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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fritz, Kumar Advance at Australian Open Juniors, Second Seed Luz Upset; Arconada Wins $10K Title; Potapova, Draper Top Seeds at Les Petits As

Taylor Fritz and Sameer Kumar reached the second round of the Australian Open junior championships Sunday in Australia, joining the four Americans already securing their opening round wins on Saturday. Fritz hit 13 aces and won 31 of 33 of his first-serve points in his 6-1, 6-4 victory over Slovakia's Alex Molcan, and said after the match that he felt no discomfort from the shoulder.  The tournament website featured an article about Fritz's win (great to see junior coverage there so early in the tournament). Fritz will play Mandresy Rakotomalala of France Tuesday.

Kumar needed two hours to subdue Japanese qualifier Renta Tokuda, but the Stanford recruit came away with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 victory. He will play No. 9 seed Mikael Ymer of Sweden in the second round.  Mia Horvit and Raquel Pedraza lost their first round matches to French opponents, with Horvit losing 6-3, 6-3 to Margot Yerolymos and Pedraza falling 6-2, 6-2 to Tessah Adrianjafitrimo.

The big story of the day in the juniors was the loss by No. 2 seed Orlando Luz of Brazil, who fell meekly to Germany's Tim Sandkaulen 6-1, 6-2.  The only other seed going out on Sunday was No. 16 Tami Grende of Indonesia, who lost to Australian Sara Tomic 6-3, 6-1, although Traralgon champion and No. 7 seed Seong Chan Hong of Korea was severely tested by 2013 Junior Orange Bowl finalist Alex Di Minaur of Australia. Di Minaur, who received a wild card as the Australian 16s National champion, came up just short in a 7-5, 5-7, 8-6 loss.  For more on Sandkaulen's upset and also more on Fritz, see the Stuart Fraser report for the ITF junior website.

In doubles, No. 3 seeds Mmoh and his partner Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia advanced, but top seeds Hong and Yunseong Chung of Korea fell to Australians Jake Delaney and Marc Polmans.  Ho and Kingsley lost their first round match, as did Hauger and Horvit, both playing with French partners. Pedraza (with Wushuang Zheng of China) and Will Blumberg (second-seeded, with Luz) will play their first round doubles matches Monday.

Also on Monday (Sunday night here in the US), Blumberg, Olivia Hauger, Jessica Ho and Raveena Kingsley are scheduled to play their second round singles matches.

At the $10,000 ITF Women's event in Saint Martin, Guadeloupe, Usue Arconada picked up her first title at that level, defeating top seed Victoria Bosio of Argentina 7-5, 3-6, 6-1.  The 16-year-old from Maryland got the only break of the first set at 5-all in the first and went up 2-0 in the second set, but the 20-year-old Bosio fought back to send it to a third set.  Arconada got an early break again in the third, and this time she did not give it back, breaking for a 5-1 lead and serving it out on her second match point.

At the $10,000 Weston Futures, No. 7 seed Benjamin Balleret of Monaco won a singles title to go along with his doubles championship, beating Francis Tiafoe 7-5, 6-4.  In the first set, Balleret broke to serve for the set, went down 0-40, but won the next five points to take the game.  Tiafoe was broken in the first game of the second set, got it back level at 2, but was immediately broken again, and this time Balleret protected the lead, serving the match out at love.

In Daytona Beach, 17-year-old Darya Kasatkina of Russia won her second $25,000 tournament since winning the French girls title last spring, beating Elise Mertens of Belgium 6-2, 4-6, 6-0. No. 3 seeds Jan Abaza and Sanaz Marand won the doubles title, beating Mertens and her partner Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands, the No. 4 seeds, 6-4, 3-6, 10-6.

The women now move south to Sunrise, Florida, where the qualifying is underway for the $25,000 event there. CiCi Bellis is the top seed in qualifying.

There are two men's Pro Circuit events next week--the $50,000 Challenger in Maui and the $10,000 Futures in Palm Coast, Florida, where qualifying concludes on Monday.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Les Petits As, the biggest 14-and-under tournament in Europe certainly, and possibly the world, begins tomorrow in Tarbes, France. The top seed in the girls draw is no surprise, with Eddie Herr and Junior Orange Bowl champion Anastasia Potapova of Russia claiming that spot.  Unfortunately, Teen Tennis champion Caty McNally, the No. 3 seed, landed in Potapova's half of the draw, so there will be no repeat of the Eddie Herr final.  The No. 2 seed is wild card Iga Swiatek of Poland, who lost in the semifinals of last month's Junior Orange Bowl to Potapova, who saved a match point in the third set tiebreaker that decided the match.  Amanda Anisimova, who lost to McNally in the Teen Tennis final, is the No. 5 seed. The other two members of the USTA girls team, Hurricane Tyra Black and Whitney Osuigwe, are not seeded.

