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Monday, November 6, 2023

US Girls Begin Junior BJK Cup with Win Over Serbia; Ganesan Earns Third Straight Title at ITF J200 in Hong Kong; Six Additional ITF Junior Singles Titles for Americans; Orange Bowl 16s Acceptances

Monday's first matches in the round robin stage of the Junior Billie Jean Cup in Spain produced straightforward wins for seven of the eight seeds, including the second-seeded team from the United States, who beat Serbia 3-0. Tyra Grant defeated Masa Jankovic 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2 singles, with Iva Jovic clinching the win with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Anastasija Cvetkovic at No. 1 singles. Jovic and Alanis Hamilton took the doubles in just 40 minutes, beating Jankovic and Lana Virc 6-1, 6-0. 

The only seeded team falling today was No. 8 Argentina, who dropped both singles matches to Kazakhstan in the 2-1 loss.

The United States will play Algeria, who lost to No. 5 Sweden 3-0 today, while Serbia faces Sweden in the second day of group competition.

Results for all the matches can be found at the live scoring page, or here. Live streaming is available at the ITF's YouTube channel.

Cornell freshman Adhithya Ganesan began his five-week trip to Asia with a round of 16 appearance at the ITF's J500 in Osaka and he has not lost since, collecting his third straight singles title last week at the J200 in Hong Kong.  The third-seeded 18-year-old, who will begin his collegiate career in January, defeated top seed Jangjun Kim of Korea 7-6(2), 6-3 in the final, his second victory over Kim in a final. Three weeks ago at a J200 in Japan, Ganesan also beat Kim for the title. In between, Ganesan won a J100 title in Hong Kong, and he will try to extend his winning streak this week at the J200 in Kuala Lampur Malaysia, where he is again the No. 3 seed and Kim is the top seed. With these 15 consecutive victories, Ganesan has risen to a career-high of No 40 in the ITF junior rankings.

Rohan Belday won the doubles title in Hong Kong, partnering with Imran Abdul Hazli of Malaysia. The No. 2 seeds defeated the unseeded team of Kwok Shun Dasson Chan and Tsz Fu Wong of Hong Kong 7-5, 4-6, 11-9 in the final. Belday now has four ITF Junior Circuit doubles titles.

There were a total of 25 ITF Junior Circuit tournaments last week, and Americans won seven singles titles. Ganesan wasn't the only player to extend a winning streak, although Christasha McNeil's second straight J100 title in Canada came more than a month after her first. The 17-year-old blue chip from New York, seeded No. 2, beat unseeded 14-year-old Thara Gowda 6-3, 6-0 in the J100 Burlington final. McNeil has now won three J100 titles this year and is up to a career-high of 187 in the ITF junior rankings.

Four of the five other singles titles for American juniors came at J60s, with all four finals featuring players from the United States.

At the J60 in Barbados, 16-year-old blue chip Zachary Cohen swept the titles, his first on the ITF Junior Circuit. Unseeded, Cohen defeated unseeded Ian Miller 6-3, 7-5 in the singles final. He and Jon Gamble, the No. 4 seeds, won the doubles title with a 6-7(6), 6-3, 10-5 victory over unseeded Sebastian Papp and Henry Stoller in another all-USA final.

The girls title went to top-seeded 15-year-old Kayla Brianne Moore, who beat No. 2 seed Alda Lopez 7-6(9), 7-6(5) in the final for her second ITF Junior Circuit singles title. 

At the J60 in El Salvador, top seed Prathinav Chunduru won both titles, with his 6-3, 6-4 win over 15-year-old Zavier Augustin in the final giving the 17-year-old his second ITF Junior Circuit title in singles. He and twin brother Abhinav won their sixth title as a doubles team, and the fifth this year, with the top seeds beating unseeded Jacob Lee and Brazil's Rafael Ferreira 4-6, 7-5, 10-3 in the final.

Seventeen-year-old Sahana Sanjeev won her fourth career singles title, with the top seeds defeating No. 3 seed Alden Russell 6-3, 6-1 in the final. 

Fourteen-year-old Sephi Sheng won her first ITF Junior Circuit title last week at the J30 in Taiwan. The No. 9 seed, Sheng defeated No. 2 seed Peng Yu Lai of Taiwan 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the final. Sheng won the G12s USTA Winter Nationals in 2022.

ITF Junior Circuit's tournament in the United States this week is a J30 in McKinney Texas. Nicolas Iantosca is the top boys seed and Ireland O'Brien is the No. 1 girls seed. Two of the top 13-year-old boys in the United States, Michael Antonius and Jordan Lee, are both in the draw and have advanced to the second round. Antonius defeated No. 2 seed Easton Horricks 6-4, 6-0 in the first round.

The acceptance list for the Orange Bowl 16s was published Friday, with impressive entrants in both the boys and girls fields. Thea Frodin and the Penickova twins lead the list, with Julieta Pareja, a semifinalist at USTA Nationals 16s in San Diego and Anita Tu, a finalist, also entered. Christina Lyutova, the current 16s champion is not on the entry list.

Five of the Kalamazoo 16s last eight have entered: finalist Lachlan Gaskell, semifinalist Noah Johnston and quarterfinalists Jack Kennedy, Simon Caldwell and Dominick Mosejczuk.

Complete lists of main and qualifying acceptances are here.