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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Anisimova and Sewing Reach Grade A Porto Alegre Girls Final, Bryde Advances to Boys Championship Match; Semifinals Set at Men's D-I Team Indoor; Goetz Sweeps ITF Grade 4 Titles in Mexico

ITF Junior Circuit in South America has been good to US girls the past several weeks, with Amanda Meyer winning the Grade 1 in Ecuador and Whitney Osuigwe claiming two Grade 1 titles in Paraguay and Brazil the last three weeks.  On Sunday, an American will win the Grade A in Porto Alegre Brazil, with top seed and 2016 finalist Amanda Anisimova taking on No. 7 seed Sofia Sewing.

Anisimova, who lost to Usue Arconada in last year's final, has returned to the final without much drama.  She defeated No. 6 seed Maria Osorio Serrano of Colombia, who won the Grade 1 in her home country before the US girls began their recent run, 6-3, 6-4.  Sewing got by unseeded Elysia Bolton 4-6, 7-5, 6-0 to reach the biggest final of her career.

No. 8 seed Trent Bryde will represent the US boys in the final, after he defeated No. 3 seed Vasil Kirkov 6-4, 5-7, 6-0.  He will face unseeded Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi of Argentina, who defeated No. 7 seed Oliver Crawford 6-1, 6-1.

Both Sewing and Bryde have already collected one winner's trophy, claiming the doubles titles in Porto Alegre.  Bryde and Alafia Ayeni won via walkover in the final, while Sewing and her frequent partner Maria Jose Portillo Ramirez of Mexico, seeded second, defeated No. 3 seeds Fernanda Labrana of Chile and Thaisa Pedretti of Brazil 7-5, 6-2.

Streaming of the singles finals will be available at the tournament website.

The semifinals are set at the ITA Division I Men's Team Indoor in Charlottesville after two tense battles and two easy victories.  No. 3 seed Ohio State rolled over No. 11 seed Oklahoma State 4-0 in less than two hours, while their semifinal opponent, No. 2 seed Wake Forest, needed more than three hours to subdue No. 10 seed Texas 4-3, with  Alan Gadjiev defeating Rodrigo Banzer 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-4 at line 6 to clinch the victory.

No. 5 seed and defending champion North Carolina got past No. 4 Cal 4-2, recovering from dropping the doubles point to get singles wins from lines 3, 4, 5, and 6. Ronnie Schneider did not finish his match with Florian Lakat at line 1, but he won the point of the tournament, (and maybe the entire dual match season). It can be viewed at FloTennis (just a brief advertisement preceding the clip, which does not require a subscription to see).

North Carolina will face host Virginia in a rematch of last year's memorable final, after the Cavaliers cruised past No. 8 UCLA 4-0 this evening in less than two hours.

For more on today's matches, see College Tennis Today.

At the ITF Grade 4 in Mexico this week, unseeded Ryan Goetz swept the singles and doubles titles. The 17-year-old New Yorker didn't drop a set in singles, beating No. 6 seed Marcelo Sepulveda Garza of Mexico 7-6(5), 6-2 in the final.  Goetz and Canadian Liam Draxl won their second straight doubles title, with the unseeded pair beating No. 2 seeds Sepulveda Garza and Guillermo Castaneda of Mexico 7-6(3), 6-4.

Rain in Arizona today has delayed the semifinals of both the $25K in Surprise and the ATP Challenger in Tempe until Sunday.

At the $15,000 Orlando Futures, top seed Michael Linzer of Austria defeated No. 4 seed Christian Lindell of Sweden 6-1, 6-4 to advance to the final with unseeded Facundo Arguello of Argentina. Arguello ended the run of 18-year-old qualifier Genaro Olivieri of Argentina with a 6-2, 6-3 win.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Sanford Considers Pro Tennis; Six Americans Reach Porto Alegre Semifinals; Only Two Top 8 Seed Lose in D-I Men's Team Indoor First Round; Dolehide, Lao into Surprise Semis

While at the Dow Tennis Classic late last month, I spoke to 18-year-old Alexandra Sanford about the choice she will be making in the next few months to either turn pro or join the North Carolina Tar Heels this fall. For this Tennis Recruiting Network article, I also spoke to Ohio State men's head coach Ty Tucker, who has spent time on court with Sanford over the past several years, about her development and prospects. Last year I had a similar conversation in Midland with Raveena Kingsley, who ultimately decided against joining the college team she had committed to, LSU.