Jack Draper of Great Britain is the top boys seed, with Timofey Skatov of Russia at No. 2.  Anton Matusevich of the US, who won the Teen Tennis title, is not in the draw.  Nathan Han, a Teen Tennis semifinalist, is the only US boy to be seeded; he is No. 6.  Other US boys competing are Govind Nanda, Cannon Kingsley and Leighton Allen. William Grant and Andrew Puscas lost in qualifying.  Draws are available at the tournament website, or at the Tennis Europe tournament page.


Horned Frog said...

TCU Men's and Women's Take the ITA Kickoff Title in College Station…Great Effort Frogs!! Colette…going to miss you on this special season….:) GO FROGS!!

Jim Wright said...

In the women the #41 and the #44 advance. Wow. I would be willing to bet that is the first time ever.

Barnie said...

Wow Colette,

You are correct. No-add tennis has dramatically changed the outcome of college tennis. Case in point, how in the world can a small town program like TCU beat both the Texas A&M Men's and Women's powerhouse teams in one weekend. Must be the new scoring format.

Oh wait, if you look at the results, the matches were blow-outs in the final sets. Surely you can't take your high horse attitude and claim no-add scoring changed the outcome of these matches. Looks to me there was some good old butt kicking taken out on over-confident teams.

To me, the no-add scoring makes college tennis even that more exciting. There is nothing better to watch than the pivotal game deciding point to see which player truly has the bigger guts to go for the win. I do foresee a lot more cheating going on though, once the players fully understand the implications losing that no-add point means.

Matt Litsky said...

Number 16 Columbia beats number 17 Tennessee and number 14 Notre Dame at Notre Dame to win their group

Jim Wright said...

We all have our opinions. Can I suggest reference to high horse attitudes is not appropriate. If you do not like opinions of others you are free to choose not to read them as I will future opinions of Barnie.

What cheating is being referred to? The chair can over rule any call; multiple over rules have scoring penalties. Just 3 years ago Baylor lost in the 3rd round of the indoors when an over rule resulted in a game forfeit; the game in question was a 3rd set tie breaker of a 3 all match.

All the best to TCU at the nationals.

16, 17 & 14 "upsets" happen; 41 and 44 "upsets" generally do not.

NC Tennis fan said...

Colette's never been high horse about it. She simply said she didn't want to cover it any more. On the other hand, you showed up to her website and were rude.

AR Hacked Off said...

I wish Collette would report on ITA, but I understand and respect her stance, so not going to bad mouth her great site.
As for the no-ad scoring and cheating, I have done several matches and have not seen anymore cheating/close calls than normal, I have seen more Double Faults though as the pressure amps up.
If you want collegiate talk find another site and be happy for the great coverage of Juniors and Pro Circuit from Collette.

Shawn said...

Kudos to Colette for not censoring an idiot like Barnie. Free speech is alive on this website,
although ... idiotic comments add nothing to a conversation ( and I include the political rants with comments like Barnie).

Barnie, why you are at it, why not change football. I think two downs would be more exciting than three downs in college football and it would speed up the game... See how this works..... This comment added nothing to the discussion.

We love Colette and her passion to keep the sport pure. Take it elsewhere.

What else is new. said...

Cheating has escalated in juniors and you are now seeing it pour over into college. Until the USTA decides to take some of the $ that they line their pockets with and put it actually into the tournaments, this trend will just continue.

Joseph said...

End result is that college tennis is Not the stepping stone to the pros anymore.

love-tennis said...

I don't know if the shortened format hurt Texas A and M or if TCU is really that much stronger on both the male and female sides. Time will tell. At least tennis lets them play it out, unlike football, ha ha.

In the match I saw, I do think the shortened doubles point added an uneasiness at the start of the match. It just felt like it was too fast, especially playing no-ad. The singles really stretched out and while I don't like no-ad, it wasn't that much of a factor. I fully appreciate that it could be in other matches, but every game didn't go to deuce by any means.

That doubles point is going to be even more crucial now,I suspect!

Alex said...

If you closely follow college tennis, you'll see TCU has a strong lineup this year (Trevor Johnson is only 7 Singles). Meanwhile, A&M is having a down year...nothing to do with no-ad.

Ivy League Tennis Denizen said...


Really good observations about uneasiness in dubs and singles not really changing that much. I completely agree about dubs going too quickly. It's a shame, because those final 25 minutes of hour-long dubs battles were incredibly intense, nail-biting affairs. Now, just as you're getting into it--poof!--it's over.

Matt Litsky,

Only the naysayers thought Columbia didn't have a chance to win the loaded Notre Dame-Columbia-Tennessee-Oklahoma St. pod. Similar to last spring's NCAA second round victory at Vanderbilt, the Lions enjoyed a convivial trip back to big, bad New York City.

Jim Wright said...

From ITA yesterday: the lowest winning men's seed is No. 46 Fresno State men in 2010. Before this weekend, No. 37 Ole Miss women (2012) were the lowest-ranked women's team to win.

ITA archives show Fresno State finished 27th in 2010; the host team for their kick off weekend finsihed 10th.

Ole Miss finsihed 18th in 2012; no one in their kickoff weekend finsihed ahead of them.