Tuesday, January 26, 2016

US Teens Impress on Pro Circuit; Caruana Only American Junior Left in Australia; Johnson Negotiates Tough Turnaround in Ecuador Grade 1

There are four Pro Circuit events this week in the United States, with two in Florida and two on the island of Maui in Hawaii.

The men's Futures this week is a $10,000 tournament in Weston, where, because of rain late last week, qualifying just finished today. Americans qualifying are Hunter Callahan(Ohio State), Nick Chappell(TCU) and Junior Ore(Texas A&M). Denis Shapovalov, the 16-year-old Canadian also qualified and will face Ore in the first round. Shapovalov has qualified for the last five Futures he's played, but the main draw wins he needs to improve his ATP ranking enough to bypass qualifying are proving harder to come by.  Sixteen-year-olds Vasil Kirkov and Sam Riffice both received wild cards into the main draw. Riffice plays qualifier Jaume Pla Malfeito of Spain Wednesday, while Kirkov picked up his first ATP point, beating 26-year-old Thales Turini of Brazil 1-6, 6-3, 7-6(2) after Turini served for the match at 6-5 in the third.

The women's Florida tournament is in Sunrise and offers $25,000 in prize money.  Caroline Dolehide, Nicole Frenkel and Chiara Scholl are the American qualifiers. Jamie Loeb, Ellie Halbauer, Sofia Sewing and Anna Tatishvili received wild cards, with Tatishvili, the No. 1 seed, drawn to face last week's champion Sonya Kenin. Halbauer won her first round match today; Katerina Stewart, the No. 2 seed, was beaten by Canadian teenager Francoise Abanda in first round play Tuesday.

Play is still going on Tuesday in Maui, where both men and women have $50,000 tournaments.  Michael Mmoh and Ernesto Escobedo both qualified, putting the total of US teens in the main draw at seven. Francis Tiafoe and wild card Noah Rubin won their first round matches Monday. Taylor Fritz won his first round match today while Escobedo beat No. 7 seed Blaz Rola of Slovenia 7-5, 7-6(2). Wild card Stefan Kozlov lost to qualifier Nick Meister 6-3, 6-1. Defending champion Jared Donaldson, the No. 6 seed, is the seventh American teen competing in Maui.

Sixteen-year-old Ashley Kratzer was the only American to qualify for the women's main draw, but is hardly the only junior participating, with Claire Liu, wild card Michaela Gordon and Raveena Kingsley also in the field. Liu and Gordon lost their opening round matches, but Kingsley picked up an excellent win, beating Julia Boserup, WTA 198, 6-2, 6-0.

The Australian Open Junior Championships have gone mostly to form this week, with seven of the top eight boys seeds and six of the top eight girls seeds (including No. 9 seed in this number due to No. 7 withdrawing) through to the third round.  Ulises Blanch, the No. 8 seed, was beaten by Australian wild card Max Purcell, who served 13 aces and no double faults en route to his 7-5, 7-6(6) victory.  With the second round losses in doubles of Blanch(with Moroni of Italy), Zeke Clark(with Sumizawa of Japan) and Maria Mateas(with Anastasia Potapova of Russia), Liam Caruana, who plays his third round singles match later this evening, is the last US player still in the hunt for a title.

At this week's Grade 1 in Ecuador, Taylor Johnson won her first round match, the day after she had taken the title late Sunday in the Grade 1 in Colombia. Because she was not seeded or drawn against a seed, Johnson did not get a bye, but she defeated Juliana Valero of Colombia 6-4, 6-2 Monday evening.  Two other US girls won their opening matches: qualifier Jada Robinson and Amanda Meyer. Seeds Abigail Desiatnikov(8) and Morgan Coppoc(6) received first round byes.

In boys action, qualifier Gui Gomez is the only American still in singles. No. 14 seed Alexandre Rotsaert lost his first match (in the second round), with Sangeet Sridhar going out in the first round.


sportmanship said...

watching the live stream from maui challenger. kozlov and fritz playing dbls. usa guys up 4-1 in 3rd set TB…they lose 10-6. fritz's best shot with his racquet…after missing a shot…throws his racquet down then kicks it up in the stands…ump gives him a code violation for racquet abuse… "warning". this wasn't the first time he threw his racquet in the match…but the "Kick" of the racquet out of the court…and this is all taking place on the side of the court with the camera and microphone…catches both players laughing….boys better work on other areas of the game besides their strokes

Babies R Us said...