It was another successful day for Americans at the ITF Grade A in Porto Alegre Brazil, with six of the eight semifinalists from the United States.

Top seed Amanda Anisimova had another easy win, beating unseeded Sofia Munera Sanchez of Colombia 6-2, 6-1 and will play No. 6 seed Maria Osorio Serrano of Colombia in the semifinals. Osorio Serrano had another tough three-setter, beating unseeded Anhzelika Isaeva of Russia 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.  In the bottom half, unseeded Elysia Bolton downed No. 14 seed Hailey Baptiste 6-2, 7-5 to set up an all-US semifinal against No. 7 seed Sofia Sewing.  Sewing outlasted No. 2 seed Amina Anshba of Russia 1-6, 6-2, 6-2.  It is the first Grade A semifinal for both Sewing and Bolton.   For more on the girls quarterfinals, see the ITF Junior website.

In the boys draw, there was another No. 7 over No. 2 result, with Oliver Crawford taking out Yuta Shimizu of Japan 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. Crawford will face Argentina's Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi in his first
Grade A semifinal.  The top half will feature an all-US semifinal between No. 8 seed Trent Bryde and No. 3 seed Vasil Kirkov.  Bryde defeated unseeded Matheus Pucinelli de Almeida of Brazil 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 and Kirkov won his fourth consecutive three-setter, beating No. 11 seed Gianni Ross 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-2.

Live streaming for Saturday's matches can be found at the tournament website.

The last US player in singles at the $15,000 Orlando Futures, unseeded Jared Hiltzik, bowed out today, falling to No. 4 seed Christian Lindell of Sweden 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.  Eighteen-year-old qualifier Genaro Olivieri of Argentina continued his fine run, defeating No. 2 seed Juan Ignacio Londero of Argentina 6-4, 6-3 in today's quarterfinals.

Top seeds Connor Smith and Rhyne Williams took the doubles title, beating unseeded Dominik Koepfer of Germany and Boris Arias of Bolivia 3-6, 6-3, 10-8 in the final. It's Smith's 13th Futures doubles title, and his second with Williams, who has 10 Futures doubles titles and two Challenger doubles titles.

At the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Surprise Arizona, wild card Danielle Lao and qualifier Caroline Dolehide have advanced to the semifinals.  Lao defeated qualifier Jaqueline Cristian of Romania 6-1, 6-0 and Dolehide beat Mayo Hibi of Japan 6-3, 6-2.  Lao plays No. 7 seed Sesil Karatantcheva of Bulgaria Saturday, with Dolehide facing No. 2 seed Mariana Duque-Marino of Colombia.  Duque-Marino defeated 16-year-old Bianca Andreescu of Canada 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 in today's quarterfinals.

At the $75,000 Tempe Challenger, unseeded Tennys Sandgren and No. 7 seed Dennis Novikov will face off for a place in the final. Sandgren defeated No. 5 seed Marco Trungelliti 6-3, 7-5 in the quarterfinals, while Novikov took out top seed Ernesto Escobedo 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-4.

The first round of the ITA Men's Team Indoor Championships is complete, with many close matches, but only two featuring a lower seed winning.  That was No. 11 seed Oklahoma State taking out No. 6 seed Northwestern 4-2.  The only match that was decided in the last match on was No. 8 UCLA's 4-3 win over No. 9 USC, with Martin Redlicki defeating Brandon Holt 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-4 at line 1 to set up a quarterfinal against No. 1 Virginia. Box scores for all eight matches are available here.

