Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Eight US Women Begin Australian Open Qualifying, Seven US Men Post First Round Victories; Day, Di Lorenzo Advance at Daytona Beach $25K; Mmoh Tops Kozlov in Long Beach

The Australian Open women's qualifying gets underway tonight(Thursday) in Melbourne, with eight US women on the schedule.
It's possible for Nicole Gibbs(2) Katerina Stewart, Jessica Pegula, Julia Boserup, Kristie Ahn, Sachia Vickery(15), Alexa Glatch and Maria Sanchez to advance to the main draw, as none are in the same 1/12s(only 12 women qualify, compared to 16 men).

Australian Open girls champion Tereza Mihalikova of Slovakia was the recipient of a qualifying wild card.

Seven of the 11 US men in qualifying reached the second round, with four of them playing their second round matches tonight.  Taylor Fritz was the first winner in men's qualifying Wednesday, defeating Hiroki Moriya of Japan 6-3, 6-1, and was the subject of this feature on the Australian Open website. Dennis Novikov(32) advanced with a 6-4, 7-6(4) win over Australian teenager Marc Polmans, Bjorn Fratangelo(17) ousted Canadian veteran Frank Dancevic 7-6(5), 6-1, and Tim Smyczek(3) downed Jose Pereira of Brazil 6-3, 6-3.  Those four will play their second round matches tonight, while the other three American winners--Tennys Sandgren, Ryan Harrison(19) and Frances Tiafoe--will have a day off, playing their second round matches on Friday. Sandgren defeated Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan 6-1, 6-3, Harrison earned a 6-3, 7-6(3) victory over Salvatore Caruso of Italy and Tiafoe took out fellow US teen Jared Donaldson(21) 6-3, 6-3.

Draws and scores can be found at the Tennis Australia website.

At the Pro Circuit tournaments here in the United States, a couple of juniors pulled off big wins.  At the $25,000 Long Beach Futures, Michael Mmoh defeated No. 4 seed and last week's champion Stefan Kozlov 7-5, 6-4 in a first round battle of 17-year-olds(correction: Mmoh turned 18 on Sunday).  Last week's finalist Philip Bester of Canada, the No. 2 seed, also lost, to recent USC graduate Yannick Hanfmann of Germany, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.  Virginia sophomore Henrik Wiersholm, Raymond Sarmiento, Ryan Lipman, Liam Caruana, Deiton Baughman and Clay Thompson were other Americans advancing, with only Sarmiento beating an opponent not from the US.

At the women's $25,000 tournament in Daytona Beach, 16-year-old Kayla Day, who qualified yesterday, defeated No. 4 seed and WTA No. 223 Anastasia Komardina of Russia 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-4 in the first round. Wild card Francesca Di Lorenzo, a freshman at Ohio State, beat fellow National Indoor champion Robin Anderson 7-5, 6-3 and will play No. 5 seed CiCi Bellis in the second round Thursday.  Shelby Rogers(1), Grace Min(2), Asia Muhammad(6) and Bernarda Pera are the other Americans through to the second round.

No singles were played Tuesday at the $10,000 men's Futures in Plantation due to rain, so all 16 first round matches were on today's schedule. Top seed Tommy Paul needed nearly three hours to advance past Peter Nagy of Hungary 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4.  Three current collegians earned first round wins: Florida's Alfredo Perez and Diego Hidalgo of Ecuador and Miami's Christian Langmo. His 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 win over South Florida's Alexandru Gozun gave the 19-year-old Langmo his first ATP point.  Wil Spencer(5) and Michael Grant are the other two Americans advancing to the second round.