Paul Wins Futures in Italy; Sixteen US Juniors in French Open Junior Championships with Ten in Action Sunday; Sock Reaches Second Week of Major for First Time
An annual trip to Europe to provide red clay experience for juniors prior to the French Open has been a USTA staple for several years, but it hasn't produced much in the way of ranking points until now.
Tommy Paul, who turned 18 earlier this month, won his second Futures tournament of the trip today, after winning in Spain two weeks ago and reaching the semifinals last week. Paul defeated unseeded Lorenzo Sonego of Italy on the 20-year-old's home surface 6-1, 6-4, and now makes his way to the French Open Junior Championships, where he is thankfully not on Sunday's schedule.
Ten(correction:11) US juniors are playing their first round matches at Roland Garros Sunday, six of the eight girls and five of the eight boys. Raveena Kingsley has drawn top seed and Italian Open champion Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic, a semifinalist in Paris last year. Katerina Stewart, the No. 3 seed, plays wild card Lucie Wargnier of France, Francesca Di Lorenzo faces Evgeniya Levashova of Russia, Michaela Gordon meets No. 8 seed Katie Swan of Great Britain, No. 7 seed Usue Arconada plays Emilie Francati of Denmark and Caroline Dolehide faces Seone Mendez of Australia.
Nathan Ponwith plays qualifier Louis Wessels of Germany, No. 9 seed William Blumberg faces Alexander Bublik of Russia, Ulises Blanch meets Franco Capalbo of Argentina, No. 6 seed Michael Mmoh plays Hubert Hurkacz of Poland and No. 2 seed Taylor Fritz plays wild card Gabriel Decamps of Brazil. I'm not sure why a 15-year-old Brazilian was awarded a wild card, but in the girls draw, 15-year-old Shuyue Ma of China received a wild card, so perhaps the French federation reserves one in each draw for an international junior.
The schedule for Sunday's play is available here, the draws are here.
The full list of seeds:
1. Marketa Vondrousova, Czech Republic
2. Shilin Xu, China
3. Katerina Stewart, USA
4. CiCi Bellis, USA
5. Dalma Galfi, Hungary
6. Charlotte Robillard-Millette, Canada
7. Usue Arconada, USA
8. Katie Swan, Great Britain
9. Gabby Ruse, Romania
10. Tereza Mihalikova, Slovakia
11. Sonya Kenin, USA
12. Paula Badosa-Gibert, Spain
13. Miriam Kolodziejova, Czech Republic
14. Anna Blinkova, Russia
15. Julieta Estable, Argentina
16. Anna Kalinskaya, Russia
1. Orlando Luz, Brazil
2. Taylor Fritz, USA
3. Seong-Chan Hong, Korea
4. Corentin Denolly, France
5. Viktor Durasovic, Norway
6. Michael Mmoh, USA
7. Akira Santillan, Japan
8. Yunseong Chung, Korea
9. William Blumberg, USA
10. Marcelo Barrios Vera, Chile
11. Nam Hoang Ly, Vietnam
12. Theo Fournerie, France
13. Tommy Paul, USA
14. Mikael Ymer, Sweden
15. Casper Ruud, Norway
16. Stefanos Tsitsipas, Greece
At the Grade 1 in Belgium, Mikael Ymer of Sweden won the boys title, beating Marcelo Barrios Vera of Chile 6-2, 6-3. It's the 16-year-old's second Grade 1 title, both on clay. Katharina Hobgarski of Germany, who received a special exemption into the main draw of the French juniors based on her performance this week, won the girls title. The No. 8 seed defeated Elena Rybakina of Russia, the No. 13 seed, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.
Liam Caruana has reached the final of the ITF Grade 2 this week in Hungary, and will play 2014 Orange Bowl 16s finalist Mattias Siimar of Estonia for the title Sunday. Zeke Clark and Nathan Perrone lost in the quarterfinals.
Two US women, Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens, and one US man, Jack Sock, advanced to the second week of the French Open. Williams is a two-champion in Paris and Stephens has now reached the fourth round for the fourth straight year, but this is Sock's first time in the fourth round of any major. The 2010 and 2011 Kalamazoo champion defeated 18-year-old Borna Coric of Croatia today 6-2, 6-1, 6-4, in a match much less competitive than expected primarily due to Sock's form. On Monday, Sock will play Rafael Nadal for a place in the quarterfinals. Christopher Clarey of the New York Times wrote this feature on Sock, who, with his own surgery and brother Eric's life-threatening illness, had a depressing start to the year.