Virginia[1] def. Utah State[16] 4-0
UCLA[8] def. USC[9] 4-3
Cal[4] def. Baylor[13] 4-2
North Carolina[5] def. Georgia[12] 4-2
Oklahoma St[11] def. Northwestern[6] 4-2
Ohio State[3] def. Oklahoma[14] 4-0
Texas[10] def. Florida[7] 4-2
Wake Forest[2] def. Mississippi State[15] 4-0

In a rematch of last year's NCAA women's team final, fifth-ranked Stanford again defeated Oklahoma State, ranked sixth, again coming back from dropping the doubles point. This time it did not come down to the final match, with Stanford winning four singles matches to claim a 4-1 victory at the USTA's National Campus in Lake Nona.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Eight Americans Reach Grade A Porto Alegre Quarterfinals; Neel Heads ITA Women's Indoor All-Tournament Team; Pro Circuit Update

Four US girls and four US boys have advanced to Friday's quarterfinals at the ITF Grade A tournament in Porto Alegre Brazil.

Top seed Amanda Anisimova continues to cruise through the draw, beating No. 15 seed Anastasia Iamachkine of Peru 6-0, 6-1 in the third round. The 15-year-old has lost only six games this week and will play unseeded Sofia Munera Sanchez of Colombia in the quarterfinals. Munera Sanchez defeated Vanessa Ong 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-2. Anisimova is the only American girl in the top half; unseeded Elysia Bolton will play No. 14 seed Hailey Baptiste for a place in the semifinals.

Bolton edged Lea Ma 4-6, 7-6, 7-6(2), while the 15-year-old Baptiste took out No. 3 seed Emily Appleton of Great Britain 7-5, 6-1.  This is the first Grade A quarterfinal appearance for both Baptiste and the 16-year-old Bolton. No. 7 seed Sofia Sewing defeated unseeded Moyuka Uchijima of Japan 6-4, 6-2, and will play No. 2 seed Amina Anshba of Russia in the quarterfinals.

Fourteen-year-old Whitney Osuigwe's winning streak on the South American clay ended at 12, when the No. 9 seed was beaten by No. 6 seed Maria Osorio Serrano of Colombia 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

All four US boys remaining are seeded, and they also have one all-USA quarterfinal, with No. 3 seed Vasil Kirkov facing No. 11 seed Gianni Ross.  Kirkov got past Alex Geller of Argentina 7-6(1), 1-6, 7-6(5) and Ross defeated No. 5 seed Sebastian Baez  of Argentina 7-6(0), 6-2, avenging a recent Orange Bowl loss.

No. 7 seed Oliver Crawford defeated No. 9 seed Francisco Vittar of Argentina 6-0, 6-0 and will meet No. 2 seed Yuta Shimizu of Japan in the quarterfinals. Shimizu downed No. 15 seed Patrick Kypson 7-5, 6-4.

In the top half of the draw, No. 8 seed Trent Bryde has reached his first Grade A quarterfinal, defeating doubles partner Alafia Ayeni 6-4, 6-3 in the third round today. He will play unseeded Matheus Pucinelli de Almeida of Brazil in the quarterfinals.

Live streaming and Friday's order of play is available at the tournament website.

The all-Tournament team for the ITA Women's Team Indoor was announced today, with Florida freshman Ingrid Neel named Most Outstanding Player.

No. 1 singles: Hayley Carter, North Carolina
No. 2 singles: Sara Daavettila, North Carolina
No. 3 singles: Ingrid Neel, Florida*
No. 4 singles: Aliona Bolsova, Oklahoma State
No. 5 singles: Brooke Austin, Florida
No. 6 singles: Kourtney Keegan, Florida

*Most Outstanding Player

In a rare circumstance, none of the three all-tournament doubles teams were from the teams that made the final four.

No. 1 doubles: Christine Maddox and Mayar Sherif Ahmed, Pepperdine
No. 2 doubles: Aliona Bolsova and Sofia Blanco, Oklahoma State
No. 3 doubles: Felicity Maltby and Gabriela Talaba, Texas Tech

For the tournament results of all these players, see the ITA release.

