Makarova, Corinteli Reach Copa Gatorade Finals; Johnson, Ram Qualify for Australian Open; Keys Feature; Eddie Herr Videos
At the ITF Grade 1 Copa Gatorade in Venezuela today, Americans Christina Makarova and Luca Corinteli reached the finals by contrasting scorelines.
Makarova, the top seed, defeated 14-year-old Maria Bouzkova of the Czech Republic, the No. 12 seed, 6-0, 6-0 in the semifinal, although it was reported on twitter that nine of the 12 games went to deuce and the match lasted over 90 minutes. In Sunday's final, Makarova will play No. 13 seed Camila Giangreco Campiz of Paraguay, who has devoted most of her energy to the ITF Women's Circuit in the past few months, winning a $10,000 tournament in October and getting her WTA ranking up to 607. Makarova picked up the doubles title today with Katrine Steffensen; the No. 1 seeds received a walkover in the final from No. 6 seeds Jacqueline Cabaj Awad of Sweden and Britt Geukens of Belgium.
Corinteli, the No. 4 seed, picked up his best win in quite some time today, defeating top seed and world No. 17 Clement Geens of Belgium 6-1, 7-6(10). The 17-year-old from Virginia will play No. 2 seed Jorge Panta Herreros of Peru in two Sunday finals, as both have also reached the doubles final. Panta Herreros defeated Corinteli in the first round of qualifying at the US Open last fall in their only previous meeting.
Saturday's completion of the qualifying for the Australian Open resulted in three more US men receiving entry into the main draw. Steve Johnson defeated No. 21 seed Ryan Sweeting 6-3, 6-4 and No. 15 seed Rajeev Ram outlasted No. 25 seed Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland 5-7, 6-2, 11-9. Tim Smyczek, the No. 11 seed, lost to Cedrik-Mercel Steve of Germany 6-4, 6-2, but received the lucky loser spot made available by the withdraw of John Isner.
Johnson was placed against No. 10 seed Nicolas Almagro of Spain, and will play on Monday (Sunday night in the US). Ram will play Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, also of Spain, on Tuesday. Smyczek will play Ivo Karlovic of Croatia on Monday.
Also on Monday's schedule is Madison Keys, who received her main draw berth by winning the USTA's wild card tournament last month. The 17-year-old Keys, who is playing in the main draw of a grand slam for just the third time, takes on Australia's Casey Dellacqua on Margaret Court arena. Doug Robson wrote about Keys' steady rise for USA Today, talking to her USTA coach Juan Todero and Chris Evert, who along with her brother John, have mentored Keys for many years at their academy in Boca Raton.
It's been over a month, but the videos of seven of the finalists of the Eddie Herr are now up on the tenniskalamazoo YouTube channel (Due to its brevity, I have no video of the Kang - Arconada boys 16s final). The videos of the champions are also there, of course, and are embedded in this post from last month.
G12s: Anastasia Potapova
B12s: Nikolay Vylegzhanin
G14s: Sofia Kenin
B14s: Evan Zhu
G16s: Carolyn Xie
G18s: Barbara Haas
B18s: Laslo Djere