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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mladenovic, Berta Take French Junior Titles; Live Coverage of Grass Courts Begins Monday

Kristina Mladenovic of France and Daniel Berta of Sweden won French Junior Championships today at Roland Garros. The finals were played back-to-back on Court Suzanne Lenglen, beginning four hours prior to the men's final (are you listening US Open schedulers?), and from the various accounts of the matches, there were good crowds for both matches. It helped to have a French player in each, of course. The unseeded Berta beat No. 11 Gianni Mina of France 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 and Mladenovic downed unseeded Daria Gavrilova of Russia 6-3, 6-2. There has been no coverage of the juniors on the Roland Garros website until today, but they posted one story on the Mladenovic victory and a separate one on the Berta win. The AP sent out a story, which can be found here, and the ITF website has its roundup here.

The doubles titles were decided on Saturday, another inspired bit of junior compeition scheduling, with No. 2 seeds Elena Bogdan of Romania and Noppawan Lertcheewakarn of Thailand taking the girls championships, while the boys titles went to unseeded Marin Draganja and Dino Marcan of Croatia. Bogdan and Lertcheewakarn defeated No. 3 seeds Timea Babos of Hungary and Heather Watson of Great Britain 3-6, 6-3, 10-8, and for Lertcheewakarn, it was her second junior slam doubles title, having won the U.S. Open girls title with Sandra Roma of Sweden last year. Draganja and Marcan downed No. 4 seeds Guilherme Clezar of Brazil and Liang-Chi Huang of Chinese Taipei 6-3, 6-2. For the ITF website's account of the matches, click here.

And speaking of the French Open juniors, the last U.S. boy in the singles draw, Tennys Sandgren, is the subject of this story from the Knoxville News Sentinel about the possibility he'll join his older brother Davey for a semester at Tennessee. It also spotlights Caitlyn Williams's recent doubles win with Allie Will in the $10,000 Pro Circuit tournament in South Carolina last week.

The qualifying is complete at the ITF Grade 3 International Grass Courts at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, with first round matches scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Monday. The four boys qualifying are: Matthew Savran, Yevgeny Pereverzin, Harrison Abrams and Michael Zhu. The girls qualifiers are: Kyle McPhillips, Jennifer Kellner, Lauren Davis and Tessa Lyons. The top seeds are JT Sundling and Zachary White in the boys draw and Brooke Bolender and Grace Min in the girls drawa. Min is in a tough part of the draw, facing McPhillips in the first round, and the winner of the Davis - Hernandez match in the second, if she advances. See the TennisLink site for the draws. I'll be covering the event all week here and on twitter.