The ITA Men's Team Indoor begins tomorrow in Virginia.  Bobby Knight has his preview at College Tennis Today and Granger Huntress looks at the probabilities at Texas College Tennis.  FloTennis will provide streaming, which requires a subscription.

The quarterfinals are set for the $15,000 Orlando Futures and the $25,000 Women's event in Surprise Arizona.  Only one American remains in Orlando, Jared Hiltzik, who advanced with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 win over qualifier Cameron Silverman.

Qualifier Caroline Dolehide, who today beat No. 8 seed Sonya Kenin 6-3, 7-5, and wild card Danielle Lao are the only US women to advance to the quarterfinals in Surprise.  Lao, who beat top seed Tatjana Maria of Germany on Wednesday, advanced to the quarterfinals when Raveena Kingsley retired trailing 6-4, 3-2.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Fifteen Americans Reach Third Round at Porto Alegre Grade A; Virginia Men, Florida Women Remain No. 1; Lao Ousts Top Seed Maria in Surprise $25K

Seven US girls and eight US boys have advanced to the round of 16 at the ITF Grade A in Porto Alegre Brazil.

Top seed Amanda Anisimova, No. 7 seed Sofia Sewing, No. 9 seed Whitney Osuigwe and No. 14 seed Hailey Baptiste were expected to advance given their seedings, but Vanessa Ong, Lea Ma and Elysia Bolton were not.  Ong beat No. 8 seed Yang Lee of Taiwan 6-3, 6-0, while Ma and Bolton, who play each other for a spot in the quarterfinals Thursday, both defeated qualifiers today.

There is one all-US boys match on Thursday, with No. 8 seed Trent Bryde facing Alafia Ayeni in a battle of doubles partners.  Seeded US boys advancing today are No. 3 Vasil Kirkov, No. 7 Oliver Crawford, No. 11 Gianni Ross, No. 12 Danny Thomas and No. 15 Patrick Kypson. Unseeded Sangeet Sridhar defeated No. 16 seed Ondrej Styler of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-2 today.

The ITA today released its post-Team Indoor rankings for women. Because No. 1 Florida defeated No. 2 North Carolina in the Team Indoor final on Monday, they obviously held their positions. Georgia and Ohio State moved up based on their semifinal showings at the Team Indoor, and Michigan and Texas Tech entered the Top 10 based on their performances at the tournament.  This is the last week for team rankings by poll, with the computer taking over next week.

ITA WOMEN'S TOP TEN: (previous ranking in parentheses)
1. Florida (1)
2. North Carolina (2)
3. Georgia (6)
4. Ohio State (7)
5. Stanford (4)
6. Oklahoma State (5)
7. Texas Tech (12)
8. Pepperdine (3)
9. Cal (8)
10. Michigan (13)

No men's rankings were published this week due to the upcoming Men's Team Indoor.

The USTA's poll was released today with results for both men and women. The full Top 25 list can be viewed by clicking on the headings.

USTA MEN'S TOP TEN: (votes received in parentheses)
1. Virginia (148)
2. Ohio State (143)
3. Wake Forest (137)
4. Florida (130)
5. California (116)
6. Northwestern(113)
7. USC (109)
T8. North Carolina (108)
T8. UCLA (108)
10. Oklahoma (91)

1. Florida (150)
2. North Carolina (144)
3. Ohio State (135)
4. Georgia (127)
T5. Oklahoma St (124)
T5. Stanford (124)
T7. Cal (108)
T7. Texas Tech (108)
9. Michigan (104)
10. Pepperdine (103)

I'm back in Michigan, so I won't have any more on-site coverage of the $15,000 Orlando Futures, but I'll still be following it with interest for the rest of the week.

Eleven first round singles matches today completed the first round, with 16-year-old wild card Sebastian Korda the youngest player to record a victory.  Korda defeated qualifier Mico Santiago 6-2, 6-3 for the fourth Futures win of his career. In order to equal his best Futures showing, a quarterfinal appearance in Weston last month, Korda will need to defeat top seed Michael Linzer of Austria, who is ranked 306..

