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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

All Top 10 ITF Boys and Girls Entered in US Open Juniors; Southern Cal Wins USTA Boys 18 Team Championship; Donaldson, Kudla Advance in Atlanta

The acceptances for the US Open Junior Championships were released today, and all players in the ITF top 10, and all but one of the top 15, girls No. 15 Julieta Estable, have entered.

Nine US girls have received direct entry: Usue Arconada, Sonya Kenin, Michaela Gordon, Raveena Kingsley, Francesca Di Lorenzo, Ingrid Neel, Claire Liu, CiCi Bellis and Katerina Stewart.  Kayla Day is the first alternate, with an ITF ranking of 56.  Alexandra Sanford and Tornado Alicia Black, the 2013 US girls finalist, are in qualifying Stewart, a semifinalist in New York last year, received entry based on her WTA ranking, currently 158. Magdalena Frech of Poland, 378 in the WTA rankings, also received her entry by that method.

Caroline Dolhide, ranked No. 16 and a semifinalist last year after advancing through qualifying, has not entered and is not playing the G18s Nationals in San Diego either. She played earlier this month at Wimbledon and reached the third round there.

Seven US boys have received direct entry: Taylor Fritz, Michael Mmoh, Reilly Opelka, William Blumberg, Tommy Paul, Nathan Ponwith and Ulises Blanch.  Sam Riffice has already assured himself of a wild card into the main draw by winning the 18s Clay Courts.

The cutoff for the boys is 45, extremely high for the US Open, but not unusual for the French.  Five players received entry via their ATP rankings, with South Africa's Lloyd Harris (609), Argentina's Juan Pablo Fichovich(706) and two Spanish 18-year-olds: European Championships finalist Bernabe Zapata Miralles(708) and Pedro Martinez Portero(691).  The fifth is 14-year-old Canadian Felix Auger Aliassime, who became the youngest player ever to reach the quarterfinals of an ATP Challenger last week in Granby. Those results moved his ATP ranking up to 749, which is one spot better than necessary for main draw acceptance.  It will be his first junior slam appearance.

The USTA Boys 18 Team Championships finals were today in Champaign-Urbana, with the Southern California section defeating the Eastern section 5-2.  Eastern's No. 1 player William Blumberg won all his matches during the tournament, including today's over Austin Rapp, but it wasn't enough to counter the depth of coach Barry Horowitz's team.  The results of today's final are below:














The girls 18 final Wednesday gives Southern Cal an opportunity for a sweep of the USTA Team championships. They will play defending champion Southern for the title. The TennisLink site for the girls competition has all the results.

At the ATP event in Atlanta, Jared Donaldson defeated fellow qualifier Somdev Devvarman 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 to reach the second round, where he will play No. 7 seed Gilles Muller of Luxembourg.  Another US qualifier, Denis Kudla, outlasted wild card Ryan Harrison 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(5) to set up a second round metting with No. 3 seed Jack Sock. Sock and Kudla have played five times, including, of course, in the US Open boys final in 2010, with Sock winning three, but Kudla has won their last two meetings, though those were in 2012.

No. 6 seed Steve Johnson advanced with a 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-2 win over Lukas Lacko of Slovakia. Qualifier Austin Krajicek fell to No. 5 seed Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus, and Frances Tiafoe saw his attempt at a first ATP-level win thwarted by Australia's Sam Groth 7-6(3), 6-4.   Mardy Fish and Donald Young both suffered straight-set losses.

Georgia Tech rising sophomore Christopher Eubanks, who received a wild card, plays his first round match against Czech Radek Stepanek on Wednesday.  For more on Eubanks, and his friendship with Donald Young, see this article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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