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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Townsend, Rubin and Kozlov Advance to Second Round, with Nine Seeds Falling in French Juniors Opening Round; Marand, Koroleva Win Pro Circuit Titles

The first day at the French Open Junior Championships produced not a few surprises, with a total of nine seeds falling.

The girls draw had the most notable upsets, with five seeded girls losing, including No. 3 seed Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic and No. 4 seed Varvara Flink of Russia.

Siniakova, who reached the finals at both the 2012 Orange Bowl and the 2013 Australian Open juniors, had a tough draw, facing former ITF junior No. 3 and 2013 Australian Open girls semifinalist Elizaveta Kulichkova of Russia, who beat her 6-2, 6-4.  Flink went quietly to qualifier Kristina Schmiedlova of Slovakia, the younger sister of last year's girls finalist Anna Karolina 6-4, 6-2.   No. 8 seed Ching-Wen Hsu of Taiwan lost to Victoria Rodriquez of Mexico 6-2, 7-6(2), No. 10 seed Karin Kennel of Switzerland lost to French wild card (all wild cards in this tournament are French) Margot Yerolymos 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, and No. 16 seed Ipek Soylu of Turkey was beaten by Veronika Kudermetova of Russia 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Taylor Townsend, seeded 11th, escaped the upset bug, defeating qualifier Viktoriya Lushkova of Ukraine 6-4, 6-1, and Townsend will play her second round match on Monday, against Croatia's Jana Fett.

There are still eight first round matches in each draw to be played on Monday, with three of them featuring US girls: Jamie Loeb, Louisa Chirico and Christina Makarova(12).  Top seed Ana Konjuh of Croatia, who lost in the final of the $25,000 ITF Women's Circuit event in Slovenia today, is third on against Great Britain's Katie Boulter. The winner of that match will play the winner of the Loeb - Nina Stojanovic contest.

The US boys went 2-1 Sunday, with Noah Rubin and Stefan Kozlov winning, and Luca Corinteli falling to No. 13 seed Guillermo Nunez of Chile 6-0, 7-5.  Kozlov's opponent, Matej Maruscak of Slovakia, served for the first set at 5-4, but Kozlov dug in to take the next three games, and got a late break in the second set to post a 7-5, 6-3 victory.

Rubin, a quarterfinalist at Roland Garros last year, was living on the edge throughout his 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Benjamin Bonzi of France. After leading 4-2 in the opening set, Rubin lost six straight games, going down 2-0 in the second, but got a break and a hold at 4-all to take the second set.  In the third set, Rubin was down 3-0, won the next three games, then, trailing 3-4, was down 0-40 on his serve. Bonzi was unable to convert any of those break points, then was broken himself in the next game, giving Rubin a chance to serve out the match. Again Rubin got down 0-40 and again he won five straight points, this time to win the match.

Spencer Papa, the only other US boy in the main draw of singles, will play his first round match against Quentin Halys of France Monday.

The boys seeds to fall were all in the 9-16 range, with No. 9 Maxime Hamou of France losing to qualifier (but ATP 551) Albert Alcaraz Ivorra of Spain 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-2; No. 12 seed Wayne Montgomery of South Africa lost to Kamil Majchrzak of Poland 6-3, 6-2, No. 15 seed Cameron Norrie of Great Britain was beaten by Christian Garin of Chile 7-5, 6-2 and No. 16 seed Nicolas Jarry of Chile was defeated by qualifier Luca Tatomir of Romania 6-4, 6-4.

Top seed Nick Kyrgios found himself in a good match with wild card Maxime Janvier of France before the Australian Open boys champion posted a 6-4, 6-4 victory, while No. 2 seed Nikola Milojevic cruised past Omar Jasika of Australia 6-1, 6-1.

You can hear what Kyrgios and Townsend had to say about their first round wins in this article from the ITF Junior website.

The doubles draws were posted today, with some first round matches scheduled for Monday.  Martin Redlicki, who lost in the first round of qualifying, did get into the main draw of doubles, and he will be playing with Rubin.  Papa and Corinteli are the only other all-US team.  Kozlov is not playing doubles, and the three US girls who are playing (three-time junior slam champion Townsend is not in the draw) are all playing with partners from other countries.  Loeb's partner is University of Georgia's Ayaka Okuno of Japan, Makarova is playing with Sandra Samir of Egypt, and Chirico's partner is Flink. None of these teams are seeded.

For complete results and draws, see the Roland Garros website.

Today in US Pro Circuit results, former University of North Carolina All-American Sanaz Marand won her first professional singles title, taking the $25,000 event in El Paso Texas.  Marand, who will be 25 next month, beat 15-year-old Naomi Osaka of Japan 6-4, 6-4.  Neither was seeded. Adriana Perez of Venezuela and Marcela Zacarias of Mexico won the doubles title, beating Fatma Al Nabhani of Oman and Keri Wong of the US in the final 6-3, 6-3. Neither team was seeded.

At the $10,000 Pro Circuit event in Hilton Head, SC, Clemson sophomore Yana Koroleva defeated wild card Hayley Carter 7-5, 6-4 in another final between unseeded players  Carter, who will be joining North Carolina this fall and may be seeing quite a bit more of Koroleva in the next couple of years, hadn't dropped a set until she encountered Koroleva in the final.

The men were off last week, but are back in Florida for a $10,000 Futures in Innisbrook, while the women are in Las Cruces, New Mexico for another $25,000 tournament.