Three qualifiers advanced to the second round: former Elon star Cameron Silverman, former Texas A&M standout Junior Ore and 18-year-old Genaro Olivieri of Argentina. Olivieri rolled past No. 7 seed Kaichi Uchida of Japan 6-2, 6-0.

The doubles semifinals are set, with top seeds Connor Smith and Rhyne Williams the only seeds in the final four.

At the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Surprise Arizona, top seed and Dow Tennis Classic champion Tatjana Maria of Germany fell to wild card Danielle Lao 6-1, 6-2.  The former USC star will face Raveena Kingsley in Thursday's second round action.  Fifteen-year-old qualifier Anastasia Potapova of Russia defeated 16-year-old wild card Taylor Johnson 7-5, 6-2, while two 16-year-olds, Claire Liu and Bianca Andreescu of Canada, set up a rematch of their 2015 Orange Bowl quarterfinal, won by Andreescu. Liu defeated No. 6 seed Catalina Pella of Argentina 6-3, 6-4. No. 8 seed Sonya Kenin and qualifier Caroline Dolehide will meet in a battle of 18-year-olds, with Dolehide having won their most recent match last year. Qualifier Maria Sanchez is the sixth American to advance to the second round.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Koepfer Wins Futures Opener, Sets Goals for 2017; Pro Events Underway in Surprise and Tempe Arizona; ITA Men's Team Indoor Draw

©Colette Lewis 2017--
Orlando, FL--

Former Tulane All-American Dominik Koepfer has already tasted success in his first months as a pro tennis player. The 22-year-old German, who was ranked No. 1 in the country for most of last year's spring season, won his first Futures title last fall and reached another Futures final last month. This week, he is the No. 8 seed at the $15,000 Orlando Futures, and he began his tournament with a 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-1 win over 2012 ITF World Junior Champion Filip Peliwo of Canada today on the Har-Tru courts of the USTA National Campus.

Koepfer trailed 5-2 in the opening set, but got the break back, only to lose the tiebreaker. He regained his focus after the set break however, and by the end of the match Peliwo appeared to lack the motivation to fight back.

"It was the attitude and energy I brought on the court," Koepfer said. "I started out a little slow, kind of lost my mind, but I took my time in between the sets. I came out and played good tennis, had a lot of energy and just fought my way through it."

Koepfer, the 2015 ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate champion, said the Futures level is similar to the top Division I level in college, but the tennis experience is not the same.

"It's definitely different than college," said the 5-foot-11 left-hander. "Traveling by yourself, being by yourself all the time, playing good players every week.  In college you already know who you're playing next week, but in pro tennis, it's a different guy every week. It's definitely different, but it's a lot of fun and going well."

Koepfer is now training at Saddlebrook, working with Christopher Williams and Billy Heiser, an arrangement that he credits Tulane with facilitating.

"My head coach at Tulane (Mark Booras) knew someone at Saddlebrook and he got in touch with Billy and Christopher," Koepfer said. "It's a lot of fun. He's a good coach and I like what both guys are doing and it's worked out well so far."

Koepfer, now ranked 481, has set a goal of reaching the qualifying for the 2018 Australian Open.

"The big goal is definitely to go to Australia next, at least qualies," Koepfer said. "I definitely want to reach the Challenger level pretty soon."

Having earned his degree in Finance at Tulane, Koepfer is able to pursue these goals without feeling constant stress.

"There's definitely less pressure than some of the other guys who have done this for a couple of years and don't have a college degree," Koepfer said. "There's always a backup option, which is really nice. And I have a lot of connections through Tulane to help me out whatever happens."

Two other former US collegians also advanced to the second round. Former Tennessee star Rhyne Williams, who has struggled with injuries and is hoping to play his first full year since 2014, won his first match of 2017, beating Fred Simonsson of Sweden 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.  Former TCU standout Nick Chappell defeated 17-year-old wild card Lukas Greif 6-2, 6-3.

