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Monday, July 28, 2014

Kalamazoo Qualifying Draws Released; Halys, Sorribes Tormo Claim European Championships; US 14U Teams Head to ITF World Championships; Pro Update

The qualifying draws, the first in the Kalamazoo tournament's 72-year history, have been posted at the TennisLink site.  The 64-player draws in both the 16s and 18s divisions will produce eight qualifiers. Two rounds of qualifying are scheduled for Thursday, with the final round of qualifying on Friday morning.  Deiton Baughman, Reilly Opelka and Logan Smith are the top 3 seeds in the 18s qualifying.  Eduardo Nava was the No. 4 seed, but he has already withdrawn and is playing in the main draw at the Decatur Futures this week. Jackson Suh, Brian Cernoch, Sebastian Arcila and Conrad Russell are the top four seeds in the 16s qualifying.   The qualifying draws for the Girls 16s and 18s have not yet been released. Fred Sidhu, the media liaison for the tournament, reported today that wild card Christina Makarova has withdrawn due to injury.

While the USTA is gearing up for its National Championships, Tennis Europe just finished its edition, which includes 14s, 16s and 18s--the latter an ITF Grade B1 event.

No. 2 seed Quentin Halys of France, a finalist in 2013, took the title this year, defeating unseeded compatriot Corentin Denolly 6-4, 7-5 in the finals, which were moved indoors due to rain in Switzerland.  Unseeded Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain, who won the 16s title in 2012, also beat a competitor from her own country, defeating No. 5 seed Paula Badosa Gibert 6-4, 6-1, with that final also played indoors. Complete results from the tournament can be found at the ITF Junior website, and an article about the 18s finals is available at the Tennis Europe site.

In the 16s, No. 2 seed Fanny Stollar of Hungary and No. 3 seed Corentin Moutet of France took the titles.  Stollar beat No. 5 seed Anna Blinkova of Russia 6-4, 6-0 in the final, and Moutet outlasted Mikael Ymer of Sweden, the No. 7 seed, 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-0. For more on the 16s competition in Moscow, see this Tennis Europe article.

Rudolf Molleker of Germany and Anastasia Potapova of Russia won the 14s titles in the Czech Republic, with Molleker, the No. 2 seed, defeating No. 3 seed Tomas Jirousek of the host country 6-0, 6-1 and No. 3 seed Potapova downing top seed Olesya Pervushina, also of Russia 6-1, 2-6, 6-2.

According to this article on the 14s finals from Tennis Europe, all four finalists will be playing in the ITF's 14-and-under World Junior Tennis competition in the Czech Republic next month.   Although I have not yet seen the team nominations, the ITF did post the list of countries who make up the 16-team fields.  The United States will send both girls and boys teams to compete in the August 4-9, with the US girls the reigning world champions.

The boys leaving for Europe on Thursday, after a training session in Boca Raton, are Keenan Mayo, Roscoe Bellamy and Steven Sun.  The girls team this year consists of Claire Liu, Elysia Bolton and Rachel Lim. Seeds have not yet been established, with that and the draw scheduled for Sunday August 3rd.

Two of the boys who will be among the favorites for the Kalamazoo title played the first ATP main draw matches of their careers tonight at the Citi Open in Washington DC, with both Francis Tiafoe and Jared Donaldson losing their debuts.  Donaldson lost to fellow qualifier Rajeev Ram 6-7(1), 6-4, 7-5 and wild card Tiafoe went down to Evgeny Donskoy of Russia 6-4, 6-4 in a match televised on Tennis Channel. Ranking 111, Donskoy never looked in serious danger of losing to the 16-year-old from nearby College Park, Md., but Tiafoe did show flashes of the game that has drawn so much attention since he won the Orange Bowl last December.

Qualifier Taylor Townsend won her first round match over Julia Goeges of Germany 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, and Shelby Rogers upset No. 3 seed Alize Cornet of France 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 in Washington, but the real story of the day came out west, where 16-year-old qualifier Naomi Osaka of Japan, ranked 406, beat No. 19 Samantha Stosur of Australia 4-6, 7-6(7), 7-5 in the first round of the Bank of West Classic. Osaka, who I believe is based in Florida, does not play junior events, but she has won enough on the ITF Women's circuit to be ranked as high as 309 in May.

For more on Osaka's win, see the WTA website.


Another joke said...

Opelka in the quali of the Zoo is another joke. He is better than 75% of the players in the Main. And has proven it. Nava the same way. Don't blame him for withdrawing. Sounds like he is telling the USTA that they are not willing to validate the messed up system. Papa not playing another one ....

How long are people going to take the abuse?

Common Sense said...

The biggest questions: Why can't the USTA adjust their Super National endorsement requirements by including ATP and ITF rankings? Or automatic bids for the other SuperNational Semi finalists, etc? Having qualifying is a great idea but why not have 4 wildcards for qualifying?

Seems like the USTA is remaining old fashioned and needs to update to the current times!

In the meantime, if these players in qualifying who will be seeded in the main draw if they qualify, do not want to get endorsed by their Sections or do not play the required tournaments to get endorsed, they deserve to play qualifying.

Opelka if he qualifies should be seeded in the 12-16 range even though I'm guessing he will be in the 17-32.

Nava pulling out because he has to play qualifying at kalamazoo is not a blame on the usta, i believe it is stupidity on his part. His record in Futures is terrible and so what if he has to play two easy matches in Kalamazoo qualifying, it could be great for his confidence.

Good ol' days said...

Common Sense - do you mean go back to the way it was always done including ATP and ITF rankings until they screwed it up in the last couple years? The current times are the problem, the old fashioned way was a good one.