Fritz must have learned how to throw his racket from Francis Tiafoe and Tommy Paul. Maybe a good paddling is in order, or better yet, make them suck pacifiers during their next match.

Not impressed said...

If Tiafoe, Moh, Paul, and Fritz are examples of the future of American tennis, I think I will start watching other sports. Don't see that future.

Dave said...

That's clever that you used three different names, now it's only somewhat obvious that it's the same person posting three different times.

Not impressed is not alone said...

I am "Not Impressed" and did not post the other ones. Just agreed with that poster(s). There are a lot of us not sold on these guys like USTA wants us to be. This is PD part II. It's just their project o' the day. There are other players I am following with much stronger interest and without the bias (or hard sell) portrayed in articles and broadcasting of matches. They have their winner chosen before a match starts, a long standing annoyance of tennis. If I hear or read another "future of american tennis" reference while they disregard the person who beats them.....gag). If you gave all these guys trying to make it as many opportunities with all the wild cards, coaching, hand holding and all the support these young guys get with their poor behavior, there would be a lot more success in American tennis. But Jay Berger runs it as he always has, with no success. These young guys will be out before you know it for various reasons. Wait for it.....

Curtain of Distraction said...

This is pretty comical!!! The three people that write negative comments on this blog (in the case of this post, the one person) must be some of the most uneducated people with low tennis IQ. Let's start right at the top with the kick- wasn't this young mans best moment but we need to cut him a break. We are human and we all make mistakes. We have to remember these boys are 17 and 18 years old with pressures on them that we would never begin to comprehend. Since the one person who is posting that he the low tennis IQ wouldn't know that Federer was the worst offender of racquet throwing and breaking in his era. I will give you that Frances and the boys can act immature but just remember this is part of the development and they will grow out of it. They still have a junior mentality.

Second- let's get to Mr. Not Impressed- you obviously have never been around 18 year old talent before. Taylor who just turned 18 has won three out of five challengers and finales in another, so been in the finals of 4 out of 5 events he has played. He has risen to 145 in the world with basically half a year of events. He qualified for Aussie Open taking down two veteran players and won the lead up challenger event beating Dudi Sela who made the third round of Aussie Open oh and was up 2-1 on Jack Sock who is 23 in the world. If you look at the history of players who have been Top 10 in the world they have been Top 100 by the end of their 18th birthday. The professionalism, work ethic, and preparation this young man displays rivals that of guys in the Top 20. Frances is inside of the Top 200 and is the highest ranked 1998 in the world. He is the best athlete we have playing tennis in the USA. Since your IQ is pretty low you wouldn't know that in order to play at the highest level there is a need for speed. Once he cleans up some technical things on his serve he will have one of the biggest serves in the men's game when he fully matures. His FH is already one of the biggest on the tour.

The three haters on this site have something Against the USTA. Instead of getting excited for American tennis they have to find something to complain about. This is the problem with these sites. Collette wants to stir controversy so people come to the site. You never hear her giving any love to the USTA when things are going well. So let me give you a few stats I read the other day- US Men have 9 players under 20 inside Top 500. Mr. Not Impressed Not Alone please give examples of the WC all these kids are getting? They are winning these events so even if they got a WC here and there they made the most of it. At the end of the day you can be given opportunities but it is up to you to capitalize like Fritz did this fall or Tommy did at the US open when he qualied at the age of 18. Between, Fritz, Tiafoe, Donaldson, Pail, Opelka, Baughman, Escobedo, Rubin, Mmoh, Kozlov, and probably someone that will pop up, we have 8 legitimant players who will be Top 100 in the world. Two to three of those players are Top 20 talent just based on their results based on their age and where they match up to Federrer Djokovic, and Nadal at that age.

I urge people to get their facts straight before they just feed BS to people. You should be excited for the future. Without top players our sport will continue to lose ground. Be a leader and advocate because whether you like it or not these kids are the future of our sport and they are damn good. Like Andy Roddick Mardy Fish good!