No. 3 seed Andrea Collarini and No. 2 seed Juan Ignacio Londero, both of Argentina, won their first round matches in three sets.

All eight first round doubles matches were played today, with three of the four seeds picking up victories, including top seed Connor Smith and Williams and No. 2 seeds Farris Gosea of Great Britain and Jayme Pla Malfeito of Spain.

Qualifying is now complete at USTA Pro Circuit women's $25,000 tournament in Surprise Arizona, with ITF World Junior Champion and current No. 1 Anastasia Potapova of Russia among the eight earning entry into the main draw with wins today.  The 15-year-old Potapova will play 16-year-old wild card Taylor Johnson in the first round. Potapova beat Johnson in the second round at the Wimbledon Juniors last year.  Other Americans to advance to the main draw are Caroline Dolehide (UCLA recruit), Sabrina Santamaria(USC), Ashley Kratzer, Maria Sanchez(USC) and Sanaz Marand(UNC).  Wild cards were given to Johnson, Danielle Lao(USC) and Megan McCray(Oklahoma State), with Claire Liu using a junior exemption for main draw entry.  Tatjana Maria of Germany is the No. 1 seed.

In first round doubles action, lucky losers Sonya Kenin and Usue Arconada took out top seeds Catalina Pella of Argentina and Daniela Seguel of Chile 6-3, 4-6, 10-6.

The ATP has a $75,000 Challenger this week in Tempe Arizona, with young Americans Ernesto Escobedo and Stefan Kozlov the top two seeds. Both have advanced to the second round, as has Michael Mmoh.

The draw is up for this weekend's ITA National Men's Team Indoor at the University of Virginia.  Unlike the Women's Team Indoor, all 16 teams are seeded.  The schedule for Friday's eight matches:

Virginia[1] vs Utah State[16] 6:30 pm
UCLA[8] vs USC[9] 6:30 pm
Cal[4] vs Baylor[13] 3:30 pm
North Carolina[5] vs Georgia[12] 3:30 pm
Oklahoma St[11] vs Northwestern[6] 9:00 am
Oklahoma[14] vs Ohio State[3] 9:00 am
Texas[10] vs Florida[7] noon
Mississippi State[15] vs. Wake Forest[2] noon

Monday, February 13, 2017

ITF Junior No. 1 Kecmanovic's Climb Through Futures Qualifying; Florida Captures ITA Women's Team Indoor Title; Anisimova Top Seed at Grade A Porto Alegre

©Colette Lewis 2017--
Orlando, FL--

Seventeen-year-old Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia is looking forward to the day when Futures qualifying is behind him.

With many of those qualifying draws made up of 128 players, meaning four wins are required just to reach the main draw, the physical and mental grind is considerable. But as a test of fitness, this arduous path has its value, with Kecmanovic already having proven to himself that he can survive nine matches in ten days.

Since winning the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl titles last year to finish as 2016’s ITF World Junior Champion, Kecmanovic has focused on Futures in Florida this year, claiming his first pro title last month at the $15,000 tournament in Sunrise as a qualifier.

“It was a pretty tough week, but I played very well, better than I thought I would,” said Kecmanovic, who trains at the IMG Academy in Bradenton. “It was a great start to the year.”

Kecmanovic said his off-season consisted of four weeks of fitness, which proved instrumental in claiming his title. “To play nine matches at that level, a couple of tough matches over two hours, I did pretty good. I was ready, and even after, at the following tournaments, I was in good shape.”

Seeded second in qualifying this week, Kecmanovic didn’t drop a set in his four matches at the $15,000 Orlando Futures at the USTA National Campus, needing less than an hour to record his 6-2, 6-0 win over South African Lance Cohen.

With five wins required for just one ATP point in these qualifying draws, Kecmanovic is hoping his stay at this level is brief, although he is trying to stay patient, sticking to the plan he established for 2017.

