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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Riffice Injured, but US Boys Survive in Junior Davis Cup, US Girls Cruise in Junior Fed Cup

The United States teams will both play Thursday for a place in the semifinals of the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup competition, but how each team stayed undefeated couldn't be more different.

The girls, seeded second, have yet to lose a set, with Claire Liu and Kayla Day winning both their singles matches and then partnering to win the doubles for a 3-0 victory over New Zealand.  They will play No. 6 seed Spain in the third and final tie in their round robin group, with Spain also winning both their previous ties 3-0.

In two of the four Junior Fed Cup round robin groups, undefeated and seeded teams will face each other: No. 1 Czech Republic v. No. 5 Australia and the USA vs Spain.  The other two groups have been less predictable.  No. 4 seed Canada needed a third set in doubles to get by No. 7 seed Great Britain, which has now lost both their ties and is eliminated from contention.  Canada will play unseeded Japan, one of two unseeded teams with a chance to move into the semifinals.  Italy defeated No. 8 seed Brazil today, leaving both countries with a 1-1 record. If Brazil defeats No. 3 Russia and Italy also wins over Taiwan, three teams would be 2-1 in that group, so percentages would decide the group winner. Russia is the clear favorite to advance, however.

The US boys got a quick lift from Kalamazoo 16s champion Patrick Kypson, who was named to the team last week to replace Gianni Ross, who was ill and unable to travel. Kypson, playing No. 2 singles, defeated Gabriel Bugiga of Brazil 6-1, 6-1 giving the US a 1-0 lead, but Sam Riffice dropped the opening set of his match against Gabriel Decamps at No. 1 singles. Riffice was up 4-2 in the second set when he suffered an injury, which was reported as a torn hamstring by the ITF.  He received treatment (the score was deuce in the game), lost the next two points and retired, with the score 6-1, 3-4.

That meant the US had to win the doubles point, and without Riffice, who has played regularly with Vasil Kirkov for some time now.  Kypson was called on again, and after dropping the first set, Kirkov and Kypson claimed a 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 victory over Enzo Kohn and Decamps.  The final set was not quite as easy as the score might indicate, with Kirkov saving two break points serving at 2-4. But another break gave Kypson an opportunity to serve out the match, and after seeing two match points come and go, the Americans converted the third.

Kypson and Kirkov will play No. 8 seed Japan to decide which country advances to the semifinals. All four of the matches so far in their round robin group have been decided by the doubles point, a rare occurrence.
In the article linked to above, USA captain Sylvain Guichard says that Ross was going to be the No. 2 player, meaning the US now is relying on players originally 3 and 4 on the depth chart.

The other three ties on Thursday will also be winner advances to the semifinals, with all seeds going 2-0.   No. 1 Canada will play No. 7 Czech Republic, No. 2 Australia will face No. 5 Germany, and No. 4 Russia will meet No. 6 Argentina.  Australia's No. 1, Alex De Minaur, who reached the US Open boys semifinals as a qualifier, has an interesting international background, as revealed in this feature by Sandy Harwitt.

Live streaming is available, and I expect the US girls to be on a streamed court given that host Spain provides the opposition. Live scoring is available here.

Full results from Day 2 in Madrid:

Girls Group A 
Monika Kilnarova (CZE) d.  Paula Baranano (ARG) 61 26 63
Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) d. Maria Lourdes Carle (ARG) 62 64
Monika Kilnarova/Anna Slovakova (CZE) d. Paula Baranano/Camila Moreno (ARG) 36 62 62
Suzan Lamens (NED) d. Seone Mendez (AUS) 76(5) 76(4)
Destanee Aiava (AUS) d. Isolde de Jong (NED) 63 16 63
Destanee Aiava/Jaimee Fourlis (AUS) d. Isolde de Jong/Suzan Lamens (NED) 63 64

Girls Group B
CANADA (4) defeated GREAT BRITAIN (7) 2-1:
Bianca Andreescu (CAN) d. Jodie Anna Burrage (GBR) 36 76(7) 61
Katie Swan (GBR) d. Charlotte Robillard-Millette (CAN) 63 75
Bianca Andreescu/Charlotte Robillard-Millette (CAN) d. Jodie Anna Burrage/Katie Swan (GBR) 61 26 63
JAPAN defeated COLOMBIA 2-1:
Mai Hontama (JPN) d. Sofia Munera (COL) 76(6) 57 63
Emiliana Arango (COL) d. Ayumi Miyamoto (JPN) 62 62
Ayumi Miyamoto/Kimika Sakata (JPN) d. Emiliana Arango/Sofia Munera (COL) 64 75

