Austin Meets Andrews For Teen Tennis Title, with Kozlov also in Finals; Tennis Plaza Cup Recap; Australian Jr. Qualies Underway
Doubles partners Brooke Austin and Gabrielle Andrews have assured a second U.S. championship at the Aegon International Junior Teen Tennis Tournament in Bolton, England with victories in Thursday's semifinals. Austin, the No. 1 seed, beat No. 9 seed Estelle Cascino of France 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 and Andrews, the No. 16 seed, breezed past unseeded Jana Fett of Croatia 6-1, 6-2. Austin and Andrews have already captured the doubles title with the No. 4 seeds defeating Alexandra Stiteler and Taylor Townsend of the U.S. 6-1, 6-3.
Unseeded Stefan Kozlov advanced to the boys final with a 6-3, 6-4 win over unseeded Maxime Janvier of France and will face another French opponent in the final, No. 15 seed Thomas Brechemier. Kozlov, who will be 12 next month, is playing against older competitors than he did in the Eddie Herr and Junior Orange Bowl tournaments, yet he has lost only one set in his five victories.
For complete draws, see the LTA website.
My weekly article for the Tennis Recruiting Network is a recap of the Tennis Plaza Cup, a USTA Level 3 National Tournament in Coral Gables, Fla., that I have now been covering for three years.
In Australia, the qualifying for the Junior Championships have begun and two things struck me as unusual. First, unlike all the other Grand Slams, including the Australian Open Junior Championships last year, the draw is 64, not 32, meaning that it will take three victories to reach the main draw, not two. And there are three American boys in qualifying: Evan Song, Michael Zhu and Michael Grant, all of whom won their opening qualifying matches on Thursday. World Junior Champion Daniel Berta of Sweden, who received a qualifying wild card after an entry mixup, also won his first match. According to the Tennis Australia site, the final two rounds of qualifying will be on Friday, with a day off for everyone on Saturday before the main draw begins on Sunday. There are no U.S. girls in qualifying.