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.