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Sunday, October 2, 2016

US Girls Fall to Poland in Junior Fed Cup Final, Russia Claims Junior Davis Cup; Collins, Coopersmith Win USTA Pro Circuit Titles

Stefania Rogozinska-Dzik, Iga Swiatek, Maja Chwalinska, Captain Mikolaj Weymann
(photo cortesy ITF Junior Facebook page)
For the second year in a row, the US girls took a 1-0 lead in the Junior Fed Cup final, but were unable to close out the championship at the International Tennis Federation's 16-and-under team competition. Last year the top-seeded Czech Republic team took the No. 1 singles and the doubles to win the title; this year, No. 4 seed Poland pulled out the victory, with Iga Swiatek the star of her country's championship.

Claire Liu gave the US a 1-0 lead with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Maja Chwalinska at No. 2 singles, but Swiatek brought Poland level with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Amanda Anisimova at the No. 1 position. Unlike 2015, when the Czech Republic was favored in the doubles, the US was the more accomplished team this year, with Liu, the Wimbledon doubles champion, and Caty McNally, the Wimbledon doubles finalist, set to take on Swiatek and Chwalinska.  But as they showed in their 6-1, 6-3 win over Russians Anastasia Potapova and Olesya Pervushina in the semifinals, Swiatek and Chwalinska are a formidable team, and they rolled past the Americans 6-4, 6-0.

It’s the first Junior Fed Cup title for Poland since Urszula Radwanska and Agnieszka Radwanska defeated France 2-0 back in 2005, and with wins over No. 1 Russia, No. 2 USA, and No. 5 Canada, they certainly are deserving champions. Swiatek went 9-0 in singles and doubles during the competition.

The Russian boys dethroned top seed Canada as Junior Davis Cup champions, with Alen Avidzba, Timofey Skatov and Alexey Zakharov picking up key victories in the No. 2 seed’s 2-1 victory.

Skatov gave Russia a 1-0 lead with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Nicaise Muamba at No. 2 singles, but Canada had been in that hole three times before during the week’s competition and had been rescued by US Open boys champion Felix Auger-Aliassime.  Auger-Aliassime trailed Avidzba 6-2, 3-1 at No. 1 singles, but roared back for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win to give Canada an opportunity in the doubles. Russia sent Avidzba and Zakharov out for the doubles, after Avidzba had been rested in the doubles dead rubber against Argentina in the semifinals. They took the first set easily, 6-2, but Canada had been down a set to the United States in the semifinals and still managed to squeeze through, so Russia could not relax. They kept the pressure on Canada with an early break and made that hold up with Avidzba serving out the championship. 

For all the country’s success at Junior Fed Cup, including four titles, Russia had never won the Junior Davis Cup, although the USSR boys did take the title in 1990.

The fourth-seeded US boys finished fourth, dropping their third-place match to No. 7 seed Argentina 2-1, in a deciding doubles point 6-2, 3-6,  13-11.  For more on today's matches, see the ITF junior website.  The complete results from all matches during the week can be found at the tournament website.

Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas

Poland (4) defeated USA (2) 2-1
Claire Liu (USA) d. Maja Chwalinska (POL) 64 63
Iga Swiatek (POL) d. Amanda Anisimova (USA) 64 62
Maja Chwalinska/Iga Swiatek (POL) d. Claire Liu/Catherine McNally (USA) 64 60
3rd-4th play-off
Russia (1) defeated Japan (3) 3-0
Anastasia Potapova (RUS) d. Yuki Naito (JPN) 61 75
Olesya Pervushina (RUS) d. Ayumi Miyamoto (JPN) 61 61
Varvara Graecheva/Olesya Pervushina (RUS) d. Ayumi Miyamoto/Yuki Naito (JPN) 61 63

Junior Davis Cup by BNP Paribas

Russia (2) defeated Canada (1) 2-1
Timofey Skatov (RUS) d. Nicaise Muamba (CAN) 61 64
Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) d. Alen Avidzba (RUS) 26 63 64
Alen Avidzba/Alexey Zakharov (RUS) d. Felix Auger-Aliassime/Chih Chi Huang (CAN) 62 64

3rd-4th play-off
Argentina (7) defeated USA (4) 2-1
Thiago Tirante (ARG) d. Sangeet Sridhar (USA) 46 63 63
Sebastian Korda (USA) d. Sebastian Baez (ARG) 76(6) 62
Sebastian Baez/Tomas Descarrega (ARG) d. Sebastian Korda/Sangeet Sridhar (USA) 62 36 13-11
Two of the five singles titles on offer today in USTA Pro Circuit finals went to Americans, with two-time NCAA champion Danielle Collins and 17-year-old Nicole Coopersmith taking home the winner's trophy.

Collins was scheduled to face Caroline Dolehide in the final of the $25,000 Stillwater, Oklahoma event, and she did, but only for one game, with Dolehide retiring after losing it.  The reason for Dolehide's retirement isn't clear, but Collins, who had played eight matches in eight days, didn't need the match play.  The 22-year-old Floridian earns her first title at a $25,000-level event, and with the 50 WTA ranking points, will move into the Top 500 for the first time in her career.

Coopersmith, the No. 2 seed, defeated South Carolina sophomore Ingrid Gamarra Martins of Brazil 6-3, 6-4 to collect her second career $10,000 singles title, and first since last year at the Charleston, South Carolina tournament.

Sonya Kenin fell just short of her second $50,000 title, with the 17-year-old wild card falling to top seed Alison Van  Uytvanck of Belgium 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 in the Red Rock Pro Open in Las Vegas. By reaching the final, Kenin will be knocking on the door of the WTA Top 200, putting her solidly in position for qualifying at the Australian Open.

The doubles title in Las Vegas went to Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands and Maria Sanchez, who also won last week's doubles championship at the $75,000 tournament in Albuquerque.  Sanchez and Krajicek, the No. 2 seeds, defeated unseeded Chanel Simmonds of South Africa and Jamie Loeb 7-5, 6-1.

Eighteen-year-old qualifier Michael Mmoh, who had played seven matches in eight days to reach the $100,000 Tiburon Challenger final couldn't win his eighth match in nine days today, falling to unseeded Darian King of Barbados 7-6(2), 6-2 on a windy afternoon in Northern California.  Mmoh served for the first set at 5-4, but King was too steady for the Kalamazoo champion, and with an 83% first serve percentage in the first set, King kept Mmoh playing a less aggressive game. Mmoh will move into the ATP 260s with his appearance in the final.

The doubles title in Tiburon went to the third-seeded Australian team of JP Smith and Matt Reid, who beat Quentin Halys of France and Dennis Novikov 6-1, 6-2.

At the $10,000 Futures in Fountain Valley, California, sixth-seeded Sebastian Fanselow of Germany, the former Pepperdine All-American, won his second title in three weeks, defeating No. 4 seed Takanyi Garanganga of Zimbabwe 6-1, 7-6(9).