US Juniors Enjoy Good Day on Clay at French; Sanchez, Hibi Win US Pro Circuit Events; Williams Takes Futures Title in Spain
Although it didn't come close to the excitement and drama the men and women provided today in Paris, the start of the junior tournament did have some compelling matches and surprising results.
A total of eight seeds lost among the 23 seeds who took the court today, with No. 4 seed Irina Khromacheva's 6-2, 6-1 loss to qualifier Antonia Lottner of Germany topping the list of upsets.
Khromacheva, the Russian 17-year-old who was the ITF World Junior Champion in 2011, has yet to win a junior slam and she has now lost in the first round of two of the last three, with Grace Min taking her out at the US Open. For more on Lottner, who won't be 16 until August and was a finalist at the Grade A in Milan last month, see the recap of the day's action from the ITF junior website. Other girls seeds to fall today were No. 3 seed Elizaveta Kulichkova of Russia, No. 14 seed Maria Ines De Heza of Bolivia and No. 15 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.
The three seeded US girls all came through in straight sets. Chalena Scholl(9) beat Elke Lemmens of Belgium 6-3, 6-4, Allie Kiick(16) defeated Emily Fanning of New Zealand 6-2, 6-1 and top seed Taylor Townsend posted a 7-5, 6-2 decision over wild card Manon Arcangioli of France. Unseeded Kyle McPhillips also won her opening match. Sachia Vickery, the No. 10 seed, plays her first round match on Monday, as does Jennifer Brady.
Australian and Wimbledon boys champion Luke Saville of Australia had to work his way back from down 7-5, 4-2, but the top seed did manage to outlast wild card Maxime Hamou of France 5-7, 6-4, 6-3. No. 4 seed Kaichi Uchida of Japan wasn't as fortunate, dropping a 6-3, 2-6, 10-8 decision to Gabriel Friedrich of Brazil. No. 7 seed Nikola Milojevic of Serbia lost to qualifier Hyeon Chung of Korea 6-2, 6-3, with No. 10 seed Joshua Ward-Hibbert and No. 16 seed Daniel Masur of Germany also falling.
No. 8 seed Mitchell Krueger was one of three US boys advancing to the second round. Krueger beat qualifier Pietro Licciardi 6-1, 6-3, and later in the day, Spencer Papa beat Lucas Gomez of Mexico 6-4, 6-3. In one of the last matches, finishing after 8 p.m. in Paris, Noah Rubin defeated qualifier Jorge Brian Panta Herreros of Peru 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.
Monday's schedule includes both first and second round matches, as well as first round doubles matches. For draws, see the tournament website.
On the clay a bit farther south, Rhyne Williams won a $10,000 Futures tournament in Spain, his third Futures singles title, all on clay. The former Tennessee Volunteer and 2011 NCAA finalist was the No. 2 seed in the tournament, beating No. 3 seed Sergio Gutierrez-Ferrol of Spain 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-1. Williams, currently ranked 299, will improve on that when the ranking points from his semifinal showing last week and his point from this win are added.
Maria Sanchez collected her first professional title after graduating last year from the University of Southern California beating No. 5 seed Jessica Pegula 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 to win the $50,000 Sacramento Challenger. Sanchez, the No. 4 seed, was also in the doubles final with current USC player Kaitlyn Christian against Asia Muhammad and Yasmin Schnack.
At the Hilton Head, SC $10,000 tournament, No. 7 seed Mayo Hibi beat No. 3 seed Jessica Moore of Australia 6-3, 6-1 to win her first event on the Pro Circuit. Hibi, 16, lives and trains in Southern California.
For complete results, see the Pro Circuit page at usta.com.
This week on the Pro Circuit, the women are in El Paso for a $25,000 event and the men are in Sacramento for a $15,000 Futures.