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Monday, January 18, 2016

Rubin Ousts No. 17 Seed Paire at Australian Open, Six Americans Join Him in Second Round; Blanch Reaches Traralgon G1 Quarterfinals; US Players Advance at Teen Tennis

Nineteen-year-old Noah Rubin pulled off a big upset in the first round of the Australian Open Monday in Melbourne. The 2015 NCAA finalist, now ranked 328, beat No. 17 seed Benoit Paire of France 7-6(4), 7-6(6), 7-6(5) for his first slam win.  According to Josh Meiseles of the ATP, it's the first time a player outside the Top 300 has defeated a seed in a slam (in a completed match) since Wimbledon in 2011. And it's the first such instance at the Australian Open since 1985.

The match is available on replay at WatchESPN, and there's not much doubt that Paire, notorious for his erratic play, had a bad day; he was credited with 72 unforced errors in 39 games. After the match, Paire said Rubin was "a not-good player," but aside from the sour grapes aspect of that comment, it demonstrated no appreciation of Rubin's defensive skills and speed, which may have, in reality, forced some of Paire's "unforced" errors.  Rubin, who played college tennis at Wake Forest for a year after winning the Wimbledon boys title and Kalamazoo in 2014, moves into the second round, against qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France. For Rubin's thoughts on the win, see this Associated Press article.

Another junior slam winner from 2014, US Open boys champion Omar Jasika of Australia, who, like Rubin is a wild card, won his first round match, beating Illya Marchenko of Ukraine 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 6-4. Quentin Halys of France, a third teenaged wild card, who lost to Jasika in that US Open boys final, also advanced, beating Ivan Dodig of Croatia 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-5.

As for other American winners on Day One, Austin Krajicek picked up his second slam victory, beating qualifier Di Wu of China 6-4, 6-1, 6-3, while two other players with college backgrounds, Irina Falconi and qualifier Nicole Gibbs, also reached the second round. Gibbs defeated Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic  6-2, 2-6, 6-1 and Falconi got past Anna Tatishvili 6-4, 3-6, 8-6.

Lauren Davis defeated No. 26 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, Denis Kudla advanced when Filip Krajinovic of Serbia retired trailing 6-2, 6-1 and top seed Serena Williams got through a tough first rounder with Camila Giorgi of Italy 6-4, 7-5.   Jonathan Kelley has a good recap of all the American action Monday at On The Rise Tennis.  Nineteen US players are on Tuesday's schedule, including Jack Sock vs Taylor Fritz, and Madison Brengle vs CoCo Vandeweghe.

The draw at the Grade 1 in Traralgon Australia gets stranger with every round. Despite having a similar field to next week's Australian Open Junior Championships, many of those expected to contend in Melbourne have had early exits.  Top seed Bianca Andreescu of Canada gave a walkover to the quarterfinals to her opponent and both a qualifier and a wild card have reached the boys quarterfinals.  No. 9 seed Ulises Blanch is in both the singles quarterfinals, where he'll play unseeded Louis Tessa of France, and the doubles quarterfinals.

At the Grade 1 Copa Barranquilla in Colombia, 11 US juniors have reached the main draw:  qualifiers Brian Cernoch and Jada Robinson, special exempt Gui Gomes, seeds Alexandre Rotsaert(14), Meible Chi(16) and Morgan Coppoc(6), and Sangeet Sridhar, Victoria Emma, Taylor Johnson, Malkia Menguene and Amanda Meyer.  Olesya Pervushina of Russia and Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves of Brazil are the top seeds.

At the Nike International Teen Tennis 14-and-under tournament in Bolton, England, five Americans have reached the third round.  Unseeded Vanessa Ong, who advanced to the second round without dropping a game, beat No. 2 seed  Ella Haavisto of Finland 6-2, 6-1. With the seeds getting first round byes, Gabby Price(13) and Alexa Noel(5) won their first matches today, as did boys No. 6 seed Stefan Leustian.  Faris Khan is into the round of 16 with a 6-2, 6-1 win over No. 11 seed Leo Raquin of France.  Zane Khan and Nicholas Garcia(14) lost their matches today, while Victoria Hu was beaten in the first round Sunday.


Title Nine said...

FYI…. NCAA Transfering from a 4 year to a 4 yr Division 1..http://www.athleticscholarships.net/college-transfer-4-4.htm

NCAA Transfer Exceptions and Waivers: http://www.athleticscholarships.net/ncaa-transfer-exceptions.htm

Dave said...

After all the hype on social media for Jack Sock's sportsmanship in conceding a call against Lleyton Hewitt (in what was little more than an exhibition match)...that was a pretty poor display of sportsmanship against Taylor Fritz last night. Sock was apparently so ill in the 3rd set that he couldn't run after balls hit a few feet away from him, and only managed four points the entire set. I was surprised he was even bothering to continue. But then in the fourth set his health magically returned, by the end of the fifth he was running corners, screaming come-ons, and had enough energy left after the match to sign autographs for ten minutes. Fritz was clearly rattled by these dramatics and offered little resistance in the fourth and fifth.

I have always been able to tolerate displays of anger or bad behavior on the court, but clearly not trying is close to unforgivable for me. Sock was obviously under the weather, but he gave absolutely 0 effort in the third set. If he was really that sick to not even be able to run down routine rally balls, he shouldn't have stayed on the court, and he certainly couldn't have been able to play at the level he did in the 4th and 5th. Not a good look for him in my opinion, really a poor display of sportsmanship. Feel bad for Fritz.

Judgmental said...

@Dave. That has to be one of the most judgmental and illogical posts I've ever read on this blog.

Are you trying to imply that Jack Sock was faking his illness for a set? That doesn't make any sense! How would that be an advantage for him to give up a set when he was feeling great.

Did it ever occur to you that he recovered his condition when the sun went down and the temperature dropped dramatically in the 4th set as the TV match announcers pointed out? Also, did it ever occur to you that perhaps his medication started to kick in after an hour or two?

It's possible that he didn't lunge for every ball in the set he lost badly because he knew it would be fruitless when he was already so far down in that set and felt so sick. So, it's possible that he tried to conserve his energy for later when his medication kicked in and when he was feeling better.

There is nothing wrong with that and it turned out to be a wise move because he won the match after he was able to recover.

There is no way in hell that he "faked" an injury or a sickness for an entire set because that doesn't even make any sense. Think again a little harder before you accuse a player of something that you can't prove and which makes no sense in your next post.

Dave said...

I didn't say he wasn't sick. I said he obviously was sick. I also said he wasn't trying in third set, and he obviously wasn't. Sick or not, he could have given a much better effort than he did. Try to imagine Nadal playing a set like that. And I don't believe that medication, or temperature change, or whatever, could effect such a dramatic change from the end of the third set to the very beginning of the fourth. You might say it was a wise move, I say it was contrary to the basic spirit of sports and sportsmanship.

Also, just because you don't agree with my position doesn't mean I am stupid or illogical or that I didn't think about my post. I gave it plenty of thought. And I want Sock to succeed, I am not a "hater". But I found that display to be very disappointing.

Obviously not an athlete said...

A tennis match is not a sprint, sometimes letting a set go is the right strategy. Football teams seem to try a lot harder in the last two minutes of the game, gosh, are they showing bad sportsmanship the rest of the game?

fan said...

Just shows that this monstrosity of best of 5 in singles is such a waste of time. Also makes such of havoc on the tournament schedule. Maybe like ITA, they should consider abolishing it for the sake of player's 'welfare' lol.