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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Emory and Chicago Meet Again for D-III Men's Indoor Title; Day and Andreescu Vie for Rancho Santa Fe $25K Title; US Juniors Sweep Titles at Grade 4 in Guatemala

The final is set for the ITA Division III Men's Team Indoor and it will be a rematch of the 2016 championship, with defending champion and top seed Emory taking on No. 3 seed Chicago.  Chicago had the easier route to the final, defeating No. 2 seed Washington-St. Louis 7-2, while Emory beat No. 4 seed Carnegie Mellon 5-4.  For the second straight day, Emory trailed 2-1 after doubles, but they again came through in singles, with Alec Josepher clinching at line 5, winning a three-setter to put the Eagles up 5-3.   The ITA recap of the semifinals is here. In last year's final, Emory won all three doubles points in a 7-2 win over Chicago, but they haven't shown that level of doubles dominance this year.  Unlike me, the Division III Tennis blog has the expertise to properly preview the final, so read their take on Sunday's 8 a.m. final here.

The final of the $25,000 Women's USTA Pro Circuit event in Rancho Santa Fe California will be a rematch of a semifinal of the 2016 girls US Open Junior Championships, with Kayla Day facing Bianca Andreescu. The 17-year-old Day defeated 18-year-old qualifier Katherine Sebov of Canada 6-3, 6-1, an impressive victory considering the run Sebov has been on since the first of the year.  The unseeded Andreescu, 16, also won in straight sets, beating No. 4 seed Sonya Kenin 6-3, 7-6(3). Although Day won their meeting in New York 5-7, 6-1, 6-2, Andreescu had won two of their previous three meetings prior to that, including the 2015 Orange Bowl final.

Day and Caroline Dolehide, who reached the girls doubles final at the US Open, won the doubles title today. The unseeded pair downed unseeded Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine and Chiara Scholl 6-3, 1-6, 10-7.  It's Day's first pro doubles title, with Dolehide having won a title at the $10,000 previously.

The last American was eliminated from the $15,000 Indian Harbour Beach Futures, with Rhyne Williams falling to No. 8 seed Corentin Denolly 6-0, 6-4. The teenager from France will face No. 4 seed Andrea Collarini of Argentina, who beat former Tulane star and No. 7 seed Dominik Koepfer of Germany 7-5, 6-3.

Top seeds Ramkumar Ramanathan of India and Jaume Pla Malfeito of Spain won the doubles title, defeating unseeded Nick Chappell and Hunter Callahan 6-2, 6-7(5), 11-9.

At the $50,000 +H Challenger in Mexico, former Texas A&M stars Austin Krajicek and Jackson Withrow won the doubles title, beating former Georgia Tech stars Kevin King and Dean O'Brien of South Africa 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 11-9.  Krajicek and Withrow didn't face a break point in the match, while King and O'Brien saved all five they faced. It's the third title as a team for Withrow and Krajicek, all this year, and the second at the Challenger level.

Today's ATP event in Delray Beach featured a semifinal between two two-time Kalamazoo 18 champions, with No. 3 seed Jack Sock getting past Donald Young 6-4, 7-6(2).  It's Sock's second ATP final this year and he will go for his second title of the year against the winner of tonight's match between Juan Martin del Potro and Milos Raonic.

At the ITF Grade 4 in Guatemala, US juniors swept all four titles.  Top seed Andrew Fenty won the boys singles, defeating No. 5 seed Marcelo Sepulveda Garza of Mexico 7-6(1), 6-2 in the final.  It's the 16-year-old's third ITF singles title.

Unseeded 16-year-old Niluka Madurawe won her first ITF singles title, beating top seed Maria Rivera Corado of Guatemala 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 in the girls final.

No. 4 seeds Trey Hilderbrand and Eliot Spizzirri defeated unseeded Blaise Bicknell and Martin Damm 6-4, 6-1 in the all-US boys doubles final.

The girls doubles title went to No. 2 seeds Jordan Harris and Alyssa Mayo, who beat No. 3 seed Fanni Gecsek of Hungary and Oleksandra Gorchanyuk of Canada 6-2, 5-7, 10-6.