“My coach and I talked about what we were going to do, to start with Futures,” said Kecmanovic, who lost in the first round of the two Futures he played after Sunrise, although he did win three qualifying matches at Palm Coast . “We are starting with Futures, because I don’t think I’m ready for Challengers yet. Maybe a few more of this, then the second part of the year, the middle of the year, I can start playing some bigger events. I have to get pass this, however much time it takes. I’ll try to play good and just pass this quickly.”

Kecmanovic is one of three teenagers to advance to the main draw, with 18-year-olds Evan Furness of France, the No. 6 seed, and Genaro Oliviera of Argentina, the No. 8 seed, the other two. Furness defeated Michael Zhu 6-3, 6-1 and Olivieri beat Malcolm Harrison 6-2, 6-2.

Top qualifying seed Connor Smith won the only three-set match of the day, beating Lucas Renard of Sweden 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.  Played on the Har-Tru Championship Court at the USTA's new tennis facility, the match was a high quality affair, with Smith getting a break at 2-2 in the third set to establish control and another at 4-2 to take the pressure off, although the former Ohio State Buckeye did have to save two break points in the final game.

No. 3 seed Mico Santiago ended the run of 15-year-old Govind Nanda with a 7-5, 6-3 victory and former Elon star Cameron Silverman, the No. 4 seed, bounced 18-year-old Jason Legall 6-2, 6-0.   Former Texas A&M standout Junior Ore is the only unseeded player to qualify, beating No. 9 seed Alex Blumenberg of Brazil 6-4, 6-3.  No. 16 seed Victor Nunez of Chile advanced with a 7-6(4), 7-5 win over No. 7 seed Hunter Callahan in the day's longest match, despite being only two sets.

Five first round main draw singles matches are on the schedule for Tuesday and all eight first round doubles matches will be played. Qualifiers receive the day off after playing four consecutive days.

The University of Florida women won their first ITA Team Indoor title since 1999 today at Yale, defeating North Carolina 4-2. The top seeded Gators won the doubles point easily, but needed a win from first semester freshman Ingrid Neel to seal the title after the No. 2 Tar Heels cut the Florida lead to 3-2 after freshmen Sara Daavettila at line 2 and Alexa Graham at line 4 won their matches.  Florida got wins from Brooke Austin at line 5 and Kourtney Keegan at line 6 to set up Neel's 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 win over friend and fellow Minnesotan Jessie Aney at line 3.  For more, see the Florida website.

Complete results can be found at the ITA tournament page.

The second Grade A tournament of the year is underway in Porto Alegre Brazil, with 12 US boys and 17 US girls participating.  Some first round matches were played today, with top girls seed Amanda Anisimova advancing.  Losing in first round play today were Chloe Hamlin, Chloe Beck, Victoria Hu and Camille Townsend. US girls winning today in addition to Anisimova are Lea Ma, who beat No. 5 seed Emiliana Arango of Colombia, Elysia Bolton, No. 14 seed Hailey Baptiste, No. 7 seed Sofia Sewing, Alexa Noel, Katya Townsend and qualifiers Katie Volynets and Peyton Stearns.  Stearns defeated No. 11 seed Fernanda Labrana of Chile 7-5, 6-2. US girls yet to play are Vanessa Ong, Victoria Flores, Ann Li,  and No. 9 seed Whitney Osuigwe, who won the two Grade 1 events prior to this week.

The US boys who won first round matches today are Alafia Ayeni, No. 8 seed Trent Bryde, No. 3 seed Vasil Kirkov and No. 12 seed Danny Thomas. Ayeni defeated No. 10 seed Tomas Etcheverry of Argentina 6-3, 6-2.  Tomas Kopczynski lost his first round match.  US boys scheduled to play their first round matches on Tuesday are Alexandre Rotsaert, No. 11 seed Gianni Ross, Sangeet Sridhar, No. 4 seed Sam Riffice, No. 7 seed Oliver Crawford, wild card Milledge Cossu and No. 15 seed Patrick Kypson.

For more, see the tournament website.  Check out the live streaming available here.