Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Giron Turns Pro; Zverev Wins First Challenger; Kudla Sweeps Titles at Winnetka $50K; Aubone Claims Pittsburgh Futures; ITF Announces Youth Olympics Games Participants

NCAA champion Marcos Giron of UCLA has decided to forgo his final year of collegiate eligibility, announcing today that he will turn pro. Giron, who is expected to receive a US Open wild card as an American NCAA champion, can now collect the $35,723 that goes to a player who reaches the first round this year. The USTA announced its 2014 prize money amounts today.  For more on Giron's decision, see the UCLA website.

To recap a few highlights from last week's Futures and Challengers, 2013 World Junior Champion Alexander Zverev of Germany won his first Challenger title on Sunday. The 17-year-old wild card beat three ATP Top 100 players en route to the singles championships at the 106,500 Euro (+hospitality) Challenger in Germany.  Zverev defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu of France 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the final, improving his ATP ranking to 285.

Denis Kudla won both the singles and doubles championships at the $50,000 Winnetka Challenger last week. The 21-year-old from Virginia, seeded seventh, defeated unseeded Farrukh Dustov of Uzbekistan 6-2, 6-2 in the final.  UCLA sophomore Mackenzie McDonald qualified and reached the semifinals before falling to Dustov.  Kudla and Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia won the doubles title 6-2, 7-6(4) over Evan King(Michigan) and Raymond Sarmiento(Southern Cal). Both teams were unseeded.  For more live coverage of the Winnetka Challenger, see the On The Rise Tennis blog.  For a recap of both Zverev's and Kudla's win see the article on the ATP website, which features a chart of the youngest Challenger champions.

At the $10,000 Pittsburgh Futures, former Florida State star Jean-Yves Aubone won his third career Futures title, but his first since 2008.  The unseeded Aubone, who had reached the final of the Rochester Futures, beat top seed Liam Broady of Great Britain in the semifinals and unseeded Toby Martin, also of Great Britain, in the final 1-6, 7-5, 7-6(6).   In the doubles final, top seeds Broady and Luke Bambridge defeated Vanderbilt's Gonzales Austin and Wisconsin's Quinton Vega 7-5, 6-4.

At the ITF Grade 2 in the Netherlands last week, top seed Jessica Ho of the US reached the final, but fell to No. 6 seed Sofya Zhuk of Russia 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-3 in the championship match.  At this week's Grade 1 in Germany,  all eight US juniors have been defeated, including Ho, the No. 8 seed and Dennis Uspensky, the No. 6 seed.

The ITF announced the fields for the Youth Olympic Tennis tournament, a Grade A event in Nanjing, China August 17-24, 2014. Due to its date, between the National Hard Courts and the US Open junior championships, and its location, only two Americans are participating: Sofia Kenin and Alex Rybakov.

Youth Olympic Tennis Event
Boys Acceptance List by Country

Argentina - Francisco Bahamonde, Matias Zukas
Australia - Harry Bourchier, Marc Polmans

Bahamas - Rasheed Carey, Justin Roberts
Belgium - Clement Geens

Brazil - Orlando Luz, Marcelo Zormann
Burundi - Guy Orly Iradukunda

Colombia - Luis Valero

Croatia - Nino Serdarusic

Cyprus - Petros Chrysochos

Hungary - Andre Biro

Japan - Ryotaro Matsumura, Jumpei Yamasaki
Korea, Rep. - Chung Yunseong, Lee Duck Hee 

Montenegro - Pavle Rogan

Peru - Nicolas Alvarez, Juan Jose Rosas

Poland - Kamil Majchrzak, Jan Zielinski

Russia  - Karen Khachanov, Andrey Rublev

Serbia - Petar Conkic

Slovakia - Martin Blasko, Alex Molcan                         

South Africa - Lloyd Harris

Sri Lanka - Sharmal Dissanayake

Sweden - Daniel Appelgren

USA - Alex Rybakov

Youth Olympic Tennis Event
Girls Acceptance List by Country

Algeria - Ines Ibbou

Australia - Naiktha Bains, Priscilla Hon

Belarus - Iryna Shymanovich

Belgium - Greetje Minnen

Brazil - Luisa Stefani

China, P.R. - Sun Ziyue, Xu Shilin

Colombia - Maria Fernanda Herazo Gonzalez

Czech Republic - Simona Heinova, Marketa Vondrousova
Ecuador - Domenica Gonzalez

Egypt - Sandra Samir

Hungary - Anna Bondar, Fanni Stollar
India - Ojasvinee Singh

Korea, Rep. - Dabin Kim

Latvia - Jelena Ostapenko

Lithuania - Akvile Parazinskaite

Mexico - Renata Zarazua

Namibia - Lesedi Sheya Jacobs

Paraguay - Camila Giangreco Campiz

Romania - Ioana Ducu, Ioana Loredana Rosca
Russia  - Darya Kasatkina, Anastasiya Komardina
Serbia  - Ivana Jorovic

Slovakia - Kristina Schmiedlova

Switzerland - Jil Belen Teichmann        

Thailand - Kamonwan Buayam

Ukraine - Anhelina Kalinina

USA - Sofia Kenin

The complete ITF release follows:

The ITF today announced the acceptance lists for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games Tennis Event. Thirty-eight countries are represented in the boys’ and girls’ events that comprise 32 players in singles, 16 pairs in doubles, and 32 pairs in mixed doubles. The Youth Olympic Tennis Event, for players aged 18-and-under, will take place on 17-24 August at the Tennis Academy of China on hard court. All players will contest all three events.

The second Youth Olympic Games, held on 16-28 August, will welcome around 3,800 athletes from the 204 National Olympic Committees to Nanjing. Young athletes – aged between 14 and 18 years – will compete in 28 sports.

Entries are headed by the current boys’ and girls’ junior world number ones, Andrey Rublev of Russia and Ivana Jorovic of Serbia. Rublev, who won the 2014 Roland Garros junior title, is joined by fellow Russian Darya Kasatkina, the Roland Garros girls’ champion. Sun Ziyue and Xu Shilin will represent the host nation in the girls’ singles.

A maximum of two boys and two girls per country are eligible to compete. Players must also have made themselves available for selection to represent their country in any of the ITF junior team competitions between 2011 and 2014.

Singles acceptances were based firstly on a player’s junior world ranking (12 places), then on ranking by region (16 places). The remaining four positions were allocated either by the IOC or the next highest ranked player. The Youth Olympic Tennis Event is a Grade A event on the 2014 ITF Junior Circuit, offering bonus ranking points.

Mixed doubles will feature in the Youth Olympics for the first time following its successful re-introduction at the London 2012 Olympic Tennis Event.

Thailand’s Paradorn Srichaphan, who won five singles titles in an outstanding career, will represent tennis on site as an Athlete Role Model. The Athlete Role Models programme will be implemented by the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (NYOCOG) as part of the Culture and Education Programme.

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “The Youth Olympic Tennis Event provides a valuable opportunity for some of our most promising young athletes to have their first Olympic experience and represent their country on a major stage. We were delighted with the success of the inaugural event in Singapore, since when several competitors have already made progress on the professional circuit.”

The draws for the Youth Olympic Games Tennis Event will take place at 16:00 local time on Friday 15 August at the Tennis Academy of China

The acceptances for the boys’ and girls’ singles event are [above]. The doubles and mixed doubles entries will be determined on site and will comprise players already involved in singles. For doubles and mixed doubles, athletes without a partner from the same country are allowed to compete with a player from a different country.