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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Young, Stephens into Australian Open Third Round; Fenty Reaches Teen Tennis Final; Zverev, Flink Win Titles in Traralgon

Donald Young and Sloane Stephens both survived the Melbourne heat and tough opponents to reach the third round of the Australian Open. Stephens overcame Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia 3-6, 6-2, 7-5, winning the final four games of the match after a rain delay had stopped play with Stephens leading the third set 3-0.  Stephens, who reached the semifinals last year, is not new to this stage of the tournament in Melbourne, but Young, the 2005 boys champion, has never been past the second round at the Australian Open.  Young defeated No. 24 seed Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, with the last set played after a three-hour delay due to the 108 degree heat. Young failed to serve out the match at his first opportunity, but stayed positive and finished it when Seppi gave him another chance.

For more on Young's match, see this article from the Australian Open website. For more on Stephens' match, see this article from the website.

Their was also much excitement when 2013 boys champion Nick Kyrgios of Australia took the first two sets in a late night match with No. 27 seed Benoit Paire of France on Margaret Court Arena, but the 18-year-old Kyrgios couldn't overcome some untimely cramping, falling in five sets, 6-7(5), 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.  Although all Australian men are now out of the tournament, the performances of Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis, who lost to Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 6-2, give the country a reason for optimism.  For more on Paire's win, see this article from the website.

Day Five--Friday in Australia and Thursday evening here in the United States--will see four Americans in singles third round action.  Top seed Serena Williams plays No. 31 seed Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, Sam Querrey takes on No. 15 seed Fabio Fognini of Italy, Alison Riske meets No. 9 seed Angelique Kerber of Germany and Lauren Davis faces No. 30 seed Eugenie Bouchard.  I will definitely be going to Watch ESPN for that last match, which is second on Show Court 3.

Friday's schedule is here.

The qualifying for the Australian Open Junior Championships is complete, with Ulises Blanch, the only American in either draw, losing in the final round to No. 3 seed Matteo Berrettini, one of four Italian boys to reach the main draw.  The main draw should be out later Friday in Australia, with play beginning there on Saturday (Friday night here in the US), when the temperatures are expected to moderate. I will tweet out a link to the draw as soon as I can, and I will have a junior preview for the Tennis Recruiting Network Friday.

Two of the favorites for the Australian Open championships have added strength to their cases, with Varvara Flink of Russia and Alexander Zverev of Germany winning the Grade 1 in Traralgon Thursday.  Top seed Flink defeated No. 10 seed Fiona Ferro of France 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 and top seed Zverev beat unseeded Omar Jasika of Australia 7-5, 6-2. Austria's  Lucas Miedler and Australia's Bradley Mousley took the boys doubles title, with the No. 4 seeds beating unseeded Daniel Guccione and Marc Polmans 7-6(1), 6-3.  The girls doubles title went to top seeds Anastasiya Komardina of Russis and Nina Stojanovic of Serbia, who defeated No. 2 seeds Shilin Xu and Xiaodi You of China 7-5, 6-3 in the final.

At the Nike International Teen Tennis 14-and-under tournament in England, No. 8 seed Andrew Fenty of the United States reached the boys final, defeating No. 4 seed Felix Auger Aliassime of Canada 6-3, 6-2.  He will play No. 2 seed Nicola Kuhn of Germany in the final, after Kuhn beat No. 12 seed Axel Nefve of the United States 6-1, 6-2.

Keenan Mayo and Roscoe Bellamy, Teen Tennis Doubles Champions (courtesy photo)
Roscoe Bellamy and Keenan Mayo, the other two US boys on the trip which includes Les Petits As next week, won the doubles championship today.  The No. 4 seeds defeated No. 3 seeds Kuhn and Carlos Sanchez Jover of Spain 6-4, 6-3 in the final.

The girls final will be between top seed Anda Karanusic of Croatia and unseeded Maria Tanasescu of Canada.  Tanasescu and Bianca Andreescu, the No. 6 seeds, won the girls doubles title over unseeded Ali Collins and Alexandra Hunter of Great Britain 6-4, 7-6(5).

Results can be found on the TennisEurope tournament site.