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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Mmoh Defeats Kozlov to Reach Tiburon $100K Quarterfinals; Injury Strikes US Boys Junior Davis Cup Team Again, US Girls Cruise in Second Round

Eighteen-year-olds Michael Mmoh and Stefan Kozlov have met surprisingly infrequently in their long junior and now pro careers, with Mmoh now holding a 2-0 edge after his 7-5, 6-4 win today in the second round of the $100,000 Tiburon Challenger.  Mmoh had beaten Kozlov in the first round of the $25,000 Long Beach, California Futures back in January by exactly the same score, with Kozlov, the No. 4 seed, coming off a title the previous week.

Mmoh, who qualified into this week draw, got a break to open the match, but was immediately broken back,  and both players held until 5-all, when Kozlov was broken at love.  Serving for the set, Mmoh held at 30, hitting a forehand winner to claim the point, game and set. Mmoh went up 3-1 in the second set, but Kozlov got the break back and took a 4-3 lead, but serving at 4-4, Kozlov fell behind 15-40, saved those two break points but not a third, when a wayward pair of forehands from deuce gave Mmoh the break.

Although there were some long baseline rallies, Mmoh seemed committed to finishing at the net more often and in the final game, he continued to pressure Kozlov, who was unable to contend with that aggressive strategy from Mmoh.

Mmoh is now into his second career Challenger quarterfinal, with his first coming last October at the $50,000 Challenger in Las Vegas. After five straight days of play in qualifying and main draw, he will get a day off Thursday before he takes on No. 2 seed Bjorn Fratangelo. Mmoh and Fratangelo are two of the four Americans through in the bottom half of the draw, with Mitchell Krueger and No. 3 seed Tim Smyczek playing in the other quarterfinal. Fratangelo and Mmoh met in the final round of qualifying at the ATP event in Memphis back in February, with Mmoh claiming a 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(6) victory. Smyczek is 3-0 head-to-head with Krueger.

The top half will play its second round Thursday, with Frances Tiafoe, Mackenzie McDonald, Brian Baker and Dennis Novikov (who play each other) aiming for quarterfinal appearances.

At the $10,000 Futures in Fountain Valley, California, UCLA recruit Keegan Smith earned his first ATP point with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Pepperdine senior and fellow qualifier Stefan Menichella. Other US winners in first round action today were qualifier Hunter Johnson and No. 8 seed Marcos Giron.

The first round of the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit women's tournament in Las Vegas was completed today, with Kristie Ahn, Maria Sanchez and Sonya Kenin posting victories.  Ahn defeated No. 7 seed  Montserrat Gonzalez of Paraguay 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, Sanchez advanced when Sherazad Reix of France retired trailing 6-3, 3-0, and Kenin defeated qualifier  Anna Zaja of Germany 6-4, 6-4. Kayla Day, who turned 17 today, got in as a lucky loser after falling to Zaja yesterday, but drew top seed Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium and dropped a 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 decision.  For on-site coverage of today's action, see this article from press aide Steve Pratt.

At the $25,000 women's tournament in Stillwater, Oklahoma, US players winning their first round matches today were qualifiers Ronit Yurovsky, Danielle Collins and Catherine Harrison, Ellie Halbauer(7), Bernarda Pera(3) and Caroline Dolehide. Former USC star Giuliana Olmos of Mexico advanced to the second round when top seed Barbora Stefkova of the Czech Republic retired trailing 6-4, 1-0.

The $10,000 women's tournament in Charleston, SC also completed its first round today, with qualifiers Madeline Meredith, Quinn Gleason and Elli Mandlik, along with seeds Ingrid Neel(6) and Nicole Coopersmith(2), posting victories.

The second day of play in the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup did not go well for the fourth-seeded US boys, who fell to unseeded Brazil 2-1 Wednesday in Budapest.  In the second set of his opening match against Switzerland on Tuesday, Keenan Mayo turned his ankle and suffered ligament damage. So although he was able to finish the match and get the victory, Mayo could not play today against Brazil. Instead, it was Sangeet Sridhar who played at No. 2 singles, losing to Mateus Alves 6-1, 6-3, while Sebastian Korda outlasted Thiago Seyboth Wild 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(2), meaning the doubles point would decide the winner. Alves and Gilbert Soares Klier Junior beat Korda and Sridhar 6-3, 6-4 to claim the victory, leaving the US in a precarious position for Thursday's match with the fifth-seeded Czech Republic. To have any chance to advance, the US must beat the Czech Republic, who are 2-0 and clinch a semifinal berth with a win.

The unfortunate injury to Mayo is reminiscent of last year, when Sam Riffice was injured in the second round and was unable to play in the final round robin match, with No. 8 Japan winning that 3-0 over the US, seeded No. 3.

In other Junior Davis Cup groups, top seed Canada can advance with a win over No. 8 India, No. 2 Russia and No. 6 Japan will play for a place in the semifinals, and the winner between unseeded Bulgaria and No. 7 seed Argentina will also reach the final four.

In Junior Fed Cup, the second-seeded US girls had no difficulty, beating Peru 3-0, and will play No. 6 seed Czech Republic, who is also undefeated, for a place in the semifinals.  No. 4 Poland and No. 5 Canada will vie for a semifinal berth, as will No. 3 Japan and No. 7 Great Britain.  Top seed Russia will advance if they beat No. 8 seed Argentina, who lost today to Thailand. Complete results are below.

Live scoring and live streaming (for 4 courts) are available. More on the day's action can be found at the ITF Junior website.