Friday, February 24, 2017

My Interview with USTA's Martin Blackman; Top Four Seeds Advance to D-III Team Indoor Semis; All Teens in Rancho Santa Fe Semis

While I was in Florida earlier this month, I had an opportunity to speak with Martin Blackman, General Manager of Player Development at the USTA.  This is my third one-on-one interview with Blackman, and I always enjoy discussing the department's initiatives and goals. This tie we talked in detail about the new Lake Nona headquarters, but also about the college tennis pathway and the recent junior competition changes.  My current interview with Blackman is available at the Tennis Recruiting Network; if you are a subscriber you can read my previous interview with Blackman in February of 2016 here.

The top four seeds have advanced to the semifinals of the ITA Men's Division III Team Indoor Championships in Cleveland.  Top seed Emory defeated No. 8 seed Trinity 7-2, with the defending champions two losses coming in doubles.  No. 2 seed Washington-St. Louis got a rare shutout, beating No. 7 seed Kenyon 9-0 in the other morning quarterfinal. The afternoon brought one close match, with No. 4 seed Carnegie Mellon defeating No. 5 seed Case Western Reserve 5-4. No. 3 seed Chicago took out Pomona-Pitzer, the No. 6 seed 7-2.  Emory faces off against Carnegie Mellon and Washington St Louis meets Chicago in Saturday's semifinals, both scheduled for 12:30 p.m. The ITA recap of the day's action is here.  Case Western's tournament page is here.

All four semifinalists at the $25,000 USTA Women's Pro Circuit event in Rancho Santa Fe California are teenagers, with 18-year-old Sonya Kenin the oldest of the quartet.  Only 16-year-old Canadian Bianca Andreescu posted a routine win, defeating No. 8 seed Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal 6-2, 6-1 in 65 minutes.  Kenin led 5-2 in the final set, saw 18-year-old Caroline Dolehide win four straight games and serve for the match, but then broke to send the match into a tiebreaker. Kenin trailed 4-3 in the tiebreaker, but won the final four points of the match to earn a 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) victory, avenging her loss to Dolehide last week in Surprise. She will face Andreescu in the semifinals.

Top seed Kayla Day managed to do what Dolehide could not, come from a 5-2 deficit in the final set to claim victory.  The 17-year-old defeated No. 5 seed Mayo Hibi of Japan 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, in nearly three hours, winning the final five games of the match.  She will play 18-year-old qualifier Katherine Sebov in the semifinal, after Sebov took out qualifier Maria Sanchez 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-4 in a match lasting more than three hours.  Sebov is now 22-3 in USTA Pro Circuit events this year, including qualifying.

At the $15,000 Indian Harbour Beach Florida Futures, Rhyne Williams advanced to the semifinals, beating top seed Ramkumar Ramanathan of India 6-4, 7-5.  Williams will face 19-year-old Corentin Denolly of France, the No. 8 seed, next.  The other semifinal will feature Dominik Koepfer of Germany, the No. 7 seed, against No. 4 seed Andrea Collarini of Argentina.

At the ATP 250 in Delray Beach, No. 3 seed Jack Sock defeated No. 5 seed Steve Johnson 6-4, 7-6(4) in the quarterfinals, to set up another all-American match in the semifinals.  Johnson is the subject of this ESPN article, which focuses on his continuing efforts to improve his fitness.

Donald Young, who beat Taylor Fritz in the second round, received a walkover from Steve Darcis of Belgium into the semifinals.  Top seed Milos Raonic of Canada will face the winner of tonight's quarterfinal between defending champion Sam Querrey, seeded No. 4, and No. 7 seed Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Division III Men's Indoor Begins Friday with Emory as Top Seed; D-I All-Tournament Team Announced; New Division II Rankings; Quarterfinals Set in Pro Circuit Events

The Division III Men's Team Indoor Championship begins Friday, hosted by Case Western Reserve at the Cleveland Racquet Club. Unlike the Division I Team Indoor Championships, Division III has eight teams, not 16, so the tournament will be completed on Sunday. Top seed Emory is the defending champion.  Friday's schedule:

Emory[1] vs Trinity[8] 8 a.m.
Washington University-St Louis[2] vs Kenyon[7] 8 a.m.
University of Chicago[3] vs Pomona Pitzer[6] 12:30 p.m.
Carnegie Mellon[4] vs Case Western[5] 12:30 p.m.

