Sunday, January 24, 2010

Second Seed Watson Out in First Round; Three Americans Advance at Australian Open Jr. Championships; Dabrowski Feature

The first round of singles at the Australian Open Junior Championships were played over two days and are just finishing now, which is Monday in Melbourne.

The biggest surprise of the opening rounds was the loss of US Open girls champion and No. 2 seed Heather Watson of Great Britain who was defeated by unseeded 15-year-old Hao Chen Tang of China 6-1, 4-6, 6-1. Watson spoke at length about her loss Saturday with Simon Cambers who is writing for the ITF junior website.

Three of the four U.S. players advanced, with No. 4 seed Mitchell Frank posting his first singles win at a Grand Slam on Sunday with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Australian wild card Jay Andrijic. Nick Chappell lost to wild card Ben Wagland of Australia 6-3, 6-1. Like Frank, Madison Keys also earned her first Grand Slam victory Sunday, defeating one of the few Australians in the field not there by means of a wild card, Viktorija Rajicic, 6-3, 6-4. Ester Goldfeld avenged her second round Orange Bowl loss last month to China's Saisai Zheng, the No. 15 seed in Melbourne, taking Monday's contest 7-5, 2-6, 6-3. Zheng was one of five seeded girls to lose in the first round. In addition to Zheng and Watson, No. 8 seed Camila Silva of Chile, No. 13 seed Tamara Curovic of Serbia and No. 14 Ulrikke Eikeri of Norway were eliminated.

Unseeded Laura Robson had no difficulty advancing past wild card Belinda Woolcock of Australia, and she will continue to juggle her schedule to include girls singles and doubles, as well as women's doubles. Robson has dropped out of girls doubles. She was playing with Heather Watson. She and Australian Sally Peers have reached the women's doubles quarterfinals as wild cards.


Orange Bowl champion and No. 4 seed Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada recorded her first Grand Slam victory Monday, defeating Emi Mutaguchi of Japan 7-5, 6-4. Dabrowski and her family are the subject of this lengthy feature, entitled "All for love" in her hometown newspaper, the Ottawa Citizen.

The Australian boys have been very impressive in the opening round, with seven of the eight wild cards reaching the second round, as well as No. 3 seed Jason Kubler and Luke Saville, who received entry based on his ITF ranking. Qualifier Jarryd Chaplin gave top seed Daniel Berta of Sweden a real battle on Monday before finally succumbing 7-5, 2-6, 8-6.

Three seeded boys lost in the first round--No. 7 seed Kevin Krawietz of Germany, No. 12 seed Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan and No. 15 seed Henri Laaksonen of Finland.

The doubles championships have begun, with Keys and Goldfeld playing together. Mitchell Frank and Finland's Micke Kontinen were seeded fifth, but they lost in the first round Monday to the Brazilian team of Tiago Fernandes and Bruno Semenzato. Nick Chappell is playing with Vladislav Dubinsky of Russia.

For complete draws, see the Australian Open website.

14 comments:

abc said...

Collette,

Just noticed that Sean Berman is playing with a big AUS next to his name in the juniors. Didn't you say he entered the juniors with a USA next to his name?

Colette Lewis said...

@abc
Berman was initially showing as from USA on the draw, but it was changed to AUS by the time the first matches were played on Sunday.

Austin said...

Where on earth are all of our juniors Down Under? Is this an all-time low for number of entrants? Usually not a ton make the trek, but this year seems really low.

This past weekend was the opening weekend for a lot of college teams.

UVA handled Notre Dame pretty easily, but what surprised me was how ND looked much stronger at the 7-10 positions. Obviously this is a moot point since in a real match only six singles players compete, and UVA seems very strong in each of them, but it was surprising to see UVA may not have any depth. Could be a factor if anyone gets injured.

Does anyone know if Van Overbeek and Bangoura enrolled at Florida early or are they supposed to be freshmen this year? I thought they each had another year of juniors to go. Didnt realize Johnny Hamui transferred out of Gainesville like Hochwalt and Dadamo. Gators would be pretty good if they could ever keep their players there for four years.

Two surprising results were Northwestern beating Alabama, the Tide may be a touch overrated this season after losing several players to graduation and one to a transfer. Also, NCST took down Michigan. Wolverines have slid back after making their way up the rankings a few years ago.

wi tennis said...

Was a good win by Northwestern. Although, Vanderbilt beat NC State, NC State beat Michigan and Michigan beat Vandy. So, they're all pretty close in level, at this stage.

