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Friday, June 3, 2016

May Aces; Anisimova Reaches Semifinals in French Junior Championships, Shapovalov Ousts Top Seed Tsitsipas; Semifinals Set for Buffalo $10K

May usually features so many notable performances that squeezing them all in is a challenge. This May, my monthly column for the Tennis Recruiting Network looks at a total 17 players, the majority either current or former college players, but also including several juniors who had a memorable month.

No. 2 seed Amanda Anisimova has reached the semifinals of the French Open Junior Championships, winning her quarterfinal match today against French wild card Emmanuelle Salas 6-1, 6-1. The 14-year-old from Florida is playing in just her second junior slam, after qualifying for the US Open last year, but her opponent in the semifinals is a familiar one, 15-year-old Anastasia Potapova of Russia.  The fourth-seeded Potapova, who beat qualifier Iga Swiatek of Poland 4-6, 6-3, 6-0, defeated Anisimova in the semifinals of the Eddie Herr 12s back in 2013, and in the first round of the Orange Bowl last December, both times in three sets. Anisimova defeated Potapova last August in the first round of the Grade 1 International Hard Court Championships in College Park, Maryland.

The other girls semifinal will feature top seed Olesya Pervushina of Russia against No. 12 seed Rebeka Masarova of Switzerland. Pervushina defeated qualifier Ioana Minca of Romania 6-1, 6-1 and Masarova downed unseeded Katarina Zavatska of Ukraine 6-3, 6-2.

An all-Russian girls final is possible, as is an all-Canadian boys final. Denis Shapovalov avenged his third round Orange Bowl loss to top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece with a 6-4, 6-2 victory today and will play unseeded Geoffrey Blancaneaux of France in the semifinals. No. 11 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, who, like Shapovalov, was playing in his first junior slam quarterfinal, defeated No. 14 seed Genaro Olivieri of Argentina 6-3, 7-5.   Auger-Aliassime, still just 15 years old, will play 16-year-old Nicola Kuhn, now representing Spain, who beat qualifier Marvin Moeller of Germany 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.  Kuhn, representing Germany at the time, defeated Auger-Aliassime in the final of the Junior Davis Cup last October in Spain 6-3, 6-3, with Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime clinching the 2-1 win in the deciding doubles over Moeller and Kuhn.

See the ITF Junior website's article for more on Pervushina, Potapova and Shapovalov.

The doubles semifinals are also scheduled for Saturday, with one seed remaining in each draw and no US juniors in either.

John McNally and JJ Wolf, the No. 7 seeds, lost to Yunseong Chung of Korea and Orlando Luz of Brazil 6-4, 6-3, with Chung and Luz now playing No. 3 seeds Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia and Casper Ruud of Norway in the semifinals. Alex De Minaur and Blake Ellis of Australia and Yshai Oliel of Israel and Patrik Rikl of the Czech Republic meet in the other boys doubles semifinal.

No. 5 seeds Sonya Kenin and Alexandra Sanford lost their second round match, the only such match on the schedule today, with all the rest quarterfinals. Top seeds Pervushina and Potapova will play Lucrezia Stefanini and Tatiana Pieri of Italy in one semifinal Saturday. In the other, Mayuka Aikawa of Japan, who lost in singles qualifying, and Ylena In-Albon of Switzerland will face Paula Arias Manjon of Spain and Olga Danilovic of Serbia.

The USTA Pro Circuit has been on break for a while, but it's back this week in Buffalo with a $10,000 tournament for women.  The singles semifinals and doubles finals are set, with 17-year-old Caroline Dolehide in both.

Dolehide, a qualifier, defeated Quinn Gleason(Notre Dame) 3-6, 6-0, 6-0 and will play Amy Zhu(Michigan), who beat 15-year-old Abigail Desiatnikov 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 in Saturday's semifinals. No. 5 seed Lauren Herring(Georgia) will face No. 6 seed Angelina Zhuravleva after Herring defeated Andie Daniell(Alabama) and Zhuravleva took out No. 4 seed Alexa Graham.

No. 3 seeds Dolehide and Ingrid Neel will play in Saturday's doubles final against top seeds Sophie Chang and Alexandra Mueller.