Easter Bowl 2018 Preview
If recent results are any indication, 16-year-old Caty McNally is going to be playing more ITF and USTA Pro Circuit events and less junior tournaments in 2018.
But the Cincinnati native has her sights and focus set on the upcoming 51st annual Adidas Easter Bowl, the USTA Spring National Championships, which kicks off on Saturday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif., where all eyes were on the recently completed BNP Paribas Open.
The 18s is an ITF Grade B1 and USTA Level 1 event. It is a closed event, meaning only players from the United States are eligible to play. The tournament will include the nation’s top 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s players. The 12s and 14s will start play this Saturday, March 24, with the finals taking place on Thursday, March 22. The 16s and 18s begin play on Monday, with the 16s finals on Saturday, March 31, and the 18s finals on Easter Sunday, April 1.
McNally, who lost in the singles quarterfinals last April at the Easter Bowl to eventual winner Claire Liu, is currently the No. 30-ranked player in the ITF Junior World Rankings. She has quickly proven to be one of the toughest doubles players on the USTA Pro Circuit, capturing back-to-back doubles titles at $15,000-level pro events at Orlando and Tampa over the past few weeks, as well as another $15,000 event in Guadaloupe in January.
McNally and Whitney Osuigwe, the world No. 1 junior, won the Adidas Easter Bowl ITF 18s doubles title last year and went on to play in the Wimbledon girls' doubles final. It was the second consecutive year McNally had advanced to the final. In December, McNally and Osuigwe cemented their claim as one of the world’s top junior doubles team by winning the prestigious Eddie Herr International.
McNally recently won the USTA Pro Circuit doubles title in Orlando with her former U.S. Junior Fed Cup teammate Osuigwe, and she teamed to win in Tampa with Natasha Subhash. It was the fourth pro title of McNally’s career, as she also won the Hilton Head Island event back in October with British partner Emily Appleton.
Fifteen-year-old Alexa Noel of Summit, N.J., who is currently ranked No. 11 in the ITF World Junior Rankings, is expected to be the top seed in the ITF 18s event. She will be followed by world No. 27 Margaryta Bilokin, who is originally from the Ukraine but trains at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
In addition to Noel and McNally, other top American girls in the 18s are: Subhash (Fairfax, Va.), Lea Ma (Dix Hills, N.Y.), Hailey Baptiste (Washington, D.C.), Hurricane Tyra Black (Boca Raton, Fla.), Gabriella Price (Montebello, N.Y.), Katie Volynets (Walnut Creek, Calif.) and last year’s USTA National Hardcourt Girls’ 16s singles and doubles champion Angelica Blake (Boca Raton), who also won the 16s Easter Bowl in 2016.
On the boys’ side, Southern California’s Tristan Boyer (Altadena, Calif.) is the top-seeded player, coming in with an ITF world ranking of No. 13. He is followed by No. 14 Drew Baird (Holly Springs, N.C.), No. 15 Andrew Fenty (Washington, D.C.) and No. 39 Trey Hilderbrand (San Antonio).
The top-seeded players in the Boys’ 16s include: Keshav Chopra (Marietta, Ga.), Max McKennon (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Welsh Hotard (New Orleans, La.), while the girls' 16s top seeds include: Gianna Pielet (El Paso, Texas), Valencia Xu (Livingston, N.J.), Karina Miller (Ann Arbor, Mich.).
In the boys' 14s, the top seeds are: Samir Banerjee (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Noelle Andrey Ampong (Downers Grove, Ill.), Max Fardanesh (Albany, Calif.), while the girls’ 14s top seeds are: Reese Brantmeier (Whitewater, Wisc.), Alexandra Torre (Brentwood, Tenn.), Elena Yu (Mason, Ohio).
The boys’ 12s top-seeded players include: Nicholas Mangiapane (Davidson, N.C.); Rudy Quan (Roseville, Calif.), Andrew Salu (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.). In the girls' 12s, the top seeds are: Stephanie Yakoff (Fort Lee, N.J.), Clervie Ngounoue (Washington, D.C.) and Brooklyn Olson (Kansas City, Mo.).
The Adidas Easter Bowl ITF boys’ main-draw wild cards include: Jensen Brooksby, Stefan Dostanic, Jake Sands and Ryder Jackson. ITF girls’ main-draw wild cards are: Jaeden Brown, Imani Graham, Elvina Kalieva, Charlotte Owensby, Alexandra Yepifanova and Sara Choy.
The 16s wild cards for the girls are Carson Tanguilig, Danielle Benabraham, Gianna Pielet and Nika Vesley, while the boys wild cards include Andrew Chang, Jameson Corsillo and Alex Lin.
To keep up with the latest Adidas Easter Bowl news, results, schedules and live streaming, visit the tournament website at www.easterbowl.com, and follow on Facebook, Twitter and the Match Tennis App.