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Friday, August 30, 2013

My US Open Junior Preview; Twelve Americans Advance to Final Round of US Open Junior Qualifying; Finals Set in ITF Grade 1 Canadian Open

My preview of the US Open junior championships is available now at Tennis Recruiting Network, with the girls field in particular deep and full of talent this year.

Most of my day was spent traveling, but I did get to Flushing Meadows tonight to pick up my credential, get my locker and organize my desk for a full day of coverage of the final round of junior qualifying on Saturday.

Eight US girls and four US boys reached the second and final round with victories today, with several of the younger US girls picking up wins over seeded players.  Wild card Emma Higuchi, 15, took out No. 10 seed Renata Zarazua of Mexico 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(2); Nicole Frenkel, also 15 and a qualifier last year here, beat No. 15 seed Kyoka Okamura 6-2, 3-6, 7-5; 13-year-old wild card Claire Liu downed No. 6 seed Xiaodi You of China 6-0, 7-5.  Liu will play No. 14 seed Rianna Valdes of the US and Higuchi meets wild card Raveena Kingsley of the US Saturday, assuring two more Americans in the main draw. Kingsley defeated No. 2 seed Asiya Dair of Kazakhstan 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-2 in a match that started at 10 a.m. and didn't finish until nearly 1:30 p.m.

Dasha Ivanova, Usue Arconada(12) and Madison Bourguignon(13) are the other three US girls to win today.

Only four of the 11 US boys won today, with No. 3 seed Francis Tiafoe joined in the final round of qualifying by wild cards Reilly Opelka and Taylor Fritz, both of whom beat seeds today. Opelka took out No. 4 seed Chih-Chun Tang of Taiwan 7-6(7), 6-3, and Fritz beat No. 11 seed Rogelio Siller of Mexico 7-6(5), 6-3.  Alex Rybakov also beat a seed to reach Saturday's final round.

Play begins at 10 a.m. Saturday on the practice courts outside the east gate, and there is no admission charge.

For complete draws, see usopen.org.

The finals are set for the Grade 1 in Canada, with Czech doubles partners Katerina Siniakova, the No. 1 seed, and Barbora Krejcikova, the No. 2 seed, reaching the girls final, after winning the doubles title together today.  Saturday's singles final will be about more than just the tennis, as the two have won the last two junior slams and the European championships this summer.

Canadian Brayden Schnur, who is unfortunately not entered in the US Open junior championships, continued his fine form this summer, reaching the final with a 6-2, 6-4 win over his frequent doubles partner Hugo Difeo.  Schnur will play Nicolas Jarry of Chile, who surprised his doubles partner and the reigning Roland Garros champion Christian Garin 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals.

Complete results can be found at the tournament website.