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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Kozlov Reaches Semifinals at Australian Open Juniors; Three US Girls, Two US Boys in Les Petits As Quarterfinals

No. 2 seed Stefan Kozlov had no reason to think his boys quarterfinal match with Andrey Rublev of Russia at the Australian Open would be quick and easy, after the two had gone three sets in the same round at the Eddie Herr last month, with Rublev winning 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.

I wasn't there, so I can't so how easy it was, but Kozlov's 6-2, 6-1 victory was quick, taking just over an hour. Rublev had gone 14-12 in the third set of his match with Harry Bourchier of Australia the day before, the equivalent of a best-of-five match, so that may have contributed to the result.  Next up for Kozlov is No. 7 seed Quentin Halys of France.  The last time the two met was in the third round of Les Petits As in 2010, with Halys, the eventual champion, beating Kozlov 6-1, 2-6, 6-2. 

For more on Kozlov, with comments from USTA General Manager of Player Development Patrick McEnroe, see this article by Matt Cronin for usta.com.

Top seed Alexander Zverev of Germany and unseeded Brad Mousley of Australia play in the other semifinal, after both collected straight set wins Thursday.  Mousley is no stranger to success at Melbourne Park, as he won the boys doubles title at last year's Australian Open, and he is close to repeating, with time with Lucas Miedler of Austria.  The No. 3 seeds face Halys and Johan Sebastien Tatlot of France in Friday's final.

For more on Mousley, see Simon Cambers' report at the ITF Junior website.

Cambers also talks with unseeded Jana Fett of Croatia, who ended the surprising run of Olivia Hauger with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 victory.  Hauger dropped the first set in a hurry, but kept fighting, even taking a 2-0 lead in the final set before the 17-year-old Fett came back to reach her first junior slam semifinal.

Fett plays unseeded Kimberly Birrell of Australia, a 15-year-old playing in just her second junior slam. Birrell lost in the first round of the Australian Open last year, but has made great strides in twelve months, beating No. 3 seed Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine, No. 15 seed Fiona Ferro of France and No. 10 seed Anastasiya Komardina of Russia--all with considerably more experience on the ITF junior circuit--en route to the semifinals.

Qualifier Ziyue Sun, the No. 7 seed, beat No. 2 seed Ivana Jorovic of Serbia 6-3, 7-5 and will face No. 4 seed Elizaveta Kulichkova of Russia in the other girls semifinal.  Kulichkova , a semifinalist last year in Melbourne, dropped her first set of the tournament to No. 6 seed Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia on Thursday, but came through by a 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 score.

Kulichkova is also in Friday's girls doubles final, which features the top two seeds. No. 1 Kulichkova and Kalinina face No. 2 Jorovic and Katie Boulter of Great Britain.

For draws and the schedule, see the tournament website.

Keenan Mayo, 2014 Winter Nationals
(courtesy photo)
In the third round at Les Petits As, unseeded Americans continued to make their presence felt, with three advancing to the quarterfinals.  Unseeded Keenan Mayo had no trouble with No. 10 seed Alexander Zgirovsky of Belarus, defeating him 6-2, 6-2, while Grace Joyce and Elysia Bolton are two of three unseeded players to reach the girls quarterfinals.  Joyce defeated unseeded Selma Cadar of Romania 7-6(5), 6-3 and Bolton took out unseeded Maria Budin of Great Britain 7-5, 7-5.   Joyce will play No. 11 seed Katarina Zavatska of Ukraine in the quarterfinals Friday; Bolton gets No. 8 seed Anda Karanusic of Croatia.  Mayo will face No. 15 seed Nicaise Muamba of Canada.

No. 12 seed Roscoe Bellamy advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 victory over No. 5 Mykhailo Kvantaliani of Ukraine.

No. 4 seed Claire Liu defeated unseeded Romanian Mihaela Marculescu 6-2, 6-2 and will now play Eddie Herr 12s champion Anastasia Potapova of Russia, the No. 7 seed.  Abigail Desiatnikov, the No. 16 seed, lost to qualifier Ulyana Shirokova of Russia 6-4, 6-2.

Andrew Fenty, seeded No. 14, lost to top seed Alen Avidzba of Russia, 6-1, 6-1, but he and Axel Nefve have reached the semifinals of doubles.  The two US girls teams lost in the quarterfinals today.

For complete results, see the tournament website.