall has collected three ITF J60 titles, the last one early this month in Boca Raton.

The wild cards for qualifying:
Nicolas Arredondo(MEX)
Sebastian Johnson(USA)
Ibrahim Deniz(TUR)
Benjamin Sparks(USA)
Andrew Sretavan(USA)
ZiYan Zhang(CHN)
David Cibrian(USA)
Mikel Anderson(USA)

Taylor Monfils(USA)
Cardona Carballosa
Kinsey Crawford(USA)
Owethu Makhanya(RSA)
Elona Simonov(USA)
Karine Kulidjian(USA)
Sophia Johnson(USA)
Townsend Penney(USA)

The top seed in the boys qualifying is Rafael Segado Esteve of Spain, with an ITF ranking of 148; girls top seed McNeil's ITF ranking is 150, so the strength of the fields is comparable. Both qualifying draws are a full 64-players.

The Eddie Herr 12s, 14s and 16s qualifying continues on Saturday with third round matches; the final round of qualifying is scheduled for Sunday. Draws and times can be found here.

Three Americans advanced to tonight's singles quarterfinals at the ITF J500 Yucatan World Cup in Merida Mexico: Adhithya Ganesan[5], Kaitlin Quevedo[2] and Ariana Pursoo[14].

Ganesan is also on a notable winning streak, having won four straight J100-200 tournaments in Asia in October and November. He is playing No. 3 seed Nicolai Budkov Kjaer of Norway in the last match on stadium court tonight.

Pursoo, who reached the final in Merida last year, falling to Clervie Ngounoue, beat No. 5 seed Hannah Klugman of Great Britain 6-2, 6-2 in the third round Thursday and is facing unseeded Yoana Konstantinova of Bulgaria in today's quarterfinals. 

No. 2 seed Kaitlin Quevedo is playing unseeded Daria Egorova of Russia in the quarterfinals.  Top seeds Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez of Mexico and Laura Samsonova are also through to the quarterfinals.

Pursoo and Quevedo are both also in the doubles semifinals, with Pursoo partnering with Laura Brunkel of Denmark and Quevedo playing with Klugman, with the latter the No. 2 seeds. 

No. 3 seed Alexander Razeghi and Roy Horovitz are the American boys reaching the doubles semifinals.