Paul Reaches Futures Final in Italy; Di Lorenzo Takes Doubles Title in Belgium; Qualifying Complete at French Junior Championships
Tommy Paul has had quite a month for himself on the red clay of Europe, winning his first Futures title in Spain earlier this month, making the semifinals in the Futures the following week, and this week reaching the final of a Futures in Italy.
The 18-year-old Paul, who is in the main draw of the French Junior Championships based on his ATP ranking, which is now 528 and will rise when the last two weeks' results are added in June, beat No. 2 seed Andres Molteni of Italy 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 in today's semifinals. He will need to make a quick trip to Paris after Saturday's final for the French Open Junior Championships, but I assume he receive a Monday start.
Paul will play unseeded 20-year-old Italian Lorenzo Sonego in the final. Sonego, who beat top seed Nils Langer of Germany 6-4, 6-2, took a different developmental path. He played only 1 ITF Junior tournament, at the age of 16, losing in the first round of qualifying at a Grade 2 in Italy. At age 18 he played eight Futures in Europe, never getting out of qualifying. Last year, he began to succeed in qualifying, reaching the semis of one Futures and winning a round in the main draw of an Italian Challenger. Tomorrow will be his first Futures final, so Paul, two years younger, will have an edge in experience.
Fanny Stollar of Hungary is another junior scheduled to compete in the French Junior Championships next week who is doing well on the ITF Pro Circuit this week. The 16-year-old Stollar will play 15-year-old Georgia Cracium of Romania in Saturday's final of a $10,000 tournament in Romania.
At the ITF Grade 1 in Belgium, none of the three Americans who made the quarterfinals in singles progressed beyond that. Francesca Di Lorenzo did take the doubles title however, again teaming with Luisa Stefani of Brazil, who has committed to Pepperdine. Di Lorenzo and Stefani, the top seeds, defeated No. 2 seeds Katharina Hobgarski of Germany and Greet Minnen of Belgium 6-3, 6-4. Hobgarski will face 15-year-old Elena Rybakina of Russia in the singles final. Mikael Ymer of Sweden meets Marcelo Barrios Vera of Chile in the boys singles final. Alejandro Tabilo of Canada and Felipe Cunha Silva of Portugal won the boys doubles title 6=3, 4-6, 10-4 over Youssef Hossam of Egypt and Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves of Brazil.
Qualifying is complete for the French Junior Championships, with none of the three US players participating reaching the main draw. Emil Reinberg and Maria Mateas lost in the first round; Alexandra Sanford lost in today's second and final qualifying round. The junior draw will be out some time tomorrow, with play beginning on Sunday.
Three years ago, ITF World Junior champion Filip Peliwo of Canada made the final of all four junior slams, winning the last two. He has yet to break through on the ATP tour, however, with his highest ranking 223 last year. Stephanie Myles, the Canadian journalist, provides this update on his current coaching and playing situation.