Australian Open Junior Qualifying Begins, Wild Cards Announced; Twenty Americans Reach AO Second Round; US Claims Half of Quarterfinal Berths in Bolton
The wild cards for the Australian Open Junior Championships, which begin on Saturday, have been distributed. Note that a wild card, Oliver Anderson of Australia, won the boys title in 2016, a result not particularly rare in the ITF Junior ranks. I believe the two Chinese wild card are a results of playoffs for Asian juniors, similar to the competition Tennis Australia holds for a men's and women's main draw wild card.
Matthew Dellavedova (AUS)
Kody Pearson (AUS)
Chase Ferguson (AUS)
Alexander Crnokrak (AUS)
Lucas Vuradin (AUS)
Dane Sweeny (AUS)
Thomas Bosancic (AUS)
Tao Mu (CHN)
Lisa Mays (AUS)
Alexandra Bozovic (AUS)
Aleksa Cveticanin (AUS)
Ivana Popovic (AUS)
Michaela Haet (AUS)
Selina Turulja (AUS)
Zoe Kruger (RSA)
Chengyiyi Yuan (CHN)
Special exempts went to Traralgon doubles semifinalists Francesco Forti of Italy in the boys draw and Gabriella Da Silva-Fick of Australia in the girls draw. The special exempt spots not used allowed Lisa Piccinetti of Italy and Siphosothando Montsi of South Africa to move into the main draw.
The qualifying draw cannot be posted on the ITF junior website until after the Freeze deadline, but qualifying does begin on Wednesday in Traralgon (tonight here in the US), so the draw has been made. There is a bye in the girls draw, and no wild cards were necessary, which is unusual for a junior slam, and it means that top seed Ali Collins of Great Britain has to win only one match to advance to the main draw. American girls in qualifying are Jazmin Walle, Alana Smith and Jimena Rodriguez-Benito. The boys qualifying draw does have six wild cards, all from Australia. American boys in qualifying are Tristan Boyer and Zachary Garner.
All Americans are out of both singles and doubles at the ITF Grade 1 in Traralgon, with Hurricane Tyra Black losing to No. 5 seed Iga Swiatek of Poland 6-3, 6-4 in the quarterfinals. Black also lost in the quarterfinals of doubles, as did No. 3 seeds Caty McNally and Natasha Subhash.
American success was much greater for the older players in Melbourne, where 20 competitors from the US advanced to the second round of the Australian Open. Americans who played college tennis went 6-0 in the first round, with qualifier Jennifer Brady, Nicole Gibbs and Irina Falconi joining John Isner, Steve Johnson and Noah Rubin, who won on Monday. Gibbs and Falconi will play each other Thursday for a chance to play, most likely, Serena Williams. The young Americans had mixed results yesterday, with both National 18s champions Michael Mmoh and Kayla Day dropping their matches in straight sets. Qualifier Reilly Opelka lost the last 10 points of his match with No. 11 seed David Goffin, Taylor Fritz is still looking for his first win at a major after a loss to Gilles Muller and Jared Donaldson won the first two sets from Brazil's Rogerio Dutra Silva before falling in five sets. Frances Tiafoe earned his first slam win, and Ernesto Escobedo claimed his second after making the second round last year at the US Open. For more on the young Americans, see this article from ESPN.com.
Tuesday's first round results for Americans:
Serena Williams def. Belinda Bencic(SUI) 6-4, 6-3
David Goffin(BEL) def. Reilly Opelka 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
Rogerio Dutra Silva(BRA) d. Jared Donaldson 3-6, 0-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
Jennifer Brady def. Maryna Zanevska(BEL) 6-3, 6-2
Andrea Petkovic(GER) def. Kayla Day 6-3, 6-2
Donald Young def. Thomas Fabbiano(ITA) 6-4, 7-6(1), 6-4
Gilles Muller(LUX) def. Taylor Fritz 7-6(6), 7-6(5), 6-3
Irina Falconi def. Xinyun Han(CHN) 6-1, 7-5
Frances Tiafoe def. Mikhail Kukushkin(KAZ) 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-2
Gilles Simon(FRA) def. Michael Mmoh 6-1, 6-3, 6-3
Nicole Gibbs def. Timea Babos(HUN) 7-6(3), 6-4
Ernesto Escobedo def. Daniil Medvedev(RUS) 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-1
Wednesday's second round matches involving Americans:
Stefanie Voegele(SUI) vs. Venus Williams
Noah Rubin vs. Roger Federer(SUI)
Samantha Crawford vs. Garbine Muguruza(ESP)
Elina Svitolina(UKR) vs. Julia Boserup
Stan Wawrinka(SUI) vs. Steve Johnson
Shelby Rogers vs. Ashleigh Barty(AUS)
Alex De Minaur(AUS) vs. Sam Querrey
Alison Riske vs. Shuai Zhang(CHN)
Tomas Berdych(CZE) vs. Ryan Harrison
Varvara Lepchenko vs. Ying-Ying Duan)CHN)
John Isner vs. Mischa Zverev(GER)
Karen Khachanov(RUS) vs. Jack Sock
Pauline Parmentier(FRA) vs. CoCo Vandeweghe
The quarterfinals are set for the Nike International 14U tournament in Bolton, with Americans occupying four of the eight spots in both the boys and girls draws. Unseeded Alexandra Yepifanova has lost only seven games in her three victories and today she defeated No. 3 seed Elsa Jacquemot of France 6-1, 6-2. Elvina Kalieva, top seed Cori Gauff and No. 8 seed Charlotte Owensby also won in straight sets.
Only three seeds advanced to the boys quarterfinals and two of them are Americans: No. 7 seed Martin Damm and No. 4 seed Toby Kodat, both of whom won in straight sets. Aidan Mayo and Alex Bernard also took out their opponents in straight sets. Complete draws are available at the Tennis Europe tournament site.