Smyczek, Russell and Tatishvili Qualify for Australian Open; Baughman, Graham Reach $10K Finals; Vickery and Crawford Meet for $25K Plantation Title; Teen Tennis Starts Sunday
The fields are now set for the Australian Open, with the qualifiers placed in the draws and the schedule for Monday (Sunday night in the US) released as the tennis world takes the day off in preparation.
Two US men and one US women advanced to the main draw with wins last night. Tim Smyczek, Michael Russell and Anna Tatishvili won their final round matches, while Alexa Glatch, Chase Buchanan, Jarmere Jenkins and Alex Kuznetsov lost theirs.
Only six of the 24 Americans are on Monday's schedule, which begins at 7 p.m. Eastern time in the US, but that includes both Smyczek and Russell. Smyczek will play Australian wild card Luke Saville, one of eight Australian Open boys champions in the draw, while the 36-year-old Russell has drawn No. 20 seed David Goffin of Belgium. The four US women on Monday's schedule are Grace Min, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Christina McHale and Alison Riske. Min, who plays No. 14 seed Sara Errani of Italy, is seeking her first slam victory in her fifth main draw appearance, her first in Australia. Mattek-Sands plays wild card Ying Ying Duan of China, who received Tennis Australia's last wild card, and Riske plays Oceane Dodin of France, who received the French federation's reciprocal wild card. McHale will play qualifier Stephanie Foretz of France.
The schedule can be found at the tournament website.
In the tournaments being played here in the United States, Deiton Baughman has reached his first Futures final at the $10,000 Sunrise tournament, and there will be an all-American final at the women's $25,000 tournament in Plantation, featuring Samantha Crawford and Sachia Vickery.
The unseeded Baughman beat qualifier Samuel Bensousson of France 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, his fourth three-set victory this week and the third in which he's come from a set down. He will play No. 8 seed Benjamin Balleret of Monaco, who beat qualifier Francis Tiafoe 6-3, 6-0. Balleret has already captured the doubles title with countryman Romain Arneodo. The top-seeded pair defeated No. 2 seeds Connor Smith and Emilio Gomez 6-2, 7-5.
The unseeded Crawford and the No. 3 seed Vickery play doubles together often as they did this week, but their only previous meetings were in the juniors, with Crawford beating Vickery en route to her 2012 US Open girls title after Vickery had beaten her the year before at the Yucatan Cup in Mexico. Neither has been in a Pro Circuit final in more than two years, so their wins today were especially important. Crawford defeated unseeded Elise Mertens 7-5, 6-3, while Vickery edged Russian qualifier Darya Kasatkina, the reigning French girls champion, 7-6(4), 7-6(4). For more on Vickery and Crawford, see this Sun Sentinel article, which includes the news that Crawford is now working with Michael Joyce at the MW Tennis Academy in Charleston, South Carolina.
Top seeds Asia Muhammad and Irina Khromacheva of Russia won the doubles title, beating No. 2 seeds Sanaz Marand and Jan Abaza 6-2, 6-2.
The final in the $15,000 men's Futures in Long Beach will see qualifier Takanyi Garanganga of Zimbabwe play No. 6 seed Frederik Nielsen of Denmark. Garanganga beat No. 3 seed Jason Jung 6-7(2), 7-6(5), 6-4. Nielsen also needed three sets in his semifinal win, beating unseeded Alex Sarkissian 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.