USTA Player Development Announces Partnership with Adidas; US Open Junior Qualifying Begins Friday; Donaldson Through to Third Round at US Open; Blanch Reaches Semifinals in Canadian Grade 1
|Adidas is already a Kalamazoo sponsor|
The USTA held a news conference today at the US Open to announce a partnership between adidas and Player Development. Unfortunately, I don't arrive in New York until Friday, so I wasn't able to attend, but according to the press release, the agreement includes sponsorship of the major USTA junior tournaments, including the Easter Bowl, San Diego and Kalamazoo. Per the release:
As part of this newly forged, expansive partnership, adidas will become an official sponsor of the USTA National Campus, USTA Player Development, and USTA League Tennis. In addition, it will become the exclusive presenting sponsor of the USTA National Junior Rankings and newly named “USTA adidas Junior Championship Series,” comprised of five, L1 individual 16 & Under and 18 & Under junior tournaments that feature some of the top junior tennis players in the country.
adidas will have a strong presence throughout the USTA National Campus, the home of American tennis in Orlando, Fla. They will receive naming rights to, and have an extensive branding presence throughout, the “adidas Performance Center” which will serve as home to the USTA’s Player Development (USTA PD) division, which is tasked with developing the next generation of American champions. adidas will also become the official outfitter and apparel partner for USTA PD, outfitting the coaching staff in adidas gear. They will also have a strong retail presence within the pro-shop of the USTA National Campus.
Adidas has been a sponsor of the San Diego and Kalamazoo tournaments for several years now, so that isn't likely to be much different in the future, but the Easter Bowl, which has been sponsored by Asics, will be changing presenting sponsors. The release also is the first public mention I've seen of the National Indoors, which I have heard will be on the junior schedule for November of 2017.
The qualifying draws have been released for the US Open Junior Championships, with play beginning Friday at 10 a.m.
As is customary, last minute wild cards have become available and it looks as if Nathan Ponwith, Oliver Crawford and Alexandre Rotsaert have received main draw wild cards for the boys and Natasha Subhash and Abigail Desiatnikov for the girls. International Hard Courts finalist Xiyu Wang of China is not in the qualifying draw, so I am assuming she received a special exemption for reaching the doubles semifinals at the Grade 1 this week in Canada.
US girls in qualifying include wild cards Katie Volynets, Alexa Noel, Vanessa Ong, Dalayna Hewitt and Hailey Baptiste, as well as Ashley Lahey(10), Kylie McKenzie(9), Hurricane Tyra Black(16), Ellie Douglas(6) and Victoria Emma. US boys in the qualifying include wild cards Adam Neff, Sangeet Sridhar, Keenan Mayo, Patrick Kypson and Zane Khan, plus Alafia Ayeni.
The last player into qualifying for the boys is Thiago Seyboth Wild of Brazil, with a 120 ranking, and for the girls is Michaela Bayerlova of the Czech Republic at 129.
The girls qualifying draw is here; the boys qualifying draw is here. The junior qualifying order of play is included in the main pro schedule, and although the matches are played on practice courts outside the gates of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, there is live scoring at usopen.org.
This evening, 19-year-old qualifier Jared Donaldson defeated Viktor Troicki of Serbia 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the third round and will move into the ATP Top 100 with his stellar results this summer. Donaldson trailed 4-1 in the first set, but his backhand came alive and Troicki had no answers for that shot as the match wore on. According to Josh Meiseles of the ATP, Donaldson is the youngest American to reach the US Open third round since Donald Young in 2007.
Due to several rain delays today, second round matches are still going on all around the BJKNTC, including two involving Americans. I'll update those as they finish, or see the Completed Matches section at usopen.org.
Thursday's second round matches involving Americans:
Venus Williams def. Julia Goerges(GER) 6-2, 6-3
Serena Williams def. Vania King[WC] 6-3, 6-3
Jared Donaldson[Q] def. Viktor Troicki(SRB) 7-5, 6-3, 6-3
Vavara Lepchenko def. Timea Bacsinszky(SUI) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
Laura Siegemund(GER) def. Nicole Gibbs 6-3, 7-5
Juan Martin del Potro(ARG)[WC] def. Steve Johnson 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-2
Ivo Karlovic(CRO) def. Donald Young 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-4
Friday's third round matches involving Americans:
Madison Keys v Naomi Osaka(JPN)
CiCi Bellis[Q] v Angelique Kerber(GER)
Jack Sock v Marin Cilic(CRO)
John Isner v Kyle Edmund(GBR)
Marcos Baghdatis v Ryan Harrison[Q]
At the ITF Grade 1 in Canada, top seed Ulises Blanch has reached the semifinals after beating No. 7 seed Alexei Popyrin of Australia 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in today's quarterfinals. Timothy Sah and Sam Riffice have reached the doubles semifinals. See the tournament website for results throughout the day.