FloTennis will again be providing live streaming, which requires a paid subscription.

Check out the Division III Tennis blog for previews, predictions and more.

The ITA announced the all-tournament team for the men's Division I Team Indoor, with Mikael Torpegaard of finalist Ohio State named the Most Outstanding Player. Complete tournament results for all those named below can be found here.

No. 1 singles: Mikael Torpegaard, Ohio State
No. 2 singles: Thai Kwiatkowski, Virginia
No. 3 singles: Harrison Scott, Texas
No. 4 singles: JC Aragone, Virginia
No. 5 singles: Alexander Ritschard, Virginia
No. 6 singles: Henrik Wiersholm, Virginia

No. 1 doubles: Skander Mansouri and Christian Seraphim, Wake Forest
No. 2 doubles: Thai Kwiatkowski and Alexander Ritschard, Virginia
No. 3 doubles: JC Aragone and Henrik Wiersholm, Virginia

The latest Division II team rankings were released on Wednesday, the first rankings since last November. The top 10s are below, with the full rankings available by clicking on the headings.

Men's Team:
1. Hawaii Pacific
2. Saint Leo
3. Armstrong State
4. Lander
5. Valdosta State
6. Columbus State
7. Barry
8. Lynn
9. West Florida
10. Embry Riddle

1. Armstrong State
2. BYU-Hawaii
3. Lynn
4. Saint Leo
5. Hawaii Pacific
6. Barry
7. West Florida
8. Columbus State
9. St. Mary’s Texas
10. Northeastern State

The quarterfinals are set at the $15,000 Futures in Indian Harbour Beach Florida and the $25,000 Women's tournament in Rancho Santa Fe California.

Rhyne Williams is the only American remaining in singles, after he defeated No. 6 seed Kaichi Uchida of Japana 6-3, 6-3 and 18-year-old Genaro Olivieri of Argentina 6-3, 6-0, with both matches played today due to rain on Wednesday.  Wild card Patrick Kypson won his first match, but lost his second match of the day to No. 5 seed Makoto Ochi of Japan 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.

Four US women have advanced to the quarterfinals in California, including top seed Kayla Day, who defeated former WTA No. 5 Daniela Hantuchkova of Slovakia 7-6(3), 6-1. Day will play No. 5 seed Mayo Hibi Friday.

Qualifier Maria Sanchez beat wild card Allie Sanford 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 and Caroline Dolehide, the champion last week in Surprise Arizona, downed Danielle Collins 7-5, 6-3.

Although Sonya Kenin was the seed, at No. 4, she still could claim an impressive victory with her win over qualifier Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine, who is 22-2 (including qualifying) this year, with her only previous loss also at the hands of Kenin.  Kenin faces Dolehide next, who beat her in the second round last week in Surprise.  Sanchez will take on Canadian teen Katherine Sebov, a fellow qualifier, while 16-year-old Canadian Bianca Andreescu will play No. 8 seed Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal.

Austin Krajicek has advanced to the semifinals of the $50,000+Hospitality Challenger in Mexico, where he will meet unseeded Nicolas Jarry of Chile.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Bellis Defeats Radwanska in Dubai; French Federation Announces French Open Junior Wild Card Event in US; Eight Americans Advance at Rancho Santa Fe; New USTA D-I Rankings

Seventeen-year-old CiCi Bellis picked up the first Top 10 win of her career today at the WTA Premier event in Dubai, defeating No. 4 seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. Bellis, who beat top 50 players Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan in the first round and Laura Siegemund of Germany in the second round, called it "the biggest win of my life."  An argument could be made that her win over Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia in the first round of the 2014 US Open remains the most significant, but certainly getting her first Top 10 win on the heels of two Top 50 wins is an important milestone.