Junior Davis Cup by BNP Paribas
Group A

Canada (1) defeated Chile 3-0
Nicaise Muamba (CAN) d. Alan Sanson (CHI) 60 36 64
Félix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) d. Ignacio Becerra (CHI) 60 60
Félix Auger-Aliassime/Nicaise Muamba (CAN) d. Garizon Abarzua/Ignacio Becerra (CHI) 64 75

Hungary defeated India (8) 3-0
Mate Voros (HUN) d. Siddhant Banthia (IND) 62 61
Daniel Khin (HUN) d. Adil Kalyanpur (IND) 64 64
Daniel Khin/Mate Voros (HUN) d. Adil Kalyanpur/Megh Patel (IND) 46 63 10-3

Group B
Brazil d. USA (4) 2-1
Mateus Alves (BRA) d. Sangeet Sridhar (USA) 61 63
Sebastian Korda (USA) d. Thiago Seyboth Wild (BRA) 36 64 76(2)
Gilbert Soares Klier Junior/Mateus Alves (BRA) d. Sebastian Korda/Sangeet Sridhar (USA) 63 64

Czech Republic (5) defeated Switzerland 2-1
Henry von der Schulenburg (SUI) d. Tomas Machac (CZE) 64 46 64
Ondrej Styler (CZE) d. Damien Wenger (SUI) 64 61
Evzen Hollis/Ondrej Styler (CZE) d. Yannik Steinegger/Henry von der Schulenburg (SUI) 62 64

Group C
Argentina (7) defeated China (3) 3-0
Thiago Tirante (ARG) d. Mu Tao (CHN) 76(1) 61
Sebastian Baez (ARG) d. Zhao Lingxi (CHN) 62 75
Sebastian Baez/Tomas Descarrega (ARG) d. Mo Yecong/Zhao Lingxi (CHN) 76(7) 61

Bulgaria defeated Morocco 3-0
Leonid Sheyngezikht (BUL) d. Achraf Nafaa (MAR) 63 63
Adrian Andreev (BUL) d. Soufiane El Mesbahi (MAR) 60 60
Yoan Georgiev/Leonid Sheyngezikht (BUL) d. Achraf Nafaa/Soufiane El Mesbahi (MAR) 64 76(7)

Group D
Russia (2) defeated Egypt 3-0
Timofey Skatov (RUS) d. Adham Gaber (EGY) 60 36 60
Alen Avidzba (RUS) d. Yusuf Khamis (EGY) 62 62
Timofey Skatov/Alexey Zakharov (RUS) d. Adham Gaber/Yusuf Khamis (EGY) 60 63

Japan (6) defeated Germany 2-1
Rimpei Kawakami (JPN) d. Constantin Zoske (GER) 62 61
Naoki Tajima (JPN) d. Henri Squire (GER) 62 63
Leopold Zima/Constantin Zoske (GER) d. Rimpei Kawakami/Naoki Tajima (JPN) 63 16 10-8

Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas

Group A
Russia (1) defeated Belarus 3-0
Anastasia Potapova (RUS) d. Katyarina Paulenka (BLR) 61 62
Olesya Pervushina (RUS) d. Anna Kubareva (BLR) 76(0) 60
Olesya Pervushina/Anastasia Potapova (RUS) d. Yuliya Hatouka/Katyarina Paulenka (BLR) 64 60

Thailand defeated Argentina (8) 2-1
Thasaporn Naklo (THA) d. Azul Pedemonti (ARG) 63 63
Lourdes Carle (ARG) d. Watsachol Sawasdee (THA) 64 75
Thasaporn Naklo/Watsachol Sawasdee (THA) d. Lourdes Carle/Andrea Farulla (ARG) 63 62

Group B
Poland (4) defeated Hungary 3-0
Maja Chwalinska (POL) d. Adrienn Horvath (HUN) 76(11) 60
Iga Swiatek (POL) d. Reka Zadori (HUN) 62 61
Maja Chwalinska/Iga Swiatek (POL) d. Fanni Gecsek/Adrienn Horvath (HUN) 61 62

Canada (5) defeated India 3-0
Isabelle Boulais (CAN) d. Shivani Amineni (IND) 76(8) 61
Bianca Vanessa Andreescu (CAN) d. Mahak Jain (IND) 61 61
Isabelle Boulais/Layne Sleeth (CAN) d. Shivani Amineni/Sathwika Sama (IND) 76(7) 76(4)

Group C
Japan (3) defeated Morocco 3-0
Yuki Naito (JPN) d. Rim Benhadi (MAR) 60 60
Ayumi Miyamoto (JPN) d. Diae El Jardi (MAR) 76(9) 76(6)
Yuki Naito/Naho Sato (JPN) d. Hiba Al Khalifi/Diae El Jardi (MAR) 60 61

Great Britain (7) defeated Uruguay 3-0
Eliz Maloney (GBR) d. Agustina Cuestas (URU) 63 62
Francesca Jones (GBR) d. Lucia De Santa Ana (URU) 60 60
Francesca Jones/Nell Miller (GBR) d. Agustina Cuestas/Fernanda Secinaro (URU) 64 62

Group D
USA (2) defeated Peru 3-0
Catherine McNally (USA) d. Dana Guzman (PER) 63 61
Amanda Anisimova (USA) d. Anastasia Iamachkine (PER) 63 62
Claire Liu/Catherine McNally (USA) d. Almudena Boza/Anastasia Iamachkine (PER) 63 61

Czech Republic (6) defeated New Zealand 3-0
Karolina Berankova (CZE) d. Emilia Price (NZL) 61 60
Denisa Hindova (CZE) d. Tamara Anderson (NZL) 64 62
Karolina Berankova/Radka Buzkova (CZE) d. Nina Paripovich/Emilia Price (NZL) 62 61