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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Qualifying Concludes at Men's $25K in Pensacola and Women's W35 in Bethany Beach; Men's Media Day at NCAA Division I Team Championships; Roland Garros Wild Cards Nearly All French

I'm on my way to Stillwater to cover my first end-to-end NCAA Division I Championships finals site since Waco in 2015 (I did the team finals and the individual tournament in 2022), which begin Thursday with the men's quarterfinals. Tuesday was media day for the men, and Cracked Racquets has its interviews with the teams available now on its YouTube channel.

As a reminder, this is Thursday's schedule:

Men's NCAA quarterfinals (all times Eastern)
Ohio State[1] v Columbia[8], noon
Kentucky[5] v TCU[4] 2:30 p.m.
Tennessee[7] v Texas[2] 5:00 p.m.
Virginia[3] v Wake Forest[6] 7:30 p.m.

Which is to say that I'm not going to have much time to devote to anything but the D-I NCAA tournament the rest of this week, so unless something particularly dramatic happens in the two USTA Pro Circuit tournaments this week, it won't get much coverage after today's introduction.

The womens are in Bethany Beach Delaware this week for a W35, with qualifying concluding today and four first round matches played. Americans qualifying are Meisha Kendall-Woseley(Toledo), Julia Adams(Furman, Virginia), Csilla Fodor(Purdue), Ema Burgic(Baylor), high school junior Jane Dunyon and high school sophomore Karma Yacavino. 

Wild cards were given to Kaitlyn Carnicella(Auburn), Vanderbilt signee Sophia Webster, Amelia Honer(UC-Santa Barbara) and Pepperdine signee Taylor Goetz. Webster lost in a first round match today to Kayla Cross of Canada 6-4, 6-2, while Honer beat No. 4 seed Victoria Hu(Princeton) 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-4.

Last week's W75 champion Akasha Urhobo isn't taking any time off from the Pro Circuit, playing for a fourth consecutive week, and she's off to a good start, beating Mia Yamakita 6-4, 6-1 in a first round match today. She will play for her ninth straight win against Honer on Thursday.

Maria Mateas(Duke) is the top seed, with Jamie Loeb(North Carolina) the No. 2 seed.

The men are competing at a $25,000 tournament in Pensacola Florida and weather caused some first round qualifying matches to be postponed until today, but they did complete the qualifying. All 16 first round matches are on Wednesday's schedule.

Americans qualifying are 16-year-old Lachlan Gaskell, the 2023 Kalamazoo 16s finalist, Philip Jordan(South Carolina, UC-Santa Barbara), Gabrielius Guzauskas(Illinois), Kabeer Kapasi(Rice) and Maxwell Benson(Presbyterian). Gaskell, who played his first Pro Circuit tournament last month in Vero Beach, lost in the first round of qualifying there, but is now through to the main draw  in his second pro event.

Wild cards were given to Elijah Poritzky(Furman), Ryan Dickerson(Duke, Baylor), Justin Lyons(Florida State) and Princeton recruit Meecah Bigun.

Bernard Tomic of Australia is the top seed, with the No. 2 seed Hady Habib(Texas A&M) of Lebanon, who is coming off his first Challenger final last week in Brazil. 

Roland Garros announced its wild cards today, and as usual, they are almost exclusively from France. This year several former slam champions are feeling the sting of that tradition, with two-time Roland Garros finalist Dominic Thiem, who recently announced his retirement, Emma Raducanu, Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki not among those receiving wild cards.

Women's main draw:
Alize Cornet
Fiona Ferro
Elsa Jacquemot
Kristina Mlandenovic
Chloe Paquet
Jessia Ponchet
Ajla Tomljanovic(Australian reciprocal)
Sachia Vickery (US reciprocal)

Women's qualifying:
Sarah Iliev
Selena Janicijevic
Manon Leonard
Astrid Lew Yan Foon
Jenny Lim
Daphnee Mpetshi Perricard
Tiantsoa Sarah Rakotomanga Rajaonah
Margaux Rouvroy
Alice Tubello

Men's main draw:
Terence Atmane
Richard Gasquet
Pierre-Hugues Herbert
Harold Mayot
Nicolas Moreno de Alboran(US reciprocal)
Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard
Alexandre Muller
Adam Walton(Australian reciprocal)

Men's qualifying:
Clement Chidekh
Gabriel Debru
Mathys Erhard
Antoine Escoffier
Thomas Faurel
Arthur Gea
Sascha Gueymard Wayenburg
Mae Malige
Theo Papamalamis

The men's wild cards include several with college ties, including Moreno de Alboran(UC-Santa Barbara), Walton(Tennessee) and Clement Chidekh(Washington).  Two French juniors still competing on the ITF Junior Circuit received qualifying wild cards: Thomas Faurel, a Kentucky signee, who lost in the first round of the ITF J300 in Santa Croce Italy today as the No. 2 seed, and Theo Papamalamis, a Texas A&M signee, who won his first round match in Italy this week.