May Aces; Stephens Captures French Girls Doubles Title; Robson Discovers Collarini's USTA Connection; Strode, Augustine Take SW Section USO Playoffs
My May aces have been posted over at the Tennis Recruiting Network, with NCAA champions and MOPs leading the way. But junior players are also well-represented, although most were performing in professional events.
One of them, Timea Babos of Hungary, is now a Grand Slam champion, as she and Sloane Stephens captured the girls doubles title at Roland Garros today. Babos and Stephens, the fifth seeds, defeated the unseeded Spanish pair of Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino ESP
Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor 6-2, 6-3 and that was actually the closest any team came to challenging them. In their previous four wins, Stephens and Babos lost 4, 3, 3 and 1 games. With no-ad scoring, it's impressive when a team doesn't need a match tiebreaker; to give up less than four games in every set played is something else altogether. The boys champions, No. 7 seeds Duilio Beretta of Peru and Roberto Quiroz of Ecuador, survived two match tiebreakers, in the quarterfinals and semifinals, but in the final, they defeated unseeded Agustin Velotti and Facundo Arguello of Argentina 6-3, 6-2.
If you read this ITF junior website article on the double final, you'll learn what Sloane Stephens gave up for Lent, and which former Roland Garros men's champion is related to Quiroz. Greg Couch of Fanhouse also posted a story on the girls doubles finals.
Doug Robson, writing for Tennis.com, investigated how Roland Garros boys singles finalist Andrea Collarini came to represent the United States after years of playing for Argentina. The short answer is his coach, and in Robson's article it all fits together quite well. Australian Open boys finalist Sean Berman also is mentioned, and despite what I was told back in January by the USTA, it appears they are reluctant to release him to represent Australia because of the direct funding they had provided Berman when he trained in the U.S. Berman has played only two ITF junior events since the Australian, at Grade 2s on clay, losing in the round of 16 in both. He hasn't played an ITF event, pro or junior, since that last Grade 2 in April.
Half of the 32 sectional winners of the US Open National Playoffs have been determined, the most recent in the Southwest section, where Blake Strode and Brittany Augustine earned spots in the National tournament. The Midwest section's tournament began today, with Eric Quigley of the University of Kentucky a favorite on the men's side. Quigley played two matches today and did not lose a game. For more on the Southwest final, click here. Results and draws for the tournaments can be found at usopen.org.