Men's Qualifying Underway at Australian Open; Tomljanovic, Solovieva and Capra Qualify at Plantation Pro Circuit; Copper Bowl 16s & 18s Review
The U.S. has an even dozen men battling for spots in the main draw of the Australian Open, with the qualifying tournament underway this evening. Alex Kuznetsov, Lester Cook, Kevin Kim, Todd Widom, Michael Yani, Jesse Witten, Donald Young, Brendan Evans, Alex Bogomolov, Ryler DeHeart, Ryan Sweeting and Robert Kendrick are all playing their first round qualifying matches tonight (it's Wednesday in Melbourne now).
A few other notes about some of those in qualifying;
Two-time NCAA champion Somdev Devvarman did not receive the Asian main draw wild card. Although I have not seen an official announcement, it appears to have gone to Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan.
There are 14 Australians in the qualifying, eight of them wild cards, and one of the qualifying wild cards has gone to Sean Berman. Berman, who is still listed as playing for the USA on the ITF sites, won the Australian Under 16 title last month, defeating Luke Saville, who also received a qualifying wild card. There are two other Australian juniors in the qualifying draw--James Duckworth and Ben Mitchell.
India's Yuki Bhambri, who may have requested a qualifying wild card as the 2009 Australian Open boys champion, ended up not needing one. He got in on his own ranking, which is 330.
For the complete men's qualifying draw, see the Australian Open website. The women's qualifying draw should be out by Wednesday morning.
The qualifying is complete at the Plantation Pro Circuit events, and three junior girls made the main draw of the $25,000 tournament. Alja Tomljanovic, seeded No. 2, beat Kaitlyn Christian 7-6(3), 6-1, Beatrice Capra defeated Allie Will 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 (both were unseeded) and unseeded Valeria Solovieva beat No. 8 seed Lena Litvak 6-1, 6-2. In a main draw first round match between wild cards, Ahsha Rolle defeated Ester Goldfeld 7-6(1), 1-6, 6-4.
In the men's $10,000 Futures, Alex Domijan and Alexander Ward were the only two teenagers to advance out of the qualifying. In a main draw first round match, Arkansas's Blake Strode defeated No. 7 seed Matej Bocko of Slovakia 6-4, 6-4.
On Wednesday we are flying to Florida for the USTA Tennis Plaza Cup, which begins Saturday, and are hoping to check in on the Plantation events Thursday.
For complete results, see the Pro Circuit page at usta.com.
If you are interested in the 16s and 18s finals at the Copper Bowl, Gregg Jones has all the particulars at the Tennis Recruiting Network.