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Wednesday, November 8, 2023

US Girls Cruise into Junior BJK Cup Quarterfinals; Tien and Svajda Set for Kalamazoo Finals Rematch in Austin $25K; Penickova Reaches Champaign $15K Quarterfinals; Eddie Herr Acceptances

The United States girls have followed the same path in the Junior Billie Jean King Cup this week as the the boys did last week at the Junior Davis Cup in Cordoba Spain, going 3-0 in the group stage and winning all three matches 3-0. 

Today the second-seeded US team blanked No. 5 seeds Sweden, with Alanis Hamilton defeating Lea Nilsson 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2 singles and Iva Jovic beating Nellie Taraba Wallberg 6-2, 6-0 at No. 1 singles. Tyra Grant and Jovic were the doubles team today, a new pairing, and they beat Nilsson and Tiana Tian Deng 6-3, 6-2. Sweden still advances to the quarterfinals with a 2-1 record and will play No. 3 seed Great Britain, who finished 3-0 and atop Group B.

The United States will play Brazil, the only unseeded team to advance, in Friday's quarterfinals, with Brazil beating No. 8 seed Argentina 2-1 to finish second in Group B. No. 1 seed Czech Republic faces No. 4 Japan, who beat No. 6 Spain today to finish 2-1 and in second place in Group C. No. 7 Australia finished 2-1 and second in Group A and will play Group C winner Spain.

Brazil was the only unseeded team to advance to the quarterfinals.

All of today's results can be found at the Live Scoring page

Learner Tien, the No. 4 seed, and Trevor Svajda, a wild card, will meet again in the second round of the $25,000 ITF men's World Tennis Tour in Austin Texas. Less than three months ago the two 17-year-olds met for the USTA National 18s title in Kalamazoo, with Tien winning 6-0, 6-4, 6-4. Both defeated qualifiers in first round action today, with Tien beating Texas recruit Evan Burnett 6-4, 6-2 and Svajda downing Texas sixth year Cleeve Harper 6-4, 7-6(5). 

Last week's ITA National Fall Champion Micah Braswell of Texas is defending his title this week in Austin, and he won his first round match today, beating Czech qualifier Tadeas Paroulek, a Baylor senior, 6-2, 4-6, 6-0. Braswell faces No. 8 seed Joshua Sheehy(Abilene Christian) on Thursday.

At the $15,000 USTA Pro Circuit women's tournament in Champaign Illinois, 14-year-old qualifier Annika Penickova advanced to the quarterfinals, avenging her twin sister Kristina's loss to No. 4 seed Sophia Biolay of France. Yesterday, Kristina, a wild card, lost to Biolay 6-4, 6-1; today, Annika defeated the junior at Central Florida 6-4, 2-6, 7-5. Penickova will face former Michigan State standout Mary Lewis in the quarterfinals.

The Eddie Herr ITF J300 acceptances were posted yesterday, with four ITF Top 10 boys and three ITF Top 10 girls entering. One surprise entry is that of No. 2 Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez of Mexico, who did not enter the Orange Bowl, where he made the final last year. Junior No. 8 and Roland Garros boys finalist Juan Carlos Angelo Prado of Bolivia, who entered the Orange Bowl but not the J500 in Mexico the week before the Eddie Herr, is also on the entry list. Bulgaria's Iliyan Radulov, No. 9 in the current rankings, is entered in all three events.

The US boys entered in the Eddie Herr are exactly the same eight as entered the Merida J500: Alex Frusina, Alex Razeghi, Kaylan Bigun, Roy Horovitz, Adhithya Ganesan, Maxwell Exsted, Cooper Woestendick and Matthew Forbes. The ranking cutoff was 98, the same as the J500 in Merida. Andrew Delgado and Jagger Leach are the next two into the main draw.

The three girls in the ITF Top 10 who entered the Eddie Herr are Laura Samsonova and 2022 finalist Tereza Valentova of the Czech Republic, and 2022 champion Mayu Crossley of Japan.

Kaitlin Quevedo is skipping the Eddie Herr, but entered the J500 in Mexico and the Orange Bowl. The other US girls entered in the Eddie Herr are Iva Jovic, Tyra Grant, Alanis Hamilton, Ariana Pursoo, Mia Slama, Kaitlyn Rolls, Tatum Evans and Anya Murthy. The ranking cutoff was 109; it was 116 at the J500 in Merida.

The tournament begins with qualifying on November 25th and runs through December 3.

The entries for the Eddie Herr 12s, 14s and 16s divisions were posted last month on the USTA's Play Tennis site, with the overview stating that the acceptances were based on World Tennis Number and the ITF junior rankings. In previous years, UTR was the primary information source for selection. The main draws are all 64, with eight wild cards and eight qualifiers.

There's a new wild card at stake for the 14s, with the champions receiving a main draw wild card for the ITF J300 the following year.