A big merci to Pierrick, our correspondent from France who did such an excellent job of reporting on Les Petits As in February, for keeping us dialed in on the French Open junior qualifying taking place at Montrouge Tennis Club in Paris.
Although both tournaments start on the middle Sunday, the U.S. Open juniors qualifying is on Friday and Saturday; in Paris, it is Thursday and Friday, so the first round was completed today. The sparse number of American players who took a chance on qualifying--one girl and three boys--is now down to one, as Alexa Guarachi, Harry Fowler and Ty Trombetta dropped their opening matches. Tennys Sandgren won his, and if he defeats Yannick Reuter of Belgium tomorrow, he will join Ryan Harrison, Bradley Klahn, Chase Buchanan and Jarmere Jenkins in the main draw. There are three U.S. girls: Melanie Oudin, Madison Brengle and Mallory Burdette. For the qualifying draws, see the French Federation website. All the above mentioned boys played this week's Grade 1 in Belgium, the Astrid Bowl. Fowler and Trombetta lost in the first round, Harrison and Sandgren in the second and Jenkins and Klahn in the quarterfinals. Buchanan plays unseeded Ilija Vucic of Serbia in the semifinals Friday. The ITF junior website is not being updated regularly, but the draws are available on the astrid-bowl.com under the heading Tableaux.
The ITF junior site published this preview, which I think is a good one. After his five-set loss to Andy Murray, France's Jonathan Eysseric is definitely one to watch; he recently won a 10K in Turkey on clay, and his ATP ranking, now inside 400, will assure that he's seeded in the top eight. The article mentions Guido Pella of Argentina, the Italian Open winner, but not Serbian Filip Krajinovic, who is waltzing through the draw at the Astrid Bowl despite not being seeded, and has earned a special exemption into the main draw with his performance, as has Milos Raonic, the big-serving Canadian.
Thursday, May 29, 2008