Friday, September 26, 2008

U.S. Jr. Fed Cup and Davis Cup Teams Reach Semifinals; Robson Wins Again

Both U.S. 16-and-under teams reached the semifinals of the Junior Fed Cup and Junior Davis Cup competition in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Neither team has dropped a point, winning all three ties by 3-0 scores, including Friday's ties against seeded teams.

Christina McHale gave the top-seeded U.S. girls a 1-0 lead with a 6-1, 6-4 decision over Doroteja Eric of Serbia and Kristie Ahn moved them past the No. 7 seeds with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Aleksandra Krunic. McHale and Sloane Stephens made quick work of Eric and Jovana Jaksic 6-0, 6-1 in the dead rubber doubles match.

Evan King gave the U.S. boys, seeded third, their first point with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win over Tobias Blomgren of Sweden, who were seeded sixth. Denis Kudla played what coach David Roditi described as a "near-perfect" match, quickly dispatching Sweden's No. 1 player Daniel Berta 6-1 6-3. King and Raymond Sarmiento completed the sweep with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win over Berta and Blomgren in doubles.

The girls semifinal opponent is Hungary, the No. 5 seeds. Former Cal star Susie Babos's younger sister Timea is a member of that team. The U.S. boys meet No. 2 seeded India, which boasts the competition's highest-ranked player in the ITF junior standings, Yuki Bhambri, at No. 18. In the other Junior Davis Cup semifinal, No. 1 Russia meets No. 5 Argentina. The other Junior Fed Cup opponents are No. 4 Great Britain and No. 8 Belarus.

For more details and full results, see the ITF Junior website.

Laura Robson continues to impress, defeating tour veteran Tzipi Obziler 6-3, 6-3 to advance to the semifinals of the $75,000 event in Shrewsbury. Up next for the 14-year-old Wimbledon girls champion is No. 2 seed Maret Ani of Estonia. Nigel Sears of the LTA comments extensively on her progress and her game in this story from the Daily Mail.