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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Abaza, Sajous Win Florida Section's US Open Qualifying Playoff; Puig, Capra and Stephens into French Quarterfinals; Octagon Signs Kozlov

(photo of Jan Abaza courtesy of USTA Florida)

The Florida section's US Open National Qualifying Playoff ended today, with 15-year-old Jan Abaza and former Florida Atlantic and University of Texas-Austin player Olivier Sajous each earning one of the 16 spots in the National Playoffs in July. The men's national tournament will be in Atlanta, the women's national will be in Stanford, with both being held in conjunction with ATP and WTA events at those locations.

Abaza beat Bollettieri-trained Di Zhou of China, the runnerup at the Eddie Herr this year, 6-2, 6-0, while Sajous downed former Ohio State Buckeye Chris Klingemann, who now trains at IMG/Bolliettieri's, 6-3, 7-5.

The USTA Florida release, including interviews with both players, can be viewed here.

Skier Bode Miller begins his quest for a place in Atlanta in the Hawaii section on Thursday, where there are only ten men in the draw. In the Southwest section, 2009 NCAA semifinalist Blake Strode will take on Notre Dame recruit Billy Pecor in the men's final. Shika Uberoi and Brittany Augustine will meet in the women's final.

There are two sections with registration still open--Texas and Pacific Northwest.

For results and draws and registration, see usopen.org.

In the French Open juniors today, top seed Monica Puig, No. 9 seed Beatrice Capra and unseeded Sloane Stephens advanced to Thursday's singles quarterfinals. No. 10 seed Lauren Davis served for the match against Spanish qualifier Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor but lost six straight games after leading 5-4 in the second and was unable to recover, losing 2-6, 7-5, 6-3. Boys No. 6 seed Denis Kudla lost to No. 9 seed Duilio Beretta of Peru, leaving Andrea Collarini as the only US boy remaining in the tournament.

For draws, see rolandgarros.com.

And this is somewhat old news, but for those of you who don't follow my tweets, 12-year-old Stefan Kozlov has been signed by Octagon, the sports management agency. Here is the release I received a couple of weeks ago:

Octagon Tennis is excited to add two talented juniors as clients including American tennis prodigy Stefan Kozlov and Marc Mila of Spain. Kozlov is the 2009 Under 12 Eddie Herr Champion and a Orange Bowl finalist as well as the youngest player to ever win the prestigious international Teen Tennis Under 14 competition. He has proven himself to be not only the best Under 12 junior in the world, but also one of the top Under 14 players in the world.

Mila is the winner of Nike Junior Tour Malaga, Nike Valldoreix and Bressuire events and has proven himself as a the top Spanish prospect and one of the best U12 players in the world.