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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Ten US Players Pick Up Wins on First Day of French Open Junior Championships; Smith, Robinson Claim USTA National Open Hard Court Titles

Six US boys and four US girls recorded victories today in Paris as the 2017 French Open Junior Championships got underway with 16 matches featuring Americans.

US boys picking up victories today were wild card Brian Cernoch, Sam Riffice, Gianni Ross, Sebastian Korda, Danny Thomas and No. 10 seed Oliver Crawford.

The 17-year-old Thomas took out No. 5 seed Yu Hsiou Hsu of Taiwan 6-1, 6-4 for his first junior slam victory in his first junior slam match. Korda served for the match against No. 6 seed Marko Miladinovic of Serbia up 6-3, 5-4, lost that game and the next two, but recovered for a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 victory.  Crawford edged Benjamin Sigouin of Canada 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(5), becoming the first player to win a three-set singles match at Roland Garros in a third-set tiebreaker.  This is the first year that a tiebreaker, rather than the advantage set, decides a match at 6-6 in the third.

Patrick Kypson, Vasil Kirkov and Alafia Ayeni were the three US boys losing their first round matches today.

In addition to Hsu and Miladinovic, three other boys seeds were eliminated today: Argentina's No. 13 seed Sebastian Baez and No. 15 seed Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi, and No. 14 seed Rudolf Molleker of Germany.

The four US girls advancing today are: Claire Liu[6], Whitney Osuigwe[7], Hailey Baptiste and Amanda Anisimova[2].  Liu, who beat Kamilla Rakhimova of Russia 6-0, 6-1, has now won 14 matches in a row, 13 on the ITF Pro Circuit (including qualifying) since losing to Madison Brengle in the semifinals of the $60,000 tournament in Charleston South Carolina last month.

Taylor Johnson, the No. 10 seed, lost to Tatiana Pieri of Italy 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, with Sofia Sewing and Ellie Douglas also falling in their first round matches today.

In addition to Johnson, three other girls seeds lost: No. 9 Olga Danilovic of Serbia, No. 8 Carson Branstine of Canada and No. 14 seed Katarina Zavatska of Ukraine.

Osuigwe, Baptiste, Riffice, Cernoch, Thomas and Crawford are scheduled to play their second round matches on Monday.  The four US juniors playing first round matches Monday are Elysia Bolton, Caty McNally, Trent Bryde[8] and Alexandre Rotsaert.  Top seeds Anastasia Potapova of Russia and Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia are also playing their first round matches on Monday.

The junior doubles draws were posted today, with many first round matches scheduled for Monday.  Australian Open champions Bianca Andreescu and Branstine are the top girls seeds, with Liu and Johnson the No. 3 seeds and McNally and Osuigwe the No. 8 seeds.  The top-seeded boys team is Nicolas Kuhn of Spain and Zsombor Piros of Hungary. Korda and Kecmanovic are seeded No. 6, with Bryde and Ayeni the No. 7 seeds.

Venus Williams[10] lost in three sets today to Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, meaning their are no Americans left in singles as the second week of Roland Garros begins on Monday.

The USTA's National Open Hard Court Championships concluded today in San Diego, with UCLA incoming freshman Keegan Smith and recent Notre Dame graduate Monica Robinson taking the gold balls.  The top-seed Smith, who turns 19 later this month, beat No. 5 seed Ryan Segerman, an incoming freshman at Princeton, 6-3, 6-3 in the final. Robinson, the No. 2 seed, defeated top seed Jessica Failla, a rising junior at USC, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 for the women's title.

Complete results can be found at the TennisLink site.