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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

My Look at New USTA Campus; 16 US Men in Australian Open Qualifying; De Minaur Earns First ATP Win in Sydney; Bellis Feature

Last month I visited the USTA's new campus in Lake Nona, prior to its public opening last week, and while workers were still everywhere applying the finishing touches, there's no doubt that it is an impressive complex.  I selected 18 of the photos I thought would be of most interest to readers of the Tennis Recruiting Network for this feature, which also includes the 2017 events currently scheduled for its 100 courts.  For more on the recent opening of the complex, see this article from the New York Times news service.

Men's qualifying for the Australian Open begins on Wednesday (tonight here in the United States), with 16 Americans looking to earn their spots in the main draw.  Below are the their first round matches, with US players in bold.

Radek Stepanek[1](CZE) v. Sekou Bangoura
Frances Tiafoe[2] v. Marco Cecchinato(ITA)
Jordi Samper-Montana(ESP) v. Tim Smyczek[25]
Kimmer Coppejans(BEL) v. Tennys Sandgren
Bjorn Fratangelo[6] v. Grega Zemlja[SLO]
Stefan Kozlov[7] v. Yuki Bhambri[IND]
Maximilian Marterer(GER) v. Ernesto Escobedo[21]
Yuya Kibi(JPN v. Brian Baker
Bradley Klahn v. Thomas Fabbiano[31](ITA)
Luke Saville(AUS) v. Denis Kudla[18]
Noah Rubin v. Cedrik-Marcel Stebe(GER)
Alexander Sarkissian v. Henri Laaksonen[23](SUI)
Ilya Ivashka(BLR) v. Rajeev Ram[20]
Tobias Kamke[14](GER) v. Dennis Novikov
Marco Chiudinelli[16](SUI) v. Mitchell Krueger
Reilly Opelka v. Stefano Napolitano(ITA)

The order of play can be found at the Australian Open website.

Seventeen-year-old Australian Alex De Minaur is passing milestones in quick succession to open 2017, getting his first ATP main draw win last night at the Sydney tournament after qualifying for his first ATP main draw last week in Brisbane. De Minaur, who defeated No. 46 Benoit Paire of France 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(1) for his first ATP main draw win, received a wild card into the main draw of the Australian Open, which will be his main draw debut at a slam.

He has pulled out of the Australian Open Junior Championships, as have Canadian Denis Shapovalov, who beat De Minaur in the Wimbledon boys final last year, and top Americans Kayla Day, who is playing in the women's main draw, Claire Liu and Ellie Douglas.  Today was the last day for on-time withdrawals from the junior championships.

CiCi Bellis is recovering from a hamstring injury suffered last month and will not be playing in the Australian Open but she could be back on court soon.  Paul Bauman has written this feature on Bellis for his Nor Cal Tennis Czar blog, which details her coaching relationship with Anibal Aranda, her training schedule and what she and her coach and her parents consider the strengths of her game.