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Friday, January 20, 2017

My Australian Open Junior Preview; Kodat, Gauff Claim Bolton Titles; Kypson Reaches Futures Semifinal; NCAA D-1 Cuts Teams at Final Site; Crimbill Honored by NCAA

The Australian Open Junior Championships begin Saturday (tonight here) in Melbourne, with seven US girls and four US boys in the main draw.  Taylor Johnson[2], Caty McNally[12], Carson Branstine[13] and Natasha Subhash[15] are the girls seeds from the US.  Trent Bryde[10] is the American boys seeded. My preview of the tournament is up at the Tennis Recruiting Network.  Americans on today's Australian Open schedule are Alafia Ayeni, qualifier Tristan Boyer, Johnson, McNally and qualifier Jimena Rodriguez-Benito.  Complete draws can be found at ausopen.com.

All US men are out of the Australian Open after the third round, with Jack Sock and Sam Querrey losing Friday.

Friday's third round results featuring Americans:
CoCo Vandeweghe def. Eugenie Bouchard(CAN) 6-4, 3-6, 7-5
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga[12](FRA) def. Jack Sock[23] 7-6(4), 7-5, 6-7(8), 6-3
Venus Williams[13] def. Ying-Ying Duan)CHN) 6-1, 6-0
Andy Murray[1](GBR) def. Sam Querrey[31] 6-4, 6-2, 6-4
Sorana Cirstea(ROU) def. Alison Riske 6-2, 7-6(2)

Saturday’s third round matches involving Americans:
Nicole Gibbs vs. Serena Williams[2]
Elena Vesnina[14](RUS) vs. Jennifer Brady

The Nike Junior International Teen Tennis champions for 2017 are Toby Kodat and Cori Gauff.  For the first time in the 14-and-under Level 1 tournament's 23-year history, all four finalists were from the same country, with top seed Gauff defeating Alexandra Yepifanova 7-5, 6-2 and No. 4 seed Kodat beating No. 7 seed Martin Damm 7-5, 6-0. Kodat is the half-brother of former WTA star Nicole Vaidisova; Damm is the son 2006 US Open doubles champion Martin Damm.  Next up for all eight of the US players, seven of whom made the semifinals, is Les Petits As, which begins Monday in Tarbes France.

At the ITF Grade 1 Copa Barranquilla in Colombia, qualifier Victoria Flores and No. 11 seed Brian Cernoch have advanced to the quarterfinals.

Seventeen-year-old qualifier Patrick Kypson has advanced to the semifinals of a Futures for the second time after defeating Roberto Cid of the Dominican Republic 6-2, 6-3 at the $15,000 tournament in Sunrise Florida.  Kypson had previously reached the semifinals of a Futures at the $10,000 tournament last November in Pensacola. Qualifier Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia, also 17, advanced to the semifinals with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Filip Peliwo of Canada.  Kypson plays No. 5 seed Christian Lindell of Sweden next, with Kecmanovic facing Peter Nagy of Hungary.  The doubles title in Sunrise went to Peter Torebko of Germany and Bastian Trinker of Austria, who defeated last week's champions Tomaslav Brkic and Nikola Cacic of Serbia 7-6(3), 4-6, 10-7.

At the $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit women's event in Orlando, No. 3 seed Sonya Kenin ended the run of last week's champion at Daytona Beach, beating Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine 6-4, 6-1. Kenin's next opponent will be qualifier Katherine Sebov of Canada.  Nineteen-year-old Ellie Halbauer continued her excellent start to 2017 with the Daytona Beach finalist advancing to Saturday's semifinals with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over No. 8 seed Kristie Ahn(Stanford). Halbauer will face unseeded Katarzyna Piter of Poland.

The NCAA announced yesterday that beginning in 2019, the Division I team championships' final site will have eight men's and eight women's teams competing rather than the current 16 for each.  Super Regional matches will be played on host campuses, with the winners advancing to the final site.  It will eliminate two days from the NCAA Championships and the two long days, which can extend from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. or beyond.  The sites for 2019 and beyond have yet to be announced.  Bobby Knight of College Tennis Today has more on the announcement, and if he can't figure out what the other change mentioned in the release actually means, I'm certainly in no position to clarify.

CJ Crimbill of Division III Case Western Reserve received NCAA Today's Top Ten award Wednesday, the first tennis player ever to be so honored. The award is based on achievements in academics, athletics and community service.  For more on the award and Crimbill's impressive resume, see this article.