Guy McCrea has really outdone himself today, sending me dozens of photos from the junior action at Roland Garros. He is going back to Great Britain on Wednesday, so we need to savor the eyewitness coverage while we have it.
McCrea was impressed with 13th seed Tennys Sandgren's temperament and clay court defense, and saw the 17-year-old from Tennessee, who was a finalist at the Copa Gerdau in Brazil in March, reach the third round with today's 6-3, 6-2 victory over Marin Draganja of Croatia. With Harry Fowler's 6-3, 6-3 loss to No. 16 seed Yannik Reuter of Belgium, Sandgren is the last U.S. boy remaining in the singles draw.
No. 15 seed Sloane Stephens, of whom McCrea remarked "I can see what all the fuss is about," lost her first set in quite a while, but emerged with a 6-4 2-6 6-4 win over No. 4 seed Timea Babos of Hungary. Babos is the younger sister of former Cal player and 2006 NCAA champion Susie Babos. Stephens was down 2-0 in the final set, won four straight games, saw her break evaporate for 4-4, but broke and held to claim a spot in the quarterfinals against No. 11 seed and Copa Gerdau winner Silvia Njiric of Croatia.
Beatrice Capra reached the third round by taking a 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 decision from last week's Grade 1 Astrid Bowl winner Richel Hogenkamp of the Netherlands. McCrea reports that Capra was defending valiantly, and also coming to the net to put away volleys when she got the chance. At 4-4 in the third, Capra faced two break points on her serve, but saved them both, then converted her first match point with Hogenkamp serving at 4-5 30-40 to advance to the final 16.
The French Open title hopes of top seed Laura Robson ended on Tuesday with her 7-6(10), 1-6, 6-3 loss to Sandra Zaniewska of Poland. The Guardian has this story about her reaction to the loss and her prospects for a main draw wild card at Wimbledon.
Robson and her partner Anna Orlik of Belarus did not take the court against their doubles opponents Lauren Embree and Capra, so the seventh-seeded U.S. pair are through to the quarterfinals. So are No. 5 seeds Evan King and Denis Kudla, who had no difficulty with French wild cards Benjamin Cselenko and Yann Renault, taking their second round match 6-2, 6-1. Harry Fowler and Mitchell Frank won their first round match in doubles, over Alexandros Georgoudas of Germany and Riki Mclachlan of New Zealand, 6-3, 6-4. Devin Britton and Jordan Cox battled to a first round win over Henri Laaksonen of Finland and Andrei Vasilevski of Belarus 6-4, 1-6, 10-7. Sloane Stephens and Christina McHale, seeded 8th, reached the second round with a 7-6(2), 7-5 victory over Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan and Valeria Savinykh of Russia. Mallory Burdette, playing with Quirine Lemoine of the Netherlands, lost to Babos and Great Britain's Heather Watson, the No. 3 seeds, 6-4, 7-5.
There has been much talk about all the surprises in the "senior" tournament (those of you who have been reading zootennis for several years were probably already familiar with Dominika Cibulkova and Sorana Cirstea) but not much has gone to form in the junior event either. After two rounds, only two of the boys top eight seeds have survived--Bernard Tomic of Australia (2) and Andre Collarini of Argentina (3). Of the 14 girls remaining (Stephens and Njiric are a round ahead), only two top eight seeds are still playing--Australian Open junior champion Ksenia Pervak of Russia (3), who barely survived in her second round match today, and Ajla Tomljanovic (6) of Croatia. Pervak plays Christina McHale on Wednesday.
For complete draws, visit the Roland Garros website.