Osuigwe, Mateas, McPhillips Advance in Tampa; Smith Moves on in Bakersfield; Texas-Sized Comeback Gives Longhorns Win over Ohio State; NAIA Rankings; Sock Reaches BNP Paribas Open Quarterfinals
Fourteen-year-old Whitney Osuigwe will move into the WTA rankings next week, a milestone for any young player. After winning a round at the $15,000 tournament in Orlando last week, she now has the earned points in the requisite three tournaments, having reached the quarterfinals in two $10,000 events last summer.
This week, she qualified for the $15,000 event in Tampa, not far from her home in Bradenton, beating top seed Monika Kilnarova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-3 to get into the main draw. Today she defeated wild card Alycia Parks 6-4, 6-1 to set up a meeting with No. 4 seed Victoria Rodriguez of Mexico. Osuigwe, who turns 15 next month, could only play eight pro tournaments at age 14; the WTA allows her ten between April 17 2017 and April 16 2018, although there are paths to adding as many as four more depending on her results in pro and junior slam events and junior year-end ranking. Balancing a pro and junior schedule is complicated, but so far Osuigwe has succeeded.
Seventeen-year-old Maria Mateas, who also qualified into the main draw, advanced to the second round with a 6-0, 0-6, 6-2 win over Alexandra Mueller, who got in as a lucky loser when No. 2 seed Danielle Collins withdrew. Mateas will face fellow qualifier Amy Zhu, who played at the University of Michigan.
Kyle McPhillips, who is back competing in Pro Circuit events for the first time in more than three years after graduating from UCLA last year, has had no trouble in her debut; the 22-year-old wild card from Ohio qualified without dropping a set and today defeated 19-year-old Zhanlan Wei of China 6-2, 6-1. McPhillips plays No. 6 seed Connie Hsu of Taiwan, the former Penn star, next. Other Americans into the second round are Sanaz Marand, Nicole Melichar and Sophie Chang.
At the $25,000 Futures tournament in Bakersfield California, UCLA recruit Keegan Smith earned his second ATP point, beating Daniel Nolan of Australia 6-3, 6-3. The 18-year-old Southern Californian qualifier had nine aces in the match. He will play No. 8 seed Jared Hiltzik next. Other Americans into the second round include Marcos Giron, wild cards Connor Smith and Bradley Klahn, Gonzales Austin, Christian Harrison, John Lamble and Wil Spencer.
The marquee match of the day in Division I college tennis was in Austin Texas, where the eighth-ranked Longhorns spotted the second-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes a 3-0 lead, but charged back to post a 4-3 win. All six singles matches went to three sets, and Texas's Leonardo Telles at line 5 and Rodrigo Banzer at line 6 both win third-set tiebreakers to earn points. Banzer's 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(3) win over Kyle Seelig clinched the match for Texas. For complete results and quotes, see the Texas website.
The ITA released the NAIA individual rankings today, the first since November, with Kevin Konfederak and Jordan Cox of Georgia Gwinett No. 1 and No. 2 in the men's singles rankings. Konfederak and Cox, who won the Small College Super Bowl doubles title last fall, are ranked No. 1 in doubles.
The women's top two players are Camille Gbaguidi of the Savannah College of Art and Design and Valeria Podda of Georgia Gwinett. Podda is part of the No. 2 ranked doubles team, with Klara Dohnalova. The top-ranked team is also from Georgia Gwinett: Chiara Di Salov and Alyona Vasilyeva. The fourth-ranked player in singles, Brittany Augustine, who was a prominent Southern California junior when I first began covering tournaments there, is now 25 years old and playing for San Diego Christian.
Tonight in at the BNP Parbias Open in Indian Wells, Jack Sock reached his third consecutive Masters quarterfinal, defeating Malek Jaziri of Tunisia 4-6, 7-6(1), 7-5. Sock, the No. 17 seed, had saved four match points in beating No. 12 seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(7) on Tuesday. Sock will face No. 4 seed Kei Nishikori of Japan in the quarterfinals, after Nishikori downed Donald Young 6-2, 6-4.