My guess is that Hamui transferred because he wouldn't play. Hochwalt wouldn't either. Losing Dadamo hurts though. Also, you never know about attitude or work ethic of the players until you see them in a team setting, everyday. One of them could have been a coach's decision to not return??

If Cueto is healthy, the Gators are going to be nasty, even without Dadamo.

Colette Lewis said...

@Austin--
van Overbeek is a '92, meaning he graduated early and started at Fla. early. He turned 18 today. Bangoura is a '91 and he graduated last spring, despite being only 17, so he would have been expected to be in college by last fall. He will be 19 in November.

Been There said...

Where is Hochwalt now?

fla_tennis said...

To wi tennis - You have no clue what you are talking about and certainly missed the posts from last April and May regarding Florida tennis. Please do not speculate on what you may have think happened to Dadamo,Hochwalt and Hamui, you will never know unless you know each players personal story.
All 4 guys of the number one recruiting class of 2007 have left the team within the last 6 months. It has nothing to do with work ethic, committment, or their function in a team setting and has everything to do with the UF program. To lose those 4 guys is totally unbelievable...Please tell me 1 program where this has happened?? UF should and will miss them and I hope they all do well in the future.

wi tennis said...

I've heard all the stories about Jackson is boring. All they do is hit crosscourts, down the lines, practices too long. Even if that is true... toughen up and realize that you have an opportunity to play at a great place, taken care of like a baby, play great matches, have great weather.

I'm not speculating about their attitudes, but people only look at players on the surface. Not from a team/coach's perspective.

Also...who are you going to start Hochwalt or Hamui over?? LaCroix? Cueto? Benneteau? Burkhardt? Bangoura? Van Overbeek? Now Dadamo, you would have a good argument of being in the top 6. And Hamui and Hochwalt can play some darn good tennis, don't get me wrong!!!

getreal said...

to fla_tennis.... it happens. I believe there was a defection of several top players from UT (texas) to GA a few years ago.

not playing and unhappy said...

Fla. Tennis, If that was a top recruiting class it doesn't say much for college tennis. Dadamo is the only one with a chance to do any thing at all in tennis past college.
The kids that don't play or are playing lower in the lineup than they think they should are always the ones that transfer. Its always the coaches fault for not seeing how good they are even if the kids don't work hard or have bad attitudes and bad results or all of the above.
The real signs of how good the kids were will be what they do with their tennis after they transfer or in Hochwalts case turn pro.

Austin said...

@getreal,

Antonio Ruiz and Travis Helgeson both played #1 for Texas before transferring to Georgia...however, they were not at either school at the same time as Ruiz is two years older.

flatennis said...

i know all of the guys who transferred or left uf from junior tennis. all of them had to say the same thing about jackson...basically lured them to gainesville during the recruiting process and things went downhill soon after. isnt a great coach but is a great recruiter. so it makes sense everyone wants to leave after a few semesters down there.

hochwalt had a good fall before he got hurt last year and would have probably played at the top of the lineup with cueto and lacroix. dadamo was a stack at 6 who was never tested and hamui had an ok year at 4 or 5. i really think the program down there is headed in the wrong direction until there is a coaching change.

also, the new guys will probably play higher than the burkhardts and bennetaus of the world, probably because they couldnt win a match when it counted last year (say the stats). why wouldnt these young kids coming in want to ask some questions to the guys who recently left florida about the program? something is obviously not right down in the gator nation and good luck to those who left!

wi tennis said...

Well Benneteau and Burkhardt won easy against Baylor. Benneteau won in doubles, too. The new guys all lost. I realize it is early!

Benneteau and Burkhardt made the NCAA's in doubles. And Burkhardt lost 7 matches all year, as a freshmen, at #4, with their schedule. And won in the biggest match against Miami in the NCAA Team Tourney. Not sure what stats you're reading. You were correct that Benneteau was up and down in singles results last year.

Hopefully juniors will learn that they should not always go to the biggest name school to fulfill your ego, "parents dreams" and gain media attention. Go where you will get great matches, play in the lineup and have a great coach. I think it's better to play 1 or 2 for a top 50 school than to play 6 or 7 for a top 10/top school, if your goals are to develop your game as far as possible. You can make changes to your game and not risk dropping out of the lineup, while you perfect the technique change. You won't have many cupcake matches either. Travis Parrot is an example that comes to mind.

Austin said...

To be fair about Travis Parrott though, he went to UGA for three years, got his national championship, then transferred to Portland senior year to work with a doubles specialist coach or something along those lines. I still dont know how that STACKED Dawgs team didnt win the title in '02.