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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Johnson Defeats Douglas to Claim Girls Championship, Kecmanovic Takes Boys Title and ITF No. 1 Ranking at Mexico City Grade A; Grade 1 Yucatan Cup Features 41 Americans

Eighth seed Taylor Johnson won her first Grade A title Sunday in the all-US girls final at the ITF's Abierto Juvenil Mexicano, defeating No. 11 seed Ellie Douglas 6-2 2-6, 6-4.

The 16-year-old left-hander from Redondo Beach California took advantage of Douglas's serving problems in the opening set, with Douglas double faulting on game point to give Johnson a 4-2 lead. After Johnson held for 5-2, Douglas went down 15-40, and although she saved one set point, she double faulted on the second to hand the set to Johnson.

Douglas came out strong in the second set, forcing Johnson to save four break points in the opening game, which lasted 14 minutes, although Johnson did hold. Douglas, a 16-year-old right-hander from McKinney Texas got her first break of the match to take 4-2 lead, and Johnson was broken in her next service game, taking a page from Douglas's book by double faulting at 15-40.  Douglas closed out the set with no difficulty and broke Johnson to open the third set, taking a 2-0 lead. With six games in a row, Douglas looked to be ready to put Johnson away, but Johnson displayed little negative emotion and she got the break back for 2-2.  Johnson saved three break points at 2-2, with her touch at the net a key factor, and she broke Douglas for a 4-2 lead with some luck from the net cord.

Johnson went up 5-2, but Douglas held and broke, with Johnson, who did not earn a match point in the 5-3 game, showing some nerves with three netted forehands. Douglas started out the final game poorly, double faulting for 0-30 and at 30-40 she double faulted, giving Johnson the title.

Johnson's previous best result at the ITF level was the Grade 1 Copa Barranquilla title in Colombia back in January, also on clay.

A replay of the girls final can be found here.

The boys title went to top seed Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia, who continued the domination he displayed all week, defeating No. 10 seed Duarte Vale of Portugal 6-3, 6-0.  The IMG-trained Kecmanovic, who lost only 27 games in his six victories, will overtake Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece for the top spot in next week's ITF junior rankings.

Kecmanovic, the 2015 Metropolia Orange Bowl champion and the US Open boys finalist, was a wild card in Mexico City, and he took a wild card into the coming week's ITF Grade 1 in Yucatan. Tsitsipas has withdrawn from the Grade 1 Eddie Herr in two weeks, but is still entered in the Orange Bowl where he was a finalist last year. Kecmanovic is still in both the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl, and titles in the next two Grade 1s would give him a nice cushion before defending his title in Plantation.

A replay of the boys final can be found here.

The qualifying is complete at the Yucatan Cup, and as was the case in Mexico City, there are huge numbers of American juniors in both the girls and boys draws.  After Imani Graham, Jennifer Gadalov, Peyton Stearns and Zoe Hitt made it through qualifying and Victoria Flores received entry as a lucky loser, there are 22 US girls in the draw, a number which includes soon-to-be-Canadian Carson Branstine. Amanda Anisimova is the top seed, Taylor Johnson is seeded No. 4, Sofia Sewing is No. 8 and Daylana Hewitt is No. 15.

All eight of the boys qualifiers are from the US: Caleb Chakravarthi, Tomas Kopczynski, Trey Hilderbrand, Ronan Jachuck, Noah Schachter, Timothy Sah, Ryan Goetz and Joshua Bode.  Seeded American boys are Trent Bryde(10) and Alafia Ayeni(16).  In all, there are 19 US boys in the draw.

Kecmanovic is the top seed in the boys draw, of course.

Both the singles and doubles final were played today at the $10,000 Futures in Pensacola Florida, with Gianni Mina of France, the No. 2 seed, winning his second consecutive title in the Florida Panhandle.  Mina defeated unseeded Naoki Nakagawa of Japan 4-6, 6-4, 6-0.

In the doubles final, No. 2 seeds Dominic Cotrone and Robert Galloway defeated University of West Florida wild cards Pedro Dumont of Brazil and Alexandre Peyrot of France 7-5, 6-3.

Bobby Knight has a full rundown of all the current and former collegiate players' results at College Tennis Today.  Most notable of these results is the ATP World Tour Finals championship for former Middle Tennessee State and Baylor star John Peers of Australia, who won his biggest career title with Henri Kontinen of Finland.


Where are you now? said...

I don't see to many people hating on American tennis these days. Americans flooding the top of junior rankings. Americans have the best young pros in the world! 2x the amount of players as any other country in the WTA Top 100.