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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bellis, Gordon and Ross Reach Les Petits As Quarterfinals; Two Aussies and Two Orange Bowl Champions in Australian Open Juniors Semifinals; ITA Kick-off Weekend Coming Up

It was a long travel day today, but worth it; after leaving Michigan with the temperature at 2 degrees, the 70s here in Florida sure felt good.
I am here again to cover the Tennis Plaza Cup, the regional level 3 USTA event that I've been attending for five years, which begins Saturday.

So tonight, I'll just give a quick update of Les Petits As and the Australian Open juniors.  The US players are doing better in the former, with CiCi Bellis and Michaela Gordon through to the quarterfinals with tough three-set wins today. Bellis, the No. 3 seed, beat No. 16 seed Eva Guerrero Alvarez of Spain 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 and Gordon, the No. 6 seed, also lost her first set of the tournament, but she came though over No. 10 seed Ekaterina Antropova of Russis 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4.  Bellis and Jaeda Daniel and Gordon and Claire Liu also earned their way into the doubles semifinals with wins today.

Gianni Ross, the No. 10 boys seed, is though to the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 8 seed Philipp Klimov of Russia. Ross has yet to drop a set in the tournament. Both boys doubles teams from the US have been eliminated.  See the Tennis Europe site for complete draws.

Thursday's quarterfinal action at the Australian Open Junior Championships saw No. 1 seed Nikola Milojevic of Serbia defeated by Filippo Baldi of Italy, the No. 8 seed, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.  Baldi will play No. 3 seed Nick Kyrgios of Australia in the semifinals. Thanasi Kokkinakis is hoping to make it an all-Australian boys final, when the wild card takes on No. 11 seed Borna Coric of Croatia in the other semifinal.

The two most recent Orange Bowl champions are through to the girls semifinals, with 2011 winner Anett Kontaveit(10), who also reached the US Open girls final last year, playing No. 2 seed Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic, and 2012 Orange Bowl winner Ana Konjuh of Croatia, the No. 3 seed, playing unseeded Elizaveta Kulichkova of Russia. Konjuh has also reached the girls doubles final, with Canada's Carol Zhao.

For more on the quarterfinals, see this article from the tournament website.  Complete draws are here.

The ITA Kick-off Weekend, which will decide the participants in the National Team Indoor Championships next month, is this weekend, and the ITA has put together two excellent previews of each region.  The men's is here, and the women's is here.  If I can, I hope to get over to the University of Miami, which is hosting Hawaii, Arizona State and Oklahoma to decide which women's team goes to Charlottesville, Virginia in two weeks.  For the complete overview, see the Kick-off Weekend page at the ITA website.


junior development said...

The Australian Open Juniors shows that alot of best juniors in the world, do not play the Australian Open Juniors AND alot of better juniors do not play ITF tournaments, ie, Thanasi Kokkinakis (in finals).

I only wish the US juniors' tournament path would be Sectional and National tournaments. We have alot of juniors play international events who cannot win a Super National - in fact - a Regional Tournament.

The ITF tournaments are good for match play but lethal to US juniors - false sense of World ranking & development.

Wayne Bryan was correct when he said - do not hop in a car if you cannot beat everyone within bicycle distance / don't hop on a plane if you cannot beat everyone in car distance / don't play internationally if you cannot beat everyone in your country.

Florida Coach said...

Did Michael Russell really beat Alex Kuznetsov after being down 0-6, 0-4?

That is an Almagro mental block AND Alex needed an Azerenka 9 minute emotional breakdown timeout - sorry an "injury" timeout.

Rodrigo Brown said...

if John isner remains hurt with his leg issue, Jim Courier should put Steve Johnson on the Davis Cup team considering he beat Brazil's number 2 singles player routinely 6-3, 6-3 yesterday in Hawaii.

I'm sure Ryan Harrison will be picked but his only two wins this year who were ranked above him were injured opponents: Isner and Bautista Agut.

Any update on how much Jessie Levine had to pay back? Since there have been no reports, I am guessing that he escaped for free.

wildcards said...

Jack Sock got main draw wildcards into San Jose and Memphis?

Jack did not qualify into 1 event last year: 0-3. And he is 0-2 this year - in Brisbane and Australian Open. (opponents were ranked 166 & 170).

Does his 5-7 ATP record in 2012 deserve him wildcard after wildcard? What about having him EARN IT through qualifying - he would be a better player.

I want what you're smoking said...

Rodrigo, dumbest post ever. 3 tournaments only this year.. Guy beats isner. If you watched the match you know he was still serving full out. No chance Johnson beats isner that day.. I guess the win over Giraldo doesn't count in your eyes cause they're ranked right by each other in the 60s..the other guy defaults after 3 games but no problems reaching final the week before or playing well the week after at Aussie Open.. Johnson ranked in the 100s of course he's going to get opportunities to beat guys ranked ahead of him Even in CHALLENGERS. Think before posting stupid stuff or Collette before putting it out. Not to mention Harrison going thru Qualies in both lead up tournaments with wins over solid players. Dumb, Dumb,dumb post.

Rodrigo Brown said...

I want what you are smoking.......

Do not get too defensive - Ryan is a great player - obviously - he is ranked near 50 in the world. And has many wins over top players - he one of american's best.

Isner was not even close to serving full out - he could not move, push off his knee or barely practiced beforehand - not sure if you watched the match based on your comments. Isner pulled out of the Australian Open the next day - that should tell you how bad he was hurting.

Ryan deserves to get picked for Davis Cup if John cannot play. It is ironic that Steve Johnson who is playing great tennis beat the Brazilan #2 easily yesterday.

Great effort to Ryan's brother christian who is in the singles finals of a future in england.

Must live where pot is legal said...

Rodrigo, understand the difference between defensive and reality. Read your post. Do you realize the guy you are hanging out there as such a good win is ranked 145...Steve Johnson will be a top 50 player by the end of the year I hope, along with Williams, Sock, Kudla, and a few more coming. Your post was simply idiotic..

Austin said...

Dennis Novikov lost two days ago playing #3 against UCSB. The only Bruin to lose a singles match. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?

Cheech and chong said...

I think Tim Smychek should play if Isner can't. Steve Johnson best Brazils #2 routinely and Smychek beat Johndon by same score. Seems logical..

Austin said...

The fact we are discussing any of these guys playing Davis Cup spells trouble for USA.