Top Seed Tiafoe Loses in French Juniors Second Round; Pro Circuit Update; Women's 2014 Collegiate Hall of Fame Class Announced
Day Two of the French Open Junior Championships started well, with Henrik Wiersholm recovering from a set down to defeat Joao Menezes of Brazil 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. That gave the US boys a perfect 7-0 first round record, but the second round was an entirely different story. Three US boys--Taylor Fritz, Noah Rubin and top seed Francis Tiafoe--played their second round matches Monday and all three lost. Fritz, who had beaten Orlando Luz, the No. 2 seed from Brazil, last week in the quarterfinals of the ITF Grade 1 Astrid Bowl in Belgium, lost 6-4, 6-0 to him today and qualifier Rubin, who reached the finals of a Futures in Spain two weeks ago, fell to No. 5 seed Quentin Halys of France 6-3, 6-3. (Back in 2010, Halys beat Rubin in the finals of Les Petits As).
Tiafoe had taken the first set from Jan Choinski of Germany, ranked 31 by the ITF to Tiafoe's 3, but Choinski roared back to take the next two sets and a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory. I'm not familiar with Choinski's game, but he obviously prefers clay, having played only one hard court tournament in the 12 ITF junior tournaments he's competed in this year.The German, who will turn 18 next month, has not competed in the US. Tiafoe talked with Peter Bodo of tennis.com about the match, and it sounds like Choinski has a big serve, which should be somewhat negated by the clay, but Tiafoe mentioned it as a key to his loss. By the way, Jon Wertheim addresses the Tiafoe hype issue in this Sports Illustrated article from the French Open today, responding to a question from a reader.
With today's new junior rankings out, Luz has overtaken Tiafoe for the No. 2 spot behind Alexander Zverev of Germany. Zverev, 17, has not played a junior tournament since winning the Australian Open boys title in January and has not entered the Wimbledon Junior Championships either. With Tiafoe's losses today in singles and doubles, (he and Michael Mmoh, the No. 2 seeds, lost to Romanians Bogdan Apostol and Nicolae Frunza 6-4, 7-5) it appears unlikely he will be the top seed in Wimbledon in four weeks.
Tiafoe was one of three boys seeds to fall in the second round, after all 16 made it through the first round. No. 12 seed and Eddie Herr champion Kamil Majchrzak of Poland lost to Lucas Miedler of Austria 6-2 6-1 and qualifier Seong-Chan Hong of Korea defeated No. 13 seed Jumpei Yamasaki of Japan 6-2, 2-6, 6-0. Eight other second round matches are scheduled for Tuesday, with Americans Mmoh(11), Stefan Kozlov(6), Alex Rybakov and Wiersholm in action.
Girls No. 2 seed CiCi Bellis trailed French wild card Emmanuelle Salas 3-0 in the second set, but she won six straight games to post a 6-1, 6-3 second round victory. Bellis has moved to No. 2 in the ITF Junior rankings this week, ahead of top seed Ivana Jorovic of Serbia. Jorovic won her first round match today 6-2, 6-2 over Jaqueline Cristian of Romania. In her next match, Bellis plays 2013 Junior Orange Bowl 14s finalist Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic, who is two months younger than the 15-year-old Bellis.
For some reason, both No. 2 seeds--Bellis and Luz--are scheduled to play their third round matches Tuesday. There are two girls third round matches and four boys third round matches scheduled for Tuesday. I'm not sure why some of those who have played two matches already aren't given the day off while the rest of the second round matches are completed, but they aren't. Maybe the weather forecast is behind this scheduling, but I don't care for this staggering of rounds.
Qualifier Raveena Kingsley lost her first round match today, meaning only Bellis and Usue Arconada, who plays top seed Jorovic in the second round on Tuesday, remain of the seven US girls who began the tournament in the main draw.
Complete draws and Tuesday's schedule can be found at the Roland Garros website.
The Pro Circuit has been quiet in North America lately, and again last week there were no men's Futures, and none on the schedule next week either. At the women's $10,000 tournament on Hilton Head Island last week, former Tennessee All-American Caitlin Whoriskey swept the titles. The 26-year-old, who reached the NCAA doubles final in 2010 with Natalie Pluskota, teamed with former Iowa standout Sonja Molnar of Canada to take the doubles title, Whoriskey's seventh on the Pro Circuit. Molnar and Whoriskey, seeded No. 2, defeated unseeded Macall Harkins (TCU) and Lauren Albanese 6-3, 6-4 in the final.
The No. 7 seed in singles, Whoriskey downed her doubles partner, seeded second, in the quarterfinals, and defeated top seed Elise Mertens of Belgium 6-3, 7-6(5) in the final. It is Whoriskey's first ITF Women's Circuit singles title.
This week the women's' USTA Pro Circuit is in El Paso Texas for a $25,000 tournament. Qualifying will be completed on Tuesday. Top seed in the tournament is Connie Hsu(Penn), who now represents Taiwan, not the US. Jamie Loeb(UNC), Christina Makarova, Brooke Austin, Ellie Halbauer, Peggy Porter, Danielle Lao(USC) and Denise Muresan(Michigan) are just some of the Americans in the main draw.
Four juniors won Futures over the weekend, with Elias Ymer of Sweden, Hyeon Chung of Korea, Gianluigi Quinzi of Italy and Andrey Rublev of Russia collecting titles. I will have more on them in Friday's May Aces for the Tennis Recruiting Network.
The ITA Women's Collegiate Hall of Fame today announced six inductees: Katrina Adams, Stacy Margolin (Potter), Cecelia Martinez, Bob Meyers, Jeff Moore and Lindsay Morse (Bennett). The Women's Collegiate Hall of Fame is located at the College of William and Mary, where the induction ceremonies for this 2014 class will be held in November. For more on those receiving this honor, see the ITA release.