Girls Group C
RUSSIA (3) defeated CHINESE TAIPEI 3-0:
Elena Rybakina (RUS) d. Chen Pei Hsuan (TPE) 76(5) 61
Olesya Pervushina (RUS) d. Lee Yang (TPE) 61 61
Evgeniya Levashova/Elena Rybakina (RUS) d. Lee Yang/Wu Fang Hsien (TPE) 26 64 75
ITALY defeated BRAZIL (8) 3-0:
Tatiana Pieri (ITA) d. Marcelle Cirino (BRA) 62 61
Federica Bilardo (ITA) d. Thaisa Pedretti (BRA) 75 62
Federica Bilardo/Tatiana Pieri (ITA) d. Nathalia Gasparin/Thaisa Pedretti (BRA) 64 57 63

Girls Group D
USA (2) defeated NEW ZEALAND 3-0:
Kayla Day (USA) d. Valentina Ivanov (NZL) 61 63
Claire Liu (USA) d. Nina Paripovich (NZL) 64 61
Kayla Day/Claire Liu (USA) d. Lauren Alter/Valentina Ivanov (NZL) 60 61
SPAIN (6) defeated EGYPT 3-0:
Paula Arias Manjon (ESP) d. Laila Elnimr (EGY) 63 46 63
Eva Guerrero Alvarez (ESP) d. Dalila Said (EGY) 60 75
Noelia Bouzo Zanotti/Eva Guerrero Alvarez (ESP) d. Laila Elnimr/Dalila Said (EGY) 57 62 62

Boys Group A
CANADA (1) defeated HONG KONG 3-0:
Denis Shapovalov (CAN) d. Sou Ming Chun Alan (HKG) 61 61
Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) d. Lam Ching (HKG) 61 63
Felix Auger-Aliassime/Denis Shapovalov (CAN) d. Lam Ching/Sou Ming Chun Alan (HKG) 62 63
CZECH REPUBLIC (7) defeated POLAND 2-1:
Michael Vrbensky (CZE) d. Daniel Michalski (POL) 62 64
Patrik Rikl (CZE) d. Kacper Zuk (POL) 63 63
Konrad Fryze/Daniel Michalski (POL) Daniel Velek/Michael Vrbensky (CZE) 75 60

Boys Group B
RUSSIA (4) defeated CHINESE TAIPEI 2-1:
Alen Avidzba (RUS) d. Yu Hua Chen (TPE) 63 61
Artem Dubrivnyy (RUS) d. Hsu Tyu Hsiou (TPE) 61 61
Hsu Tyu Hsiou/Yu Hua Chen (TPE) d. Alen Avidzba/Artem Dubrivnyy (RUS) 76(3) 62
ARGENTINA (6) defeated SWEDEN 3-0:
Camilo Ugo Carabelli (ARG) d. Jonas Eriksson Ziverts (SWE) 76(0) 60
Tomas Etcheverry (ARG) d. Karl Friberg (SWE) 62 61
Camilo Ugo Carabelli/Santiago Rodriguez Taverna (ARG) d. Linus Bergevi/Jonas Eriksson Ziverts (SWE) 64 76(1)

Boys Group C
USA (3) defeated BRAZIL 2-1:
Patrick Kypson (USA) d. Gabriel Bugiga (BRA) 61 61
Gabriel Decamps (BRA) d. Sam Riffice (USA) 61 3-4 ret.
Vasil Kirkov/Patrick Kypson (USA) d. Gabriel Decamps/Enzo Kohn (BRA) 46 60 62
JAPAN (8) defeated SPAIN 2-1:
Andres Fernandez Canovas (ESP) d. Yunosuke Tanaka (JPN) 63 57 63
Toru Horie (JPN) d. Alejandro Davidovich Fukina (ESP) 63 26 63
Toru Horie/Yunosuke Tanaka (JPN) d. Alejandro Davidovich Fukina/Nikolas Sanchez-Izquierdo Vivar (ESP) 63 61

Boys Group D
AUSTRALIA (2) defeated COLOMBIA 3-0:
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) d. Nicolas Mejia (COL) 75 63
Alex de Minaur (AUS) d. Alejandro Hoyos (COL) 60 61
Alex de Minaur/Blake Ellis (AUS) d. Alejandro Hoyos/Nicolas Mejia (COL) 61 62
GERMANY (5) defeated SOUTH AFRICA 2-1:
Marvin Moeller (GER) d. Albertus Kruger (RSA) 62 76(1)
Nicola Kuhn (GER) d. Joshua Howard-Tripp (RSA) 62 60
Albertus Kruger/Richard Thongoana (RSA) d. Nicola Kuhn/Maximilian Todorov (GER) 57 64 61