AO Junior Final Preview; Rubin Reaches Les Petits As Semis; Quigley Spotlight; Kick-off Weekend Underway
I've previewed tonight's Australian Open girls and boys finals, featuring Laura Robson vs. Karolina Pliskova and Sean Berman vs. Tiago Fernandes for the New York Times' Straight Sets blog. I didn't go into a lot of detail on the Sean Berman situation, but from what I've learned, it appears Tennis Australia(or any Grand Slam host) has the final word on a player's nationality for their particular tournament, although Berman will remain affiliated with the United States in future ITF tournaments until he has been released by the USTA and Tennis Australia has provided the appropriate paperwork to the ITF. The Australian press is calling Berman Australian in headlines, etc., although many are explaining his status, since it's likely that very few Australians were familiar with his name prior to last month's national championships. The Sydney Morning Herald had this story on Berman. For more on his win yesterday over Marton Fucsovics of Hungary, and Fernandes' victory over Gianni Mina of France, see this story on the Australian Open website. The girls semifinal story from the AO website is here.
The boys final begins at 9 p.m. Eastern here in the US, and is being played, as it has been for several years now, in Rod Laver Arena. The girls final follows. At the risk of belaboring the point, this scheduling is much preferred over the simultaneous finals always scheduled at the US Open junior championships. The ESPN 360 schedule does include that time slot, although it does not specifically mention the junior championships. I'll tweet a link if it is available.
Today's action at Les Petits As produced only one American singles winner, with No. 12 seed Noah Rubin advancing to the semifinals with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 win over qualifier Joshua Sapwell of Great Britain. Spencer Furman came close to upsetting No. 2 seed Borna Coric of Croatia before suffering a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 defeat. Rubin plays No. 16 seed Xander Veys of Belgium on Saturday.
Wild card Christina Makarova lost to No. 8 seed Kanami Tsuji of Japan by the rather odd scoreline of 6-2, 0-6, 6-0, and Teen Tennis champion and No. 2 seed Gabrielle Andrews was beaten by No. 6 seed Indy de Vroome of the Netherlands 7-6(4), 6-4.
Andrews will play for a title however, as she and Brooke Austin will, for the second tournament in a row, face Americans Alexandra Stiteler and Taylor Townsend for the girls doubles championship. Both U.S. teams won semifinal matches in match tiebreakers.
For complete results, see the tournament website.
Kentucky sophomore Eric Quigley is the subject of the usta.com's college spotlight, and he will be in action this weekend, as will many of the top collegians, in the qualifying events for next month's ITA Team Indoor Championships. A few of the sites have begun play today, most are Saturday/Sunday schedules, with a few extending into Monday. See the ITA page for more information. Ken Thomas of radiotennis.com will be broadcasting from the University of Southern California site, which features men's and women's matches, beginning on Saturday.
For more on the Kick-off weekend, see texascollegetennis.com.