Four Junior Girls Reach Round of 16 at USTA Clay Court Invitational; Makarova Reaches Quarterfinals in Florence $25K, Abanda Beats Vickery at $50K in Canada
After two rounds of singles at the USTA Clay Court Invitational at Disney, only seeded players should remain. Yet thanks to the USTA-selected junior girls, that number is 11, not 16, with five seeded college players falling to the teens in the opening day of play in Orlando.
Sofia Kenin, who will not be 15 until next month, breezed past No. 4 seed Georgina Sellyn of Vanderbilt 6-0, 6-3 in the second round. Sellyn, a sophomore, had just come from winning the Ohio Valley Regional in Memphis on Tuesday.
Alexis Nelson, who turned 15 in August, started out with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Florida State's Kerrie Cartwright, a 9-16 seed, and then beat Saana Saarteinen of Tulsa 6-1, 6-2 to reach the third round. Jessie Aney, another Minnesota-based 15-year-old, eliminated No. 5 seed Paula de Man of Auburn 6-1, 6-7(8), 6-0 in the second round.
Florida recruit Peggy Porter, who turns 18 next month and is the oldest of the USTA junior girls, lost only five games in her two wins today, beating No. 8 seed Michaela Bezdickova of New Mexico 6-1, 6-3 in the second round.
Mia Horvit defeated Yelena Nemchen of Tulsa, a 9-16 seed, 7-5, 6-2 in the first round, but lost to Florida freshman Stefani Stojic 7-6(3), 6-1 in the second. Top seeds Pleun Burgmans of Auburn and Daneika Borthwick of Florida State both won their second round matches (after byes in the first round) in straight sets.
Nelson was the only junior girl to win all three of her matches Thursday, as three of the four USTA doubles teams were beaten. Nelson and Erica Oosterhout advanced to the second round, where they will meet top seeds Cristina Stancu and Stefania Hristov of Texas A&M.
The men played only one round of singles Thursday, with five USTA boys picking up wins. Sameer Kumar, Tom Fawcett, Mitch Stewart, Kalman Boyd and Martin Redlicki won their first round matches, with Redlicki posting a 7-5, 6-1 victory over No. 6 seed Eric Johnson of Southern Cal.
Two of the four junior doubles teams advanced to the second round, with Stewart and Fawcett beating Grayson Goldin and Michael Rinaldi of Florida State 8-2 and US Open boys doubles champion Redlicki and Deiton Baughman defeating Quentin Monaghan and Eric Schnurrenberger 8-3.
The schedule has two rounds of singles for both men and women on Friday. For complete results, see the Florida State website.
At the $25,000 Pro Circuit event in Florence, SC, 17-year-old Christina Makarova has reached the quarterfinals, matching her best showing at that level. After posting wins over former college All-Americans Sanaz Marand and Jacqueline Cako at the $25,000 tournament in Redding last month, Makarova qualified this week, and has beaten Ana Sofia Sanchez of Mexico and No. 8 seed Petra Rampre of Slovenia, ranked 203. Makarova will play No. 3 seed Madison Brengle in Friday's quarterfinals.
Sixteen-year-old Francoise Abanda, who lost to Melanie Oudin last week in the $25,000 Rock Hill Pro Circuit event, will have a chance for revenge this week on her home soil at the $50,000 Saguenay Canada tournament. Abanda, a wild card who just began competing again in September after a shoulder injury kept her out of action for most of 2013, beat No. 8 seed and WTA No. 189 and USTA National junior champion Sachia Vickery 7-6(3), 6-2 in the second round today. Oudin, the No. 3 seed, advanced with a three-set win over Canadian Gabriela Dobrowski.
World junior No. 2 Alexander Zverev of Germany reached the quarterfinals of the $10,000 Futures tournament in Birmingham, Alabama today, beating Connor Farren 6-3, 6-1. Current University of Alabama player Daniil Proskura has also advanced to the quarterfinals.