Greg Garber of ESPN.com spoke to Bellis after her win, as did the WTA. Radwanska also was interviewed for the WTA and gives her thoughts on Bellis' game. Next up for Bellis is No. 10 seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark.  Lauren Davis has also reached the quarterfinals after beating Ekaterina Makarova of Russia today. All three of Davis's wins have come after dropping the first set.

The French Tennis federation is distributing a 2017 French Open Junior Championships wild card via tournaments held in six countries, including the US.  The United States event will be at the Boca West Country Club April 19-22 on red clay.  The winners will play off against those from Brazil, China, Japan, South Korea and India for a main draw wild card into the junior championships. The USTA will extend the invitations to compete in the event.  The release is here.

Heavy rain in Florida kept any tennis from being played Wednesday at the $15,000 Futures in Indian Harbour Beach, with 10 first round matches yet to be finished.  Those matches and all second round matches are scheduled for Thursday.

At the $25,000 Women's Pro Circuit event in Rancho Santa Fe California, eight US women have advanced to the second round: Kayla Day[1], Sonya Kenin[4], Claire Liu, Allie Sanford, Danielle Collins, Caroline Dolehide and qualifiers Maria Sanchez and Chanelle Van Nguyen.  Dolehide and Collins will play in one second round match Thursday; wild card Sanford and Sanchez will face off in the other all-US second rounder.  Also advancing are Canadian teens Katherine Sebov, a qualifier, and Bianca Andreescu, who beat No. 2 seed Catalina Pella of Argentina 6-2, 6-2.

Former USC star Yannick Hanfmann won three matches to qualify for the €64,000 ATP Challenger in Bergamo Italy and was drawn against top seed Andreas Seppi of Italy, currently 72 in the ATP rankings, in the opening round of the main draw. The 25-year-old German picked up his first Top 100 win in a 6-4, 6-2 victory, then reached his first Challenger quarterfinal with a 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 6-3 win over Germany's Daniel Brands today. He will face No. 7 seed Quentin Halys of France next.

The latest USTA Division I team poll came out today, a day after the ITA's first rankings done by computer, and it does not feature the big rises and falls of some teams found in the ITA rankings.  For the complete list of Top 25 teams, click here.

Women: (points in parentheses)
1.Florida (150)
2.North Carolina (143)
3.Ohio State (138)
4.Stanford (131)
5.Georgia (124)
6.Oklahoma State (120)
7.California (107)
8.Michigan (105)
9.Texas Tech (104)
10.Pepperdine (98)

1.Virginia (150)
2.Ohio State (144)
3.Wake Forest (138)
4.North Carolina (130)
5.California (124)
6.Oklahoma (112)
7.UCLA (109)
8.Florida (106)
9.Texas (104)
10.USC (101)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

ITA D-I Individual, Team Rankings Released; USTA Schedules Lake Nona College Showcase; Qualifying Complete at Rancho Santa Fe $25K

For all the tennis that's been played in the past few weeks, the changes at the very top of the ITA Division I rankings have been few.  In the women's team rankings, the first done by computer this season, Team Indoor champion Florida stays at No. 1 and in the men's team rankings, Virginia, who won the Team Indoor yesterday, remains in the top spot.

The rest of the top 10 did undergo some dramatic changes, probably the most notable being the Stanford women dropping from 5 to 25 and the Baylor women going from unranked to 10. Since the Cardinal did not play the Team Indoor, their only good win was last Friday against Oklahoma State. Although they will move back up once they begin play in the Pac-12, Stanford does pay a temporary price every year for passing on the Team Indoor.

In the men's rankings, powerhouse programs USC, UCLA and Georgia all dropped out of the Top 10, while Michigan and Oklahoma made big jumps. The ITA release for the men is here, the women is here. Full lists can be found by clicking on the link in the headings below.

