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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Swan Ousts Top Seed Xu, Fritz and Kingsley Reach Australian Junior Quarterfinals; Three Americans Through to Third Round at Les Petits As; Bellis, Tiafoe, Opelka Win Openers in Florida Pro Circuit Events

No. 14 seed Katie Swan of Great Britain defeated top seed Shilin Xu of China 6-2, 6-2 Wednesday in the third round of the Australian Open Junior Championships to earn her second appearance in a Grade A quarterfinal against Raveena Kingsley, who will be making her first.   Kingsley, the No. 11 seed, defeated unseeded Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia 6-4, 6-1, in a performance that contrasted with her previous 9-7 in third set win over Vera Lapko of Belarus.  Kingsley saved all seven of the break points against her, while converting three of the four break points Kuzmova gave her.

No. 3 seed Taylor Fritz will represent the US in the boys quarterfinals after his 6-1, 6-1 win over Marko Osmakcic of Switzerland, which took only 39 minutes, but saw Fritz get only 35% of his first serves in and get broken in the two games he lost.  Fritz will play No. 7 seed Seong Chan Hong  Thursday (tonight in the US), having beaten the 17-year-old Korean in their previous two meetings in the Osaka Grade A quarterfinals and the Roehampton Grade 1 quarterfinals.

Sameer Kumar lost a tough match to No. 6 seed Duck Hee Lee of Korea, losing nine straight games in the second and third sets, but battling back to tie the third set at 5-5, only to drop serve in the final game of Lee's 2-6, 6-0, 7-5 victory.

Michael Mmoh and his partner Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia are into the doubles semifinals after defeating Yuya Ito and Yusuke Takahashi of Japn 6-2, 6-2.  The No. 3 seeds will now play No. 8 seeds Hubert Hurkacz of Poland and Alex Molcan of Slovakia, after Hurkacz and Molcan eliminated No. 2 seed Will Blumberg and Orlando Luz of Brazil 6-2, 7-6(2).

Raquel Pedraza and her partner Wushuang Zheng of China lost to No. 4 seeds Xu and  Sara Tomic of Australia 6-4, 1-6, 11-9.

Zheng and Xu are featured in this article from the Associated Press about China's search for a tennis player who can follow in the footsteps of recently retired two-time slam winner Li Na.

For draws, see the tournament website.

In the women's draw, unseeded Madison Keys, who turns 20 next month, will take on top seed Serena Williams tonight after beating Venus Williams 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in Wednesday's quarterfinal. Louisa Thomas of Grantland looks at Keys game and the maturation of it, both physically and mentally. She also proposes that Keys was fortunate to avoid The Future of American Tennis label until now, which is partly due to the sheer number of young American women excelling and partly due to her steady but not spectacular results since that stunning win over a Top 100 player at a tour event when Keys was just 14 years old.

At Les Petits As, three US players have reached the third round, with No. 3 seed Caty McNally, No. 5 seed Amanda Anisimova and unseeded Govind Nanda picking up straight-set wins.  Nanda defeated No. 14 seed Raphael Vonnet Flores of France 6-4, 6-0 and will take on top seed Jack Draper of Great Britain in the round of 16.  Both Whitney Osuigwe and Hurricane Tyra Black lost their singles matches to seeded players, but they had a big win in doubles, taking out No. 2 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Taisya Pachkaleva of Russia 6-7(5), 6-3, 10-6. McNally and Anisimova, the top seeds are through to the quarterfinals of doubles, as are No. 4 seeds Nanda and Nathan Han.

Draws are available at the Tennis Europe tournament page.

At the $25,000 women's Pro Circuit event in Sunrise, Florida, qualifier CiCi Bellis defeated No. 4 seed Tatjana Maria of Germany 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 in the first round, and will play last week's winner Darya Kasatkina of Russia.  Bellis and Kasatkina played twice last year late in major ITF junior tournaments, with each winning once.

Farther north in Palm Coast, at the $10,000 Futures, Reilly Opelka and Francis Tiafoe won their opening matches.  Wild card Opelka defeated Florent Diep, the former University of Florida No.1, 7-5, 6-1, while Tiafoe came back for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over fellow wild card Alexios Halebian.  They join fellow 17-year-old Tommy Paul, who won yesterday, in the second round.