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Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Look at the Teens in Australian Open Main Draw

The draw for the Australian Open was revealed this evening, with five US men and 11 US women in the main draw, with the final round of qualifying still to be played.  The men: Sam Querrey(20) is the only seed, now that John Isner has withdrawn due to a bone bruise on his knee. Ryan Harrison, Brian Baker, Michael Russell and wild card Rhyne Williams are the others, with only Williams in the bottom half.  If both win their first rounds, Baker and Querrey will play each other.

The US women in the main draw before qualifying are: Jamie Hampton, Varvara Lepchenko(21), Lauren Davis, Christina McHale, Serena Williams(3), Vania King, Sloane Stephens(29), Melanie Oudin, CoCo Vandeweghe, wild card Madison Keys and Venus Williams(25).

Core Tennis has been tweeting about the teens in qualifying at the Australian Open, so I thought I would look at the teens who have already made the main draw.  That turned out to be quite a project for the women, and not much trouble at all for the men.

The only teenager in the main draw of the men's tournament is 18-year-old wild card Luke Saville, and with no teens remaining in qualifying on the men's side, he is assured of being the youngest player in the draw when he meets Japan's Go Soeda.

On the women's side however, there are 15 teenagers already in the draw, with several more still in qualifying.

Sixteen-year-old Donna Vekic is the youngest player in the draw, with Australian wild card Ashleigh Barty just a few weeks older.  America Madison Keys, 17, and Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan, who just turned 18 on Monday, round out the quartet still eligible for the Australian Open Junior Championships the second week of the tournament (only Putintseva has entered).

The only teenager seeded is Sloane Stephens, who is 19.  Stephens and Lauren Davis, also 19, had quite a battle in the Hobart quarterfinals Thursday, with Stephens winning 6-3, 4-6, 7-5. You can watch that match on the tournament's YouTube channel. Stephens will play Elena Vesnina of Russia in the semifinals later this evening (Friday afternoon in Australia).

Stephens will play Simona Halep of Romania in the first round in Melbourne; Davis will play a qualifier and Keys has drawn Australia's Casey Dellacqua. Vekic plays Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic, Barty has drawn Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, the No. 15 seed. Putintseva has drawn American Christina McHale, who at age 20 is hardly a veteran, although this is her 13th appearance in a grand slam main draw.

In addition to Halep, who won the French Open junior title in 2008, three recent Roland Garros girls champions are in the draw, all of them still teenagers. Current champion Annika Beck, 18, is the youngest player in the WTA Top 100 after an impressive fall, and she has already reached the quarterfinals of a WTA event this year, in Shenzhen, China.  She plays No. 28 seed Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan in the first round.

2010 Roland Garros girls champion and 2012 Wimbledon girls finalist Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, 18, will play No. 5 seed Angelique Kerber of Germany, and 2009 Roland Garros girls champion Kristina Mladenovic of France, who is 19,  will play Hungary's Timea Babos, also 19.  Great Britain's Laura Robson, who turns 19 later this month, has drawn Melanie Oudin.

Caroline Garcia of France, 19, plays Elena Vesnina of Russia. Garbine Muguruza of Spain, also 19, has drawn Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia. Jana Cepelova of Slovakia, another 19-year-old, will play a qualifier and wild card Yuxuan Zhang of China, 18, will meet countrywoman Jie Zheng.

Complete draws can be found at australianopen.com.


The Russell Factor said...

No one is EVER received more bad draws at Grand Slams than Michael Russell. He is continuing his streak of playing seeded players. Not exactly what the percentages are but it has to be in the 70% percent range in his career.

College Tennis said...

I heard that Spencer Newman is no longer on the University of Michigan Roster after only being there one semester.

Does anyone know what happened? I was always skeptical about that move for 2 reasons. First, he decided to leave Florida just a few weeks before the Florida head coach left. So, if he left due to discomfort with the coach then that situation changed right after his decision. Second, for a kid who lived his whole life in South Florida the cold Michigan winter must have been a shock to his system.

Tough draws? said...

If you think Russell has tough draws in Slams you need to look up Ryan Harrison's draws the last couple years. You would have NO complaints then.

bruce said...

"Welcome to the party, pal....."

Pal said...

Don't think either of these guys look at that way. I'm sure they think they can win regardless but what are the odds of those draws so consistently. They've both been in the party too long to care. Right Pal

bruce said...


"welcome to the party, pal...or you folks from rio linda..."it is what it is.." you are only as good as your next match...good luck to the usa guys...."Oi,Oi,Oi....."

Pal not said...

Bruce, you sound like a real prophet. Good luck in philosophy "Pal"