Women's Top 10 Team: (previous ranking in parentheses)
1. Florida (1)
2. Ohio State (4)
3. North Carolina (2)
4. Michigan (10)
5. Texas Tech (7)
6. Oklahoma State (6)
7. Vanderbilt (12)
8. Auburn (11)
9. UCLA (20)
10. Baylor (NR)

Men's Top 10 Team: 
1. Virginia (1)
2. Ohio State (3)
3. Wake Forest (2)
4. North Carolina (5)
5. Oklahoma (14)
6. California (4)
7. Texas (11)
8. Oklahoma State (12)
9. Michigan (18)
10. Florida (6)

In the women's singles rankings, Ohio State's Francesca Di Lorenzo remains at No. 1, with UCLA freshman Ena Shibahara moving up to No. 2.  Although she did not quite crack the Top 10, Florida freshman Ingrid Neel went all the way from 45 to tied for 11th after her outstanding play at the Team Indoor. There's a new No. 1 in the women's doubles, with Michigan's Kate Fahey and Alex Najarian taking over the top spot.

Women's Top 10 Singles: (previous ranking in parentheses)
1. Francesca Di Lorenzo, Ohio State (1)
2. Ena Shibahara, UCLA (3)
3. Hayley Carter, North Carolina (5)
4. Sara Daavettila, North Carolina (2)
5. Astra Sharma, Vanderbilt (4)
6. Luisa Stefani, Pepperdine (7)
7. Sinead Lohan, Miami (6)
8. Melissa Lord, Stanford (13)
9. Viktoriya Lushkova, Oklahoma State (10)
10. Josie Kuhlman, Florida (19)

Women's Top 5 Doubles:
1. Kate Fahey and Alex Najarian, Michigan (3)
2. Christine Maddox and Mayar Sherif Ahmed, Pepperdine (4)
3. Hayley Carter and Jessie Aney, North Carolina (2)
4. Jada Hart and Ena Shibahara, UCLA (12)
5. Adila Sutjiadi and Mami Adachi, Kentucky (1)

The men's singles rankings also saw a big jump for Virginia's Thai Kwiatkowski, who went from 28 to 9, and Gage Brymer of UCLA, who moved from 19 to 10.  Petros Chrysochos of Wake Forest and Mikael Torpegaard of Ohio State, who so memorably decided the Team Indoor semifinal on Sunday, ended up in a tie for No. 1 this week. In men's doubles, there were changes in some positions in the top five, but Christian Seraphim and Mansouri of Wake Forest stayed at No. 1.

Men's Top 10 Singles:
T1. Mikael Torpegaard, Ohio State (2)
T1. Petros Chrysochos, Wake Forest (1)
3. Hugo Di Feo, Ohio State (8)
4. Nuno Borges, Mississippi State (3)
5. Mike Redlicki, Arkansas (6)
6. Alfredo Perez, Florida (9)
7. Christopher Eubanks, Georgia Tech (4)
8. Skander Mansouri, Wake Forest (10)
9. Thai Kwiatkowski, Virginia (28)
10. Gage Brymer, UCLA (19)

Men's Top 5 Doubles:
1. Christian Seraphim and Skander Mansouri, Wake Forest (1)
2. Filip Bergevi and Florian Lakat, California (3)
3. Jack Findel-Hawkins and Lasse Muscheites, North Florida (2)
4. Arjun Kadhe and Julian Cash, Oklahoma State, (5)
5. Jathan Malik and Kevin Wong, Michigan (4)

The USTA has announced a College Tennis Combine for June 14-16, 2017.  The event, which is limited to American players, will be held at the new USTA campus in Lake Nona.  As a Tennis Recruiting National Showcase event providing UTR credit, the tournament will give players an opportunity to be seen by college coaches, with USTA Pro Circuit wild cards awarded to the winners.  The Combine is being held in conjunction with a USTA/ITA College Coaches Workshop.  For more details, see this release from the USTA.

Qualifying for the $25,000 Women's Pro Circuit event in Rancho Santa Fe California is complete with four Americans qualifying: Chanelle Van Nguyen(UCLA), Notre Dame recruit Caroline Dunleavy, Maria Sanchez(USC) and Stanford recruit Michaela Gordon. Pepperdine sophomore Luisa Stefani of Brazil also qualified. Kayla Day is the top seed, last week's Surprise $25K champion Caroline Dolehide and finalist Danielle Lao received special exemptions into the main draw, and wild cards were given to Allie Sanford, Hanna Chang, Sabrina Santamaria and Mishel Okhremchuk of Ukraine.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Virginia Claims Sixth ITA Men's National Team Indoor Title with 4-1 Victory Over Ohio State; Sandgren Wins Second Career Challenger Title in Tempe; Bellis Beats Putintseva; Kecmanovic Feature

Photo courtesy ITA

The University of Virginia won its sixth ITA Men's National Team Indoor title on its home courts Monday, defeating Ohio State 4-1.  The top-seeded Cavaliers hadn't dropped a point in their previous three matches, but the No. 3 Buckeyes still had an opportunity to win, right up until JC Aragone hit a stunning backhand winner to close out Herkko Pollanen 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) gave two-time defending NCAA champion Virginia its first Indoor title since 2013.

The doubles point ended in controversy, after Matt Mendez and Hunter Tubert had saved two match points from 15-40 down at 5-6.  A hindrance call on Tubert, who had heard a call from the crowd and stopped play resulted in the point and the doubles point being awarded to Virginia, with the line 2 doubles match left unfinished.  Bobby Knight has more on the controversy at College Tennis Today.

The singles matches were all close with only Ohio State's Mikael Torpegaard at line 1 and Virginia's Henrik Wiersholm at line 6 avoiding a third set and only Alex Ritschard and Martin Joyce at line 5 not playing a tiebreaker. Since that match went unfinished at 5-6 in the third, it too could have required a tiebreaker, but JC Aragone, who saved a match point serving at 4-5 40-40, prevented that drama.

Highlights of the match can be found on the Virginia Cavaliers YouTube channel.

ITA Men's Team Indoor Final:

1. #55 Luca Corinteli/Carl Soderlund (VA) def. #38 Mikael Torpegaard/Herkko Pollanen (OSU) 6-0
2. Thai-Son Kwiatkowski/Alexander Ritschard (VA) vs. #25 Martin Joyce/Hugo Di Feo (OSU) 5-6, unfinished
3. Collin Altamirano/J.C. Aragone (VA) def. Matt Mendez/Hunter Tubert (OSU) 7-5

1. #2 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU) def. Collin Altamirano (VA) 6-3, 7-6(3)
2. #28 Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (VA) def. #8 Hugo Di Feo (OSU) 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2
3. Carl Soderlund (VA) vs. JJ Wolf (OSU) 6-3, 6-7(3), 3-5, unfinished
4. #64 J.C. Aragone (VA) def. #47 Herkko Pollanen (OSU) 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4)
5. Alexander Ritschard (VA) vs. #77 Martin Joyce (OSU) 6-3, 5-7, 5-6, unfinished
6. Henrik Wiersholm (VA) def. Kyle Seelig (OSU) 7-6(2), 6-2

Match Notes:
Ohio State 12-1; National ranking #3 Virginia 9-0; National ranking #1
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (6,1,2,4)

Rain pushed the final of the $75,000 ATP Challenger in Tempe until today, but for Tennys Sandgren, it was worth the wait.  The unseeded 25-year-old defeated 21-year-old Nikola Milojevic of Serbia 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 to claim his second career Challenger title.  Sandgren, who joins Noah Rubin and Ryan Harrison as American Challenger champions in 2017, moves to a career-high of 161 in the ATP rankings. For more, see the ATP website.

Seventeen-year-old CiCi Bellis returned to the WTA tour last week in Doha, after injuries kept her out of the Australian swing. Although Bellis did not qualify, she did get an opportunity to shake off the rust and today in Dubai, she defeated No. 17 seed Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 6-1, 7-5 for her first main draw win of the year.  Bellis, now ranked a career-high 70, spoke to WTA Insider Courtney Nguyen about today's win.

Qualifying was completed today at the $15,000 Futures in Indian Harbour Beach Florida, with Mico Santiago, Hunter Callahan(Ohio State) and Raleigh Smith(Northwestern) the Americans earning a place in the main draw.  Ramkumar Ramanathan of India is the top seed and Tommy Paul is the No. 2 seed.  Gianni Ross, Patrick Kypson, Mark Oljaca and Liam Caruana of Italy received main draw wild cards. Oljaca will face ITF World No. 1 junior Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia in the first round.  The 17-year-old IMG Academy product is the subject of this in-depth feature in the New York Times.